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Read the fine print with Kubernetes 1.5 Windows support

Enterprises will get their first look at Windows container and programming-language support with Kubernetes 1.5 this week, but it isn’t ready for production quite yet.

Windows support in this release of Kubernetes is in alpha, and contributors are still working on a few things for the beta that they’d originally hoped would be in the first release, according to Rakesh Malhotra, SVP of products and engineering with Apprenda, which led the Windows integration effort.

Certain constructs in Linux don’t translate easily to Windows, such as IP tables. Kubernetes relies on IP tables to allow several containers to share a networking stack, so in the alpha release, Windows-based Kubernetes pods are limited to a single container.

“The networking stacks in Windows and Linux are significantly different,” Malhotra said. “That’s one of the challenges we hit.”

Microsoft engineers have collaborated on brushing this up for the alpha release, so that setup is not “a configuration nightmare for clients,” he said.

While Apprenda has a number of customers looking to deploy containers, the lack of a “first class experience” for Windows in Kubernetes has held some of them back.

“Kubernetes is kind of foreign to the Windows community — Windows developers live in a different ecosystem of trade shows, communities and tools,” Malhotra said.

Also, users are encouraged to use Kubernetes 1.5.1 — out today — which has some additional important security patches.

Beth Pariseau is senior news writer for TechTarget’s Data Center and Virtualization Media Group. Write to her at bpariseau@techtarget.com or follow @PariseauTT on Twitter.

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