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New projects Kui and Iter8 make Kubernetes development easier


As enterprises modernize their infrastructure and adopt a hybrid multicloud strategy, we believe Kubernetes has become the standard platform to enable companies to build, manage, and move applications easily and securely across public clouds, private clouds, and on-premises environments.

With over 16,000 production Kubernetes clusters deployed that support billions of transactions per day, IBM has deep experience running Kubernetes production workloads at scale and understands the challenges that companies and their development teams face in the hybrid multicloud world.

Looking ahead, IBM developers and researchers are working in the open source community on new projects designed to enable increased agility and productivity for Kubernetes applications. We’re constantly looking at how we can empower architects, developers, and site reliability engineers to work together more seamlessly and deliver new innovations quickly, while having their individual requirements met.

Today at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2019, we are excited to announce new open source projects — Kui and Iter8 — and new developments to Tekton and Razee to help enable continuous innovation, continuous delivery and increased productivity with Kubernetes.

Kui: An open source Kubernetes terminal with visualizations

For developers and IT operators, the rise of hybrid multicloud environments introduces additional complexity. We’ve seen that it often requires new skills because each environment has its own console or command-line interface (i.e. kubectl, helm, oc, istioctl). This means developers spend additional time juggling multiple different CLIs for each component of a solution and for various other tasks like monitoring, analyzing and troubleshooting. Additionally, with asynchronous systems like Kubernetes, it can be difficult to understand what is happening right now and when operations have completed or failed.

To address these challenges, IBM is announcing a new open source project, Kui. Kui is designed to be a single tool to help developers navigate between the different CLIs relevant to each part of the solution. Kui combines the power of a familiar CLI with visualizations to help with complex data. Kui is designed for cloud-native development and supports Kubernetes and its ecosystem. Kui helps developers seamlessly interact with multiple tools in order to minimize context switching and get more done in a single place.

IBM has already started to introduce Kui into IBM Cloud offerings designed to help simplify the developer experience. The recently released IBM Cloud Pak for Multicloud Management includes a new Visual Web Terminal based on Kui to easily run many commands and navigate the results of commands in a more visual way.

Get started with KuiGet started with Kui for Kubernetes

Iter8: An Istio ecosystem tool to unlock new insights and actions

Istio is an open technology that provides a way for developers to seamlessly connect, manage and secure networks of different microservices — independent of platform, source or vendor. Developers using Istio also benefit from rich data and telemetry including distributed tracing, latency and return codes.

To help developers take greater advantage of this data, IBM is introducing Iter8, an ecosystem tool that uses Istio APIs to perform comparative analytics. This can be used for canary and A/B testing as well as troubleshooting, positioning developers to detect and address problems with an application earlier in the process. With Iter8, developers can more seamlessly compare versions of their applications to confirm as they move forward with a new version, analyze the behavior of a microservice over time to identify or even predict problems, and better understand the impact of a new version to other microservices in the environment.

Tekton with IBM Cloud Continuous Delivery: Continuous integration and continuous delivery for Kubernetes

Tekton is an open source project managed by the Continuous Delivery Foundation that provides a framework for continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) systems for Kubernetes applications. Tekton helps developers build, test and deploy across multiple cloud providers or on-premises systems because it abstracts away the underlying implementation details. Specifically, with the new project, born out of Knative Build, developers can configure and run continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines within a Kubernetes cluster.

The Tekton Pipelines project continues to evolve with support and active commitment from the community including IBM, Red Hat, Google and CloudBees. IBM is announcing the integration of Tekton into the IBM Cloud Continuous Delivery service to help modernize continuous delivery by accessing industry specifications for pipelines, workflows and other building blocks.

Bringing Razee to Red Hat OpenShift and IBM Cloud DevOps Toolchain

Earlier this year, IBM announced Razee to bring an innovative approach to multicluster continuous delivery. It provides scalable distribution, simplified operations, and a global view of all your applications. Managing tens of thousands of Kubernetes clusters and hundreds of thousands of application instances, Razee is a platform that has helped revolutionize the way IBM delivers its cloud services.

As applications become more globally complex and distributed, Razee is designed to make it easier to deploy them at scale and streamline the management of applications across geographies. Instead of deploying code manually to individual clusters, developers can push applications to multiple clusters within the same region.

IBM recently demonstrated the ability to run Razee on top of Red Hat OpenShift. We’re working toward full support and certification to help clients use Razee to automate deployment of their clusters running on their preferred Kubernetes platform, Red Hat OpenShift. Additionally, we are announcing support for Razee with the IBM Cloud DevOps ToolChains to help users build and push applications from a single cloud service, speeding time to deployment. Both of these enhancements for Razee are designed to allow development teams to dedicate more resources to coding and spend less time managing existing applications.

The new projects and advancements announced today come as an addition to the growing list of open source projects IBM leads or contributes to with the goal of making Kubernetes more useable and productive for developers—including Istio, Knative, Eirini and Kabanero.

Check out each project’s GitHub repo to learn more, try them out, and get involved in their communities. We’d love to work with you to make it easier to build and scale containerized applications.

Jason McGee is an IBM Fellow and the VP and CTO for IBM Cloud Developer Service. Priya Nagpurkar is the Director of Hybrid Cloud Platform for IBM Research.

Jason McGee
Priya Nagpurkar