Crossplane Maintainers Add Python Support to Control Plane

The maintainers of the open source Crossplane platform for managing hybrid IT environments have added support for the Python programming language alongside existing support for Go.

In addition, the command line interface (CLI) has been extended with additional subcommands to streamline DevOps workflows in addition to now hosting the project at xpkg.upbound.io, the only registry that is compliant with Open Container Initiative (OCI) specification that also understands the internals of Crossplane packages.

Originally developed by Upbound, Crossplane is an extension of the Kubernetes control plane that uses composite resource definitions (XRDs) and Kubernetes custom resource definitions (CRDs) to extend the reach of that control plane to legacy platforms. That capability makes it possible to centrally manage control planes across multiple clouds and on-premises IT environments. With the release of version 1.15 of Crossplane, IT teams can now also validate resources offline against their schemas using the validation library found in the Kubernetes application programming interface (API) server.

Crossplane has been advanced under the auspices of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) since 2021.

Nic Cope, a Crossplane maintainer and senior principal engineer for Upbound, said the community is making a case for officially graduating the project, which, with support for Python, will be easier to make as the framework becomes more accessible to a broader number of IT professionals. The number of IT teams familiar with the Go programming language is still relatively small compared to Python, which is being embraced by traditional IT administrators to programmatically manage IT environments in place of graphical tools that are often not quite as flexible as a programming language.

Control planes provide an alternative to relying on custom scripts to make changes more consistently to IT environments at scale using application programming interfaces (APIs). The single biggest thing distinguishing cloud service providers from enterprise IT organizations is the former investing in building out a control plane to streamline the management of IT at scale.

Slowly but surely, more IT organizations are looking to unify the management of IT environments by reducing as many of the separate control planes they have in place today to manage IT infrastructure. Platform engineering teams that have programming skills are especially well suited to apply Crossplane across multiple IT environments, noted Cope.

It’s not clear how quickly IT teams are moving to adopt control planes, but as more of them become increasingly cost-sensitive, the need to streamline the management of IT environments becomes more apparent. Each control plane employed today is managed in isolation, requiring organizations to hire IT staff to manage each type. Crossplane provides a centralized approach to managing infrastructure using a Kubernetes-based framework that, with each passing day, is becoming more familiar to IT teams of all sizes.

The challenge, as always, when it comes to applying any form of DevOps workflow to the management of IT is addressing not just the technical issues that arise but also inevitably cultural changes that need to be made as roles and functions within an IT team continue to evolve.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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