Traefik Labs Adds Hub to Simplify Container Networking

Traefik Labs today unveiled a cloud service that leverages agent software to simplify the provisioning of network services for containers.

Manuel Zapf, a product manager for Traefik Labs, says Traefik Hub is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that adds an agent to the open source Traefik Proxy software. That agent makes it possible to instantly authorize access to containers from a single dashboard. That capability eliminates the need to manually configure domain name system (DNS) addresses, routing rules, access control and network access translation to gain access to the internet, he adds.

Instead, Traefik Hub employs a lightweight agent to create a secure tunnel for both authenticating access and automating the management of transport layer security (TLS) certificates.

Zapf says that as more organizations begin to deploy microservices-based applications at scale across multiple Kubernetes clusters, the challenges involving networking and security are multiplying. Traefik Hub is designed to automate authentication processes without requiring a specialist to manage and secure all the network connections required, he adds.

Traefik Proxy provides load balancing, orchestrator ingress and east-west service communication in addition to providing an application programming interface (API) gateway. It also enables service discovery, dynamic configuration, load balancing, rate-limiting, circuit-breakers, mirroring, authentication and routing automation as the proxy software intercepts and routes every incoming request to the corresponding backend services.

It also uses service discovery to configure itself dynamically to simplify its use in a microservices-based application environment. All major protocols are supported in addition to providing a secure socket layer (SSL) termination capability that can be used to generate certificates.

Traefik Proxy has been downloaded more than three billion times, Zapf says, with most of that usage involving cloud-native applications that need to dynamically invoke networking services.

While the bulk of applications running in production environments are monolithic, the percentage of cloud-native applications deployed continues to steadily rise. As that transition occurs, the number of IT teams converging the management of compute, storage and networking will also increase. It’s not clear how that convergence will impact job roles within IT organizations, but development teams that are deploying modern applications don’t want to wait days for a network connection to be provisioned. In time, it’s apparent that network operations will become an extension of a larger DevOps workflow.

In the meantime, the battle for dominance over proxy software in cloud-native applications continues to intensify as the number of application programming interfaces (APIs) that need to be managed via a gateway expands. Each proxy software option also lays the foundation for a service mesh that makes it simpler to manage hundreds of APIs. Traefik Labs is betting that as it makes it simpler to employ its proxy software, the number of organizations that will eventually use its service mesh will increase.

One way or another, the provisioning of network services—and APIs at the core of many cloud-native applications—is slowly but surely getting easier to manage.

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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