Monday, December 14, 2020

Two new videos about VMware Tanzu Application Catalog now online

You may have caught the news earlier this year about the exciting launch of VMware Tanzu™ Application Catalog™, Bitnami's customizable catalog of enterprise-ready containers and Helm charts (also known by its acronym TAC). Built on over a decade of experience maintaining Bitnami Community Catalog, TAC combines the same self-service experience that developers love with customization and compliance features that make security teams very happy.

Much of Tanzu Application Catalog's value for enterprise customers lies in its flexibility for multiple use cases and its ability to be used with other VMware Tanzu products. To that end, our VMware Technical Product Marketing Manager and all-around Tanzu expert Tony Vetter has produced two great overview videos: in the first one he discusses three ways to deploy software from TAC, and in the other he highlights the benefits of using TAC together with another product called VMware Tanzu™ Build Service™.

Video: Three Methods for Deploying Secure Open Source Applications with VMware Tanzu Application Catalog

In this video, Tony walks through practical examples of how you can use Tanzu Application Catalog to deploy software in three different ways. First, he uses a Helm chart delivered privately in a TAC Helm registry. Second, he shows how you can use a custom YAML template you wrote yourself. Finally, he demonstrates how to use TAC Helm charts through a Kubeapps graphical user interface. Follow along as Tony quickly walks through the ins and outs of each approach.

Video: Improving Container Security with VMware Tanzu Build Service and VMware Tanzu Application Catalog 

In this second video, Tony showcases the security benefits you can realize by combing TAC with Tanzu Build Service (TBS). Both solutions enable you to deliver a continuous stream of images to your continuous delivery system: TAC for your open source micro-services from third parties, and TBS for applications you created yourself. Both solutions working together also deliver an ideal scenario in which you have rich metadata about all the containers that are being used for development and deployment in production environments. Check out the video below for more details.

We hope you find these videos informative! For further reading, be sure to visit the Bitnami Tutorials page where you can find a host of useful walkthroughs on deploying containers and Helm charts from Bitnami Community Catalog and our enterprise Tanzu Application Catalog. For more Tony Vetter awesomeness, check out his pages in the Tanzu blog and Tanzu Developer Center.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Deploy your favorite Bitnami containers directly from the new Amazon Elastic Container Registry Public

By Brad Bock, Senior Manager Product Marketing for Bitnami Community Catalog

It has always been Bitnami’s mission to make our library of open source software as accessible to developers as possible. In keeping with that tradition, we are excited to share that we have published the entire Bitnami Community Catalog library of open source containers in the recently announced Amazon Elastic Container Registry Public (ECR Public). Bitnami container images in ECR Public can be downloaded and deployed anywhere using the familiar Docker pull command; no AWS account or other authentication needed.
Search results for Bitnami apps in ECR Public

Using Bitnami software in ECR Public is easy. Simply navigate to the ECR Public Gallery page and do a quick search for Bitnami. You will see that over 180 results come back - all the Bitnami-packaged open source applications and building blocks you know and love. 

New registry, same Bitnami usability and best practices

Each container listing in ECR Public has its own page that can be accessed through the gallery. For Bitnami container images, we populate each page with detailed information on how to use that particular application or app building block. There are also links to our extensive documentation for more information about every container Bitnami publishes.
Bitnami's PostgreSQL page in ECR Public

If you click the Image Tags tab in any of the Bitnami pages, you will see that for each image we publish multiple versions and tags. For applications with multiple versions continuously supported by their upstream projects, we typically package and continuously update images for each version. This eliminates version compatibility issues that may arise if you are already using a certain version of an application and want to switch to Bitnami-packaged containers.

On the Bitnami PostgreSQL page, for example, you can see by looking at the Image Tags tab that we support versions 9 through 13. Additionally, you will see that we use a variety of rolling and immutable tags in order to support using the containers in development and production scenarios.
PostgreSQL rolling and immutable image tags

In order to ensure that the system packages and bundled components are always the latest and most secure versions, we rebuild and release our entire container library in ECR Public every day. To learn more about how you can leverage image tagging and other best practices applied to Bitnami containers, see our recent tutorial about best practices for securing and hardening container images.

Try Bitnami containers from ECR Public for yourself

For a very simple demonstration of how you can use Bitnami containers from ECR Public, let’s deploy Drupal in your local environment using the Bitnami Drupal container and Bitnami MariaDB container.

To follow these instructions you will need a computer with a Unix command line that has Docker environment and CURL installed.

First, create a directory for Drupal and change to that directory:

$ mkdir drupal && cd drupal

Now, download the Bitnami Drupal docker-compose file from GitHub:

$ curl -sSL > docker-compose.yml

Now let’s take a look at the file you downloaded:

$ nano docker-compose.yml

You will notice two images specified in the drupal.image and mariadb.image lines in the docker-compose.yml file, both coming from Bitnami’s content library in Docker Hub.

docker-compose.yml with images sourced from Docker Hub

You can make two very simple edits to this file to pull those containers from ECR Public instead of Docker Hub.

First, navigate to the Bitnami Drupal page in ECR Public gallery. Notice that you can click a link near the top to automatically copy the URL you can use to pull this image.
Bitnami's Drupal listing in ECR Public

Click on the auto-copy link. Go back to your terminal and replace the URL in the drupal.image line with the URL you just copied from the Drupal container page in ECR Public (the next screenshot below will show the file with the completed edits).

Next, you will do the same thing for the MariaDB image - navigate to the Bitnami MariaDB page in ECR Public and click the auto-copy link near the top of the page.
Bitnami's MariaDB listing in ECR Public

Go back to your terminal and replace the mariadb.image line with the URL you just copied from the MariaDB container page in ECR Public.
docker-compose.yml with ECR Public images added

Now exit and save your changes to the docker-compose.yml file by typing ctrl-x, typing y to save your changes, and enter to use the same filename.

You are now ready to deploy the application. Type:

$ docker-compose up -d

As the application goes through the process of starting up, you will see that the Drupal and MariaDB images are pulled from ECR Public registry.
Output of containers being built from ECR Public images

Once the initialization process has completed, navigate to localhost in your browser and you will see that your Drupal instance is now up and running! To log into your Drupal instance, enter the default username user and default password bitnami.

To read up on a host of other details about how to use Bitnami’s Drupal container, check out this guide. Once you are done using the Drupal instance you deployed in this walkthrough, you can stop the containers by executing docker-compose down from the directory where the docker-compose.yml file is.

Learn more and give us a shout

It is our hope that by publishing the Bitnami Community Catalog library of high quality, expertly packaged and maintained apps and building blocks in ECR Public, we are helping developers get up and running quickly in this new and important source for consuming all kinds of software. 

For a host of information and tutorials about using Bitnami containers and Helm charts in Kubernetes, check out our tutorials page. And if you are looking for a customized catalog of production-ready containers and Helm charts, be sure and read up on our enterprise product Tanzu Application Catalog.

Have more questions or comments about using Bitnami Community Catalog containers? Come visit us and the Bitnami developer community in our community pages!

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: