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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.

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Top 7 announcements at Microsoft Build 2019 Developer Conference

At the Microsoft Build 2019 Developer Conference, the tech giant is making remarkable momentum in the cloud. It has announced a broad range of innovations that will help its Azure to dominate the world of cloud computing.

The three-day conference taking place in Seattle, WA, brings several new opportunities for the developers and the enterprises looking to dive into the latest cloud technologies, explore client development techniques, or discover new open source tooling and libraries.

The biggest news at Microsoft Build 2019 spanned Windows, Linux, Edge browser, Fluid Framework, and more.

Major announcements at Microsoft Build 2019 Developer Conference

1. Kubernetes Event-driven Autoscaling (KEDA)

Microsoft is adding a number of new features to its Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), which includes Kubernetes Event-driven Autoscaling (KEDA) and Azure Policy for AKS.

KEDA is an open source component that supports the deployment of serverless event-driven containers on Kubernetes created with collaboration with Red Hat. It will bring a new hosting option for Azure Functions that can be deployed as a container in Kubernetes clusters. It is now available in public preview.

Whereas, the Azure Policy for AKS will help in blocking violations happening at runtime and performs compliance assessments on existing clusters.

2. New features for Microsoft Edge

Last year, Microsoft announced its plans to adopt the Chromium open source project for developing Microsoft Edge on the desktop. The aim was to create better web compatibility for customers, and less fragmentation for the web for all web developers.

Now, the company is rolling out a number of new features that will be available with the next version of Microsoft Edge on Windows 10. These new features will include an Internet Explorer mode, Privacy Tools, and Collections.

The Internet Explorer Mode will bring the Internet Explorer to Microsoft Edge via a new tab. This will allow enterprises to run legacy IE-based apps in a modern browser.

The Privacy Tools will bring three levels of privacy in Edge browser—Unrestricted, Balanced, and Strict. These privacy levels will decide how third-parties track users across the web.

Whereas, the Collections will remove the information overload from users, by more efficiently collecting, organizing, and sharing content.

3. Shipping Linux Kernel with Windows

Windows loves Linux!

For the first time, the Linux kernel will be included as a component in Windows. Microsoft is adding an in-house custom-built Linux kernel to underpin the latest version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

4. Windows Subsystem for Linux: WSL 2

Microsoft has also unveiled a new architecture for the WSL for Linux. The updates will increase the file system performance, and enable full system call compatibility. This will allow customers to run more Linux apps in WSL 2.

The new architecture will update the way Linux binaries interact with Windows and computer’s hardware. Still, it will deliver the same user experience as in WSL 1.

5. Windows Terminal

Build conference has also witnessed the release of Windows Terminal, which is a new, modern, fast, efficient, and productive terminal application for customers who use command-line tools and shells, such as Command Prompt, PowerShell, and WSL.

6. Autonomous systems with Microsoft AI

Microsoft has unveiled a limited preview program for developers to build autonomous systems with Microsoft AI and Azure tools. These developers will be allowed to work with experts at Microsoft for developing intelligent agents that can autonomously run physical systems.

“Machines have been progressing on a path from being completely manual to having a fixed automated function to becoming intelligent where they can actually deal with real-world situations themselves,” said Gurdeep Pall, Microsoft vice president for Business AI.

“We want to help accelerate that journey, without requiring our customers to have an army of AI experts.”

7. New capabilities in Fluid Framework

Fluid Framework is a developer technology for building a new class of shared, interactive experiences on the web. It is getting three new capabilities.

First, it will support multi-person co-authoring on web and document content.

Second, it will allow authors to de-construct content into collaborative building blocks and use them across apps. They will also be able to combine the blocks in a new and more flexible kind of document.

Third, the Fluid Framework will now allow intelligent agents to work alongside humans for the purpose of translating text, fetching content, suggesting edits, performing compliance checks, and more.

 “We’ll make this technology broadly available to developers and integrate it into Microsoft 365 experiences like Word, Teams, and Outlook to transform the way that you work with these tools. We will launch both the software developer kit and the first experiences powered by the Fluid Framework later this year,” wrote Rajesh Jha, Executive Vice President, Microsoft Experiences and Devices, in a blog post.

Wrapping up:

Most of the announcements at the Microsoft Build 2019 are focused on developer tools, spanning Azure Kubernetes Service, Microsoft Edge, Windows, Linux, AI development, etc.

Also read: Microsoft rolls out new AI capabilities in Azure for developers and enterprises

Stay tuned with us for further announcements at Microsoft Build 2019.

Image source: https://twitter.com/Microsoft/status/1125401313091526657

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Cloud Cloud News

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

At Open Infrastructure Summit (formerly called the OpenStack Summit) in Denver, the OpenStack Foundation has announced the graduation of Kata Containers and the Zuul project gating system.

For more than a year, the OpenStack Foundation has been shifting its focus from only OpenStack project to other infrastructure projects as well. Kata Containers and the Zuul project gating system were in pilot phase, before the board of the organization voted for these projects to graduate.

