Kubernetes 1.18: Buffing up the leading container orchestrator

There are no new major features in this Kubernetes release, but many users will be just fine with that.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Kubernetes is the container orchestrator we all love. But it's not unconditional love. Some users were a bit overwhelmed with the last release's Container Storage Interface (CSI) infrastructure update, which required clusters to be explicitly updated. So, some folks are very happy to see that Kubernetes 1.18 is much more of a "fit and finish" release. 

In this release, much work has been done with improving beta and stable features to ensure users have a better experience. Looking ahead, the developers are focusing on adding features, which will make Kubernetes easier to manage. 

For instance, the kubectl, the Kubernetes command-line, is finally getting a debug utility. While only in alpha in this release, I know many DevOps people are ready and eager to get any debug help they can for working with their Pods inside the cluster. It does this spinning up a temporary clone container, which runs next to the Pod one you're trying to work on. It also attaches to the console for interactive troubleshooting.

Another useful change is the second beta of Serverside Apply. This new version will track and manage changes to fields of all new Kubernetes objects. That means you can track who's changed your resources and when.
Windows Kubernetes users -- yes there are some -- will be happy to see 1.18 comes with alpha Windows CSI support. This is done with a CSI Proxy for Windows and enables non-privileged (pre-approved) containers to perform privileged storage operations.

Kubernetes 1.18 is barely out the door, and it's already being released by vendors. Indeed, CanonicalUbuntu Linux's parent company, jumped the gun and has already rolled out its version. Canonical is supporting Kubernetes 1.18 across its entire Kubernetes product family including Charmed Kubernetes, MicroK8s, and kubeadm

All of this, in turn, will be available in Canonical's soon-to-be-released Ubuntu 20.04 Long Term Support version. This release will also include Multus, a container network interface (CNI), which enables the creation of multiple virtual network interfaces on Kubernetes pods. Kubernetes CSI on Ubuntu will also support Canonical's CephFS storage platform. The CIS benchmark 1.5 security guidelines will also be supported.

Kubernetes 1.18 is available for download. To get started with Kubernetes, check out these interactive tutorials or run local Kubernetes clusters using Docker container "nodes" with kind. You can also easily install 1.18 using kubeadm.

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