Helm package manager for Kubernetes goes ahead

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The official version 3.0 release of Helm Package Manager for Kubernetes is designed to make it easier for IT organizations to discover and securely deploy software on Kubernetes clusters.

Taylor Thomas, a senior contributor to Helm who is also a software developer for Nike, says that since last year the committee that oversees the development of Helm under the auspices of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) has structured the manager of packages to rely on more of the application programming interfaces (APIs) that Kubernetes exposes to store installation records. Helm charts, which are collections of YAML files describing a related set of Kubernetes resources, can now be rendered on the client, eliminating the need for the Tiller resource management tool residing in the previous version of Helm which is was running on the Kubernetes cluster.

In addition to providing a more secure way to render Helm charts, Thomas says this approach provides a more streamlined mechanism for packaging software using Helm. Helm 3.0 also updates the Helm charts and associated libraries.
Additionally, a revamped Helm Go SDK is designed to make Helm more accessible, with the goal of sharing and reusing code that the Helm community has open source with the larger Go community, explains Thomas.

Going forward, Thomas says the Helm community will focus primarily on Helm’s stability and improvements to existing functionality. Additional features in the Helm Roadmap include improved functionality for Helm Test, tighter integration with the container format specified by the Open Container Initiative (OCI), and improved functionality for Go client libraries.

Helm was one of the first instances of Package Manager for Kubernetes, but adoption has been patchy at best. Alternative approaches to Helm include Terraform from HashiCorp, as well as tools from vendors such as Rancher Labs that make it easier to use and consume the Helm charts that are often stored on Helm Hub.

The development of Helm is mainly driven by Microsoft, IBM, Blood Orange and Samsung SDS, the technology services arm of Samsung. Since its first alpha release, Helm 3 has benefited from contributions from 38 members of the Helm community. Over 500 community members have contributed to the Helm CLI code since its inception.

Many IT teams rely on Helm not only to package software to deploy to Kubernetes, but also to configure Kubernetes. Less clear, however, is the number of IT teams that will interact directly with Helm compared to another tool that ignores many of the heavier workflow processes associated with using Helm charts.

Whichever path you choose, the only thing that is clear is that as the typical IT administrator is tasked with managing Kubernetes clusters, the more likely they will be looking for a richer graphical user experience than Helm does. currently provides.

Nonetheless, Helm has already become a staple among early Kubernetes users, who are likely to see Helm 3.0 as a significant step up from the previous generation.


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