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Top 3 highlights in Kubernetes 1.23

Nigel Poulton
Nigel Poulton

In the new year, what’s new with Kubernetes? In this post, we’ll take a look at the three most notable features in the recently released Kubernetes 1.23. Plus, we’ll talk about how 2022 may see the biggest depreciation in the history of K8s — and how you can prepare for it. Plus, a look at the Inclusive Naming Initiative.


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The top 3enhancements in Kubernetes 1.23

The biggest news around Kubernetes this month is the release of Kubernetes 1.23.

This was the third and final release of 2021, and it was codenamed “the next frontier” — because we all love a Star Trek theme, and also due to the number of enhancements.

There were 47 enhancements in total, with 11 moving to stable, and 17 to beta. Here are my top three enhancement picks.

1. v2 of the Horizontal Pod Autoscaler

First up, v2 of the Horizontal Pod Autoscaler went GA. This is a real step towards more mature and all-round better auto-scaling.

I don’t about you, but I always felt the initial v1 implementation was a bit . . . well, clunky. And it was pretty basic as well. Like scaling mainly on CPU and memory usage.

Well, the v2 API has proper support for custom metrics, so maybe your app cares about queue size or maybe response time of the queue? No sweat! Custom metrics to the rescue.

As well though, it can evaluate and scale on multiple metrics, you get better control over scale-up and scale-down behavior, and you even get stabilization windows to prevent flip-flopping of during turbulence. All good stuff.

2. Pod Security goes beta

We also saw Pod Security graduate to beta. Now this is the long-awaited replacement of the clunky old PodSecurityPolicies object. And I guess it’s not totally here yet as this is just beta, but I’m already liking what I see from a clarity and simplicity perspective.

It’s implemented as a built-in admission controller that evaluates new Pods against a set of Pod Security standards. Then, it decides whether to admit them to the cluster, or deny them.

There’s a bunch of detail behind the scenes, and we might see tweaking to that before we hit stable. But it’s an out-of-the-box solution that makes it way easier to evaluate new Pods against best practices. This is very much a step in the right direction.

3. Dual-stack IPv4/IPv6 networking

Last but not least in my picks, dual-stack networking went GA.

This means a single Kubernetes cluster, including Pods and Services, can run IPv4 and IPv6 side-by-side. And it’s production-grade.

Now there are a few pre-requisites:

  • Your nodes need routable IPv4 and IPv6 addresses
  • Your CNI plugin needs to support dual stacks

But if you tick those boxes, Kubernetes can rock and roll with IPv4 and IPv6 on the same cluster at the same time!

This is obviously good news for anyone migrating to IPv6. However, it’s a huge deal for IoT, where thousands of devices need their own IPs.

Big Kubernetes deprecations are on the horizon

OK, so here’s a bit of a prediction for 2022 — or may be a heads-up of things to come and how to tackle them.

As Kubernetes matures, features get tweaked and improved, and eventually the older versions need removing.

Kubernetes has a deprecation policy that basically gives us a heads-up when something’s going to be removed in the future. And we usually get an idea which version it’ll actually disappear in. Plus, we get command line warnings and stuff as well.

Well, 2022 is probably going to see the biggest feature or tech removal so far in the history of Kubernetes.

Previously, Docker was deprecated as a runtime in version 1.20. And as I write this, it’s slated to be removed in 1.24.

Now considering we’re already on 1.23, that’s not far away. And it’s not the only thing being removed. FlexVolumes are disappearing in 1.25.

I think we’re going to see more and more of this in the 2022 and beyond.

I think we need to start tackling deprecations as soon as they’re announced. Like I’ve got a steady trickle of people pinging me worried when deprecated features are going to stop working. And every time I’m thinking to myself, “Why are you leaving it until the last minute?”

Kubernetes is serious infrastructure at the core of a lot of businesses. Do we really want to be brushing deprecations under the rug and hoping they never happen?

If we do, we’re going to get hurt.

So make your it your new year’s resolution to tackle deprecations as soon as they’re announced! I think you’ll be better off for it.


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Check out ACG’s free courses for the month of January, which includes our Designing Applications for Kubernetes course. It’s free this month only. No credit card needed, no joking!


Inclusive Naming Initiative

Sticking with themes for 2022, I’m really hoping the Inclusive Naming Initiative will expand and have an impact.

The Inclusive Naming Initiative is a push to remove potentially harmful words and terminology from the tech world.

As an example, I’m in the process of publishing the 2022 editions of Quick Start Kubernetes and The Kubernetes Book, and part of the updates involve removing references to masters, whitelists and backlists, and aborting. All of these have connotations that might be upsetting to some people. And I get that.

While it took a bit of time updating sentences and diagrams, honestly, I was more than happy to do it and I’m pleased I did. This is a simple and worthy cause, and I hope it gains traction in 2022. I know, for example, the official Kubernetes docs are already all over it.


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Keep up with K8s

That’s it for this month’s edition of Kubernetes this month. Stay safe, and I’ll see you all again next month — same Kube time, same Kube place.

Want to keep up with all things Kubernetes? Follow Nigel on Twitter or keep up with him here. Subscribe to A Cloud Guru on YouTube for regular updates, analysis, and assorted awesomeness. You can also like ACG on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or join the conversation on Discord!

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