CoreOS's Kubernetes-based container management platform continues its rapid development with the release of version 1.7 of Tectonic.
Tectonic was launched by CoreOS two years ago, consisting of proprietary management components and wrapped around Kubernetes, along with an installer and support. (Kubernetes is an open source container management tool originally developed at Google. It is the dominant tool of its kind at the moment, although many alternatives exist such as Docker Swarm and Mesosphere.)
So what's new?
Well, Tectonic 1.7 can easily make use of the latest version of Kubernetes — Kubernetes 1.7 — thanks to a one-click upgrade system that allows users to move from Kubernetes 1.6.7 to 1.7.1 with no down time. As future upgrades are made to Kubernetes — even minor upgrades — Tectonic users will be able to take advantage of them, again with no downtime.
There's also a new alert monitoring capability. Tectonic now enables pre-configured alerts via the open source Prometheus project, which can be monitored for all Kubernetes clusters through a variety of notification channels. There are also new alerts around rolling updates for Deployments and DaemonSets tools.
A First Look at Network Policy Control in Tectonic
In this 1.7 release, CoreOS is also giving a preview of some network policy control mechanisms that will be introduced into Tectonic in the future. Network policy is now supported in alpha powered by Project Calico, an open-source project designed to simplify, scale, and secure cloud networks.
This should enable better control (and thus security) of inbound traffic to pods, and from one pod to another. (A Kubernetes pod is a group of containers that are deployed together on the same host.)
Multi-Cloud Support for Tectonic, Including Azure
But perhaps the biggest news is that Tectonic 1.7 is now stable and ready to go into production on Azure. That means users can run Tectonic on bare metal, on AWS, or on Microsoft's cloud. (Tectonic also runs on OpenStack as a preview release.)
"Tectonic is a consistent platform with a common set of APIs on each platform. That means monitoring, updates, access controls and so on are the same," Rob Szumski, CoreOS's Tectonic product manager, told Virtually Speaking.
And this is key to what is driving large enterprises to adopt container management systems like Tectonic. "People want to use it as a way to move applications from on-prem into the cloud," he says.
CoreOS has got some important Tectonic customers, including the likes of Nike, Ticketmaster and Starbucks, and Szumski says most of them do or will use it in some hybrid form, such as bare metal and AWS, or bare metal and Azure.
It's also likely that many of these customers will use both Azure and AWS to run Tectonic: according to RightScale's 2017 State of the Cloud report, 85% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy.
The move to supporting Azure came at the behest of customers, Szumski said. "Our customers approached Microsoft or our sales team and said they wanted us to partner with Azure, so we worked through it and made a stable release."
Tectonic is free for up to ten nodes, and then priced annually per node.
Paul Rubens is a technology journalist and contributor to ServerWatch, EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and EnterpriseMobileToday. He has also covered technology for international newspapers and magazines including The Economist and The Financial Times since 1991.