Loft Labs Adds K0s Support to Virtual Kubernetes Clusters

Loft Labs today announced it has added support for the kOs lightweight distribution of Kubernetes to its open source vcluster software. The vcluster software was developed by Loft Labs to enable deployment of multiple instances of Kubernetes on the same cluster.

Lukas Gentele, Loft Labs CEO, says the kOs distribution of Kubernetes, which is maintained by Mirantis, is widely used among containerized application developers that use tools like the Lens integrated development environment (IDE). The vcluster project provides a layer of abstraction that isolates each application running on a multi-tenant Kubernetes cluster. This approach is easier to set up and maintain than relying solely on the namespaces capability that Kubernetes already provides. In effect, vcluster runs within that namespaces capability.

Once installed, a virtual cluster behaves just like any regular Kubernetes cluster. In fact, vcluster is a certified Kubernetes distribution, which means that it passes all conformance tests required by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). Those can be spun up using either a graphical tool or via the Loft command line interface (CLI) or, alternatively, by using the kubectl CLI that comes with Kubernetes.

Loft Labs provides an enterprise-grade platform on top of vcluster—dubbed Loft—that IT teams can use to enable developers, engineers or IT administrators to provision Kubernetes clusters as required.

Earlier this month, Loft Labs added support for any vanilla distribution of Kubernetes. Previously, vcluster only supported the lightweight K3s instance of Kubernetes originally developed by Rancher Labs, which subsequently was acquired by SUSE.

The goal is to make it simpler for developers to spin up logically separated instances of Kubernetes that can scale up and down on a server or in the cloud rather than being limited to the resources available on their individual desktop or laptop systems.

As Kubernetes management continues to evolve, it’s still not clear the degree to which clusters will be managed by DevOps teams versus traditional IT administrators employing graphical tools. In most organizations, depending on the task, it’s likely to be a mix of both types of IT professionals. In the meantime, it’s still early days as far as virtualization of Kubernetes clusters is concerned, but as the number of Kubernetes clusters deployed in IT environments continues to increase, finding a way to manage them more efficiently will become a higher priority.

The issue many IT organizations will need to resolve is how to address this problem before Kubernetes cluster sprawl gets out of control. A vcluster makes it simpler to provision and, just as importantly, tear down a Kubernetes cluster at various stages of an application development project.

Eventually, the management of Kubernetes will become more automated. In the meantime, thinly stretched IT teams will probably need every tool they can find to manage one of the most complex IT platforms ever created.

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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