Announcing Kubernetes Off-The-Shelf (KOTS) Software

Grant Miller
Nov 7, 2019

Today Replicated is announcing its new Replicated KOTS platform. Replicated KOTS provides software vendors with the tools they need to operationalize and scale the distribution of their Kubernetes application into enterprise environments. Those tools include Kubernetes-native versions of release channels, customer license management, automated troubleshooting and a nextgen end-customer admin experience.

what we do

From Solid Foundations

The core Replicated features of release channels, customer management and troubleshooting have been at the foundation of the Replicated platform since its inception 5 years ago. These features, paired with the first generation end-customer admin experience (Replicated Classic) have established Replicated as the category creator and leader of modern on-prem distribution. By selling its platform to many leading software vendors (including HashiCorp, CircleCI, Gradle, Snyk, GitPrime, Sysdig, Wickr, SignalSciences and many others), Replicated has managed to distribute these applications into 1,500 enterprises, including 50 of the Fortune 100.

Kubernetes-native Delivery

The next generation of Replicated, called KOTS (a Kubernetes play on the term COTS: Commercial Off-The-Shelf Software) transitions “on-prem software” to the Kubernetes age. KOTS provides vendors with a Kubernetes-native solution for delivering software into existing clusters, automating many of the tasks that both vendors and enterprises could do for manual deployments. In addition, Replicated KOTS enables vendors to easily package an upstream, and fully-supported distro of Kubernetes with their application for enterprises who are not yet fully on the Kubernetes bandwagon.

Once deployed, KOTS provides a nextgen admin experience designed to meet the needs of a wide spectrum of enterprise IT admins. This means that admins who prefer a “click-to-deploy” experience can quickly get the application configured and deployed using step-through configuration, automated preflight checks and 1-click updates.

bigApp enterprise example

The Most Advanced Admin Options

Where KOTS really innovates is in its features for more advanced cluster operators. KOTS does so by providing integrations that set up the application for automated day-2 operations. To start, KOTS provides cluster operators with the ability to make last-mile configuration changes as Kustomize overlays that will persist through application updates. Next, KOTS integrates with internal enterprise image registries to piggy-back on the image scanning that most enterprises do with these tools. Additionally, IT admins can consolidate KOTS application updates to be automatically versioned through an internal version control system like GitHub Enterprise or GitLab, enabling GitOps for 3rd-party applications. Finally, as enterprises adopt this new approach they can easily extend the platform to manage multiple applications and multiple environments through the use of a single deployment of KOTS.

Based on an Open Source Core

At the heart of Replicated’s new platform is a suite of new open source projects that we’re also announcing today.

  • Kots (source) – an open source Kubectl plugin for installing Kubernetes Off-The-Shelf Software into an existing Kubernetes cluster.
  • Kotsadm (source)- an open source side-car admin console for managing KOTS applications. Kotsadm provides a “click-to-deploy” or “automated day 2 operations” administrative experience for any KOTS application.
  • Preflight (source)- an open source Kubectl plugin for executing preflight checks against an existing cluster to ensure that it meets the vendor’s conformance requirements.
  • Support-bundle (source) – an open source Kubectl plugin for troubleshooting Kubernetes applications by collecting files, logs, output from commands etc specified by the vendor and processing them for common issues and the redaction of sensitive data.
  • Unfork (source) – an open source Kubectl plugin for analyzing Kubernetes clusters for forked versions of Helm charts and producing the equivalent Kustomize patches.
  • kURL (source)- an open source Kubernetes distro creator that allows for versioned and custom overlays on top of upstream Kubernetes powered by Kubeadm. KOTS leverages kURL to provide an embedded Kubernetes experience for end-customers who do not have an existing cluster to deploy to.

Available Today

Rather than every Kubernetes software vendor building tools to satisfy the various needs of their enterprise customers, they can now have the option of leveraging the work that Replicated has done in this area. From the vendor’s perspective, they’re now able to focus on the core functionality of their application, while Replicated ensures it is delivered successfully to their enterprise customers. From the enterprise IT admin’s perspective, they’re able to receive applications in a way that meets their internal requirements.

To try the new Replicated KOTS platform, sign up for an account and start integrating your Kubernetes application today.