release roundup april

Last month we kicked off this new regular blog series where we update you on some of the exciting capabilities newly available in KOTS (Kubernetes Off-The-Shelf), kURL, and Vendor Web. We’re back with new release highlights for April 2021, so let’s take a look at some of our recently shipped features and release highlights below.

KOTS: Improved Preflight UX & Performance

It’s always recommended to run Preflight checks before deployment, as they provide end users clear feedback on any missing requirements or incompatibilities in the target environment before the application is deployed. 

While users of the KOTS Admin UI would see a spinner indicating these tests were running, there wasn’t a lot of visual feedback on what was running, or how long it might take. That made the big “skip preflights” button all the more tempting to press. 

As of KOTS v1.36.0, users deploying via the UI will now see a progress bar to indicate progress on the execution of Preflight checks, as well as information about the collector currently running. 

Preflight Checks

Now if a user does choose to skip the preflights before they are completed, they will see a warning that this isn’t recommended. Users are still able to choose to proceed. 

Warning

Additionally, we’ve made performance improvements to Preflight checks that result in them completing faster overall. 

KOTS: Ability to Leverage Read-Only Production Registries for Installs/Updates

Registry Disable

Some enterprise customers have strict production environment processes, whereby no production process can write to production-related registries. Previously KOTS required that application image associated registries be both read and write. 

As of KOTS v1.38.0, it is now possible to configure kotsadm to use application images from a private registry that only has read-only access, in both online and airgap deployments. This feature requires that an external business process, such as a controlled production DevOps pipeline, exists outside of KOTS to ensure that all appropriate images are loaded into the production registry. 

New capabilities added in support of this feature include a new Registry Images Troubleshoot collector that will attempt to get the image manifest to validate its expected existence in the registry. A new Registry Images Troubleshoot analyzer is available to check the output of the collector and provide a set of predefined results at installation/upgrade time. Additionally, support for the –-disable-image-push flag is now available for the kots install and kots upstream upgrade commands. 

KOTS: New CLI Capabilities Available 

Recent releases of KOTS have also added new capabilities to the KOTS CLI.

New --deploy and --skip-preflights flags are available with the kots upload CLI command. Read more in the KOTS CLI documentation (available as of KOTS v1.34.0). Special thanks to Michael Smith for his community contribution! 

New CLI commands are available to configure AWS, other S3, GCP, and Azure as KOTS Snapshot storage destinations (available as of KOTS v1.38.0). The addition of these CLI commands means that KOTS Admin now supports backup configuration via the UI or the CLI. 

The kots install command and kots upstream upgrade command now support the --disable-image-push flag as highlighted in the “Ability to Leverage Read-Only Registries for Installs/Updates” feature update above (available as of KOTS v1.38.0)

kURL: New CNI Option Available

Antrea

Antrea is now available as a CNI (Container Networking Interface) plugin alternative to Weave. Like Weave, Antrea encrypts inter-node traffic by default with IPSec and includes a Network Policy controller. See the kURL Antrea Add-on documentation

kURL: Additional Host Preflights and New Documentation

For the past month, kURL has included a new feature called Host Preflights, which helps to validate that the hostVM is sufficiently provisioned and configured to successfully install kURL. We are continuing to refine and evolve this feature by adding tests for things like required ports.

We’ve recently added new Preflights documentation that helps explain what Host Preflights are running, which are conditional or add-on, and how warnings/errors can be bypassed.

Vendor Web: Functionality Enhancements

It’s now quick and easy to promote an older release within the UI via a new “Promote Release” button on the Release View page.

Vendor Release

It’s now possible to download customer license information from Vendor Web using the new “Download CSV” button on the Customers page. 

Download CSV

Vendor Web: Improved Performance

In late March, we optimized the performance of the Vendor Web front-end code. Vendors, particularly those with a large number of releases and channels, should notice faster load times on pages like login, release management, and channel management.

We’ll be back next month with brand new release highlights. Until then, want to learn more about these features and how Replicated makes it easier to manage Day 2 of the application lifecycle? Click here to schedule a demo.