Thursday, November 30, 2023

Deploy Continuously Updated Apps into AKS Clusters with Bitnami and Azure Kubernetes Applications

A few months ago, we  announced the release of a set of Bitnami solutions packaged in the form of Azure Marketplace Kubernetes (AKS) applications. 

We are proud to continue our partnership with Azure, taking a step forward to provide users with the latest, most convenient, and secure method to install software on Kubernetes: Azure Kubernetes applications. These applications replace Bitnami’s prior offerings of Helm charts and container images in the Azure Marketplace to simplify the provisioning of AKS clusters, enabling one-click deployments directly from the Azure Marketplace user interface (UI). Furthermore, users can install Kubernetes apps using the CLI, providing flexibility in deployment methods according on their needs.   

Keep reading to learn the benefits of deploying Azure Kubernetes applications packaged by Bitnami and how to get started through the Azure Marketplace.  

What are Azure Kubernetes applications? 

Azure Kubernetes applications, introduced by Microsoft Cloud Marketplace for AKS in 2022, that enable partners to develop, release, and manage Kubernetes solutions for the Microsoft Azure marketplace. This new offering brings seamless deployment to the Azure Kubernetes Service along with flexible billing options.  

These Kubernetes applications are packaged using Cloud Native Application Bundles (CNAB), an open source package format specification for bundling and installing distributed applications adopted by notable open source software providers such as Isovalent, Cast AI, Weaveworks, and Bitnami.  

There are many benefits for Microsoft Azure partners when packaging their Helm charts and containers as Kubernetes applications, but let’s see how these translate into advantages for users. 

Streamlined deployment of open source solutions  

Previously, deploying Bitnami Helm charts on Azure Kubernetes Service was a tedious task that involved many steps going back and forth between the terminal and the Azure Marketplace UI.  

Now with Azure Kubernetes Applications, both the deployment and lifecycle management of applications is much simpler, enhancing the productivity of development and operations teams. 

Simplified configuration and deployment 

Development environments on Azure Marketplace and Bitnami-packaged open- source applications come with the necessary dependencies and pre-configurations to deploy them with the assurance of working out-of-the-box without the need for additional configurations. Added to this, Azure Kubernetes applications simplify the process of provisioning and deploying an application on an AKS cluster.  

Now, run an AKS cluster and deploy a Kubernetes application is as simple as activating a checkbox and entering a few parameters in the UI. Furthermore, in the same process you will be able to resolve all dependencies, set the application parameters, and automate its upgrades, all in one go.   

Streamlined Day 2 operations 

Azure Marketplace Kubernetes applications automate application lifecycle management, including the ability to enable automated minor upgrades at deployment time, ensuring users always have the latest application version without additional effort.  

Stronger security 

Selecting a "Kubernetes application packaged by Bitnami" in the Azure Marketplace ensures you receive the latest version of the application, packaged with industry-standard security best practices. Additionally, all new packages undergo CVE scanning to identify critical vulnerabilities before being published. If critical vulnerabilities are detected, the application won't be published until Bitnami resolves the issue by updating the application code to the latest upstream version, mitigating risks associated with using open source software. 

Reduced billing and consumption 

All Bitnami applications available in the Azure Marketplace are free.  

Get started with Azure Kubernetes applications packaged by Bitnami through the Azure Marketplace 

To get Bitnami solutions packaged as Azure Kubernetes applications, follow the steps below: 

  1. Navigate to the Azure portal and click “Marketplace”.  
  2. In the search bar, enter “Bitnami”. In the resulting screen you will see a list of all the solutions offered by Bitnami. (Optionally, you can get a list of all Kubernetes applications available in the Azure Marketplace by searching for “kubernetesapp”). 
  3. In the left-side menu, filter by “Containers”. It will display all the Bitnami solutions available as Kubernetes applications. The following example shows how to deploy NGINX Open Source packaged by Bitnami, but as you can see in the video at the end of this section, there are many other applications available that are equally easy to set up.