Cloud News

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) now supports Windows Server containers

Microsoft is bringing support for Windows Server containers to Azure’s fastest growing compute service—Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS).

Enterprises and developers run their application both on Linux and Windows. The AKS supported Linux containers only and some of the customers wanted support for Windows containers as well.

With the newly added support, the users will be able to manage Windows and Linux containers side by side in the same Kubernetes cluster. They can use the same APIs and tools for it.

Microsoft said that support for Windows Server containers in Azure Kubernetes Service will enable new scenarios. These containers can now be deployed and orchestrate in AKS, so that developers can migrate and modernize Windows Server apps in Azure.

Also read: Microsoft open sources AI algorithms that powers Bing search engine

“For example, you can now add Windows node pools to existing Virtual Network; or deploy a Linux container running a reverse proxy or Redis cache and an IIS application in a Windows container in the same Kubernetes cluster and even as part of the same application – all with consistent monitoring experience and deployment pipelines,” explained Taylor Brown, Principal PM Manager, Container Platform, Microsoft, in a blog post.

When users run Windows Server container in AKS, they will also be able to gain benefits of a number of existing Azure services and features. This will make the management and development of Kubernetes apps easier.

For instance, they can manage the lifecycle of Linux and Windows containers via Azure Container Registry, deliver apps faster on any operating system with a standard deployment pipeline, as well as gain insights into the health and performance of Kubernetes clusters.

Integration of Azure DevOps with AKS will help in automating the validation, testing, canary and production of apps.

The support for Windows Server containers in AKS is now available for preview.


Red Hat Quay 3 brings support for Windows containers and multiple architectures

Red Hat has released the new version of its container image registry for the enterprises— Red Hat Quay 3. This is a major release of Quay that brings support for multiple architectures and Windows containers.

First released in 2013, Quay is a distributed and highly available container image registry that provides storage and enables enterprises to build, distribute, and deploy containers.

Red Hat Quay 3 is focused on security, scalability, and automation. The new support for multiple architectures will allow enterprises to run containers on more platforms. They will also be able to use different systems like IBM Power LE and Z System Workloads, ARM-based IoT devices, and Windows-based workloads.

Red Hat Quay will now support storing of Windows container images. Users can also use Red Hat Enterprise Linux-based images for the Quay container. The company said that building Quay on an RHEL-based image can bring more reliability, security, performance, and consistent operational model.

On the security front, Quay will now come with support for multiple authentication systems and identity providers. For instance, it will provide vulnerability scanning via integration with the Clair security scanner. Furthermore, it will provide encrypted CLI passwords, detailed logging of events for auditing, etc.

For the users of Red Hat OpenShift, the company mentioned that Quay is well-suited for these users because of its security and automation features. Red Hat will build tighter integration between OpenShift and Quay in the future.

“By including a configuration UI in this release, we are making strides toward our goal to help make Quay easier to run on Kubernetes and other deployments. It can automatically deploy changes to nodes and can trigger Kubernetes blue-green deployments of Quay containers for configuration updates,” explained Dirk Herrmann – Principal Product Manager Red Hat OpenShift, in a blog post.

“This can help make running Quay on OpenShift easier because you can deploy changes to the configuration of Quay itself more easily than in previous versions.”

Also read: Red Hat collaborates with public cloud giants to launch Kubernetes marketplace

Along with it, Red Hat has also changed its logo after around 20 years of its proposition.


Docker Enterprise 3.0 launched as desktop-to-cloud container platform

Docker has announced the latest version of its enterprise platform, with a number of new capabilities for automated lifecycle management and improved security.

Announced at DockerCon, the Docker Enterprise 3.0 is a desktop-to-cloud container platform. It will allow enterprises to build and share applications, and securely run them anywhere, from hybrid cloud to the edge.

It will come with a new tool for developers called Docker Desktop Enterprise, which will extend the platform to desktops. Developers will be able to build multi-service apps based on containers from their desktop, and then package them in a standard format. This can then be shared and run anywhere.

It will improve the productivity of developers, and help enterprises accelerate time-to-market for new apps.

“Enterprises are looking for ways to quickly adapt to new competitive challenges and changing customer requirements through the introduction of new applications. Docker Enterprise 3.0 introduces a number of capabilities that help organizations accelerate application delivery,” wrote David Hamdani, Sr. Product Marketing Manager – Docker, in a blog post.

