When Google first released Kubernetes publicly as an open-source effort, the platform was somewhat focused on Google's Cloud.
With the release of Kubernetes 1.3 on July 6, the open-source orchestration system has moved well beyond its Google roots with new scalability that provides administrators the ability to bridge services across multiple clouds
With Kubernetes there is the concept of a pod, which is a group of containers deployed on the same host. With the Kubernetes 1.3 update, more nodes can be added, enabling easier auto-scaling as demand warrants.
Going a step further, Kubernetes 1.3 introduces cross-cluster federation capabilities. According to Aparna Sinha, Product Manager at Google, the new federation is enabled by way of a cross-cluster service discovery capability. With the service discovery, Kubernetes cluster nodes can discover each other to help improve overall scale.
Kubernetes 1.3 also takes aim at a persistent problem that has existed with container applications, namely application persistence. The new PetSet object in Kubernetes can help enable stateful applications by defining a number of persistent objects, including permanent hostnames and persistent storage per container.
From an ease-of-use perspective, Kubernetes 1.3 has an improved dashboard that is able to handle most interactions.
"Customers can now use the Kubernetes open source dashboard for the majority of interactions with their clusters, rather than having to use the CLI," Sinha wrote in a blog post. "The updated UI lets users control, edit and create all workload resources (including Deployments and PetSets)."
New Minikube Effort Serves as Mini Version of Kubernetes
For developers, the new Minikube effort is a way to have a mini version of Kubernetes running locally on a developer machine. The Minikube makes use of the same APIs as the full version of Kubernetes, providing developers with a way to push workloads to a cloud Kubernetes cluster when needed.
The new Kubernetes 1.3 update comes at interesting time for the container market as Docker has now integrated orchestration capabilities into the newly released Docker 1.12 update. Docker calls its integrated orchestration "swarm mode" and has stated that it's a way to help "democratize" container orchestration by making it easier for users.
Kubernetes is the foundational project now of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), which is a Linux Foundation Collaborative project. Docker Inc is also a member of the CNCF, which recently added the Prometheus container monitoring effort to its roster.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist