DigitalOcean App Platform Eases Kubernetes Deployments for Developers

DigitalOcean App Platform Eases Kubernetes Deployments for Developers

The DigitalOcean App Platform is a new platform as a service (PaaS) built on Kubernetes that is meant to provide an application-centric view to developers who want to enjoy the benefits of Kubernetes without dealing with its complexities.

The benefits of running on Kubernetes can be overshadowed for some by the difficulties of operating Kubernetes itself. In response, many of the big cloud providers over recent years have introduced managed Kubernetes offerings, taking over many of the difficulties of installing, configuring, and operating the container orchestration tool. While these managed offerings help solve some of the complexity, they still provide a point of view solidly focused on Kubernetes, rather than running and managing an application that is delivering value to customers.

In 2019, DigitalOcean released its own managed Kubernetes offering, but now the company is taking that one step further with the launch of the DigitalOcean App Platform, a platform as a service (PaaS) built on Kubernetes that is meant to provide an application-centric view to developers who want to enjoy the benefits of Kubernetes without dealing with its complexities.

“Kubernetes provided a great start gap to take some of the common infrastructure management away, but at the end of it, it is still APIs and still complicated. There’s an increasing demand from people to have that next layer of abstraction on top of it, that allows you to iterate faster, where you just focus on writing code, and then all these benefits that you want to enjoy from the ecosystem are built-in turnkey for you,” said DigitalOcean Vice President of Product Apurva Joshi in an interview. “We shipped managed Kubernetes and we wanted to provide another layer of abstraction on top of it, so we use our own managed Kubernetes offering in a shared clusters environment where we do multitenancy built on top of Kubernetes and using open standards.”

One of the open standards used to build App Platform include Google’s gVisor, an application kernel that provides an isolation boundary between the application and the host kernel and allows for DigitalOcean to securely run workloads in shared Kubernetes clusters. Another, Cloud Native Buildpacks, was originally conceived at Heroku and helps to transform application source code into images that can run on any cloud. A third, Kaniko, is a tool to build container images from a Dockerfile, inside a container or Kubernetes cluster.

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