OKD V4 is finally out – new features and everything you need to know

As you might know OKD is the community version of Red Hat OpenShift powered by Kubernetes. After using OKD 3.11 for quite some time, many developers that use this distribution of Kubernetes were looking forward to OKD 4. Like any other platform, OKD was updated to fix some of the issues in the previous versions and also to add features and functionalities that could make the platform more robust and user-friendly to developers. Version 4 of OKD was released in July 2020, and if you want to know what this version has to offer, this article is for you. We shall discuss the new features and everything you need to know about OKD4 and how you can install it on the various cloud platforms. Make sure you read it till the end ;)

New features in OKD v4

There are lots of new features and functionalities in this new update.  Below are some of the major ones that you need to know.

  1. Operator lifecycle manager (OLM)

OLM is one of the features that several developers have been looking forward to having in OKD. What Operator lifecycle management does is helping cluster administrators in installing, upgrading, and granting access to Operators running on their cluster. The role of this new feature is to make the work of cluster administrators more seamless than it was in the previous versions of OKD. OKD v4 has an organized list of all operators with the ability to load other operators into the cluster. It also handles role-based access control for certain teams to use certain operators. With this version, rolling updates for all operators are handled by the Operators lifecycle manager as well.

  1. Cluster maximums

With this new version of OKD, you can use the OKD limit calculator to know the cluster limit for your environment. So, you can get to know ahead of time the maximum number of clusters that can be deployed in your environment.

  1. Node tuning operator

OKD v4 now has the node tuning operator functionality that helps developers manage node-level tuning by orchestrating the tuned daemon. This feature is very crucial when deploying high-performing applications that need some level of kernel tuning.

  1. Cluster monitoring

With this feature, developers can configure horizontal pod autoscaling (HPA) based on the custom metrics API. Despite its availability in this new version of OKD, this feature still has a couple of limitations that include; the adapter only connecting to a single Prometheus instance to use Prometheus and also having to manually deploy and configure the adapter.

Another limitation with this feature is the fact that the syntax for Prometheus Adapter could be changed in future updates of the software.

  1. New alerts are now integrated into the UI.

In this version of OKD, you can view all the cluster-level alters and also alerting rules all within the new OKD web console.

  1. Telemeter

Telemeter helps to provide information about the cluster-related metrics that could be of importance to the people using OKD. So, with telemeter, it is possible to Gather crucial health metrics of OKD installations, enable a viable feedback loop of OKD upgrades, gather the cluster’s number of nodes per cluster and their size (CPU cores and RAM), gather the size of etcd, and also gather details about the health condition and status for any OpenShift framework component installed on an OpenShift cluster.

Other features include the following;

  • Multi-stage Docker file can now be accessed within all Docker strategy builds
  • Instead of being managed by the oc admn registry, the registry is now managed by an operator.
  • On top of the registry, an operator now also manages and configures the cluster network. Monitoring and upgrading of the cluster network is also the responsibility of an operator.
  • OKD 4 also has a new feature called multus, which is a meta plug-in for Kubernetes Container Network Interface (CNI), which enables a user to create multiple network interfaces for every pod.
  • F5 router plug-in is now not supported within OKD. It can now be got from a container connector that was created by the developers of this plug-in.
  • The user interface of the platform also has a slightly new look to make it easy for the developers to find the features they need.

Upgrading to OKD4

At the time of release, the option of updating OKD from version 3.11 to version 4 was not available. You have to perform a new installation of Openshift 4 independently. If you are using cloud platforms like AWS, bare metal, and vSphere host, it is possible to install OKD with a user-provided infrastructure.

Final thoughts

This new update of OKD is something every developer that was using version 3.11 of the platform should be looking forward to. It has lots of interesting features and a refreshed UI like we have seen above. The goal of this update is to make developers and operations engineers more productive while executing their tasks with OKD.

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