Google announces Skaffold automation tool for Kubernetes

Google recently introduced a new open source, automation tool called Skaffold, which the company said facilitates continuous development for Kubernetes applications.

Kubernetes is an open source platform that manages containerized workloads and services, where a container serves as a kind of isolated environment with all the resources needed to run an application. Google engineers originally designed the open source system. Regarded as the de facto standard of container orchestration, Kubernetes has been embraced by the industry at large, including tech giants like Oracle, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Docker.

The purpose of Skaffold is to help developers with continuous development for Kubernetes
applications. Once a developer understands how Kubernetes works, they have to actuate Kubernetes APIs to accomplish various goals. The process consists of multiple steps, including: finding and launching a Kubernetes cluster; building and uploading Docker images to a registry; as well as creating and deploying application definitions with kubectl command line interface (CLI) or Kubernetes Dashboard. What Skaffold does is automate the workflow for building, pushing and deploying applications.

“With Skaffold, developers can iterate on application source code locally while having it continually updated and ready for validation or testing in their local or remote Kubernetes clusters,” wrote Vic Iglesias, a solutions architect at Google, in a company blog post. “Having the development workflow automated saves time in development and increases the quality of the application through its journey to production.”

By automating repetitive tasks, Skaffold is intended to reduce the complexity of operating Kubernetes in production, which was cited as a concern in a Platform9 survey consisting of feedback from over 200 respondents. Other concerns about Kubernetes noted in the survey included managing multi-cloud or hybrid environments as well as running stateful and data-intensive workloads with the open source platform.

Among other chief features and capabilities of Skaffold include: no cluster overhead due to a lack of server side-components; image tag management; support for existing tools and workflows; and the ability to automatically detect changes in source code.

The release follows Google recently announcing it is providing mobile game developers access to Google Maps data to create game worlds based on real-life map information. The search engine giant also deployed a new software development kit (SDK) for a popular game engine called Unity to make it easier to add mapping data into games.

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