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Knative: The Newbie in the Kubernetes World


Knative- The Newbie in the World of Kubernetes

2020 has been predicted to be the year of serverless as a result of the increased usage of cloud-native container-based applications. This ultimately would lead to the rise of Kubernetes, the much-celebrated container orchestration system. Built to be an efficient container orchestration system, Kubernetes does not build containers or bridge the gap between containerized and serverless applications. This is where Knative comes into play. Read on to know more about this game-changer in the world of Kubernetes.

What is Knative?

Simply put Knative is an open source framework that extends from Kubernetes and facilitates the building and deployment of container-based serverless applications. Jointly developed by Google, Pivotal, IBM, SAP,  and Red Hat, Knative was supposedly introduced to “bring the best of serverless to developers.” As promised, Knative simplifies the process of building, deploying and managing an application facilitating developers to use that time for writing code. Knative has a simple framework and runs on any infrastructure supported by Kubernetes thus allowing enterprises to move their workloads as per their need. It also facilitates interoperability while reducing the switching costs and preventing cases of vendor lock-in.

Three Core Components of Knative

Build: Based on Google’s container builder service, this component builds a container by taking the source code in the form of functions and further deploys the container via Kubernetes. It provides a pluggable model and also builds container images that are later put into a container registry to be used by other developers.

Serving: It provides Kubernetes extensions to run and deploy serverless workloads. It facilitates seamless auto-scaling based on the application functions. Though not favored for general web application usage due to its significant response time, it is perfect for batch or event drive jobs. Serving leverages Kubernetes and Istio to deploy containers into a serverless environment and also integrates networking and service mesh automatically.

Eventing: Offers means to consume and produce events that are CloudEvent Specification based and is scalable from just a few events to live events. Receiving events from pluggable event sources, it provides delivery through pub/sub style broker services. Event producers and event consuming services are held by a declarative binding and event sources help in automating the process of creating connections to event producers.

Why Should I Use Knative?

What makes Knative the next big thing to look out for in 2020?

Knative undoubtedly saves a lot of time spent on building custom extensions for Kubernetes that could be used for coding instead. That said, Knative is highly developer friendly and supports prevalent development patterns such as DockerOps and tools and frameworks such as Ruby on Rails, Django and the like. Knative simplifies the process of setting up serverless environments which is a taxing task otherwise. It provides developers with the freedom to use any language or idiom that they are comfortable with as it recognizes container images as the deployment unit. It allows you to run your serverless workloads anywhere; be it fully managed on Google Cloud, on Google Kubernetes Engine or on one’s own Kubernetes Cluster. This is due to its open application interface programming and runtime environment. With most industries riding on the wave of digital transformation, it becomes mandatory for organizations to adopt new technologies and not watch them as they pass by. This being the case, exploring the latest advancements in technology like Knative helps organizations to stay updated and also ahead of the curve.


Amritha Nampalat, Marketing Executive, RapidValue


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