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What it is and what it does

Cilium 1.0: Secure network connectivity for your Docker & Kubernetes projects

© Shutterstock / Morphart Creation (modified)  

A year after its initial announcement at DockerCon 2017 and a huge amount of work and dedication later, Cilium 1.0 is here and makes the use of Cilium in production environments a reality.

Since its initial announcement at DockerCon 2017, Cilium has come a long way, thanks to the enormous community support. And the first-ever stable release is here! Cilium 1.0 was released in late April and we could not be more excited about what it brings with it.

Official guarantees and processes to run Cilium in production environments are now a reality with a stable API, stable releases including LTS, well-defined process for handling security relevant bugs and, last but not least, responsive support through GitHub and a Slack channel.

First things first

Not sure what Cilium is? Don’t worry, I got you covered.

Cilium is an open-source software for securing network connectivity between application services that are deployed using Linux container management platforms like Docker and Kubernetes and, most importantly, in a transparent manner.

At its core, Cilium is a new Linux kernel technology called BPF which enables the dynamic insertion of powerful security visibility and control logic within Linux itself. Since BPF runs inside the Linux kernel, Cilium security policies can be applied and updated without any changes to the application code or container configuration.

SEE ALSO: Build Docker container images in Kubernetes with kaniko

So, what do you do?

Cilium has the ability to secure modern application protocols such as REST/HTTP, gRPC and Kafka. The following figure shows the main functions of Cilium. If you are interested in a detailed description of Cilium’s functionality, check out the functionality overview section of the documentation.

kubernetes

Source: Cilium

But just to give you a small taste of what Cilium is built for, let’s have a quick look at its main features:

  • Highly efficient BPF datapath
  • CNI and CMM plugin
  • Network Security on both the Packet and API level
  • Distributed and Scalable Load Balancing
  • Visibility/Telemetry
  • Troubleshooting

We got a bright future ahead of us

The release of Cilium 1.0 is undoubtedly a significant milestone but the Cilium team does not stay still and has already exciting plans for the next release. Among other, the Cilium 1.1 is promised to deliver:

  • Multi Cluster Service Routing
  • Integration with OpenTracing, Jaeger and Zipkin
  • Policy support for additional API protocols
  • CRI support
  • Non container workloads

Eager to get started? You can check out various tutorials on how to get started in the Getting Started Guides section of the Cilium documentation.

Author
Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou
Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou is an assistant editor for JAXenter.com. Just finished her masters in Modern East Asian Studies and plans to continue with her old hobby that is computer science.

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