Kubernetes Team Pushes Toward Shorter Release Cycles With 1.13 Release

3 Dec 2018 5:00pm, by

Version 1.13 of Kubernetes is out, and it pushes three features into general availability after a lengthy wait, alongside a number of other notable features entering stable and beta. Going forward, the project promises of faster release cycles and greater branch independence.

According to Aishwarya Sundar, the software engineer at Google who lead the release team for 1.13, the most notable news behind this latest release is not only that of the features themselves, but the burgeoning maturity of the Kubernetes project and its development cycles.

“The releases have really evolved. A couple of cycles back we had jobs breaking or failing for the majority of the release cycle, and the master would be locked down for three weeks to stabilize the release,” said Sundar. “The past few releases, we’ve shifted focus way ahead in the game and really reduced code freeze time. With this last release cycle, it was ten weeks of development and we were able to freeze only for one and a half weeks. It’s indicative of how far the project has evolved.”

Meanwhile, the three highlighted features at the core of 1.13 include the general availability (GA) of the kubeadm and Container Storage Interface (CSI) features, and the move to CoreDNS as the default DNS server for Kubernetes.

First, kubeadm, the tool that helps users fast-track their creation and maintenance of Kubernetes clusters by performing the actions necessary to get a minimum viable cluster up and running, is now generally available after nearly a year in development. According to the release statement, most notable are “the now-graduated advanced features, specifically around pluggability and configurability.”

Next, CSI also graduated to general availability after nearly a year, and now “provides an opportunity for third-party storage providers to write plugins that interoperate with Kubernetes without having to touch the core code.”

Sundar was sure to point out that CSI was a perfect example of the project’s attempt to move faster and better offer the ability for external developers to build tools without needing to work as part of the main branch.

“There are a lot of third party vendors who build and integrate features. One of the common themes has been to enable them to build outside of the core Kubernetes and easily plug in and integrate. It’s a thing we’ve been constantly working on and CSI is a case in point,” said Sundar. “With this particular feature, we’re actively promoting storage providers to plug in, whenever their drivers are ready, in a more seamless manner. It helps developers to not be tied to main Kubernetes development cycle.”

Finally, CoreDNS is now replacing kube-dns as the default DNS server in a move that Sundar explained as a case of “lead by example,” also noting that “CoreDNS has a lot of functionality advantages and is more performant in terms of memory and CPU consumption.”

For those interested in further details, the release notes are available and the release team will be hosting a webinar on Jan. 10, at 9 a.m. PDT. This release is the fourth and final release of 2018 and Sundar expects the team will get busy with 1.14 starting in January 2019.

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which manages Kubernetes, is a sponsor of The New Stack.

Feature image via Pixabay.