Jetstack and Improbable Defence deliver full Kubernetes portability for development teams to build in partnership and in private

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Written by Richard Collins

			Jetstack and Improbable Defence deliver full Kubernetes portability for development teams to build in partnership and in private

Published on our Cloud Native Blog.
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This blog post is an introduction to the technical session being hosted by Jetstack and Improbable Defence at KubeCon Europe on Weds 5th May at 12:20 CEST/11:20 BST.

Improbable Defence, in partnership with Jetstack, has built a fully portable Kubernetes deployment and release pipeline solution that allows defence organisations to come together and co-create synthetic environments whilst maintaining a level of privacy. This cloud native solution is built on top of the Improbable Defence synthetic environment platform and provides a development framework for teams from defence organisations to create their own high performance virtual worlds for different security scenarios, mission planning and training.

The solution Jetstack helped to design provides these customer development teams with a ready-orchestrated engineering experience to build their virtual environment using an automated cloud native deploy and release process. Not only is the solution built to be entirely portable and self-contained, it allows different development teams to build together and collectively focus their engineering effort on building the synthetic environment to closely match their real world scenario.

The solution required a custom-built cloud native build and release pipeline that will work for any customer development team, run on any type of infrastructure, and which abstracts away all the operational elements that relate to the core platform. An added challenge is the development teams need to build their virtual environment on sites without internet access, so-called “air-gapped” environments.

Automation with privacy are essential elements that are built into the solution. To maintain privacy between teams that need to collaborate, the deployment and release service must facilitate partner collaboration but ensure certain data flows are only visible to the teams that created those flows. All this means the desired engineering experience is fully geared to make the virtual worlds come to life and allow different development teams to collaborate and deploy without having visibility of each other’s data flows.

Giving the development teams this deployment and release solution with the speed and agility to co-create was built using Argo Workflows and Events. Using Argo proved to be an excellent technology choice to define a standardised pipeline process combining CI/CD automation and efficiency, autonomy and privacy for the different development teams.

Organisations and partners using the Improbable Defence synthetic platform can now collaborate and build using a single validated Kubernetes solution without exposing any part of each organisation’s internal data. In a typical enterprise Kubernetes environment, it’s not always possible to restrict certain data flows from being visible to different teams so the technology choices for this solution design were not immediately obvious. Using Argo, not only has the pipeline model built by Jetstack and Improbable been successfully adapted to ensure privacy for each organisation, the solution is fully agnostic and runs on any multi-cloud combination in order to cover all types of infrastructure used by the organisations that are part of the collaboration.

Other deployment scenarios for this pipeline model may well work just as well in other sectors. Using Kubernetes as the core platform technology in combination with advanced open source tooling for development teams, could potentially kick-start any number of new projects where organisations can come together to solve societal or commercial challenges. In this sense, the deployment and release model has potential and wider appeal for any group of organisations that want to use software development as means to achieve a common goal.

How Improbable and Jetstack approached the technical challenges and successfully built the deployment and release solution will be featured at KubeCon Europe this week. Software engineers from both Improbable Defence and Jetstack will present the development model and discuss the benefits of using Kubernetes in conjunction with other open source technologies. The session will take place this Wednesday May 5th at 12.20 CEST/11:20 BST.

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