Introduction to the Keptn Lifecycle Toolkit

Understand the Keptn Lifecycle Toolkit

The Keptn Lifecycle Toolkit (KLT) implements observability for deployments that are implemented with standard GitOps tools such as ArgoCD, Flux, and Gitlab and brings application awareness to your Kubernetes cluster.

These standard GitOps deployment tools do an excellent job at deploying applications but do not handle all issues that are required to ensure that your deployment is usable. The Keptn Lifecycle Toolkit “wraps” a standard Kubernetes GitOps deployment with the capability to automatically handle issues before and after the actual deployment.

Pre-deployment issues:

  • Send appropriate notifications that this deployment is about to happen
  • Check that downstream services meet their SLOs
  • Verify that your infrastructure is ready
  • Ensure that your infrastructure has the resources necessary for a successful deployment

Post-deployment issues:

  • Integrate with tooling beyond the standard Kubernetes probes
  • Automatically test the deployment
  • Ensure that the deployment is meeting its SLOs
  • Identify any downstream issues that may be caused by this deployment
  • Send appropriate notifications about whether the deployment was successful or unsuccessful

KLT can evaluate both workload (single service) tests and SLO evaluations before and after the actual deployment. Multiple workloads can also be logically grouped and evaluated as a single cohesive unit called a KeptnApp. In other words, a KeptnApp is a collection of multiple workloads.

KLT is tool- and vendor neutral and does not depend on particular GitOps tooling. KLT emits signals at every stage (Kubernetes events, OpenTelemetry metrics and traces) to ensure that your deployments are observable. It supports the following steps:

  • Pre-Deployment Tasks: e.g. checking for dependant services, setting the cluster to be ready for the deployment, etc.
  • Pre-Deployment Evaluations: e.g. evaluate metrics before your application gets deployed (e.g. layout of the cluster)
  • Post-Deployment Tasks: e.g. trigger a test, trigger a deployment to another cluster, etc.
  • Post-Deployment Evaluations: e.g. evaluate the deployment, evaluate the test results, etc.

All of these things can be executed for a workload or for a KeptnApp, which is a collection of multiple workloads.

Compare Keptn Lifecycle Toolkit and Keptn LTS

The Keptn Lifecycle Controller (KLT) is a Keptn subproject whose design reflects lessons we learned while developing Keptn LTS. KLT recognizes that tools such as Argo and Flux are very good at deploying applications. However, these deployment tools do not provide pre-deployment and post-deployment evaluations and actions; this is what KLT adds.

Keptn LTS is a long-term support release that can deploy applications on platforms other than Kubernetes, can accomodate complex scoring algorithms for SLO evaluations, and can implement remediations (self-healing) for problems discovered on the production site.

In a December 2022 Keptn Community meeting, we discussed the differences and similarities between Keptn and the Keptn Lifecycle Toolkit to help you decide which best fits your needs. View the recording: Compare Keptn V1 and the Keptn Lifecycle Toolkit

Overviews of Keptn Lifecycle Toolkit

A number of presentations are available to give an overview of the Keptn Lifecycle Toolkit:

Last modified 2023-05-03: releasing documentation v0.7.1 (f2d8be6)