Containers

Kubernetes is the new application operating environment (Part 1)

This is the first in a series of articles that consider the role of Kubernetes and application servers. Do application servers need to exist? Where does the current situation leave developers trying to choose the right path forward for their applications?

Why Kubernetes is the new application server

By now you’ve likely read “Why Kubernetes is The New Application Server” and you might be wondering what that means for you. How does it impact Java EE or Jakarta EE and Eclipse MicroProfile? What about application servers or fat JARs? Is it the end as we’ve known it for nearly two decades?

In reality, it doesn’t impact the worldview for most. It’s in line with the efforts of a majority of vendors around Docker and Kubernetes deployments over the last few years. In addition, there’s greater interest in service mesh infrastructures, such as Istio, and how they can further assist with managing Kubernetes deployments.

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Intro to Podman (Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6 Beta)

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.6 Beta was released a few days ago and one of the first new features I noticed is Podman. Podman complements Buildah and Skopeo by offering an experience similar to the Docker command line: allowing users to run standalone (non-orchestrated) containers. And Podman doesn’t require a daemon to run containers and pods, so we can easily say goodbye to big fat daemons.

Podman implements almost all the Docker CLI commands (apart from the ones related to Docker Swarm, of course). For container orchestration, I suggest you take a look at Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift.

Podman consists of just a single command to run on the command line. There are no daemons in the background doing stuff, and this means that Podman can be integrated into system services through systemd.

We’ll cover some real examples that show how easy it can be to transition from the Docker CLI to Podman.

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Container-native integration testing

Integration testing is still an important step in a CI/CD pipeline even when you are developing container-native applications. Integration tests tend to be very resource-intensive workloads that run for a limited time.

I wanted to explore how integration testing technologies and tools could leverage a container orchestrator (such as Red Hat OpenShift) to run faster and more-dynamic tests, while at the same time using resources more effectively.

In this post, you will learn how to build behavior-driven development (BDD) integration tests using Cucumber, Protractor, and Selenium and how to run them in OpenShift using Zalenium.

The code for the example of this article can be found on GitHub in redhat-cop/container-pipelinesh.

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Red Hat Developer

Natively compile Java code for better startup time

Microservices and serverless architectures are being implemented, or are a part of the roadmap, in most modern solution stacks. Given that Java is still the dominant language for business applications, the need for reducing the startup time for Java is becoming more important. Serverless architectures are one such area that needs faster startup times, and applications hosted on container platforms such as Red Hat Openshift can benefit from both fast Java startup time and a smaller Docker image size.

Let’s see how GraalVM can be beneficial for Java-based programs in terms of speed and size improvements. Surely, these gains are not bound to containers or serverless architectures and can be applied to a variety of use cases.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Kubernetes (PodCTL Podcast #38)

If you aren’t following the OpenShift Blog, you might not be aware of the PodCTL podcast. It’s a free weekly tech podcast covering containers, kubernetes, and OpenShift hosted by Red Hat’s Brian Gracely (@bgracely) and Tyler Britten (@vmtyler). I’m reposting this episode here on the Red Hat Developer Blog because I think their realization is spot on—while early adopters might be deep into Kubernetes, many are just starting and could benefit from some insights.

Original Introduction from blog.openshift.com:

The Kubernetes community now has 10 releases (2.5 yrs) of software and experience. We just finished KubeCon Copenhagen, OpenShift Commons Gathering, and Red Hat Summit and we heard lots of companies talk about their deployments and journeys. But many of them took a while (12–18) months to get to where they are today. This feels like the “early adopters” and we’re beginning to get to the “crossing the chasm” part of the market. So thought we’d discuss some of the basics, lessons learned, and other things people could use to “fast-track” what they need to be successful with Kubernetes.

The podcast will always be available on the Red Hat OpenShift blog (search: #PodCTL), as well as on RSS FeedsiTunesGoogle PlayStitcherTuneIn, and all your favorite podcast players.

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Why Kubernetes is The New Application Server

Have you ever wondered why you are deploying your multi-platform applications using containers? Is it just a matter of “following the hype”? In this article, I’m going to ask some provocative questions to make my case for Why Kubernetes is the new application server.

You might have noticed that the majority of languages are interpreted and use “runtimes” to execute your source code. In theory, most Node.js, Python, and Ruby code can be easily moved from one platform (Windows, Mac, Linux) to another platform. Java applications go even further by having the compiled Java class turned into a bytecode, capable of running anywhere that has a JVM (Java Virtual Machine).

The Java ecosystem provides a standard format to distribute all Java classes that are part of the same application. You can package these classes as a JAR (Java Archive), WAR (Web Archive), and EAR (Enterprise Archive) that contains the front end, back end, and libraries embedded. So I ask you: Why do you use containers to distribute your Java application? Isn’t it already supposed to be easily portable between environments?

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Announcing .NET Core 2.1 for Red Hat Platforms

We are very pleased to announce the general availability of .NET Core 2.1 for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenShift platforms!

.NET Core is the open-source, cross-platform .NET platform for building microservices. .NET Core is designed to provide the best performance at scale for applications that use microservices and containers. Libraries can be shared with other .NET platforms, such as .NET Framework (Windows) and Xamarin (mobile applications). With .NET Core you have the flexibility of building and deploying applications on Red Hat Enterprise Linux or in containers. Your container-based applications and microservices can easily be deployed to your choice of public or private clouds using Red Hat OpenShift. All of the features of OpenShift and Kubernetes for cloud deployments are available to you.

.NET Core 2.1 continues to broaden its support and tools for microservice development in an open source environment. The latest version of .NET Core includes the following improvements:

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Customizing an OpenShift Ansible Playbook Bundle

Today I want to talk about Ansible Service Broker and Ansible Playbook Bundle. These components are relatively new in the Red Hat OpenShift ecosystem, but they are now fully supported features available in the Service Catalog component of OpenShift 3.9.

Before getting deep into the technology, I want to give you some basic information (quoted below from the product documentation) about all the components and their features:

  • Ansible Service Broker is an implementation of the Open Service Broker API that manages applications defined in Ansible Playbook Bundles.
  • Ansible Playbook Bundles (APB) are a method of defining applications via a collection of Ansible Playbooks built into a container with an Ansible runtime with the playbooks corresponding to a type of request specified in the Open Service Broker API specification.
  • Playbooks are Ansible’s configuration, deployment, and orchestration language. They can describe a policy you want your remote systems to enforce, or a set of steps in a general IT process.

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Container Testing in OpenShift with Meta Test Family

Without proper testing, we should not ship any container. We should guarantee that a given service in a container works properly. Meta Test Family (MTF) was designed for this very purpose.

Containers can be tested as “standalone” containers and as “orchestrated” containers. Let’s look at how to test containers with the Red Hat OpenShift environment. This article describes how to do that and what actions are needed.

MTF is a minimalistic library built on the existing Avocado and behave testing frameworks, assisting developers in quickly enabling test automation and requirements. MTF adds basic support and abstraction for testing various module artifact types: RPM-based, Docker images, and more. For detailed information about the framework and how to use it check out the MTF documentation.

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