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CNCF Talk: Increased security and scalability with OCI

Watch Flux Core Maintainer Max Jonas Werner’s talk about OCI support in Flux. Intro to GitOps, Flux and OCI and a great demo of what’s all possible.

Integrating OCI into Flux was one of the most-requested features of all times. We listened to your feedback and in the past couple of releases, OCI was integrated more deeply into Flux. Here is a brief summary of what landed when:

  • v0.31 (Jun 2022): Support for Helm repositories of type OCI
  • v0.32 (Aug 2022): Kubernetes manifests, Kustomize overlays and Terraform code as OCI artifacts
  • v0.33 (Aug 2022): More configurability of OCI settings
  • v0.34 (Sep 2022): More flexibility when interacting with OCI artifacts/repositories
  • v0.35 (Sep 2022): verify OCI artifacts signed by cosign
  • v0.36 (Oct 2022): verify OCI helm charts signed by cosign plus lots of new tooling to interact with OCI using the Flux CLI

To bring you up to speed with what’s possible, Max Jonas Werner, Flux Core Maintainer and Senior Software Engineer at Weaveworks, gave a talk in the CNCF Online Programme series to give some background and do a practical demo.

First off, Max explained the core GitOps concepts and gave an overview of the architecture of Flux. In the next step, he dived into how Docker and others created the Open Containers Initiative (OCI) which is a part of the Linux Foundation.

One of the key points Max is making is that we went through a transformation from Docker containers to generic application and configuration containers. More and more OCI is becoming an application delivery format.

OCI registries (which implement the distribution spec) are a commodity in the cloud space. This means that it’s very easy to get enhanced scalability this way, because pulling an OCI image is much less resource-intensive compared to a full or shallow Git clone. Additionally, high available registries are available everywhere.

It also provides many ways to secure your infrastructure. Flux leverages Kubernetes workload identity and IAM when pulling OCI artifacts from managed registries. So no more key management, no more SSH keys to generate, no more proprietary API usage for token generation. You use the same mechanism that is used for pulling container images. You might also want to check out this post about verifying authenticity of artifacts with cosign.

Max spends more than half of his presentation time for the demo, so you get a good idea of how to use these new features and integrate them into your setup.

Check out the video here:

Thanks a lot Max for taking the time to walk us through this!

Start your journey and start using Flux’s OCI features today.