CNCF Graduates KEDA Autoscaler for Kubernetes Clusters

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) revealed today that the Kubernetes Event-Driven Autoscaling (KEDA) project has formally graduated.

KEDA is a single-purpose event-driven autoscaler for Kubernetes that makes it simpler to scale workloads or schedule long-running jobs. It is designed to provide an alternative to the standard Kubernetes autoscaler and horizontal pod autoscaling (HPA) using custom metrics or metrics defined by another system.

Zbynek Roubalik, CTO at Kedify, a startup providing KEDA expertise and a maintainer of KEDA, said autoscaling enables IT teams to optimize processes more cost-efficiently. In addition, organizations are also using KEDA to reduce the amount of carbon being generated by Kubernetes clusters.

KEDA was originally started by Microsoft and Red Hat in 2019. It was accepted into the CNCF Sandbox in March 2020. Today, KEDA is used in production by more than 45 organizations, including FedEx, Grafana Labs, KPMG, Reddit and Xbox. It has added more than 60 scalers, or connectors, to external services and now supports nine authentication providers.

As Kubernetes clusters are more widely used within enterprises, more sophisticated cloud-native applications are being deployed. Many of those applications will require a tool like the KEDA autoscaler to efficiently invoke infrastructure resources, noted Roubalik.

Not every IT team is, of course, going to require KEDA when Kubernetes already has a built-in autoscaler and HPA capabilities. However, it’s becoming apparent the tooling available for Kubernetes clusters is becoming more robust. That’s proving crucial as IT teams increasingly find themselves managing multiple instances of Kubernetes clusters running a wide range of applications. In some cases, a handful of those clusters might be running the types of applications that require KEDA to scale up and, just as importantly, back down as fluidly as possible.

Like most open source projects, KEDA needs more contributors and maintainers to work on the project, noted Roubalik. The issue that many open source projects have is there are only so many individuals with the skills required. In fact, far too many projects are often maintained by only a relatively handful of committed developers, even though the number of organizations consuming that software is extensive.

Hopefully, in time, more enterprise IT organizations will see fit to make material and financial contributions to smaller open source projects that may not have the same level of passionate developers willing to contribute to larger projects like Linux.

In the meantime, enterprise IT organizations would be well-advised to familiarize themselves with the large assortment of open source projects being advanced under the auspices of the CNCF. That list may appear daunting at first, and many of these projects are still in the early stages of development. However, as these projects mature, there is a corresponding increase in the number of use cases for platforms such as Kubernetes. The challenge and the opportunity now is to move beyond Kubernetes itself to embrace a wide range of innovative open source technologies that ultimately help reduce the total cost of IT.

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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