Platform9 Simplifies Kubernetes Cluster Management

Platform9 has updated its software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for managing Kubernetes clusters to support multiple versions of Kubernetes clusters simultaneously.

As IT organizations deploy Kubernetes clusters in greater numbers, over time, many of those clusters wind up running versions of Kubernetes that might be several releases behind. The latest 5.0 update of the platform enables IT teams to update Kubernetes clusters at their own pace.

Chris Jones, a product manager for Platform9, says the decision to update or patch a cluster needs to take into account the level of risk to the applications running on the cluster. Any update might result in an application breaking, because there is some dependency on an application programming interface (API) that might have been deprecated in a later release of Kubernetes, Jones says.

Other capabilities added with the latest update to Platform9’s management service for Kubernetes clusters include the ability to deploy a cluster with a single click in either an on-premises IT environment running virtual or physical machines, as well as public cloud services provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft.

Additionally, IT teams can now employ Terraform to deploy and manage Kubernetes clusters as code, along with additional application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable declarative clusters to be deployed and aligning those deployments to a specific profile. Those APIs and profiles ensure clusters are deployed both consistently and more quickly, regardless of which member of an IT team is managing the task, says Jones.

Finally, Platform9 has enhanced the observability and logging services it provides to include dashboards for tracking Kube Events statistics, file system usage, CPU, memory and network usage along with an application programming interface (API) for integration with servers. Many of those capabilities are taken for granted in legacy IT environments, a gap Jones says Platform9 is now trying to fill in Kubernetes-based, cloud-native IT environments.

Platform9

The Platform9 platform makes available open source tools, such as Prometheus, for monitoring Kubernetes environments via a SaaS platform. That approach eliminates the need for IT teams to construct, manage, update and secure a management platform for Kubernetes on their own. That platform is designed to be accessible to both DevOps teams and IT administrators that don’t tend to have a lot of programming expertise, Jones says.

As more organizations deploy cloud-native applications and Kubernetes clusters reach a level of critical mass, it may soon require a different management approach. The days when a small number of developers could manage a handful of Kubernetes clusters are coming to an end; soon, it will require an enterprise-class approach to managing what will soon become hundreds, possibly thousands, of Kubernetes clusters.

The question now is to what degree IT teams will want to construct a management platform of their own versus relying on a suite of SaaS tools that are readily available. At a time when many IT personnel continue to work from home to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic, that choice may have already been made.

Mike Vizard

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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