Instaclustr Ties Open Services Broker to Kubernetes

Instaclustr, a provider of managed services for open source data platforms such as the Apache Kafka messaging platform and the Apache Cassandra database, announced today it will rely on the Open Services Broker (OSB) application programming interface (API) to integrate those platforms with Kubernetes clusters.

Company CTO Ben Bromhead says the OSB API, which was developed under the auspices of the Cloud Foundry Foundation (CFF), is quickly emerging as a de facto integration standard for integrating disparate backend platforms. Kubernetes maintains a catalog of Service Brokers that each expose a set of APIs for enabling integrations between applications and external services. Enterprise IT organizations can connect containerized applications with open source data platforms such as Cassandra and Kafka.

Specifically, the OSB API defines how to fetch the catalog of backing services that a service broker offers. The catalog describes all of the services that can be provisioned and deprovisioned through a service broker. The OSB API also describes how to provision a new service instance and how to connect applications and containers to those services—also known as service binding.

The OSB API is based around a service discovery and catalog mechanism developed by Pivotal Software and donated to the CFF. Major contributors to the project include Fujitsu, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Red Hat and SAP.

Instaclustr provides a managed service that creates an alternative approach to deploying complex open source platforms. Many organizations have adopted an open source-first approach to IT whenever possible. However, they don’t always have the expertise required to deploy and manage platforms such as Kafka and Cassandra. Bromhead says most organizations underestimate the complexity of the challenges associated with deploying open source platforms. Rather than having to acquire the infrastructure, then deploy and constantly update multiple open source platforms, organizations are opting more frequently to rely on the expertise of a managed service provider (MSP).

Those MSPs also often can provide higher levels of cybersecurity. Instaclustr early this month announced it had created an anomaly detection application capable of processing and vetting in real time up to 19 billion events per day. That application runs on top of Cassandra, Kafka and Kubernetes.

Instacluster also leverages Operator software developed by CoreOS to automate the provisioning of Cassandra. The company also plans to add support for open source platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environments based on Kubernetes.

The OSB API can also be employed to enable containerized applications to access both open source and proprietary databases.

It’s arguable that Kubernetes and the OSB API will provide the foundation needed to enable true hybrid cloud computing across multiple clouds. As more organizations embrace the OSB API, there will be marketplaces listing various OSB-compliant services that developers no longer have to invoke manually. That capability also goes a long way to preventing organizations from becoming locked into any one of those services.

Naturally, it may take a while for the OSB API to become pervasive, but at this juncture, it would seem a standard set of broker APIs for the cloud is now more a question of when rather than if.

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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