Kata Containers is an open source container runtime with lightweight virtual machines (VMs) that work like containers, but deliver stronger workload isolation using hardware virtualization technology as a second layer of defence.

On the other hand, Zuul is a program for continuous integration (CI), delivery and deployment systems. It is focused on project gating and interrelated projects.

“It’s an awesome milestone for the projects themselves,” Jonathan Bryce, OpenStack Foundation executive direction, told TechCrunch. “It’s a validation of the fact that in the last 18 months, they have created sustainable and productive communities.”

Apart from graduating these two projects, OpenStack Foundation has also brought Airship to version 1.0. The Airship is a set of open source tools used to automate cloud provisioning and management.

It comes with a declarative framework that can define and manage the life cycle of open infrastructure tools and the underlying hardware. These open infrastructure tools include OpenStack for VMs, Kubernetes for container orchestration, and Metal-as-a-Service (MaaS) for bare metal. The organization has also planned the support for OpenStack Ironic.

Also read: Ubuntu 19.04 released with focus on open infrastructure, developer desktop, and IoT

“Airship originated within AT&T,” Bryce told TechCrunch. “They built it from their need to bring a bunch of open-source tools together to deliver on their use case. And that’s why, from the beginning, it’s been really well-aligned with what we would love to see more of in the open-source world and why we’ve been super excited to be able to support their efforts there.”

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Cloud Newss

GitLab puts power of Kubernetes in developer workflow with extended integration

GitLab is extending its integration with Kubernetes, by bringing it into the developer workflow. It will make it easier for enterprises and developers to drive innovative software to production.

A single application for the DevOps lifecycle, GitLab comes with a built-in container registry and Kubernetes integration. This makes things simple while getting started with containers and cloud-native development for optimization of app development processes.

Using GitLab, all the developers in the organization can access Kubernetes, which helps in speeding up the process of software development.

“By allowing people to quickly connect Kubernetes clusters to their projects we are helping many enterprises embrace the cloud native way of building applications,” says Sid Sijbrandij, CEO at GitLab.

“By providing a single application we allow enterprise developer and operations teams to embrace Kubernetes every step of the way in their software development process. We’ve seen a large financial institution go from a single build every two weeks to over 1,000 self-served builds a day using GitLab. It is wonderful to see the scale we can unlock for organizations by providing access to Kubernetes in the developer workflow.”

Developers will be able to connect their existing Kubernetes cluster (on any platform) to GitLab. They can also easily set up and configure new clusters using Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) integration. After setting up the clusters, they can install managed apps like Helm Tiller, Ingres, and Prometheus to their cluster.

Integration of GitLab and Kubernetes will provide a number of advanced capabilities, like Deploy Boards, Canary Deployments, Kubernetes monitoring, Auto DevOps, and Web Terminals.

Deploy Boards will provide a unified view of the current health and status of CI/CD environments that run on Kubernetes.

GitLab will provide automatic detection and monitoring of Kubernetes clusters via the Prometheus.

Also read: Top 5 collaboration tools for DevOps teams

Further, the Auto DevOps is a default setting for CI/CD that automatically generates pipelines without any configuration. Lastly, the Interactive Web Terminals will provide instant web access to a terminal for remote environments to make troubleshooting easier.

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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.

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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 OperatorHub.io, 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 OperatorHub.io 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 OperatorHub.io is a marketplace, and the Operators are the tools available in it.

As of now, there are 12 Operators available in OperatorHub.io. 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 OperatorHub.io provides a centralized repository that helps users and the community to organize around Operators. We look forward to seeing growth and adoption of OperatorHub.io as an extension of the Kubernetes community.”

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Azure DevOps Projects allows deployment of multiple apps to a single AKS cluster

To further make the adoption and use of Kubernetes easier, Microsoft will now allow developers to reuse their existing Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) cluster in Azure DevOps Projects.

The adoption of Kubernetes is rapidly growing among large enterprises. According to a survey by The New Stack, Kubernetes is the most widely used orchestration platform, having adopted by 69% of enterprises.

Microsoft provides AKS and Azure DevOps Projects solutions to help customers adopt Kubernetes. The Azure Kubernetes Service is a full managed Kubernetes container orchestration service that simplifies the deployment and operations of Kubernetes and allows customers to scale their application infrastructure.

Whereas, the Azure DevOps Projects helps customers to easily launch container apps on any Azure Service. It comes with a git code repository, Application Insights Integration, and a continuous delivery (CD) pipeline setup to deploy apps to Azure.

For instance, it can be used for provisioning AKS and Azure Container Registry, and build and deploy container apps to AKS using Azure Pipelines. Further, the customers can monitor their code commits, builds, and deployments from DevOps Projects dashboard in Azure portal.

However, the customers who use Azure DevOps Projects to deploy their apps to AKS, needed to create a new AKS cluster every time they deploy an app.

Microsoft has taken that into consideration and announced that customers will now be able use Azure DevOps Projects for deploying multiple apps to a single AKS cluster. The new feature is now generally available in the Azure Portal.

