Week 14, 2018 - Jenkins X; Windows Server 2019; Azure Serial Console; Cloudflare Workers

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Jenkins builds a CI/CD tool for Kubernetes, Microsoft announces Windows Server 2019 with better container support as well as the Azure serial console, and Cloudflare released its Workers.

Jenkins X

Two weeks ago I mentioned the newly released Skaffold, and before that I spoke about Drafts. Unsurprisingly, the Kubernetes deployment process is a very popular target for tools, and now the CI/CD tool Jenkins has waded in as well with Jenkins X.

Still in early stages, Jenkins X seems to do many of the same things the other entries do. Of course, it does have an advantage with its name, but at this stage I don’t see a compelling reason yet to switch if you’ve already started using one of the others. If you haven’t chosen a tool however, you might find this article comparing some of the different tools in this particular ecosystem interesting.

Windows Server 2019

Speaking of Kubernetes, Microsoft announced that they’ll release Windows Server 2019 later this year1 which will offer improved support for Kubernetes, as well as better being able to manage Linux workloads through Windows Subsystem on Linux. Microsoft will also work on decreasing the size of the Windows Core images from the current about 5GB to 1.7GB. Which is a significant improvement, although obviously still far away from most Linux images.

Azure Serial Console

Azure released their new virtual machine serial console in public preview. What this allows you to do is access your Linux2 machine through the Azure Portal. It gives you a terminal interface that you can log into, although it’s limited to password authentication only. The big advantage here is that this also works for virtual machines that are otherwise inaccessible and you don’t need a jump box or some connection like Express Route that grants you access to a machine without a public IP.

In addition, it also means that an attacker would first need to gain access to the portal, thereby in effect adding a second authentication layer. It’s obviously not as convenient as using your terminal client, but the security advantages might outweigh that. And after all, this should only be a last resort as you shouldn’t log into the VMs anyway.

Cloudflare Workers

Cloudflare released3 its Workers, a way to run JavaScript at the edge. I spoke of this when they opened it up for the beta, and everything mentioned there is still valid. Like similar solutions, this is a great way to run small pieces of JavaScript close to the user to ensure small latencies. Due to its ubiquity, Cloudflare offering a serverless solution like this opens it up to people who can’t (or won’t) use something like Lambda@Edge from AWS.

  1. But it will still be called 2019 instead of 2018 for some reason ↩︎

  2. If there is a Windows alternative to this, I haven’t seen it yet. ↩︎

  3. Sorry, according to the blog post I should say: unleashed ↩︎

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