Microsoft introduces Brigade: the new Kubernetes management tool

October 31st 2017
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@FedakVVladimir Fedak

In October of 2017, Microsoft has released Brigade — an event-driven framework for Kubernetes management. This scripting tool is aimed at handling queues of different tasks triggered by configurable alerts.

The tool was developed by Deis, formerly the proud developers of tools like Draft and Helm, now a department of Microsoft acquired earlier this year. The new solution aimed at Kubernetes management through event-driven scripting, Brigade can perform multiple types of tasks with Docker containers running under Kubernetes.

Brigade is a silent listener by the nature, waiting for the triggers to arise. When the trigger takes place, the Javascript starts working, launching Docker containers and executing multiple operations with/within them. Literally any sequence of actions can be scripted, only the sky is the limit.

Capabilities and features of the Brigade tool

The initial Brigade release has such features:

  • Built-in support from Kubernetes ensuring installation with a single command
  • Full customization of event queues and action sequences
  • Brigade pipeline works as a standalone app, due to leveraging Javascript
  • The workflows can run in parallel or synchronously, allowing for creation of quite complicated pipelines
  • Various functions can be executed within the containers
  • Features like RBAC, Kubernetes pods, secrets and volumes are fully supported

With time the range of functions will surely increase, but even as it is, Brigade is a serverless solution of its own for simple automation of nearly any task a DevOps engineer might think of. All they need is running Javascript on a minicube or their Kubernetes cluster.

How to use Brigade

Being a fully-functional framework for executing Javascript jobs, Brigade can serve as an automation tool for literally any task within a given infrastructure. To say even more, one job’s output can be a trigger for another job. This allows building chained pipelines for automating tasks like:

  • Cron jobs, leveraging Kubernetes CronJob to launch multiple types of events according to schedule.
  • Simple and streamlined continuous integration and automated testing, enabled by out-of-the-box support for Git repositories. This means both pull and push requests can act as triggers for a multitude of jobs.
  • Big Data processing workflows with multiple ETL workloads usable, thanks to chained and parallel execution.
  • Batch processing, including automated in-container backups and scheduled data analysis.
  • If you can imagine some event chain, you can make it happen with Brigade, like monitoring the issue queue, sorting the incoming emails and responding them with templates according to certain filters — this and many more event gateways are a javascript away.

Just keep in mind that instead of rummaging through the stocks of libraries in order to create Javascript jobs, Brigade simply connects Docker containers into Kubernetes scripts.

Final thoughts on the Brigade, the new Kubernetes management tool

Bestowing even more power to the Kubernetes platform, Brigade allows the DevOps team to chain containers in order to perform literally ANY needed task. Microsoft will add new features in the futures, and we thinks Brigade will become a worthy addition to any DevOps toolkit, whether you prefer AWS or Azure. What do you think about this? We would be glad to know your opinion on the tool in the comments below, and if you find the article worth sharing — please spread the word!

This article was originally published here.

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