Version 1.16 at the helm

Kubernetes 1.16 introduces highly scalable Endpoint slices

Sarah Schlothauer
© Shutterstock / Avigator Fortuner

Kubernetes’ third release in 2019 has landed. Version 1.16 revolves around three main themes: Custom resources, overhauled metrics, and volume extension. It includes 31 enhancements in total. Users can install the newest version with kubeadm. Get a taste of what’s new, what’s moved to beta, and what’s graduated to GA.

Kubernetes 1.16 is available for installation on GitHub. What’s new in the open source container orchestration manager?

Version 1.16 includes a grand total of 31 enhancements. (8 enhancements graduating to stable, 8 in beta, 15 in alpha.) This marks the third release in 2019.

View the full changelog and release notes on GitHub here. Newcomers (and K8s veterans!) can check out the documentation to understand the basics, learn how to set up a cluster, install Minikube, or find out how to contribute.

Kubernetes v1.16 updates

According to the release notes, this release consists of three main themes: Custom resources, overhauled metrics, and volume extension.

Custom resources

In this release, CRDs (custom resource definition) move to general availability with new updates in the CRD API.

Future plans for CRDs include arbitrary subresources, API group migration, and a more efficient serialization protocol.

Read about custom resources and when to use them in the documentation.

SEE ALSO: Infrastructure as Code – Lessons learned from Dev to Ops

Overhauled metrics

From the 1.16 CHANGELOG:

Kubernetes has previously made extensive use of a global metrics registry to register metrics to be exposed. By implementing a metrics registry, metrics are registered in more transparent means. Previously, Kubernetes metrics have been excluded from any kind of stability requirements.

Volume extension

This release includes enhancements pertaining to volume modification and volume resizing.

This includes: extending allowed PVC DataSources (in alpha), add resizing support to CSI volumes (in beta), and CSI inline volume support (in beta).

Alpha feature: Endpoint slices

Meet the new alpha feature. Endpoint Slices provide greater scalability to large clusters for Kubernetes Services and makes use of a new topology attribute. It is an alternative to Endpoints resources for large amounts of data.

Since this feature is in alpha, it will not be enabled by default.

The following table from the Kubernetes blog post for v1.16 shows the differences between Endpoint Slices and Endpoints.


Greater scalability. Image source.

SEE ALSO: How To Make Loveliness: an HTML treasure hunt

Watch the KubeCon talk Scale Kubernetes Service Endpoints 100x from Minhan Xia and Wojciech Tyczynski for a discussion about Endpoint Slices development.

Additional improvements

Some noteworthy updates and improvements:


Kubernetes 1.16 release mascot. Image source / Created by Ronan Flynn-Curran of Microsoft

Upgrade, ahoy!

Users can install the newest version with kubeadm.

Before upgrading, read the “urgent upgrade notes” on GitHub regarding the cluster lifecycle and storage.

Systems running iptables 1.8.0 or newer should start in legacy mode in order to avoid issues. Refer to the known issues section of the CHANGELOG for more details.

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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