HashiCorp’s Consul starts Kubernetes integration marathon

helping hand

If you wanted Kubernetes and Consul to work better together, you’re in luck: HashiCorp founder Mitchell Hashimoto just released a list of handy updates that will land in the service discovery tool or the Kubernetes ecosystem respectively during the next weeks.

The first and probably most important one will be an official Helm chart to install and configure Consul on container orchestrator Kubernetes. Helm is Kubernetes’ Package Manager, which uses charts as a packaging format.

To let external Consul agents join Consul clusters on Kubernetes, the cloud auto-join feature will receive a feature for discovering Kubernetes-based agents. Similar additions are necessary so that non-Kubernetes services can discover and connect to those running within Kubernetes and Kubernetes-native service discovery can get hold of services running outside the system. To implement those and turn services in the Consul catalog into Kubernetes service resources, synchronisation between service catalogs is also on the list of things to come.

Other additions are meant to let ops folks configure pods on Kubernetes to automatically use Consul’s Connect to communicate via mutual Transport Layer Security. This so-called Connect Auto-Inject will then also offer a way to use the open source proxy Envoy for layer 4 communication.

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Hashimoto wants the efforts put into the new integration to be seen as a way to “enhance existing features rather than replace” them and a helping hand for problems such as working with non-Kubernetes services.

“While it is easy for new users to start in pure-Kubernetes environments, most deployments have to interact with external services running in cloud computing environments, on-prem data centers, and more,” he said in his post.

“HashiCorp products such as Consul are designed for these heterogeneous environments. By enabling a more natural Kubernetes experience, it becomes equally natural for non-Kubernetes applications to interact with Kubernetes applications.”

To get more people from the ecosystem to dip their toes into HashiCorp’s waters, the company is also working on new integrations for its secret management tool Vault. On top of that, a dedicated engineer should speed up the progress on the Kubernetes integration for infrastructure as code software Terraform – something many admins will surely appreciate.

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