The Elastisys Tech Blog

Helm adopted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation

Helm has been adopted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) after having been a Kubernetes subproject. What does this mean for its users and its future development?

Helm is a package manager for Kubernetes. With it, you can describe applications, whether simple or complex with many components, as a whole via Helm Charts. Charts have version numbers. This makes upgrades from one version of an application to another both easy and predictable. In particular, this supports rolling back to a previously deployed version. Such features are appreciated by all of us who have, at one point or another, accidentally pushed buggy code to production (in spite of testing).

The Helm project used to be a subproject of Kubernetes. However, since June 1 of this year, it has instead become adopted by the CNCF. Click here to read the official CNCF blog post. Now that we are silver members of the CNCF, we are particularly excited about this news. We believe this adoption will benefit the community in many important ways.

What Helm’s new CNCF project status means for users and the community

First of all, Helm has its fair share of competitors. Service orchestration is implemented by other projects as well, such as ksonnet. Here is a good comparison from Hasura on related technologies. That Helm used to be a subproject of Kubernetes definitely awarded it a certain gravitas in the community.

Being adopted by the CNCF, of which Kubernetes is itself a subproject, is hardly a step down. If anything, it shines an even brighter light on Helm. It is now featured on the CNCF projects page, which makes it easier to find. It was hardly unknown before, as a recent survey shows that 64% of developers use Helm to managed their applications. So the project itself benefits, by being more independent and well-exposed by the CNCF. As a more independent project, it is also easier for users to trust that the project will get updates.

The Kubernetes project also benefits, as it can focus more on its core development. This means that Kubernetes developers can now innovate faster and without being bogged down by breaking changes in subprojects that they may have even forgotten exist. Because even for subprojects such as kops, being up to date is definitely not a guarantee, in spite of what users may assume.

We think that Helm has a brighter future at its new CNCF home. Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments below or on social media, the links are below!