Cloud Native Computing Foundation Graduate Package Manager • DEVCLASS


Helm, a package manager for the Kubernetes ecosystem, has nested in the Linux Foundation’s cloud-native branch, CNCF, after a solid two years in its incubator.

The new position at the top level of foundation projects indicates that Helm, the tenth project to graduate, is now mature enough to be adopted by the majority of enterprise users and has implemented foundation best practices in various fields. Graduation criteria include the adoption of a code of conduct, a completed independent security audit, and a defined code governance and engagement process.

Other than that, projects must have committers from at least two organizations as a sign of vendor independence, a publicly available list of adopters, and a core infrastructure initiative best practices badge to join. Kubernetes, Prometheus and Co.

According to the project announcement blog, Helm started in 2015 as a hackathon project at startup Deis, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2017. Its creators initially aimed to make it easier to deploy cloud-native applications for new Kubernetes users and provide enterprise-wide package management.

“Our goal was to be for Kubernetes what homebrew is for macOS, apt-get for Debian/Ubuntu and Chocolatey for Windows”, wrote Bar designer Matt Butcher. His team’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed for long, with Helm becoming a Kubernetes subproject in 2016.

After reaching this milestone, it was only a matter of time before Helm entered the Cloud Native Computing Foundation incubator, which eventually happened in 2018 with a variety of sub-projects. Major users include IBM, Samsung SDS and (of course) Microsoft.

In 2019, the Helm team released version 3 of their project, which brought some long-awaited improvements like a new upgrade strategy, and also saw them get rid of Tiller, which is supposed to provide the project a simplified security model, among other things.

According to Butcher, investigations into the next major release have already begun, though the project “will continue our unwavering commitment to stability and compatibility from one major release to the next.”

It remains to be seen how the future will end up looking, as the CNCF announced that it was working on a new artifact center earlier this year. The new initiative brought together representatives from Helm, Operator Framework, and KUDA, so groups currently offering some kind of artifact hub, and supposedly aims to present users with a new central access point for packages and other artifacts.

It will be interesting to know where that leaves the more established vendors, as there probably isn’t much point in having both. After all, Helm wouldn’t be the first CNCF project to conform to a larger vision. OpenTracing, for example, was merged with OpenCensus and is now known as OpenTelemetry, which sounds like an approach that would fit the idea of ​​the CNCF Artifact Hub.


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