News

'Bridge to Kubernetes' Leads Container News at Ignite 2020

As befits one of the most popular open source projects of all time, Kubernetes received its fair share of attention during this week's Microsoft Ignite 2020 event, led by Bridge to Kubernetes reaching general availability.

Bridge to Kubernetes, which was previously called "Local Process with Kubernetes," is described as an iterative development tool that now works with Microsoft's open source, cross-platform Visual Studio Code editor (Visual Studio IDE support is coming), helping developers write, test and debug microservice code on their development workstations while also being able to consume dependencies and inherit existing configurations from a Kubernetes environment.

Bridge to Kubernetes
[Click on image for larger, animated GIF view.] Bridge to Kubernetes in Animated Action (source: Microsoft).

Or, as its GitHub project page says:

Bridge to Kubernetes extends the Kubernetes perimeter to your development computer allowing you to write, test, and debug microservice code while connected to your Kubernetes cluster with the rest of your application or services. With this workflow, there is no need for extra assets, such as a Dockerfile or Kubernetes manifests. You can simply run your code natively on your development workstation while connected to the Kubernetes cluster, allowing you to test your code changes in the context of the larger application.

The page lists key features as:

  • Simplifying microservice development by eliminating the need to manually source, configure and compile external dependencies on a development computer.
  • Easy debugging as developers can run their usual debug profiles with the added cluster configuration, debugging as usual while taking advantage of the speed and flexibility of local debugging.
  • Developing and testing end-to-end during development time. Developers can select an existing service in the cluster to route to a development machine where an instance of that service is running locally. A request generated by the front end of an application running in Kubernetes will route between services running in the cluster until the specified service to redirect is called.

"Microservice applications are comprised of many services, often calling each other," Microsoft further explained in a Sept. 21 blog post announcing the product moving to GA. "Each service has its own configuration and dependencies, making setting up and running the application locally time-consuming and complex.  

"By using Bridge to Kubernetes to connect your development workstation to your Kubernetes cluster, you eliminate the need to manually source, configure and compile external dependencies on your development workstation. Environment variables, connection strings and volumes from the cluster are inherited and available to your microservice code running locally."

The company said support for Bridge to Kubernetes on any Kubernetes cluster is initially available in VS Code, soon to be followed by the Visual Studio IDE.

More information can be found in:

Another GA announcement concerned the new Azure Policy add on for Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS.)

"Azure Policy for Kubernetes can control the details of the resources that a user creates within a cluster, so that, for example, no one can accidentally expose a service on the public internet that allows malicious attackers to bitcoin mine on your cluster," Microsoft said in a another blog post this week titled "Enterprise grade Kubernetes on Azure."

"Azure is an industry leader in cloud policy and donated the initial implementation of GateKeeper, the Kubernetes Policy controller to the Open Policy Agent and CNCF. It makes sense then that we are also the first cloud to make Kubernetes Policy generally available in our Azure Kubernetes Service. Policy is an integral part of securing Kubernetes, and now our enterprise customers can rely on the service guarantees that come with a generally available service."

Yet more Kubernetes announcements addressed enhanced protection for containers. "As containers and specifically Kubernetes are becoming more widely used, the Azure Defender for Kubernetes offering has been extended to include Kubernetes-level policy management, hardening and enforcement with admission control to make sure that Kubernetes workloads are secured by default," Microsoft said in its Book of News. "In addition, container image scanning by Azure Defender for Container Registries will now support continuous scanning of container images to minimize the exploitability of running containers."

Another update to AKS was detailed thusly: "The AKS Stop/Start cluster feature now in public preview allows AKS customers to completely pause an AKS cluster and pick up where they left off later with a switch of a button, saving time and cost. Previously, a customer had to take multiple steps to stop or start a cluster, adding to operations time and wasting compute resources. The stop/start feature keeps cluster configurations in place and customers can pick up where they left off without reconfiguring the clusters."

Other previews were announced for Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes and AKS on Azure Stack HCI.

Azure Arc helps users extend Azure management to any infrastructure while enabling deployment of Azure data services anywhere.

Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes clusters alongside AKS clusters
[Click on image for larger view.] Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes clusters alongside AKS clusters (source: Microsoft).

"Azure Arc extends Azure management to infrastructure resources such as Windows and Linux Servers, SQL Servers and Kubernetes clusters running across on-premises datacenters, multicloud and edge," Microsoft said. "Azure Arc also enables deployment of Azure data services, such as Azure SQL Managed Instance and Azure PostgreSQL Hyperscale, on any infrastructure of choice."

More information can be found in a post published this week titled "Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes with GitOps."

Concerning AKS on Azure Stack HCI, Microsoft said the service available in preview "enables developers and admins to deploy and manage containerized apps on Azure Stack HCI. Customers can take advantage of its consistent experience with AKS on Azure, extend to Azure with hybrid capabilities, run apps with confidence with built-in security, and use familiar tools to modernize Windows apps."

Azure Stack HCI is a service for for hybrid, familiar hyperconverged infrastructure.

Microsoft documentation states: "Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI is an on-premises implementation of the popular Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) orchestrator, which automates running containerized applications at scale. Azure Kubernetes Service is now in preview on Azure Stack HCI, making it quicker to get started hosting Linux and Windows containers in your datacenter."

Microsoft Ignite 2020 started Sept. 22 and concluded Sept 24. For more coverage from Virtualization & Cloud Review and sister sites, see:

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

Featured