chris - Fotolia

Major acquisitions, Kubernetes evolution top IT news in 2018

In the second half of 2018, IT industry vendors and their users worked to tame Kubernetes and containers, and inject open source innovation into tried-and-true enterprise IT.

After several years of containerization growth filling the top IT news slots, 2018 closed out with major container and DevOps-related updates, fixes, acquisitions and partnerships.

These top ten stories from the second half of 2018, in no particular order, captured the attention of IT operations admins, container managers, IT directors and other industry professionals.

TechTarget's senior news writer Beth Pariseau reported these stories.

Red Hat lands on IBM's head

IBM purchased Red Hat in October for a whopping $34 billion, with the aim to use OpenShift's Kubernetes support as the glue that holds together its cloud strategy. But many of Red Hat's users, and the open source community at large, worried that IBM is too corporate for open source ideology. Pariseau highlights user concerns and opposing opinions, as well as IBM's reassurances that Red Hat won't change.

Atlassian pivots to incident management

An OpsGenie incident management tool acquisition made top IT news when it  opened the door for Atlassian's Jira Ops product. Jira integrates with other Atlassian and external tools, and some organizations have already worked OpsGenie into their application development and deployment pipelines. Pariseau discusses pros and cons of Atlassian's roadmap shift with the OpsGenie buy.

Google reaches into cloud CI/CD

Google joined the DevOps-leaning cloud services trend on the later side, but that delay might pay off in the long run. Google Cloud Build expanded in summer 2018 with source code, image and other dependency caching, which the company purports to speed up the build process in a continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) pipeline. Pariseau illustrates how users view and consider the Google Cloud Build update.

Kubernetes lags on security standards

Kubernetes has emerged as the industry's ubiquitous container orchestration tool, but it won't match every enterprise's security requirements from the get-go. Some default settings break security guidelines, such as the API server connecting to the unsecured network port 8080. Pariseau describes the security concerns of users deploying containers in production with Kubernetes.

Security flaw yields varied recovery

A Kubernetes security flaw discovered in December opened the API server's door for hackers to escalate privileges. Hosted Kubernetes services got the patch applied upstream, but organizations that run on-premises and custom Kubernetes deployments are responsible for themselves. Pariseau discusses the scope of the issue and how this division of support levels affects Kubernetes users across the containerization space.

Top IT news in early 2018

Microsoft acquired GitHub in June and set off a swath of concerned conversations about the future of the open source version control product. In March, eBay contributed a significant modification, Beats, to the Elastic Stack open source tool set for Kubernetes monitoring by Elastic. Additionally, users evaluated Docker Enterprise Edition's strategy, CloudBees Jenkins' roadmap struggles raised concerns and a steep learning curve for time series monitoring brought cautious optimism about the technology's potential.

Take a magnifying glass to Kubernetes

Elastic Inc. introduced update 6.5 of the open source IT monitoring Elastic Stack late in the year, with four updates to the Kibana data visualization tool. Two releases, called Infrastructure and Log, increase visibility into Kubernetes container orchestration infrastructure. Users could monitor Kubernetes with Kibana before Elastic 6.5, but the updates provide ready-made dashboards that clarify and organize metric and log data. Pariseau examines these updates in relation to the already crowded Kubernetes monitoring space.

Open source community tweaks Jenkins

Continuous integration server Jenkins and orchestrator Kubernetes are a preeminent CI/CD pipeline combination, but integration could use some work for container infrastructure. The Jenkins community built a Kubernetes plug-in to connect the two platforms better than other attempts, and public cloud services that have Kubernetes offerings enable Jenkins users to focus on deployment instead of the tools' cooperation.

Heptio brings Kubernetes to VMware

VMware acquired Heptio in November for an undisclosed amount in an attempt to smooth Kubernetes integration with its VMware Pivotal Kubernetes Service via Heptio's Kubernetes services. But while the IBM-Red Hat partnership leaves the open source acquisition target intact, VMware has no such intentions with Heptio.

Digital transformations require security adjustment

Organizations must bake security into the initial code base when they adopt DevOps, but only the most advanced enterprises have the resources to do so. For the rest of the industry, hesitation to incorporate better security practices could lead to severe breaches.

Overcome the mainframe hurdle

Mainframes are a traditional cornerstone for many IT enterprises, but they tend to disallow DevOps implementations. Now that DevOps is a big enough movement, this disconnect is a significant problem. Mainframes won't disappear, but the need to marry them with DevOps ideals is paramount for IT organizations. In this top IT news story from August 2018, Pariseau explains the complicated relationship and its implications for business longevity.

Dig Deeper on Containers and virtualization

Software Quality
App Architecture
Cloud Computing
Data Center