How Kubernetes Operators Can Benefit Channel Partners, Customers
Channel partners and others have gained a useful new tool – the OperatorHub.io public registry – to help their customers demystify the complications and challenging learning curve of Kubernetes deployments.
OperatorHub.io includes a growing collection of integrated Kubernetes-native applications called Operators that can be used to get customers on an easier path with the open-source container management system.
Launched as a collaborative project by Red Hat, AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft, OperatorHub.io is a destination where Kubernetes Operator-backed Kubernetes-native services that have been created and tested by others can be found and reused instead of having to start from scratch when tools are needed, wrote Diane Mueller, director of community development for cloud platforms at Red Hat, in a recent blog.
“Operators are a method of packaging, deploying and managing a Kubernetes-native application,” wrote Mueller. “We define a Kubernetes application as an application that is both deployed on Kubernetes and managed using the Kubernetes APIs and kubectl tooling.”
Kubernetes users benefit from Operators because the applications can help to automate the sometimes routine, mundane and complex tasks required for an application to run on Kubernetes, according to Mueller.
“Kubernetes Operators can be found and used to automate updates, backups and scaling by using the Kubernetes command line interface (CLI) and can scan for things out of place, helping to enable a no-ops experience,” she added.
Operators are built using an Operator Framework, an open-source toolkit that provides an SDK, life-cycle management, and metering and monitoring capabilities that enable developers to build, test and publish new Operators, wrote Mueller. The applications can be implemented in several programming and automation languages, including Go, Helm and Ansible.
Operators listed on the public registry must successfully endure a series of basic tests and must also successfully show cluster life-cycle features, packaging that can be maintained through the Operator Framework’s Operator Lifecycle Management and acceptable documentation for its intended users.
So far, Operators listed in the public registry include Amazon Web Services Operator, CrunchyData’s PostgreSQL, Couchbase Autonomous Operator, etcd Operator, Jaeger Operator for Kubernetes, Kubernetes Federation Operator, MongoDB Enterprise Operator, Percona MySQL Operator, PlanetScale’s Vitess Operator, Prometheus Operator and Redis Operator.
Operators were introduced as a feature by CoreOS in 2016 and have become a popular resource in the Kubernetes community by giving developers new ways of automating infrastructure and application-management tasks using Kubernetes as the automation engine.
“With Operators, developers and Kubernetes administrators can gain the automation advantages of public cloud-like services, including provisioning, scaling, and backup/restore, while enabling the portability of the services across Kubernetes environments regardless of the underlying infrastructure,” wrote Mueller.
Still more Operators are needed, added Mueller, to continue to help developers conduct their work more easily.
“However, it remains challenging for developers and Kubernetes administrators to find available Operators, including those that meet their quality standards,” she wrote. “With the introduction of OperatorHub.io, we are helping to address this challenge by introducing a common registry to publish and find available Operators.”
Operators listed on the registry are curated Operator-backed services that include a base level of documentation, active communities or vendor-backing to fulfill maintenance commitments, basic testing and …