The open source Kubernetes cloud native project is out today with release of version 1.29, codenamed Mandala.

The Kubernetes 1.29 milestone is the final release for 2023 for the open source cloud native technology and introduces a range of new features and enhancements. Kubernetes has multiple updates this year, the new release follows the Kubernetes 1.28 update that came out in August.

Dubbed the “Mandala” release after the cosmic circular artwork, Kubernetes v1.29 reflects the project’s interconnected community of contributors. The release was shepherded by a 40-person release team and saw participation from 888 companies and 1,422 individuals over 14 weeks.

Among the major additions in this version are 11 features promoted to stable release status for general availability. This includes the new ReadWriteOncePod volume access mode that ensures only one pod can read/write a volume, node volume expansion secret support for container storage interface (CSI) drivers and encryption at rest using KMS v2.

Nineteen features have entered beta, highlighting improvements to scheduling, node lifecycle management and cleaning up legacy service account tokens. Some of the new alpha functionality includes better pod affinity rules, an nftables backend for kube-proxy networking, and managing IP address ranges for Kubernetes Services.

Networking improvements in Kubernetes 1.29

Kubernetes 1.29 multiple networking improvements. The new Kubernetes release will be the first to benefit from the new gateway API that helps to improve overall connectivity.

Sidecar containers also get a major boost. Lee Calcote, founder of Layer5 and a CNCF contributor told SDxCentral that Kubernetes 1.28 introduced the concept of a sidecar container – a restartable init container. The concept of a sidecar has been part of Kubernetes since nearly the very beginning. He noted that sidecar containers have become a common Kubernetes deployment pattern and are often used for network proxies in service meshes or for logging or running other auxiliary services to the main container.

“Until 1.28, sidecars were a concept that Kubernetes users applied without native support, and beginning now in Kubernetes 1.29, if your Pod includes one or more sidecar containers, the kubelet (Kubernete node agent) will delay sending a termination signal to these sidecar containers until the last main container has fully terminated,” Calcote said. “Also new in 1.29 is the behavior of sidecar containers being terminated in reverse of the order in which they were initialized, so that they may continue to offer their services up to the very end of the Pod’s lifecycle.”

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