There is another set of tools called Docker Application, that will help developers and operators to maintain end-to-end consistency and scalability for apps. The Docker Application will have tools to build, push, and deploy multi-container apps as self-contained objects. It will make the management of complex apps simple as individual containers.

Also coming with the Docker Enterprise 3.0 is Docker Kubernetes Service (DKS), which is a solution for integrating Kubernetes from desktop to production servers. The aim of featuring DKS is to make Kubernetes easier, more secure, and more accessible.

Also read: OpenStack graduates its first two open infrastructure projects—Zuul and Kata Containers

Furthermore, the latest offering will include new lifecycle automation tools for day 1 and day 2 operations, and additional security improvements. The lifecycle automation tools will help customers to expand the deployment of containers on the required infrastructure.


Kubernetes 1.14 brings support for Windows containers

The latest Kubernetes release is expanding the ecosystem from Linux only, to support for Windows containers.

Kubernetes 1.14, the latest version, is the first Kubernetes release of 2019. It will come with 31 enhancements—10 of which are moving to stable, 12 are in beta, while 7 are net new. But the most important enhancement is the production-level support for Windows Nodes.

For years, Kubernetes has been all about managing workloads using Linux containers. But the project is now making a major shift by graduating support for managing Windows containers from beta to stable.

This is the culmination of a tremendous amount of work over the past year across a number of Kubernetes Special Interest Groups (SIGs) including Windows, Node, and Architecture. The result is that Kubernetes, the de facto most popular open source container orchestration platform for Linux, now comes to Windows,” wrote Derek Carr, Senior Software Engineer, Red Hat, in a blog post.

Enterprises will now be able to add Windows nodes as worker nodes and schedule Windows containers. This will eliminate the need for enterprises to choose separate orchestration platform for Windows applications and Linux applications. It will help them increase operational efficiency across their deployments, regardless of operating system.

Enabling Windows containers in Kubernetes will bring support for Windows Server 2019 for worker nodes and containers, support for out of tree networking with Azure-CNI, OVN-Kubernetes, and Flannel. Further, it will improve the support for pods, service types, workload controllers, and metrics/quotas. The improvements are aimed to match the capabilities delivered for Linux containers.

Furthermore, Kubernetes 1.14 brings kubectl plugins from beta to stable release. This will enable developers to write Go code and extend kubectl with new commands.

Kubernetes team mentioned that they have rewritten the documentation of kubectl from the ground up with a focus on managing Resources using declarative Resource Config. The kubectl has now got new logo and mascot.

Also read: Red Hat collaborates with public cloud giants to launch Kubernetes marketplace

Kubernetes 1.14 is now available on GitHub for download. It can also be installed using kubeadm.


Red Hat collaborates with public cloud giants to launch Kubernetes marketplace

Red Hat has collaborated with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, and Microsoft to launch a common public registry for Kubernetes-native services.

Called, the new registry will work as a Kubernetes marketplace to help users find and publish services backed by Kubernetes Operators.

Kubernetes is one of the most-used container orchestration tools, witnessing the highest growth this year. However, some enterprises and developers still face challenges in adopting this tool.

The will address these challenges and make it easier for everyone to use Kubernetes.

Red Hat has chosen the Operator Framework for the new Kubernetes repository. The Operator Framework is an open source toolkit that provides a software development kit (SDK), lifecycle management, metering and monitoring capabilities. It allows developers to build, test and publish Operators.

The Operators are a way to package, deploy, and manage a Kubernetes-native application. Red Hat said that an Operator can automate the routine and complex tasks which are used for an application to run on Kubernetes.

“Use of Kubernetes Operators is growing both inside Microsoft and amongst our customers, and we look forward to working with Red Hat and the broader community on this important technology,” said Gabe Monroy, Lead Program Manager, Containers, Microsoft Azure.

Simply said, the is a marketplace, and the Operators are the tools available in it.

As of now, there are 12 Operators available in These Operators include Amazon Web Services Operator, Couchbase Autonomous Operator, CrunchyData’s PostgreSQL, etcd Operator, Jaeger Operator for Kubernetes, Kubernetes Federation Operator, MongoDB Enterprise Operator, Percona MySQL Operator, PlanetScale’s Vitess Operator, Prometheus Operator, and Redis Operator.

