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The New Stack Update

ISSUE 234: Stateful Workloads Stymied by the Declarative Model?

Talk Talk Talk

“Chaos engineering results in more peace of mind, more resilient systems and processes, and accelerates the production use of Kubernetes for data.”

Karthik Satchitanand, Quality and Automation Lead, MayaData
Add It Up
TIOBE Index for Visual Basic
Visual Basic is remembered as a forerunner to today’s low-code offerings, but it still ranks sixth on the TIOBE Index, which is based on the share of search engine hits for different programming languages. However, actual searches for the programming language have dropped off the map according to Google Trends. In other words, there is a lot of content about Visual Basic, but no one is looking for it.
What's Happening

The struggle is real. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation‘s landscape map has over 1,400 cloud native projects listed on it, across a variety of categories. According to CNCF, the total market cap of the cloud native ecosystem is $20 trillion, which gives you an idea of the scale of cloud business now. So as companies continue their inevitable migration from legacy IT systems to the new cloud native world, they have a mind-boggling number of choices to make. And it’s not just choices about cloud infrastructure and tools, but also how they run IT projects in the cloud era, and how operators and developers are increasingly working together using the DevOps approach.

In this episode of The New Stack Makers, we discuss these and other struggles of the cloud with two GitLab executives: Brandon Jung, vice president of alliances at GitLab, and Pete Goldberg, director of partnerships at GitLab. Both have extensive experience working in the cloud ecosystem, so they were able to provide insights on both the struggles and the solutions.

Struggles of the Cloud — Survival Tactics From Two GitLab Experts

Stateful Workloads Stymied by the Declarative Model?

At The New Stack, we are increasingly looking at the ways in which infrastructure can be provisioned automatically by developers, as well as what the work system administrators need to do to make this happen. Key to this automation, experts say, is the move towards a declarative programming model, in which the needed resources are defined in a declarative model. In Kubernetes' case, this means the use of YAML (Yet Another Markup Language) which can be ingested through configuration tools such as Operators and Helm. Declarative is different from the imperative model, which requires detailed instructions on how to turn on a service, as well as code that will kick in should a failure occur (“port not found”). A declarative operation assumes that if a service isn’t working, Kubernetes just needs to spin up another instance. 

But this declarative approach doesn’t work for all IT resources, noted network analyst Greg Ferro, in a recent episode of his own podcast, “Packet Pushers.” The podcast addresses a different audience than ours — network administrators — who are exploring how to streamline operations through software-defined networking (SDN) tools. This episode centered around the question of why more networks operations aren’t automated.

A declarative approach comes up short when dealing with stateful applications, such as networking, security or storage, Ferro noted. It’s easy to spin up another immutable virtual server with some new configuration change, but this would be a bad security practice when, say, making a change to a firewall, for instance. “I think the challenge here is when you have state, you end up being imperative, whereas most people just want to do declarative,” Ferro said. A service mesh is an example of stateless networking, where configurations are set declaratively. “Where service meshes fail is when you get to an imperative part of the network, where there is hardware, or a gateway, or an exit point, or a logging engine, and you have to work imperatively.”

What do you think? We have a new survey out where we are asking end users about their own progress in automating their infrastructures. If you want to want to participate please drop us a line at:

This Week in Programming: GitHub Steps in Where Docker Hub Left off

Earlier this week, GitHub launched the public beta of GitHub Container Registry. GitHub will provide anonymous access for public container images, which it says it will provide free of charge. The news comes on the heels of last month’s change to the Docker Hub terms of service, as the company introduced rate limits and a timeline for the automatic removal of inactive images. Not that you’d expect GitHub to mention it, but reading the news you might be tempted to think that this is the first alternative to Docker Hub out there, when in fact GitLab has offered this exact functionality since 2016.

Google Launches Confidential VMs, GKE Nodes, to Encrypt Data In-Use

Google is hoping to make confidential computing — the encryption of data in-use — as easy as the click of a button for cloud native users. To this end, the company has released into general availability Confidential Virtual Machines (VMs), unveiled as a beta in July, as well as beta-launched Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) Confidential Nodes. 

AMD hardware has a specific hardware extension called secure encrypted virtualization that very efficiently encrypts a huge amount of memory of VMs. Confidential VMs make it easier to lift-and-shift workloads with compliance requirements into the cloud, one of the primary use cases for confidential computing.

Red Hat Launches an OpenShift-Based Marketplace to Aid Multicloud Portability

With Marketplace, customers use OpenShift as a gateway to access what Red Hat describes as a large selection — totaling 60 — of curated and pre-approved software products. Red Hat says it certifies all software available on Marketplace to run on Red Hat OpenShift, while providing and offering commercial support. Built on the open Kubernetes Operator Framework and an IBM-supported and managed infrastructure, commercial support for automated installations, upgrades, backup and storage, and disaster recovery services is provided, Red Hat said. 

Party On

Java for cloud native — you've got that right! said Alice Lottini (top left) and Chris Splinter (bottom), both of DataStax. 

Phil Prasek of Upbound is The new Stack's guest in this week's episode of the Context podcast.

On The Road
Chaos Conf 2020 // OCT. 06-08, 2020 // VIRTUAL

OCT. 06-08, 2020 // VIRTUAL

Chaos Conf 2020

Chaos! It’s time for the gremlins to play. Join The New Stack at Chaos Conference, the world’s largest chaos engineering event. This year’s event will feature talks by Adrian Cockroft, VP of Cloud Architecture Strategy at AWS, Rachel Obstler, VP of Product at PagerDuty, and Gene Kim, author of The Phoenix ProjectThe Unicorn Project, and co-author of Accelerate. Brought to you by Gremlin, Chaos Conference runs online: October 6-8. Register for FREE now

The New Stack Makers podcast is available on: — Pocket CastsStitcher — Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotifyTuneIn

Technologists building and managing new stack architectures join us for short conversations at conferences out on the tech conference circuit. These are the people defining how applications are developed and managed at scale.
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