Fairwinds Delivers Platform to Monitor Kubernetes Configurations

Fairwinds has made generally available a platform that monitors configuration issues in Kubernetes environments as part of an effort to identify issues before they become a major problem.

Company president Kendall Miller says Fairwinds Insights is intended to complement existing tools for monitoring Kubernetes environments in real-time. In addition to surfacing configuration issues, Fairwinds Insights suggests remediation steps and code examples to address potential issues.

Miller says the goal is to make it easier to identify where and when issues are occurring before they become a full-blown crisis. The challenge IT organizations face today is because of the complexity of Kubernetes, there is a lot that can go wrong when provisioning and configuring a Kubernetes cluster, notes Miller.

In addition, many Kubernetes clusters are ephemeral in nature, so if there is a configuration issue IT teams need access to a set of tools that immediately identify when and where an issue might have occurred, he says.

In the wake of the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, many IT teams are going to need a little extra help managing their IT environments. In some cases, that may mean relying on external IT services providers such as Fairwinds to manage their entire Kubernetes environment. Alternatively, IT teams may decide to invoke analytics tools that vendors such as Fairwinds are now making available as standalone offerings.

Regardless of the approach, waiting for a Kubernetes configuration issue that is almost inevitably is going to become a larger problem later may not be the best strategy at a time when IT resources are clearly constrained.

Of course, IT teams could build their own platform for monitoring Kubernetes configurations. However, considerable time and effort are required to set up and maintain such a platform for Kubernetes. In contrast, Miller notes Fairwinds Insights is available in a free community edition, which is limited to five nodes in a single cluster, or in a commercial professional edition. Both editions continuously scan for vulnerabilities, validate deployment configurations, and audit clusters for weaknesses in a way that enables IT teams to prioritize remediation efforts.

Fairwinds Insights also provides insights into application resource usage, which Miller says eliminates the need to engage in trial and error when adjusting CPU and memory settings to improve Kubernetes efficiency. Finally, Fairwinds Insights also provides built-in workflows, health checks, notifications and integrations with tools such as Slack and Datadog.

Miller notes there’s really no reason for IT teams to reinvent the wheel multiple times and then try to maintain it.

Ultimately, IT teams will need to decide how much time they want to spend on troubleshooting IT infrastructure. Most IT teams spend a lot more time looking for the root cause of an issue than they do fixing it. After all, it usually only takes a few minutes to fix a problem. The frustrating thing is that either no one knew the problem existed in the first place or, once they did, it took days or weeks to solve the problem. Most IT professionals should be able to find a much better use of their time.

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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