Kubernetes version 1.19 finally released

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After a postponed release date due to, among other things, the current pandemic, version 1.19 of container orchestration platform Kubernetes was released. Version 1.19 includes an extension of the support policy for patches, functionality around REST APIs and storage.

The latest version of Kubernetes has been delayed by several months. It should help developers and administrators manage the application lifecycle. In Kubernetes version 1.19 a total of 34 improvements have been implemented. Ten of these are in a ‘stable version’, 15 in a beta version and 9 in an alpha version.

Extended support period

One of the most important improvements is that as of this release patch support will be extended from nine months to a year. Especially for companies that work directly with Kubernetes instead of using a supplier’s platform, this is great news. Due to the extended support they will have more time to implement updates.

The extension of the support period is a result of a survey by Kubernetes developers into the experience of upgrading. The survey showed that many Kubernetes users failed to update their version within the set nine months.

Eventually, if the support period was extended to 12 – 14 months, 80 to 90 percent of the users would run a supported version. The Kubernetes developers eventually opted for a support period of one year because this is actually the normal standard within the IT world.

New policy REST APIs

Another important update concerns a new policy for REST APIs. This policy is now released in beta and should become standard from version 1.20. The new policy is that developers now have nine months to make their APIs publicly available or release a new beta, to prevent interfaces staying in beta too long. If not, the REST API will be rejected at the end of the nine-month period.

When disapproved REST APIs are used, Kubernetes version 1.19 gives a warning to the developers with the possible removal date and replacement APIs if available. Command-line tool Kubectl has already been updated and will have two experimental debugging workflows for workloads and for nodes.

Updates for storage

Version 1.19 also comes with a storage update. This latest release now offers an alpha version for tracking storage capacity. Specifically, this is an API for a CSI driver that reports on the storage capacity. The collected information is used in the Kubernetes scheduler when a particular node or pod is used. This helps to dynamically configure local volumes in the network.

Other storage alpha versions include generic ephemeral volumes for scratch storage and health monitoring of CSI volumes.

More functionality updates

Other updates within Kubernetes version 1.19 are stable and now widely available versions of the Ingress API, a secure computing mode, structured logging and new klogs. Also, Endpoint Slice, a scalable alternative to the Endpoint API, is now enabled by default in Kubernetes. This means that cube proxy reads from that point, instead of using Endpoints. This results for example in more scalability in large clusters.

Kubernetes version 1.19 is available immediately via GitHub.

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