vali_111 - Fotolia

IBM's latest Kubernetes tools ease use for cloud developers

IBM's new open-source Kubernetes tools help lower the barrier to entry for developers to use Kubernetes to build, deploy, manage and move workloads to the cloud.

SAN DIEGO -- Recognizing the rapid emergence of Kubernetes as a core technology for cloud-native development, IBM's new Kubernetes tools aim to simplify life for developers and other IT pros who wrangle with the technology.

The two new open-source tools, Kui and Iter8, ease the burden of working with Kubernetes, a technology that many users view as increasingly complex, particularly in hybrid and multi-cloud environments. IBM introduced the tools at the KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2019 event here this week.

Kui -- written in TypeScript, a superset of JavaScript -- is an open source Kubernetes terminal with visualizations. Among the ways Kubernetes increases complexity is that each of the tools that run atop Kubernetes has its own command-line interface (CLI), requiring developers to deal with multiple CLIs, thus adding to complexity.

However, Kui provides a single tool for developers to navigate between the different CLIs related to the various tools in the Kubernetes ecosystem and to minimize context switching, said Jason McGhee, an IBM Fellow and the vice president and CTO for the IBM Cloud Developer Service.

For its part, IBM has added Kui into its cloud products to simplify Kubernetes development, deployment and management efforts. For instance, the IBM Cloud Pak for Multicloud Management includes a new Visual Web Terminal based on Kui, he said.

IBM has the experience building and running more than 16,000 Kubernetes clusters that support billions of transactions per day for its own internal systems, as well as those the company has built for clients, as Kubernetes has emerged as the standard platform to create and move applications across hybrid and multi-cloud environments as well as on premises.

In addition to Kui, IBM delivered Iter8, a new tool that uses Istio APIs to perform comparative analytics. Overall, Istio is an open source framework used to connect, monitor and secure microservices, including services which run on the Kubernetes engine. Istio enables developers to connect, manage and secure networks of different microservices.

Iter8 enables developers to perform A/B and canary testing to find and fix problems earlier in the development process, McGhee said.

IBM also added tweaks to other open source tools, including Tekton and Razee, to provide continuous delivery using Kubernetes.

Tekton provides continuous integration and continuous delivery for Kubernetes as it enables developers to build applications across multiple cloud platform providers or on-premises systems. IBM has integrated Tekton into the IBM Cloud Continuous Delivery service to use industry standard specifications for pipelines, workflows and other building blocks, McGhee said.

Additionally, IBM has brought the Razee tool for managing Kubernetes at scale to both the Red Hat OpenShift containerization platform and the IBM Cloud DevOps tools environment.

These new Kubernetes tools and enhancements follow recent moves IBM made over the summer to help lower the barrier to entry for developers who move workloads to the cloud and use containerization and Kubernetes.

Over the summer, IBM introduced Kabanero and other tools that enable developers to create apps that can be deployed onto Kubernetes without first becoming experts in containers and Kubernetes tools and technology. And one such tool, Codewind, allows developers to work in containers without even knowing they are using containers.

Kabanero not only helps onramp users into IBM's commercial offering, Cloud Paks, but provides developers with Kubernetes-based best practices around a curated set of OSS [open source software] projects.
Charlotte DunlapAnalyst, GlobalData
Charlotte DunlapCharlotte Dunlap

"Kabanero not only helps onramp users into IBM's commercial offering, Cloud Paks, but provides developers with Kubernetes-based best practices around a curated set of OSS [open source software] projects such as Spring, Node.js and Swift, and operations teams with deeper pipeline and app lifecycle management OSS technologies and services -- both of which aim to help get DevOps teams up and running quickly," said Charlotte Dunlap, an analyst at GlobalData in Santa Cruz, Calif.

With Kabanero, IBM provides pre-built deployments to Kubernetes and Knative, based on best practices conceived while working with clients, said Nate Ziemann, a senior product manager in the IBM Cloud portfolio group who focuses on developer tools and Kubernetes. These shortcuts help developers spend more time developing scalable applications and less time understanding infrastructure, he said.

In addition to Kabanero, IBM also introduced other open-source projects, including the aforementioned Codewind, as well as a new tool called Appsody and explained how the recently released Razee tool work together to ease the way for developers building apps for Kubernetes deployments.

Dig Deeper on Software development lifecycle

Cloud Computing
App Architecture