Also read: IBM marks one of the most significant tech acquisition, buys Red Hat for $34 billion

“At Google Cloud, we have invested in building and qualifying community developed operators, and are excited to see more than 40 percent of Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) clusters running stateful applications today. Operators play an important role in enabling lifecycle management of stateful applications on Kubernetes,” said Aparna Sinha, Group Product Manager, Google Cloud.

“The creation of provides a centralized repository that helps users and the community to organize around Operators. We look forward to seeing growth and adoption of as an extension of the Kubernetes community.”

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IBM marks one of the most significant tech acquisition, buys Red Hat for $34 billion

IBM is marking one of the most significant tech acquisition, buying open source cloud software provider Red Hat for approximately $34 billion.

With Red Hat acquisition, IBM aims to provide an open source approach to cloud, that features unparalleled security and portability across multiple clouds.

Enterprises are continuously adopting a multi-cloud approach, but study reveals that 80% of enterprise workloads have yet to shift to cloud. This is because of the proprietary nature of cloud market.

In such a scenario, the data and applications can’t get portable across multiple clouds. It also prevents portability of data security in multi-cloud environment and consistent cloud management.

“Most companies today are only 20 percent along their cloud journey, renting compute power to cut costs. The next 80 percent is about unlocking real business value and driving growth,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “

“This is the next chapter of the cloud. It requires shifting business applications to hybrid cloud, extracting more data and optimizing every part of the business, from supply chains to sales.”

IBM and Red Hat are leading hybrid cloud providers. With acquisition, the companies will be strongly positioned to address this issue and accelerate multi-cloud adoption.

IBM buys Red Hat

Both the companies will work together on their shared leadership in key technologies, like Linux, containers, Kubernetes, multi-cloud management, and cloud management and automation. This will enable them to help enterprises accelerate development of cloud-native enterprise apps, drive greater portability and security of data and applications across multiple public and private clouds.

“The acquisition of Red Hat is a game-changer. It changes everything about the cloud market. IBM will become the world’s #1 hybrid cloud provider, offering companies the only open cloud solution that will unlock the full value of the cloud for their businesses,” added Ginni Rometty.

IBM and Red Hat have been partners for around a couple of decades now. Red Hat will be able to continue building partnerships with other cloud providers including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and more.

“Open source is the default choice for modern IT solutions, and I’m incredibly proud of the role Red Hat has played in making that a reality in the enterprise,” said Jim Whitehurst, President and CEO, Red Hat.

“Joining forces with IBM will provide us with a greater level of scale, resources and capabilities to accelerate the impact of open source as the basis for digital transformation and bring Red Hat to an even wider audience –  all while preserving our unique culture and unwavering commitment to open source innovation.”

Talking about the financial details of the deal, IBM is buying all the issued and outstanding and common shares of Red Hat for $190 per share in cash. Following the completion of acquisition, Red Hat will operate as a distinct unit within IBM’s Hybrid Cloud team. Jim Whitehurst and Red Hat’s current management team will continue to lead Red Hat.

Also read: IBM brings together Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes with new cloud service

“IBM’s commitment to keeping the things that have made Red Hat successful – always thinking about the customer and the open source community first – make this a tremendous opportunity for not only Red Hat but also open source more broadly,” said Paul Cormier, President, Products and Technologies, Red Hat.

“Since the day we decided to bring open source to the enterprise, our mission has remained unchanged. And now, one of the biggest enterprise technology companies on the planet has agreed to partner with us to scale and accelerate our efforts, bringing open source innovation to an even greater swath of the enterprise.”

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New Relic doubles down on Kubernetes with CoScale acquisition

New Relic has acquired CoScale to boost the power and reach of its software analytics platform.

A leader in providing deep performance analytics for software, New Relic allows enterprises to view and analyze large amounts of data and gain actionable insights in real-time. Whereas, CoScale is a Belgium startup with deep experience in monitoring container, microservices and Kubernetes environments.

With acquisition, New Relic will integrate CoScale’s capabilities and experience into New Relic Platform and New Relic Infrastructure. This will accelerate New Relic’s capabilities, so that the software analyst leader can help enterprises adopt software architectures using containers and microservices.

The acquisition will open up new opportunities for New Relic as more and more companies are running containerized applications in production. In December, Gartner had revealed that 78% of enterprises will run containers in production in next two years, compared to only 19% at that time.

