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InfoQ Homepage News KubeVela Announces 1.2: Application-Centric Multi-Cluster Control Plane with Extensible Engine

KubeVela Announces 1.2: Application-Centric Multi-Cluster Control Plane with Extensible Engine

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KubeVela is a modern application delivery platform that makes shipping applications across hybrid, multi-cloud environments easier and faster. The OAM community released version 1.2 of the KubeVela project in Jan 2022, bringing a new GUI framework VelaX, unified multi-cluster management capabilities, and an extensible design with an addon ecosystem.

InfoQ interviewed Jianbo Sun, co-creator and maintainer of the OAM community.

InfoQ: OAM joined the CNCF as a CNCF sandbox project in 2021. Can you elaborate on the technical evolution of subprojects OAM spec and KubeVela after they became a CNCF sandbox project?

Jianbo Sun: OAM and KubeVela were introduced to solve the challenges of modern application management.

Generally, modern applications consist of different infrastructure configurations and APIs, while these heterogeneous application parts are hard to connect together. As a result, infrastructure was inconsistent and it’s difficult to establish common change management.

The OAM is the model of the application; it provides a common interface that can glue different kinds of configurations and APIs together. This also means OAM can be the source of truth of one application. KubeVela is widely known as the implementation of OAM; it's also the enforcement of the delivery process which can keep the production change stable and safe.

After OAM and KubeVela became CNCF projects, we received lots of adoptions and more than 100 contributors proposed their ideas. As more and more enterprises adopt the cloud, hybrid and distributed cloud will certainly become the future norm. In KubeVela v1.1, the architecture has been upgraded to a hybrid cloud and multi-cluster control plane. It provides a delivery workflow that natively supports multi-cluster application delivery and management.

At the beginning of 2022, KubeVela released v1.2 and provided the new GUI project VelaUX. It provides a convenient choice to reduce developers' learning curve by providing an easy-to-use web console. The KubeVela community has been asking for the web console since its inception. KubeVela 1.2 brings the new GUI to help developers to orchestrate and compose heterogeneous applications in a standard way. 

Users can manage addons, connect Kubernetes clusters, distribute delivery targets, set up environments, deploy all kinds of apps, monitor runtime status, and achieve full lifecycle management of application delivery.



InfoQ: KubeVela introduces front-end framework VelaX and extensible design to customize the platform and extend the addon ecosystem. How will this be more competitive than traditional PaaS?

Jianbo Sun: The traditional PaaS usually integrated the underlying capabilities with the web console in a hard code way. They provide good user experience while it takes so long to add new features and extend by users due to the closed architecture.

VelaUX is the frontend project of KubeVela; it dynamically provides the GUI elements with the extensible backend capabilities. To achieve this, we have designed the frontend description spec UISchema with X-Definition, and multi-dimensional query language VelaQL. This design makes the web console consistent with the heterogenous application delivery architecture of KubeVela.

As a result, KubeVela can easily extend its capabilities along with its UI style. In the 1.2 release, we also provide the addon system to allow users to extend the system capabilities as addons. The VelaUX itself is also an addon using the same mechanism. Everyone is welcome to contribute more addons by sending pull requests to the catalog repo.

Moreover, the VelaUX is designed as a hybrid cloud and multi-cluster control plane. It integrates with OCM and Terraform tightly to achieve multi-cluster and multi-cloud management. It can also be easily integrated with other technologies due to its addon design systems.

InfoQ: OAM spec is a brand-new specification that also introduces some new concepts. Will this bring more complexity and learning curves to the development and maintenance of the existing projects?

Jianbo Sun: OAM brings some new concepts to simplify the complexity and abstract the underlying infrastructure. With the rapid growth of the cloud-native ecosystem, there are thousands of new technologies emerging. OAM aims to glue these technologies to enable users to manage their projects in a unified abstraction. Developers only need to learn OAM concepts once to handle complicated business requirements.

As for the existing projects, KubeVela integrates with the existing infrastructure and technology very well. Users can use their own CI systems. For example, they can use Jenkins or other image registry webhooks to trigger the application delivery by KubeVela. Users can also deploy different kinds of artifacts such as container images, helm charts, cloud resources, or Kubernetes YAML out of the box.

It takes zero effort to integrate Kubernetes CRD controller or Terraform resources with KubeVela. In other words, there won't be any migration concerns when adopting KubeVela if your existing projects have relied on Kubernetes or cloud resources.

You can learn more about the 1.2 release from this blog. Get started with KubeVela by following the Quick Start and demo.

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