Google’s Kubernetes Engine (GKE) platform has now integrated the latest Kubernetes 1.10 updates for general availability — more than a month-and-a-half after those updates were initially applied to GKE. And it’s a good thing as the GKE platform has seen explosive growth over the past year.
GKE is Google’s managed Kubernetes platform targeted at enterprise customers wanting a curated version of the container orchestrator. It initially launched in 2015.
Yoshi Tamura, product manager for GKE, noted in a blog post that the GKE platform witnessed a nine-fold, year-over-year increase in core hour usage last year.
Google is not the only cloud provider to tout skyrocketing Kubernetes usage. Gabe Monroy, project manager lead for containers at Microsoft Azure, earlier this month said the company has seen a 10-fold increase in Kubernetes usage on Azure. That comment was part of Microsoft’s move to also rename its Azure Container Service to Azure Kubernetes Service.
Beyond the general availability of the latest Kubernetes 1.10 specifications, Google is adding several GKE platform specific updates.
One is a shared virtual private cloud product that allows for more control of network resources. This includes the ability for teams to share physical resources while maintaining logical separation of resources between departments.
Google has also added regional persistent disks. The persistent disk upgrades provide network-attached block storage with synchronous replication of data between two zones in a region and is designed to help availability.
There are also now regional clusters for broader availability and service level agreements (SLAs), and automation for node auto-repair. The regional clusters allow for the creation of a GKE cluster with a multi-master control plane that spreads control across three zones in a region for higher availability and zero downtime upgrades. The auto-repair monitors the health of nodes in a Kubernetes cluster and can repair any faults.
Finally, Google added horizontal pod auto-scaling that supports scaling based on queue length, the average number of open connections per pod, and Kafka’s running in a cluster. Kafka is an Apache open source, stream-processing software platform.
Google’s support of the latest Kubernetes iteration is not a surprise as the container orchestration platform originated within Google’s Borg platform. Google spun off the platform into the open source community in 2015.
The Kubernetes community has maintained a three-month update cycle for the platform, though more recent releases have focused more on stability than outright innovation. The vendor community has applauded the move as showing greater platform maturity.
“This (release) is more evidence of the reality that Kubernetes is maturing nicely, and that recent releases are not dominated by any single large feature, but are rather built from a steady improvement of many components governed by mostly autonomous teams,” explained Bich Le, chief architect and co-founder of Platform9, in a blog post.
The Linux Foundation, which houses CNCF, has noted that analysts’ estimates show that 54 percent of Fortune 100 companies are using Kubernetes to some degree.
Kubernetes also this year became the first CNCF project to move from “incubation” to “graduation.” This was based on its demonstration of “thriving” adoption; a documented, structured governance process; and a strong commitment to its community.
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