Also read: Azure IoT Edge now supports virtual machines

“Kubernetes is going from strength to strength as adoption across the industry continues to grow. But there are still plenty of customers coming to container orchestration for the first time while also building up their familiarity with Docker and containers in general,” wrote, Atul Malaviya, Principal Program Manager, Azure DevOps, in a blog post.

“We see the need to help teams go from a container image, or just a git repo, and help get them to an app running in Kubernetes in as few steps as possible. It’s also important that we do this in a way that will allow them to customize afterward and build on their knowledge as they go.”

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Cloud Newss

Microsoft’s Azure Container Service to retire in 2020

Microsoft has announced to retire its Azure Container Service (ACS) and block all ACS APIs in 2020.

Azure Container Service helps enterprises and developers to deploy a production-ready Kubernetes, DC/OS, and Docker Swarm clusters.

However, Microsoft had introduced Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) in 2017 to simplify Kubernetes management, deployment, and operations. AKS also enables users to dynamically scale their application infrastructure with confidence and agility.

Why is Microsoft retiring Azure Container Service? Well, all the capabilities of ACS for Kubernetes are available with AKS. Hence, the tech giant decided to retire ACS as a standalone service.

Users wouldn’t be able to create new clusters, update, or scale existing clusters using the portal, CLI, or Resource Manager templates.

However, Microsoft will allow listing and deletion of existing clusters using client tools. The existing clusters and applications will continue to work but Microsoft wouldn’t support ongoing operation of these clusters.

“Please note that ongoing operation of these clusters is your responsibility and is not within Azure’s support scope,” wrote Microsoft in a blog post.

Further, Microsoft will also stop development of acs-engine project which is used to create unmanaged container orchestrator cluster. The tech giant is migrating the Kubernetes part of acs-engine project to aks-engine repo.

Before the Azure Container Service retires on January 31, 2020, the users of Kubernetes orchestrator will need to migrate to AKS before ACS retires. The migration will prove to be beneficial for users as it will come with feature enhancements.

These enhancements include simplified deployment of managed Kubernetes clusters in Azure, reduced complexity and operational overhead of managing Kubernetes, as well as handling of critical tasks like health monitoring and maintenance.

Also read: Microsoft enables replication of Azure VMs to other regions with new disaster recovery feature

Whereas, the users of ACS with Docker will need to switch to the Basic or Standard Docker Enterprise Edition for Azure solution template. For users of ACS with DC/OS, Microsoft recommends migration to Mesosphere DC/OS Enterprise or Mesosphere DC/OS Open Source solution template.

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Cloud Cloud News

Cisco and AWS launch Kubernetes-powered hybrid cloud solution

Cisco has announced a new hybrid cloud platform that will make it easier for enterprises to run new containerized applications across all environments. The new platform will be powered by Kubernetes, and has been built for Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Called Cisco Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS, the new solution integrates Cisco’s networking, security, management and monitoring software with AWS’ cloud services.

It configures on-premises Kubernetes environments to be consistent with Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (EKS), the companies said. The Amazon EKS is a managed Kubernetes service for managing software containers, which became generally available in June this year.

Today, applications have become the lifeblood for enterprises. Hence, enterprises are looking to develop and deploy applications across public and private clouds, without any obstruction. If they build the applications easily, get them up and run quickly, if can provide huge competitive advantage.

Cisco Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS aims to allow developers deploy and manage containerized applications more easily across on-premises and the AWS cloud. It will allow them focus on building and using applications, speed up innovation and reduce time to market.

“Today, most customers are forced to choose between developing applications on-premises or in the cloud. This can create a complex mix of environments, technologies, teams and vendors. But they shouldn’t have to make a choice,” said Kip Compton, senior vice president, Cloud Platform and Solutions at Cisco.

“Now, developers can use existing investments to build new cloud-scale applications that fuel business innovation. This makes it easier to deploy and manage hybrid applications, no matter where they run. This allows customers to get the best out of both cloud and their on-premises environments with a single solution.”

The new solution will come with a common set of tools for on-premises and AWS, which will simplify the management of on-premises Kubernetes infrastructure. It will help IT operations team to reduce complexity and costs.

Cisco Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS will also enable containerized applications to work with existing resources and production environments. This provides another advantage to both developers and IT operation teams.

“More customers run containers on AWS and Kubernetes on AWS than anywhere else,” said Terry Wise, Global Vice President of Channels & Alliances, Amazon Web Services, Inc.

“Our customers want solutions that are designed for the cloud and Cisco’s integration with Amazon EKS will make it easier for them to rapidly deploy and run containerized applications across both Cisco-based on-premises environments and the AWS cloud.”

Also read: Cisco acquires Duo Security for multi- and hybrid-cloud security

The new solution is expected to be available in December 2018. Cisco will provide the solution as a software solution requiring only Cisco Container Platform, or as hardware/software solution with Cisco Container Platform running on Cisco HyperFlex.

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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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