Replicated Recent Release Highlights - October 2023

Nikki Rouda
Oct 6, 2023

Monthly Release Highlights Blog - October 2023

Our Product and Engineering teams are relishing a crisp breeze of new features. It’s time for another fresh batch of exciting new capabilities available in the Replicated platform. Check out the recently shipped features and release highlights for October 2023 below.

What’s New for Compatibility Matrix (BETA)

Compatibility Matrix now supports upgrading kURL clusters. 

Sometimes Kubernetes behaves differently when you upgrade vs during a new install, but you need to be able to handle both scenarios smoothly. This feature enables you to install a specific version of kURL, then your application, and then upgrade to a newer version of kURL on the same cluster. The goal here is to give you a method to test your version upgrades before shipping them to your customers.

Compatibility Matrix now creates OpenShift clusters quickly

Until now, OpenShift clusters have been slow to create, even in Compatibility Matrix. We've been working to improve this startup time in order to make OpenShift easy to use in a CI workflow. Now, many OpenShift clusters will create quickly in Compatibility Matrix (under a minute). If you've been waiting to add OpenShift to your CI, it's ready now.

Compatibility Matrix now supports new environments

As part of our goal to enable release testing for most common customer-representative environments, we are rapidly expanding our coverage of Kubernetes distros, versions, managed services, platforms, and instances. A list of all instance types currently supported with Compatibility Matrix is available in the docs.

Here are some of the latest additions:

  • Added more Intel and Arm instance types for Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) - Before this change, you could only select m6i.* instance types for EKS clusters. Now we support the latest generation (m7i) and also AWS Graviton Arm-based processor instances from the m7g family. Currently EKS clusters support the following instance types (and pricing is published): m6i.large, m6i.xlarge, m6i.2xlarge, m6i.4xlarge, m6i.8xlarge, m7i.large, m7i.xlarge, m7i.2xlarge, m7i.4xlarge, m7i.8xlarge, m7g.large, m7g.xlarge, m7g.2xlarge, m7g.4xlarge, m7g.8xlarge
  • Added 1.24 and 1.25 to Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) - This enables you to test your application for compatibility on these versions of GKE. With this addition, the Compatibility Matrix supports all current versions of GKE (1.24-1.27).
  • Added support for Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) 1.25, 1.26, and 1.27 - This is our newest distribution. We now support creating AKS clusters with a selection of instance types. 
  • Added 2 new versions of Red Hat OpenShift (4.12 and 4.11) - Adding older versions of OpenShift increases the amount of customer representative environments that we support. Now we support three versions of OpenShift. 
  • Added patch versions to K3s - K3s is a common, light-weight, customer-run cluster. To deliver customer-representative clusters, we need to be able to create exact versions of K3s, not just minor versions. We now support creating any specific patch version of K3s that is part of a minor version we support.
  • Added kind version 1.28 - Contrariwise, kind is not a typical customer-representative environment. We include kind as a distribution that's quick and targeted at running smoke tests against versions. The kind distribution is delivered when K8s versions are released upstream.

Compatibility Matrix now reports test results for a release sequence

Comprehensive testing of releases is important to prevent issues from cropping up in live customer environments. Automating testing is what makes comprehensive testing feasible. Available from the CLI today (and we plan to expand this to be part of our GitHub actions), you can now easily view compatibility test results and even trigger new test runs on any release.


replicated release compatibility 38 --distribution k3s --version 1.26 --success

And when using replicated release inspect, the compatibility results will also be shown. Example:
$> replicated release inspect 38
CREATED:     2023-08-17T22:13:42Z
EDITED:      0001-01-01T00:00:00Z
k3s                       1.26             2023-08-31T23:52:08Z    a working version         -
kind                      1.25.0          2023-08-22T19:20:49Z    it works also                  -

What’s New for Vendor Portal

Send Custom Metrics to Vendor Portal (BETA) 

Custom Metrics is one of our most requested feature requests for Vendor Portal, as people really want to understand product-level metrics like overall usage of licensed resources like seats, workspaces, etc. This iteration delivers functionality allowing you to send your own custom telemetry via KOTS (available with Replicated KOTS version 1.102.0 or later) or the Replicated SDK (available with SDK v1.0.0-beta.5 or later). These metrics are then visible via your respective Instance Details pages. Learn more in our Custom Metrics Docs.

Data Export with Instances CSV

Many people use the Vendor Portal to explore useful information about their customers, but if you are working at scale (50+ customers), you may often want to export this data. You can then import the information to be used in other systems like CRMs and BI Tools. From there, it can be leveraged by teams and leaders who might never log into the Vendor Portal. The new Instances CSV includes one row per instance, and lots of new columns that reflect the improvements to instance telemetry over the past several months.

What’s New for KOTS and the Replicated SDK

Support for installation workflows that leverage `helm template` then `kubectl apply` to install and update (v1.0.0-beta.5) 

Some popular enterprise continuous delivery tools, such as ArgoCD and Pulumi, deploy Helm charts in a non-standard way by running `helm template` then `kubectl apply` the generated manifest rather than doing a `helm install` or `helm upgrade`. Given the ubiquity of these tools, we wanted to ensure the Replicated SDK could support installing successfully alongside the application in this type of deployment model. Here’s a note on what SDK limitations exist when deployed via this method.

KOTS now supports Kubernetes v1.28 (v1.102.1) 

Replicated strives to offer our customers official support for the latest Kubernetes minor version within 30 days of the upstream release. With the addition of KOTS support for K8s v1.28, both kURL and KOTS now claim support for all available supported Kubernetes versions, within three weeks of the upstream v1.28 release. 

What’s New for Product Documentation

New section about managing applications

We’ve rolled out a new Applications section in the main sidebar includes information about how to manage applications (create, delete, get the app slug) and about the application Settings page in the Vendor Portal. Now, there’s a more intuitive way to find helpful information.

New topic showing how to template annotations for resources and objects

A new Templating Annotations topic provides information about mapping user-supplied annotations to resources and objects deployed by an application (including information about the `` annotation and mapping values using the HelmChart custom resource). This topic addresses a very common question: how to allow customers to provide custom or arbitrary annotations.

New topic on integrating Replicated GitHub actions

We also added a new topic to introduce you to using the Replicated GitHub actions in CI/CD pipelines. The goal of this topic was to supplement the per-action documentation in the replicated-actions repo by providing an overview, value statement, and examples for integrating the Replicated GitHub actions instead of CLI commands in CI/CD workflows managed on the GitHub Actions platform. You can use this topic to better understand the context for integrating the actions in the replicated-actions repo before jumping in to the details.

That’s it for the October release highlights! 

Want to learn more about these new features and what Replicated does to help vendors and customers install and manage modern apps on-prem? 

We would love to show you -- click here to schedule a demo.