Airship 2.0 floats in with improved Kubernetes support

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The Airship project team has released Airship 2.0, an updated version of the cloud lifecycle management system that uses a declarative framework for provisioning and managing cloud infrastructure at scale.

Airship 2.0 has been under development since the end of 2019 and includes a variety of significant improvements over Airship 1.0. It still integrates with OpenStack and Kubernetes, and still uses YAML for its declarative configuration, but introduces changes to improve the way it deploys Kubernetes in particular.

For example, Airship 1.0 used a project called Promenade to handle Kubernetes cluster deployment and lifecycle management. In Airship 2.0, this has been changed to take advantage of the Kubernetes Cluster API framework instead. This allows it to create Kubernetes clusters using Custom Resources, but also expands the infrastructure layer choices which Airship can support to include a range of public clouds as well as bare metal and virtual machines.

Among the other improvements Airship 2.0 includes is no-touch bootstrap for remote sites as well as local sites, and supports declarative image building for both ephemeral ISO and bare metal QCOW disk image files. This release also supports management of the infrastructure lifecycle as phases, with a declarative cluster lifecycle and the introduction of a plan for the phases.

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Other improvements comprise integration with security plugins like SOPS, as well as a mechanism to extend the airshipctl command line interface with extra functionality.

The motivation for Airship was to tackle the challenges organisations, especially cloud operators, face in creating and managing cloud infrastructure throughout its entire lifecycle. With Airship 2.0, lifecycle management is represented as a series of phases that simplify how a Kubernetes cluster is built and subsequently managed.

Airship 2.0 essentially ties together a bunch of Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) projects, such as Cluster API, Kustomize, Metal3, and Helm Operator, all with the goal of delivering predictable and resilient lifecycle management.

Full details are available in the Airship 2.0 Release Notes, while Airship can be downloaded from GitHub.

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