Loft Labs’ Open Source Project Simplifies Virtual Kubernetes Cluster Management


Loft Labs, a venture-backed firm focused on Kubernetes developer tooling and multi-tenancy solutions, has released a Cluster API provider for the popular open source vcluster technology. Virtual Kubernetes clusters can now be deployed in the same way as physical Kubernetes clusters on a cloud platform or in an on-premises data centre.

Other organisations that have contributed to the Cluster API project include VMware, Microsoft, Weaveworks, Google, Mattermost, IBM, RedHat, D2iQ, Equinix, Apple, Talos Systems, Spectro Cloud, Daimler TSS, Ericsson, Giant Swarm, AppsCode, Intel, Twilio, New Relic, Amazon, and many more.

Twilio’s Kris Nóva, senior principle engineer, and J. Brandt Buckley, principal engineer, discussed their experience using Cluster API on the CNCF blog.  “At Twilio, we run upwards of 100 production Kubernetes clusters on bare metal servers distributed across various geographic data centers. We have found value in Cluster APIs overall topology, specifically with the paradigm of having a management cluster. We take advantage of management clusters as our dedicated infrastructure on which the team can build, manage, and secure the suite of applications that manage our company’s growing fleet of Kubernetes clusters.”

– Improved isolation over simple namespace-based multi-tenancy;

– Lower cloud computing costs due to virtual clusters being much lighter and resource-efficient than spinning up separate single-tenant clusters;

– Logical separation and encapsulation of application workloads from the underlying cluster’s shared infrastructure workloads (such as shared ingress controller or network plug-ins).

Users of virtual clusters should expect their virtual clusters to perform similarly to regular Kubernetes clusters because vcluster is a certified Kubernetes distribution, which means it has passed all of the CNCF’s conformance tests. Virtual clusters are widely utilised as ephemeral settings for conducting continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines, but they are also frequently used as development environments when engineers are building, testing, and debugging cloud-native applications.


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