Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Kubeapps 2.0: Empowering Kubernetes users with a new UI and multi cluster support

The new Kubeapps major release is here and full of outstanding changes that make it easier than ever to deploy and manage apps on your Kubernetes clusters. Over the last year, each release has added new and important features such as the support for private Helm and Docker registries, adding operators, making easier to modify the default values in deployments, and allowing the creation of application repositories to deploy custom applications from private repositories.

This release consolidated those changes and adds an essential feature for both developers and administrators: enabling people to deploy and manage their apps across multiple Kubernetes clusters. 

Now, all of this is wrapped into a completely revamped UI focused on simplicity and usefulness.

Want to learn more? Keep reading to discover the new Kubeapps features that will help your team boost its performance while deploying applications in production. 

Support for Multi-cluster Environments

As organizations are gradually adopting the model of deploying multiple Kubernetes clusters to improve availability, isolation, and scalability, offering support for multi-cluster environments in Kubeapps was a must.

Kubeapps always offered the possibility of selecting the cluster namespace in which you want to deploy applications, but now, it extends that feature to enable users to select the cluster on which you want to deploy and manage your applications.

With the support of multi-cluster deployments through the Kubeapps UI, users will benefit from:
  • Being able to install and manage their applications across multiple clusters.
  • Configuring which clusters are available for Kubeapps installation (clusters must support OIDC authentication).
  • Team or project isolation: Each team runs its own set of clusters with their Kubeapps configured for those clusters only and deploy its own set of applications.
  • Simplicity in cluster management thanks to the use of separated views depending on the cluster and the selected namespace.

Navigating across the different contexts sets in your environment is as easy as selecting the cluster from the list of available clusters and the namespace you want to check. Then click “Change Context” and start deploying Helm charts and Operators in the selected context. 

A Complete Redesign of the Kubeapps UI

In addition, the team has been working hard on a complete redesign of the Kubeapps user interface using VMware’s Clarity design system. It involves some big changes to the traditional look and feel of the Kubeapps dashboard.

Focused even further on simplicity, the new Kubeapps UI enable users to quickly search for the content they want to deploy in their clusters to customize and update their deployments in an intuitive way among other actions.

These are the latest innovations in the Kubeapps UI that will make deploying applications on Kubernetes even faster and easy:

Find the Content You Want to Deploy in a Second: New Filters in the Catalog View

Now searching for new content to deploy on your cluster is easier than ever before. When you navigate to the Kubeapps “Catalog” you can filter not only by application type – Helm charts or operators – but also by the following criteria:
  • Category
  • Application repository
  • Operator provider
Thus, you can have a quick overview of all the content available in the Kubeapps catalog that addresses your preferences. In addition, the result view will show you on top of the matching list of applications, tags showing the filters you applied:

Check the Application Information Before Deployment

By clicking on a Helm chart or an operator, you will access a screen that will show you a complete summary of that asset. In a single view, you have access to essential information such as the application version, a link to the GitHub repository, maintainers of the application, related information and the README file with instructions for deployment.

Once checked, select the application version and click “Deploy”. On the resulting screen, customize your deployment from the list of available parameters and confirm. In a few minutes, the application you selected will be running on your cluster.

Get the Latest Versions for Your Deployments Faster

Upgrading flag is now clearer and more intuitive. Just move the mouse over it to check which latest version is available: