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Vision: Secure Event processing and improved Event discoverability ¶

Published on: 2023-08-07 ,  Revised on: 2024-01-17

Vision: Secure Event processing and improved Event discoverability

Authors: Pierangelo Di Pilato, Senior Software Engineer @ Red Hat, Matthias WeĂźendorf, Senior Principal Software Engineer @ Red Hat

What is next in Knative Eventing?

Knative Eventing has made significant strides and solidified its position as the platform on Kubernetes for event-driven applications. However, our journey with the project is far from over; we are committed to its ongoing evolution. Our efforts involve enhancing existing APIs and introducing new features to further empower Knative Eventing. Below, we provide a high-level overview of our upcoming initiatives for the next months.

We value your feedback, as it plays a crucial role in shaping the project's future. If you spot any missing features or identify areas needing improvement, please don't hesitate to share your thoughts with us. Your input is invaluable to us!

Secure Event Processing

Secure event processing refers to the practice of processing and analyzing events or data streams in a secure and trusted manner. Events can include various types of data, such as user interactions, system logs, sensor readings, network traffic, or any other form of real-time or near-real-time data.

The primary goal of secure event processing is to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the processed events while maintaining the privacy and security of the underlying data.

Transport encryption

Presently, event delivery within the cluster lacks encryption, imposing limitations on the types of events that can be transmitted—usually those of low compliance value or with a relaxed compliance posture. Alternatively, administrators must resort to a service mesh or encrypted CNI to encrypt the traffic, introducing multiple challenges for Knative Eventing adopters.

The forthcoming solution lies in Knative Brokers and Channels, which will offer HTTPS endpoints to receive events. However, since these endpoints typically lack public DNS names (e.g., svc.cluster.local or similar), they must be signed by a non-public CA, specific to the cluster or organization.

To facilitate this, event producers will have the ability to know the CA root used to sign the Broker or Channel certificate from the Knative resource's metadata.

For more detailed information, please refer to the transport-encryption feature

Authorization and admission policies

Event-driven architecture aims to reduce organizational silos and barriers, promoting resilient systems and enhancing business agility. However, achieving this vision necessitates the implementation of event admission policies and robust safeguards to ensure security and data quality.

Event admission policies will tackle the critical requirement of authorization policies, determining who has the privilege to send events to a specific event hub, such as a Knative Broker or Channel. Additionally, these policies will govern what content is deemed valid for the events being transmitted, including schemas and other related elements.

Authorization and admission policies serve as the pivotal feature bridging the secure event processing aspect with the event discovery realm, as detailed below.

Improved Event discovery

Event discovery helps developers to understand which events they can consume and how the events look like, without having to dig through various levels of service documentation.

Knative defines an EventType API which allows for discovery of the types of events that are available in the Knative Eventing system. This helps developers understand what kinds of events can be listened to and processed, which can be particularly helpful in systems with a large number of events being produced.

However currently the EventType is unfortunately underused and is limited to sources which implement the Knative Source Ducktype in combination with the Knative Broker API.

In order to improve the developer experience of Knative Eventing we are enhancing the event discovery in a couple of ways!

  • Automatic event type creation
  • Usage beyond the broker API
  • Event Type definitions

Automatic Event Type creation

Currently, the EventType API requires developers to create EventType objects manually.

To address this problem we introduce an optional feature flag which can be enabled in order to have support for an automatic creation of EventTypes.

For more detailed information, please refer to the eventtype-auto-creation feature documentation

We see this feature as a quick way of documenting and discovering events that are flowing across an organization, however, manually creating EventTypes is still possible.

Support for more than just Knative Brokers

Currently, the EventType API is usable only when using the Knative Broker API because it contains a field called broker which represents the name of the Knative Broker that consumers can use to subscribe to such events.

The EventType API will deprecate the field and add a .spec.reference field, which can reference any Knative resource, including channels and sinks.

This removes the limitation to use the event type metadata with the Broker API only and allows using the EventType API with any other resource.

CRD for Event Type Definitions

EventType objects represents events that are actively been sent by a source system.

Many times, when building event-driven architectures, teams have a design phase where the event structure and their metadata are decided and documented before having any source system sending such events.

The EventTypeDefinition API will be the object types that teams and system integrators can use to document to other teams that such event types are potentially usable.

For more detailed information, please refer to the feature track document


As you can see we are committed to move the Knative Eventing project forward. The above shows that topics like secure event processing or improved event discoverability are addressed to improve the developer experience for all Knative Eventing users.

However, we are not done! We are passionate about improving Knative Eventing and also continue to innovate in the area of event driven architectures for Kubernetes. But we can not just do this alone: We also need your help!

If you're curious and want to get involved, please explore the Github Projects we have or feel free to join us in our Slack channels. Your collaboration and contributions are invaluable to the continued success of Knative. Together, we can shape the future of event-driven applications on Kubernetes!

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