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InfoQ Homepage News Amazon EKS Announces Support for Kubernetes 1.22

Amazon EKS Announces Support for Kubernetes 1.22

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The Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) team announced support for Kubernetes 1.22. This Kubernetes version - released in August 2021 - comes with stable credential plugins, server-side apply, Windows related enhancements, and security features in the Kubernetes control plane.

The 1.22 release was the first longer-cycle release after the release cadence changed from 4 to 3 annually. This release had 53 enhancements, out of which 13 enhancements moved to stable. Several beta APIs were replaced with their GA versions. The credential plugins feature set moved to stable. Credential plugins enable integration of the Kubernetes client library and tools that use it with authentication protocols that are not natively supported by the library. These tools include kubectl and kubelet. The stable version provides improved support for interactive login flows for such plugins.

Another significant feature that graduated to GA in 1.22 was Server-side apply. The official Kubernetes blog notes that "Server-side Apply replaces the client side apply feature implemented by 'kubectl apply' with a server-side implementation, permitting use by tools/clients other than kubectl". There are also Windows-related enhancements and security features in the Kubernetes control plane.

Kubernetes's underlying object store etcd moved to 3.5.0 in this release, with improvements to security, performance, and monitoring. The EKS announcement explains that "in the release process for Amazon EKS 1.22, the intention was to ship with the latest and greatest version of etcd, 3.5.2 (which is recommended for Kubernetes 1.22)". However, the initial launch of Amazon EKS 1.22 uses etcd v3.4 as a backend to avoid some data consistency issues in newer versions.

Amazon EKS is also ending support for Dockershim. Most major Kubernetes service providers are doing this after the core Kubernetes project announced it as part of the move to using standardized implementations. The standardization efforts to define interfaces between the Kubernetes agent (kubelet) and the container runtime had culminated in the Container Runtime Interface (CRI). containerd and CRI-O are alternative available runtimes in place of Dockershim, with EKS and GKE using containerd as the default. The EKS team plans to remove support for Dockershim in the next major release (1.23). They have provided a tool to detect usage of Docker socket (an indicator that the Docker daemon is running) to make the transition easier.

As part of this announcement, EKS also includes 1.22 in EKS Anywhere and Amazon EKS Distro - which allows users to run Kubernetes clusters on-premises on their own cloud or data centers.

Managed Kubernetes vendors usually add support for a stable Kubernetes version while still maintaining the last few older versions. GKE introduced 1.22 in October and Azure Kubernetes Service in December last year. It is the latest stable version available on GKE. This Kubernetes release is also supported in RedHat's OpenShift Container Platform 4.9.


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