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One of the Pipeline platform’s key open-source component is Bank-Vaults - the Vault swiss-army knife for Kubernetes. Feature requirements are a big part of the Pipeline platform, but a community has also built up around Bank-Vaults, and now it has its own use cases and requirements. We’ve received a lot of these external contributions and feature requests since our last blog update, which was about Bank-Vaults 0.4.7 in February. We’d like to walk you through some of these festures as 0.

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If you are a frequent reader of this blog or familiar with our products, you may already be aware that the control plane of our multi- and hybrid-cloud container management platform, Pipeline, is available not just as a free/developer service but can be run in any number of preferred envionments, whether cloud or on-prem. The control-plane’s only requirement is Kubernetes, its installation wholely automated by the banzai CLI tool alongside our own CNCF certified Kubernetes distribution, PKE.

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In one of our previous posts about creating Helm Charts for Kubernetes, we outlined what we consider the best practices for creating Helm charts. We’ve been using Helm in production and investing our time in creating Helm charts (available on the Banzai Cloud Charts GitHub repository) since Banzai Cloud’s inception. Creating Helm Charts is one thing; storing and serving them is another. We’d like to reduce the burden this places on the user, so today marks the launch of our Helm Chart repository service, which you can use to store and serve public Helm Charts for free.

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At Banzai Cloud we try to provide our users with a unified, cloud and on-premise-agnostic authentication and authorization mechanism. Note that our Pipeline platform supports cloud provider-managed Kubernetes and, as of recently, our own Kubernetes distribution - the Pipeline Kubernetes Engine, PKE. We also recently introduced an open source project, JWT-to-RBAC (you can read more about that project, here), designed to solve authentication and authorization challenges within the Pipeline platform in a cloud provider-agnostic way.

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One of the Banzai Cloud Pipeline platform’s key open-source projects is Bank-Vaults - the Vault swiss-army knife (and more) for Kubernetes. Feature requirements are part of the Pipeline platform, and the relatively large community around Bank-Vaults also has its own use cases and requirements. We’ve received lots of external contributions (thank you!), and we continue to find time to work on our community-driven features. While there have been many besides, these are the most sought-after features of the last few weeks.

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Suppose you’re working on a project which is running on Kubernetes - like we usually do - and you would like to test out this project on each and every pull request or commit. You can write many unit and integration tests, but at the end of the day, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. A real test would be to start up the application on the same platform where it will end up being deployed in production (in this case Kubernetes) and exercise it with some real workloads (aka end-to-end tests).

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A strong focus on security has always been a key part of the Banzai Cloud Pipeline platform. We incorporated Vault into our architecture early in the design process, and developed a number of supporting components so it be used easily on Kubernetes. We love what Vault enables us to do but, as with many things security-related, strengthening one part of a system exposed a weakness elsewhere. For us, that weakness was K8s secrets, which is the way in which applications usually consume secrets and credentials on Kubernetes.

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These days it seems that everyone is using some sort a CI/CD solution for their software development projects, either a third-party service, or something written in house. Those of us working on the Banzai Cloud Pipeline platform are no different; our CI/CD solution is capable of creating Kubernetes clusters, running and testing builds, of pulling secrets from Vault, packaging and deploying applications as Helm charts, and lots more. For quite awhile now (since the end of 2017), we’ve been looking for a Kubernetes native solution but could not find many.

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Banzai Cloud’s Pipeline provides a platform which allows enterprises to develop, deploy and scale container-based applications. It leverages best-of-breed cloud components, such as Kubernetes, to create a highly productive, yet flexible environment for developers and operations teams alike. Strong security measures—multiple authentication backends, fine-grained authorization, dynamic secret management, automated secure communications between components using TLS, vulnerability scans, static code analysis, etc.—are a tier zero feature of the Pipeline platform, which we strive to automate and enable for all enterprises.

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Last year Alibaba joined CNCF and announced plans to create their own Kubernetes service - Alibaba ACK. The service was luanched more than a year ago, with its stated objective to make it easy to run Kubernetes on Alibaba Cloud without needing to install, operate, and maintain a Kubernetes control plane. At Banzai Cloud we are committed to providing support for Kubernetes on all major cloud providers, thus one of our priorities was to enable Alibaba Cloud’s Container Service for Kubernetes in Pipeline and take the DevOps experience to the next level by turning ACK into a feature-rich enterprise-grade application platform.

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