Enterprise PKS Continues to Deliver: Kubernetes 1.13, Windows Support In Beta, and More

April 23, 2019 Elisabeth Hendrickson

Now the Kubernetes production platform of choice for over 150 customers, the Pivotal Container Service (PKS) family continues its rapid release cadence. Today we’re excited to announce the general availability (GA) of Enterprise PKS 1.4 and the Beta of Enterprise PKS 1.5 with support for Windows worker nodes.

Enterprise PKS helps organizations like T-Mobile apply the Platform as Product approach to delivering Container-as-a-Service to their internal customers, based on the latest Kubernetes innovations, integrated and packaged with enterprise-proven technologies.

Speaking of innovations, let’s take a spin through what's included in Enterprise PKS 1.4. 


Enterprise PKS With Kubernetes 1.13

PKS 1.4 ships with Kubernetes 1.13.5. This Kubernetes release drives up stability and serves up these noteworthy features:

  • Container Storage Interface hits GA, enabling pluggable storage & greater flexibility. One of the overarching goals of the Kubernetes project: remove vendor code where possible. The community also strives to create a pluggable architecture. With Kubernetes 1.13, both objectives advance, as the CSI moving to general availability. End users can expect to see a wider range of storage options and greater flexibility switching between them.

  • CoreDNS is enabled by default. Life gets easier for administrators since Kubernetes 1.13 makes CoreDNS the default cluster DNS server for the project. That means one less decision for users!

  • AZ-enabled volume resilience. Your in-tree vSphere cloud provider volumes are now multi-AZ aware. This is achieved by matching Kubernetes failure domain tags with vSphere zone tag values.

Check out the full set of Kubernetes 1.13 features here. One other note: version 1.13 had a 23% shorter release cycle. Remarkable progress in a much shorter duration!


A Simpler, Faster Install Experience on VMware Infrastructure

As a joint Pivotal and VMware project, you’d expect Enterprise PKS to be the best Kubernetes experience on VMware infrastructure. In 1.4, we take that to the next level by streamlining the VMware install experience with a new configuration tool. To be shipped as a Virtual Appliance (OVA), this will provide a one-stop configuration tool that captures and cross-checks all the configuration details needed to set up Enterprise PKS.

Specifically, you’ll notice it will be easier to install and configure OpsManager, the PKS tile, the Harbor tile, and vROPS. This automation will also extend to NSX-T resource creation, and when deploying Enterprise PKS to custom NSX-T topologies.


One OpsMan To Rule All The Abstractions

If you’re using the full capabilities of the Pivotal Platform, PKS 1.4 provides the convenience of managing both Pivotal Application Service (PAS) and Pivotal Container Service (PKS) from a single OpsManager instance. That means you will be able to deploy both from a single UI:


NSX-T 2.4 Simplifies Networking for Kubernetes

NSX-T 2.4 is a landmark release for VMware’s network virtualization platform. It delivers new levels of operational simplicity, infrastructure-as-code, plus intrinsic security, scale, resilience, and performance. Enterprise PKS 1.4 adds support for NSX-T 2.4. What’s more, you don’t pay a dime extra - it’s included with the service!


PKS 1.4 Helps You Run in Production, at Scale

PKS 1.4 adds new operational capabilities to help you get the maximum value from Kubernetes. Here are a few highlights:

  • Pod Security Policies offer more control over workload execution. Pod Security Policies are a cluster-level resource that defines a set of run conditions a pod must adhere to in order to be accepted into the system.

  • Cluster Admin resource quotas limit memory and vCPU usage. PKS operators can now put an upper limit on the total memory and compute resources a user can allocate across one or more clusters.

  • Self-service KubeConfig replaces complex scripts. Developers can access their KubeConfig without custom security scripts. It’s all thanks to UAA/LDAP integration.

  • Backup and restore for all types of clusters. Operators can recover single and multi-master clusters from unplanned outages.

  • New Pod and Cluster log sinks for more flexibility. Developers can send pod logs via Webhook and cluster metrics via Telegraf input/output plugins.

  • Update existing clusters for dynamic reconfiguration. Operators can update the settings of a deployed cluster either via CLI or API. Network profiles will be the first area to receive this capability.

  • Per-cluster DNS resolution for multi-tenant DNS isolation. Operators can Customize your cluster DNS to suit tenants and/or workloads via network profiles.

  • vRealize Operations Suite observability for Hosts and Containers. Integration with VMware’s monitoring suite provides a single infrastructure view, now including resources and workloads running in Kubernetes.

PKS 1.4 is now available for download from the Pivotal Network.


Kubernetes 1.14 Opens Windows… Workloads

Kubernetes 1.14 has declared Windows Node support to be “stable,” enabling clusters to support both Linux and Windows Server (including Nano) operating systems. Kubernetes 1.14 will ship with Enterprise PKS 1.5, and will open up Kubernetes to the world of .NET applications like never before. And the timing couldn’t be better, as we’re approaching the End-of-Support for Windows Server 2008 in less than a year.

PAS customers have long enjoyed full Windows support, built on BOSH’s stemcell model for embedded operating system images. Because Enterprise PKS also relies on BOSH, operational maturity - seasoned through many years managing the Windows OS in PAS— will automatically be available to PKS customers.


Get Started with Enterprise PKS 1.4 Today

PKS 1.4 is now available for download from the Pivotal Network.

For more information on PKS 1.4  you can also check out the VMware blog.

Sign up for the PKS 1.5 Beta.

Want to test-drive Windows on Kubernetes? Then sign-up for the Enterprise PKS 1.5 beta. We’ll be in touch in the coming weeks.

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About the Author

Elisabeth Hendrickson

Elisabeth Hendrickson is Pivotal’s Vice President of Data R&D. In this role, Elisabeth is responsible for the development of Pivotal's big data solutions. Previously at Pivotal, Elisabeth worked both with Pivotal Labs and on Cloud Foundry. She brings that combination of agile, cloud, and devops experience to the big data products. Under her leadership, the R&D teams have successfully transitioned to an agile, iterative approach, shipping releases of our enterprise-class data products on a frequent cadence. Early in her career, Elisabeth worked at Sybase, where she developed a love of all things Data. Elisabeth is a recognized as a leader in Agile software development and received the prestigious Gordon Pask Award from the Agile Alliance. She is the author of Explore It! from Pragmatic Bookshelf.

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