When Engine Yard acquired Deis in April, it was a clear sign that the company had an interest in containers. Deis offered a container-based PaaS, and today the company released a package-management system for Kubernetes, known as Helm.
Kubernetes has recently become a popular target for developers and vendors alike looking for a way to manage large herds of Linux containers as if they were smaller groupings, or even single servers. With the release of Helm, Deis hopes to offer Kubernetes users a path to easily download and install Kubernetes-ready containers of existing open-source packages, such as PostgreSQL, Memcached or Varnish.
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Joe Beda, co-creator of Kubernetes, said, “The way Helm applies package management to Kubernetes is a novel concept that has the potential to make Kubernetes much more approachable. I’m thrilled to see the Deis team tackle the curation and distributed sharing of Kubernetes workloads. It’ll be a great way for new users to get started and more experienced users to learn from each other.”
While packaging systems are nothing new to software developers, Kubernetes had not yet received the community love required to build one for the platform. Helm takes its cue from Homebrew, the Mac OS X packaging system, which, in turn, was based on Debian’s apt-get.
Helm not only allows developers to download existing packaged software for Kubernetes, it also allows them to create packages of their own. Each package is called a Chart, and it includes Kubernetes manifest files coupled with descriptive metadata.
Deis and Engine Yard plan to offer a GitHub repository for users to store and collaborate on their Charts. Helm is available today, and is open source.