“We look forward to the team members’ talent, experience, and expertise with monitoring modern software architectures—particularly containers, microservices, and Kubernetes—optimized for large and dynamic production environments. They’ll be a great complement to the teams working on New Relic Infrastructure,” wrote Ramon Guiu, Director of Product Management for New Relic Infrastructure, in a blog post.

Individually, CoScale provides container-native monitoring for Docker, Kubernetes, and OpenShift. On the other hand, New Relic already monitors Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (EKS), Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), and Red Hat OpenShift.

Integrated solutions will further enable New Relic to help DevOps teams build stronger container and Kubernetes monitoring products.

“The visions of New Relic and CoScale are remarkably well aligned, so our team is excited that we get to join New Relic and continue on our journey of helping companies innovate faster by providing them visibility into the performance of their modern architectures,” said Stijn Polfliet, CoScale CEO.

“Fred and I feel like this is such an exciting space and time to be in this market, and we’re thrilled to be teaming up with the amazing team at New Relic, the leader in monitoring modern applications and infrastructure.”

Also read: Adopting modern application architectures critical for business growth — Highlights from CA Technologies report

Key team members of CoScale, including co-founders Stijn Polfliet and Frederick Ryckbosch, will join New Relic and relocate to European Development Center in Barcelona.

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Amazon’s Elastic Service for Kubernetes is ready for prime time

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced the general availability of Amazon EKS (Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes), a managed Kubernetes service for managing software containers.

The public cloud giant announced EKS at re:Invent conference last year to simplify the operation and installation of Kubernetes on AWS.

According to a survey by CNCF, 57% of Kubernetes users run Kubernetes on AWS, compared to 33% on Google Cloud and 16% on Microsoft Azure.

Earlier the users needed specialized expertise to operate Kubernetes clusters. They also had to provision Kubernetes management infrastructure across multiple Availability Zones, and perform updates without causing downtime.

Amazon EKS will help users eliminate the complexity and provide architecture for production use to automate the management of Kubernetes infrastructure across multiple AZs. It can automatically detect and replace the unhealthy nodes.

“More customers run containers on AWS and Kubernetes on AWS than anywhere else,” said Deepak Singh, Director of AWS Compute Services. “Prior to Amazon EKS, customers either had to do considerable work to architect a highly fault-tolerant way to run Kubernetes, or just accept a lack of resiliency. With the launch of Amazon EKS, customers no longer have to live with either of those trade-offs, and they get a highly available, fault-tolerant, managed Kubernetes service. It’s no wonder so many of our customers are excited.”

EKS further makes it easier to launch the Kubernetes cluster in AWS Management Console, by automating the heavy lifting during managing, scaling and upgrading Kubernetes clusters. Developers can run existing Kubernetes apps on EKS with the same coding.

Customers using Amazon EKS will also get access to networking and security services of AWS, like AWS PrivateLink, Application Load Balancer, AWS Identity and Access Management (AWS IAM), CLoudTrail, etc.

Additionally, AWS is teaming up with Kubernetes community to help broad range of customers use Kubernetes. For identity and access management for EKS, it has partnered with Heptio, while Alcide and Twistlock will power security to EKS.

The other partners included Tigera, HashiCorp, Weaveworks, Cisco AppDynamics, Cloudbees, Cloudera, and more.

Also read: Amazon Neptune graph database service now generally available

Amazon EKS is now generally available to AWS customers in US East (N. Virginia) and US West (Oregon) regions.

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Software container adoption increased by 50% in just one year: 2018 Docker Usage Report

Enterprises are packing in 50% more containers per host in 2018 as compared to a year before, according to 2018 Docker Usage Report by container monitoring company Sysdig. In 2017, the median number of containers per host per consumer were 10, which has now increased to 15.

The adoption of software containers is on the rise as more enterprises are deploying this technology to optimize performance of data center resources and speed up the application delivery.

An increased number of users are transitioning from bare-metal and VM-centric environments to containers. The maximum number of containers running on a single host was found 154, up from 95 in 2017.

2018 Docker Usage Report

  • Docker most used container runtimes

Docker was reported to be the most used container runtimes, followed by CoreOS Rkt, and Mesos Containerizer and Linux Containers (LXC).

Docker is dominating the container runtime, used by 83% of all the containers in production. However, the other platforms are also gaining ground. With Red Hat’s acquisition of CoreOS this year, the adoption of Rkt has increased.

