As we approach the fifth anniversary of the open sourcing of the Kubernetes project, it’s remarkable to look back and see how this project has transformed cloud and distributed systems. But the truth is, as much impact as Kubernetes and containers have had over the past five years, there are other cloud transformations that have been equally important. One of the most significant of these has been the growth of serverless computing and the expansion of “serverless” to multiple categories - compute, integration, data and more. We’re seeing an expansion of the term “serverless” itself. Serverless really is any time that the cloud takes on operational responsibility for a service, freeing developers to focus on their core business.
Offering serverless Kubernetes has been key part of our vision to make Kubernetes simpler for everyone – by providing an end-to-end experience optimized for developer productivity on top of an enterprise-grade platform with hardened security and layers of isolation. We are working closely with the community on open source projects that make Kubernetes easier for everyone, wherever they run it.
“Azure Kubernetes Service gives us a pure Kubernetes and Docker imaging environment that we don’t have to manage ourselves. Our team has regained the resources to accelerate deployment and maximize our PaaS offering.” Félix Grévy, Global Head of Product Management, Finastra
On the road to simple, enterprise-grade Kubernetes in Azure we are excited to announce:
- AKS virtual nodes (general availability)
- Kubernetes-based Event-driven Autoscaling (KEDA)
- Azure Dev Spaces (general availability)
- Azure Policy support for Azure Kubernetes Service (preview)
Serverless Kubernetes: announcing general availability of AKS virtual nodes
Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) includes a serverless container capability called virtual nodes. AKS virtual nodes allow users to rapidly scale applications using cloud-based serverless containers that run directly on Azure’s infrastructure. Not only are these containers fast to start, but they provide serverless container infrastructure with the simplicity of IaaS, and without the complexity of virtual machines. With no virtual machine infrastructure to manage, patch, update or worry about, virtual nodes enable developers to focus even more of their attention on applications and not managing infrastructure.
This feature, powered by the open source Virtual Kubelet technology we donated to Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), is now Generally Available.
Learn more about AKS virtual nodes.
Introducing Kubernetes-based Event-driven Autoscaling (KEDA)
Kubernetes scaling is tied to the CPU and memory consumption of containers. Our customers have been asking for a simpler mechanism to provision resources in response to events, similar to what we have in Function as a Service (FaaS) services like Azure Functions. FaaS services are acutely aware of event sources and can provision and scale resources matching the events flow.
Kubernetes-based Event-driven Autoscaling (KEDA), an open source project jointly developed with Red Hat, brings together the best of these two worlds. With KEDA, you can auto-scale deployments in your Kubernetes cluster in response to events like a Kafka stream, Cloud Events or many other event providers. It can be used in any Kubernetes environment– on-premise or in any cloud such as Azure Kubernetes Service and Red Hat OpenShift.
In keeping with our design goals of building useful, modular pieces, KEDA integrates with any number of different systems running on top of Kubernetes. For example, Functions as a Service (FaaS) is truly at its best when running as a serverless product in the cloud, like Azure Functions. However, using KEDA, anyone can now take advantage of Azure Functions' best-of-breed scale controller and programing model no matter where you run your applications.
Read more about KEDA and checkout the GitHub project.
Join us for a webinar to learn how to Build Event-Driven Containers with Azure Functions on Kubernetes.
Accelerated containerized development: Azure Dev Spaces and Azure Pipelines
As customers start onboarding developers to a Kubernetes environment, they often run into the challenge of setting up development environments – with right dependencies – in a productive manner. To address this challenge, we built Dev Spaces for Azure Kubernetes Service, which allows quick onboarding of developers, with minimal dev machine setup. It also supports having team members iterate and debug different parts of an application in parallel in the same Azure Kubernetes Service cluster and test their code end-to-end without replicating or mocking-up dependencies.
This capability is now Generally Available. Learn more about Azure Dev Spaces.
Continuous delivery is key to keep pace in rapidly changing and competitive markets. The new integration between Azure Pipelines and Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) now makes it even easier to go from a git repository to a container running in AKS or in any other Kubernetes environment on premises or in any public cloud, and to a world where every change you make rolls automatically through validation, testing, canary and ultimately production on Azure.
Learn more about Azure Pipelines.
Enhanced security: integration of Azure Policy and more
As Kubernetes has changed the way enterprises deploy their software, Kubernetes itself has evolved to add new security features to meet enterprise needs. This includes introducing runtime security isolation using Network policy or Pod Security Policy and the integration of Kubernetes authentication with existing identity providers like Azure Active Directory. Incorporating identity and access management solution into Kubernetes helps ensure an organization’s two-factor or other authentication controls are applied to determine who and how people can modify state in the cluster.
Adding another layer of security, Azure Policy support for Azure Kubernetes Service is now available in preview. Azure Policy uniformly applies policies to Azure resources, like Kubernetes clusters, dramatically simplifying the task of initializing and maintaining compliant environments for Kubernetes applications. These assurances are a critical component of Enterprise DevOps since policy establishes the guard-rails of behavior. With the right guard-rails in place, developers are free to act without asking for permission from central gatekeepers, enabling the true practice of DevOps in secure & compliant environments.
“We wanted a platform to speed development and testing but do it safely, without losing control over security and performance. That’s why Azure and AKS are the perfect fit for us.” Ståle Heitmann, Chief Technology Officer, Hafslund Nett
Whether you’re an experienced Kubernetes user looking to try a managed solution, simply wanting to bring an application to new geographies or an enterprise developer looking to migrate applications to containers, Azure Kubernetes Service delivers a reliable and managed Kubernetes solution designed to accelerate application development and deployment practices while satisfying the business needs. Azure Kubernetes Service is the only managed Kubernetes service in the world with 24 regions and growing.
Join thousands of Kubernetes customers – Siemens Healthineers, Finastra, Maersk, Hafslund and more – and the growing Kubernetes community. There’s never been a better or more exciting time to get started with Kubernetes!