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F5 Container Connector: Now with Ingress Control, Red Hat OpenShift, and Pivotal Cloud Foundry

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If you haven’t noticed, containers are continuing to build momentum with a surprising speed. Not even cloud can brag of this kind of zealous adoption. While it’s important to remember that deploying containers in production does not mean everything is moving to containers. At least not yet. As is the case with many emerging technologies, enterprises start deploying on a per-application basis in order to work out the kinks unique to their organization and environment.

Still, the growth rate is astounding, and it’s unlikely we’ll see it slow any time soon. The more it’s used, the more best practices and architectures evolve, and the more apps will be migrated. In that respect, it follows a host of other technologies and models like cloud and client-server and mobile. You have to crawl before you can walk, and shortly thereafter you’re running.

We’re excited to be a part of the container ecosystem as it rapidly advances on its path to production environments everywhere – be they in the public or private cloud, or their own environments in the data center.

When we last left F5 Container Connector this spring, we were announcing support for Kubernetes. At the same time, ingress control became a more pressing need for container environments, especially given the tendency for microservices-backed APIs to comprise a significant percentage of containerized applications. As you may recall, ingress controllers provide much needed app routing (layer 7) for APIs and other containerized apps. While most app proxies – like BIG-IP – are perfectly capable of providing this functionality (after all, we’re talking about routing based on URIs and HTTP headers) there was something missing. To properly play in the container ecosystem, components must be able to support its declarative model of provisioning and configuration. That means automagically reading resource files and turning them into configurations that implement them.

A good example of this is Kubernetes, which uses annotations to attach the meta-data necessary to integrate components into the container ecosystem. All we needed to do to provide ingress control to Kubernetes was enable Container Connector to subscribe to the right events and tell the BIG-IP how to implement the right routing based on the information provided.

Which we did.

But Kubernetes isn’t the only game in town (though it’s arguably one of the leading games) and many of our customers have adopted Red Hat OpenShift Origin or Cloud Foundry as their platforms of choice. And we’re excited to support them, too, with the latest release of Container Connector.

F5 Container Connector is free, and you can download it for any/all of these environments (and Marathon, too!) from the Docker repository. There’s more info on all our container integrations here, including installation and integration.