2018 Docker Usage Report

  • 95% containers had lifespan of less than a week

Talking about the lifespan of containers, Sysdig found that 95% of the containers stayed alive for less than a week. 27% of the containers churned between 5 to 10 minutes, whereas 11% lived only for up to 10 seconds.

2018 Docker Usage Report

On the other hand, 69% of the container images were found to be updated every week. Whereas, 67% of the container-based services lived for more than a week.

The developer community is widely using the software containers to build apps just once and run everywhere. The software containers work as an alternative infrastructure for software development to the traditional virtualization.

  • Kubernetes most used container orchestrator

On the container orchestration front, Kubernetes continued its dominance as the most used orchestrator, growing from 43% in 2017 to 51% in 2018. Docker Swarm also grew significantly, and surpassed Mesos.

Kubernetes is far and away from other container orchestration platforms, as it is used by tech giants like Microsoft and IBM for Azure Kubernetes Service and Cloud Container Service, respectively.

Kubernetes is also the most used platform to manage container deployments, with 82% market share.

2018 Docker Usage Report

  • Mesos led container orchestration for large-scale clusters

Sysdig also reported that Mesos Marathon container orchestrator is the most popular platform when it comes to large deployments of 50 or more clusters. It can handle large-scale and enterprise-grade container and cloud clusters.

  • GCR most popular container registry

According to the report, the Google Container Registry (25%) was the most used container registry, followed by Quay (20%), Docker (17%) and Amazon Elastic Container Registry (7%).

2018 Docker Usage Report

  • Top application components running in containers

With more customers utilizing open source solutions to construct microservices and applications, the Java Virtual Machines (JVM) was found to be the most used application component for containers.

According to Sysdig report, the utilization of PostgreSQL and MongoDB database solutions also increased. The other widely used application components running in containers included Redis, Etcd, Nginx, Fluentd, Apache, Elastic, PHP-FPM, RabbitMQ, and Apache Tomcat.

Also read: ChefConf 2018: Chef announces Automate 2.0, Workstation and updates to Habitat and InSpec

Images source: Sysdig

Cloud Cloud News

Cisco unveils its own container platform for multicloud environments 

Cisco recently announced a Kubernetes-based container platform called Cisco Container Platform (CCP), which will enable customers to run applications seamlessly same way, both on premises and in the public clouds, helping protect their existing investment on infrastructure.

Launched at Cisco Live conference, the CCP enables a multicloud environment, with accelerated and consistent configuration, deployment, and management on different deployments platforms, including Cisco HyperFlex, bare metal and virtual machines (VMs), on premises and in the cloud.

“Cisco is focused on enabling customers’ multicloud ambitions. Cisco Container Platform helps customers realize the potential of Kubernetes and containers, simplifying the deployment and management of Kubernetes clusters in a multicloud environment with enterprise-class security and compliance,” said Kip Compton, VP, Cloud Platform and Solutions Group, Cisco. 

Cisco collaborated with Google Cloud to leverage the power of Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), and optimize Kubernetes platform for production-grade on premises environments. This will enable customers to run enterprise-ready containers on any infrastructure.

“As the adoption of Kubernetes has exploded, container orchestration and management have become of paramount importance to customers because they enable application portability and consistency across on premises and cloud-based environments,” said Eyal Manor, Vice President, Engineering, Google. “Cisco Container Platform is optimized in collaboration with Google Cloud to deliver a next-generation open hybrid cloud architecture, and represents an important milestone for our integrated Google and Cisco hybrid cloud solution coming later this year.”

The Cisco Container Platform automates the repetitive tasks, increases operational efficiencies, and eliminates the need to source, configure, and support multiple disparate solutions.

It is a turnkey solution for production-grade environments, which is open and extensible to other emerging open-source components, like Istio. It is delivered with advisory and support services by Cisco and its partners.

Cisco is expanding its growing portfolio with own container platform. Recently, it acquired Skyport Systems, a leading secure hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) provider, for hybrid cloud security.

Also read: Microsoft to use Cisco Solution Support for better network connectivity with Azure ExpressRoute

The Cisco Container Platform will initially be released on Cisco HyperFlex 3.0 in April 2018. Customers can license it separately or as an integrated solution.

A second edition of CCP, which will be supported on VMs, bare metal, and public cloud, will be available in summer 2018. Its pricing will be subscription-basis, based on number of cluster nodes deployed, with volume-based discounts.

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