Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Spotlight on the Kubernetes package manager, Helm

Helmsman

Article from ADMIN 68/2022
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A Helm chart is a template of several parts that defines, deploys, and upgrades Kubernetes apps and can be considered the standard package manager in the Kubernetes world.

Scholars argue about whether history repeats itself. Clearly, however, some trends will return, and administrators will repeatedly encounter various technical approaches in IT – maybe in a slightly different guise and perhaps under a new name, but the principle always remains the same.

Helm is like that. It is a kind of package manager that the vast majority of admins have at least heard of in the context of Kubernetes. In fact, Helm comes from a completely different technical background from the package managers of classic distributions (e.g., rpm and dpkg), aiming to make distributing software for Kubernetes easier. The Helm skills of many admins do not extend beyond knowing that the tool exists. As a result, many myths circulate around the solution, and the resulting uncertainty puts Helm in a worse light than it deserves.

In this article, I go into detail about Helm: introducing the architecture of the solution; describing how Helm defines, deploys, and upgrades Kubernetes apps; and presenting practical use cases. The first step is to ask what Helm is good for in the first place and what problems it solves in the Kubernetes context.

Why Bother?

Kubernetes (K8s) has been on a roll for the past few years, which does not happen too often in IT – at least not if you consider the speed of spread and penetration. Today, it seems almost impossible to bring up container virtualization in Linux without at least mentioning Kubernetes. Contrary to what some observers claim, K8s and cloud computing have much in common. Kubernetes would be inconceivable without the idea of cloud computing. In other words, it is no longer possible to imagine running a containerized workload efficiently without the principles of cloud computing (i.e., automatically controlling individual containers with applications across a swarm of servers).

Kubernetes is now far more

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