Google is throwing an automation tool to developers looking to use Kubernetes to orchestrate enterprise applications. That assistance is coming from a command line tool dubbed Skaffold that can help continuous development for Kubernetes applications.
Vic Iglesias, a solutions architect at Google, noted in a blog post that Skaffold allows developers to more closely mirror production methods within an enterprise. It does this by allowing developers to work on application source code in their local environment. That code can then be updated and ready for validation and testing in the developer’s local or remote Kubernetes clusters.
In the Kubernetes deployment process, Skaffold automation begins once a developer finds or deploys a cluster. From that point, Skaffold can automate or help guide the build and uploading of Docker images to a registry; use the reference documentation and examples to create a Kubernetes roadmap; and deploy the application definitions using the Kubernetes Dashboard or kubectl command line interface (CLI). Skaffold can also repeat these steps until the container is ready for production.
Skaffold can run in the background and handle continuous updating of applications without any input or additional commands. It can also use workflow and tooling from a continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) model to help move applications to production.
“Having the development workflow automated saves time in development and increases the quality of the application through its journey to production,” Iglesias wrote.
Automating the Answer
Skaffold targets what is viewed as a long-standing hurdle to broader enterprise adoption of Kubernetes and containers: managing redundant tasks.
During the recent KubeCon event, Platform9 conducted a survey of attendees. One of its takeaways was enterprise concern over “the complexity of operating Kubernetes in production.”
Kamesh Pemmaraju, vice president of product management at ZeroStack, recently noted that enterprises are challenged in deploying containers across diverse cloud infrastructures. This includes companies running cloud operations across private cloud, public cloud, and bare metal deployments.
“In this situation, automating infrastructure deployment, setting up, configuring, and upgrading Kubernetes to work consistently is not going to be easy,” Pemmaraju explained.
A number of Kubernetes distributors have attempted to tackle this complexity with hosted or managed service platforms designed to ease deployments. However, the Kubernetes community itself also has a deep-seated method of figuring out solutions on its own that are then inserted back into the community through open source channels. These might still require a bit more legwork, but that chasm is closing.
Google, which birthed the Kubernetes platform into the open source community, appears to be taking this approach with Skaffold.
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