How the U.S. Air Force Deployed Kubernetes and Istio on an F-16 in 45 days
Kubernetes, Istio, knative and an internally developed specification for “hardening” containers are now the default software development platform across the military. Just like almost everything else, military organizations increasingly depend on software, and they are turning to an array of open source cloud tools like Kubernetes and Istio to get the job done, according to a presentation delivered by Nicholas Chaillan, chief software officer for the U.S. Air Force, at KubeCon 2019 in San Diego. Those tools have to be deployed in some very interesting places, from weapons systems to even fighter planes.
Yes, F-16s are running Kubernetes on the legacy hardware built into those jets. The natural follow-up question is, of course, why? During his packed presentation following the opening-day keynotes at KubeCon, Chaillan explained how the Air Force — and now at his direction, the rest of the Department of Defense — is making a big bet on containers, Kubernetes and Istio.
It’s a flexible but universal development platform for software teams across the military and prevents vendor-lock in.