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Azure brings new Serverless and DevOps capabilities to the Kubernetes community

Starting today, the Kubernetes community comes together at KubeCon in Austin, Texas, with the goal of making it easier than ever to use containers to modernize existing applications and manage new applications to drive digital transformation

Starting today, the Kubernetes community comes together at KubeCon in Austin, Texas, with the goal of making it easier than ever to use containers to modernize existing applications and manage new applications to drive digital transformation. Today and tomorrow we will be announcing more Kubernetes community projects and partnerships that extend what customers can do with Kubernetes and Azure, and the ease with which they can do it with new projects for serverless containers and Kubernetes-native DevOps.

Our announcements this week build on significant investments in Kubernetes including joining the CNCF, being the first major cloud provider to introduce serverless containers (Azure Container Instances), delivering Azure’s managed Kubernetes service (AKS), and contributing projects such as Draft and Brigade. We’ve been overwhelmed by the interest and adoption of Kubernetes on Azure, usage is up over 700% YTD. Thank you to everyone who has tried our services, contributed to projects, or just provided feedback. We hope you’ll keep doing so.

Now, for the news…

Manage serverless containers using Kubernetes with the Virtual Kubelet

Back in July, we released the Azure Container Instances (ACI) Connector for Kubernetes, an experimental project to extend Kubernetes with ACI, a serverless container runtime that provides per-second billing and no virtual machine management. We were thrilled to see companies like Hyper.sh adapt it to their own serverless container runtime. Today we are announcing a new version of the Kubernetes connector, the Virtual Kubelet, which can be used by customers to target ACI or any equivalent runtime. The Virtual Kubelet features a pluggable architecture that supports a variety of runtimes, and uses existing Kubernetes primitives, making it much easier to build on. We welcome the community to join us in empowering developers with serverless containers on Kubernetes and are proud that Hyper.sh is already joining us as a contributor.

According to James Kulina, Chief Operating Officer, Hyper.sh: “Hyper is very excited to support the Virtual-Kublet project, as the first outside contributor. Hyper's vision from the start has been to make deploying and using containers as simple and easy as possible. Now with the Virtual-Kublet project, platforms that support secure container technology, such as our Hyper.sh cloud through its use of Kata Containers, will enable seamless multi-cloud container deployment between Kubernetes-based “serverless container” platforms.”

Connect Your Kubernetes Applications (and more) to Azure Services with Open Service Broker API

As adoption of Kubernetes continues to grow on Azure, customers need an easy way to connect their containers to Azure services. Today, Microsoft is open sourcing the Open Service Broker for Azure (OSBA), built using the Open Service Broker API. The Open Service Broker API provides a standard way for service providers to expose backing services to applications running in cloud native platforms like Kubernetes and Cloud Foundry. OSBA exposes popular Azure services such as Azure CosmosDB, Azure Database for PostgreSQL, and Azure Blob Storage. With OSBA and the Kubernetes Service Catalog, customers can manage these SLA-backed Azure data services via the Kubernetes API, making it easy for developers to use Azure's data stores in a Kubernetes-native way. To showcase OSBA, we’ve adapted some of the most popular Helm charts to leverage Azure services. For example, using OSBA and Helm you can now easily install an instance of WordPress backed by Azure Database for MySQL, instead of running the database in a container.

Additionally, Microsoft is also contributing an alpha release of a Command Line Interface for the Kubernetes service catalog. This helps cluster administrators and application developers request and use services exposed through the Kubernetes Service Catalog. For more, be sure to check out the Open Service Broker for Azure blog.

Kubernetes-native DevOps: Dashboard and Visualization tool for pipelines

We are also excited to introduce Kashti, a dashboard and visualization tool for Brigade pipelines, a project we announced in Prague at the Open Source Summit. Brigade helps developers and operations managers get their work done quickly by scripting together multiple tasks and executing them inside of containers. This has many applications including Kubernetes-native CI/CD, ETL, batch workflows, and more. Kashti extends Brigade with a dashboard UI, built as a Kubernetes service and installed via Helm. With Kashti, developers can easily manage and visualize their Brigade events and projects through a web browser. The Kashti project is in its early days and we hope that you’ll check it out, kick the tires, and contribute. For more on how to try it out and even what the name means, check the Kashti blog.

Share your Feedback

Through today’s announcements, and looking forward, Microsoft will continue our commitment to the open source and Kubernetes experience on Azure. We hope that you’ll try out these new services, engage in these projects, and share feedback with us. Be sure to stop by the Azure booth to see some demos, attend our sessions throughout the week, participate in the community projects, or join the AKS preview and let us know what you think.

In the meantime, check out how one of our customers, Siemens Healthineers, is building cloud-based healthcare technology using Azure and Kubernetes: