Datawire Adds Free Kubernetes Cluster Config Tool

Datawire has launched a free tool dubbed K8s Initializer that makes it simpler to create fully configured Kubernetes clusters.

Company CEO Richard Li says the tools enable IT teams to leverage a self-service web interface to bootstrap networking, ingress and observability capabilities for a Kubernetes cluster in five simple clicks. As such, Datawire views K8s Initializer as a complementary tool to both Helm Charts and Kubernetes Operators, both of which are relied on to deploy and manage applications.

For now, Li says Datawire plans to provide K8s Initializer as a free tool it supports, instead of donating it to an open consortium.

K8s Initializer was developed to accelerate the building of Delivery Accelerator, a module that streamlines the building and deploying continuous delivery pipelines on Ambassador Edge Stack, an application programming interface (API) management platform for edge computing use cases built on top of Kubernetes and open source Envoy proxy server software.

Li says it’s apparent many organizations need access to graphical tools that make Kubernetes clusters easier to configure given all the possible options. That level of complexity tends to slow down the rate of adoption for Kubernetes because many IT teams are intimated, he notes. Initially, at least, Kubernetes was designed by engineers for other engineers.

A readily accessible tool such as Datawire K8s Initializer also makes Kubernetes more accessible to a wider population of potential job candidates, Li adds. Organizations can hire an IT administrator to configure Kubernetes clusters without having to add one more task for a DevOps team to programmatically automate.

In general, organizations that are new to Kubernetes should pick a single project to focus on, advises Li. Once they successfully deploy applications on a single Kubernetes cluster, it’s usually not long before fleets of Kubernetes clusters are deployed. K8s Initializer also allows IT teams to save their custom-generated configurations so that they can consistently repeat the process every time they need to deploy a new cluster. The biggest hurdle for many IT teams when it comes to Kubernetes is simply bootstrapping the initial cluster, he says.

It’s not clear to what degree IT administrators will take control over managing Kubernetes clusters. Most clusters today are spun up by DevOps teams. However, not every organization has the same level of DevOps expertise. Many may prefer to continue to centrally manage Kubernetes clusters using IT administrators, who typically are less expensive to hire and retain.

Regardless of IT personnel strategy, the rate at which Kubernetes clusters are being spun up is increasing as more cloud-native applications are being built and deployed using containers. IT organizations may need to reach a certain critical mass of containers before the orchestration capabilities of a Kubernetes cluster are required. However, the day when most organizations that have embraced containers will need to manage Kubernetes clusters at scale will arrive soon. The only thing left to determine now is how best to go about 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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