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Apache Kafka is a distributed streaming platform used to build reliable, scalable and high-throughput real-time streaming systems. Its capabilities, while impressive, can be further improved through the addition of Kubernetes. Accordingly, we’ve built an open-source Kafka operator and Supertubes to run and seamlessly operate Kafka on Kubernetes through its various features, like fine-grain broker configuration, metrics based scaling with rebalancing, rack awareness, and graceful rolling upgrades - just to name a few.
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Today we are happy to announce the 1.1 release of Backyards, Banzai Cloud’s automated and operationalized service mesh product built on Istio. This is an announcement post describing the new features of Backyards. If you’re not familiar with Backyards yet, and want to know why we decided to build this product, we suggest reading the blog post about the first major release. Check out Backyards in action on your own clusters: curl https://getbackyards.
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Kubernetes is a highly extensible framework that is built from a bunch of loosely coupled components. This gives a very high level of flexibility, but adds some new challenges to the operation compared to monolithic solutions of similar systems of the past. One of these challenges is observability, especially log collection. This post describes how to collect the logs of Kubernetes components in detail, but does not discuss the collection of application (workload) logs.
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In today’s post, we’ll be discussing multi-datacenter Vault clusters that span multiple regions. Most enterprises follow different replication strategies to provide scalable and highly-available services. One common replication/disaster recovery strategy for distributed applications is to have a hot standby replica of the very same deployment already setup in a secondary data center. When a catastrophic event occurs in the primary data center, all traffic is then redirected to the secondary datacenter.
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In Kubernetes clusters, the number of Operators and their managed CRDs is constantly increasing. As the complexity of these systems grows, so does the demand for competent user interfaces and flexible APIs. At Banzai Cloud we write lots of operators (e.g. Vault, Istio, Logging, Kafka, HPA, etc) and we believe that whatever system you’re working with, whether it’s a service mesh, a distributed logging system or a centralized message broker operated through CRDs, you will eventually find yourself in need of enhanced observability and more flexible management capabilities.
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Two months ago we announced the release of Backyards, Banzai Cloud’s multi- and hybrid-cloud enabled service mesh built on top of our Istio operator. One of Backyards’ hallmarks is its ability to simplify building a production-ready Istio deployment down to a single command: backyards install -a - complete with enterprise grade security, monitoring, tracing, logs, audit, and features like canary releases, traffic management, circuit breaking and lots more, either through a convenient UI, CLI or a GraphQL API.
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A while ago we published some benchmarks about our experience of running Apache Kafka over a service mesh with the Banzai Cloud Kafka and Istio operator, orchestrated by our automated and operationalized service mesh, Backyards. The reasons for such a setup were many, and there are more details in the Running Apache Kafka over Istio - benchmark post, but let me recap some of our initial reasons, and how we evolved from there.
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When someone first hears about Istio’s sidecar concept, the first two questions are usually about its effect on resource consumption and request latency or throughput. In this post we’ll discuss the first of those questions: resource consumption of Istio proxies and how it can be reduced with the new Sidecar custom resource. Previously we had a Kafka on Istio benchmark post that was about throughput, and we’ll take a deeper look at the most important HTTP request metrics in a forthcoming article (stay tuned).
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Frequent readers of our blog and users of our hybrid cloud container management platform, Pipeline, will be familiar with the integrated cluster services that come with it. These services are automated end-to-end solutions for centralized logging, federated monitoring, security scans, advanced credential management, autoscaling, registries and lots more (see, for example, automated DNS management for Kubernetes). Providing an automated logging solution, and making sure it works seamlessly across multiple clusters, has always been part of Pipeline.
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Check out Backyards in action on your own clusters: curl https://getbackyards.sh | sh && backyards install -a --run-demo What to know more? Get in touch with us, schedule a demo or delve into the details of the latest release. Istio has been rightfully praised for ushering in free observability and secure service to service communication. Other, more significant features, however, are what truly make Istio the Swiss army knife of service mesh operators; when it comes to meeting SLOs like uptime, latency and error rates, the ability to manage traffic between services is absolutely critical.
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