What's New With Kubernetes 1.4

29 Sep 2016

Kubernetes announced the release of version 1.4 this week, and already, the response has been great.

The Kubernetes 1.4 release improves Kubernetes' installability, and includes a new tool, kubeadm, to help with this. It also includes support for stateful applications and improves user experience and security.

In this post I'll take a quick look at these new features.

Installation

Probably the biggest addition to Kubernetes 1.4 is kubeadm. This utility lets users bootstrap a Kubernetes cluster in just two steps. You'll need to have Kubernetes installed already though. So, here's how the process goes:

  1. Install kubelet and kubeadm on all your hosts. Note: you can now install Kubernetes components using familiar tools such as apt-get and yum. The process is detailed in the docs.

  2. Initialize the master.

    One of the hosts where you installed the above Kubernetes components can serve as the master node. This is the node which runs the Kubernetes control plane, i.e. etcd and API server.

    To initialize a node as master just run kubeadm init. You can then join nodes to your cluster with kubeadm join.

Stateful Applications

Another important addition to Kubernetes 1.4 is the support for stateful applications.

In previous releases, managing stateful applications was a pain, as Kubernetes itself was stateless. Starting in 1.4, Kubernetes has couple of tricks up its sleeves to help manage stateful applications like databases, batch processes, and so on.

Some highlights:

  1. Scheduled jobs is now available as an alpha.
  2. Dynamic permanent volume provisioning helps you manage persistent storage for containers and is now available as a beta.
  3. There is also beta support available for init-containers to help you sequence dependencies via containers while launching a multi-tiered app.

Security

Kubernetes now supports pod security policies and AppArmor to help enable different levels of security enforcement.

While pod level policies allows admins to fine tune the access levels of a pod (and the containers it runs), AppArmor is a kernel level enhancement to reduce the potential attack surface of an application.

Dashboard Improvements

Whilst the previous Kubernetes dashboard was comprehensive, the interface was not that smooth. The latest release claims a 90% parity with the CLI and has a sleek interface to improve at-a-glance cluster management.

Wrap Up

There are several other updates in this release. You can view the whole list in the CHANGELOG. Or check out the release announcement.

Kubernetes 1.4 looks good, but don't just take our word for it...

Posted in Kubernetes

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