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Hybrid- and multi-cloud are quickly becoming the new norm for enterprises, just as service mesh is becoming essential to the cloud native computing environment. From the very beginning, the Pipeline platform has supported multiple cloud providers and wiring them together at multiple levels (cluster, deployments and services) was always one of the primary goals. We supported setting up multi-cluster service meshes from the first release of our open source Istio operator.

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When we added support for Istio’s service mesh in the Pipeline platform, we experienced first hand how the deployment and management of Istio can become increasingly complex. We realized that we weren’t the only ones managing Istio with Helm dealing with these problems - that demand was emerging for an Istio operator (e.g. #9333). We decided to build an Istio operator of our own, and more than a month ago we open sourced it.

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Two weeks ago we introduced our Kafka Spotguide for Kubernetes - the easiest way to deploy and operate Apache Kafka on Kubernetes. Since then, it’s been integrated into our application and DevOps container management platform, Pipeline, among other spotguides such as Spark on Kubernetes, Zeppelin, NodeJS and Golang, just to name a few. Because we’ve already met our goal of making it easy set up a Kafka cluster on Kubernetes with just few clicks, and in less than ten minutes - provisioning and operating its entire infrastructure, both in Kubernetes and Kafka - we’ve shifted our focus to Kafka security.

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At Banzai Cloud we are building a feature rich enterprise-grade application and devops container management platform, called Pipeline and a CNCF certified Kubernetes distribution, PKE. Security is one of our main areas of focus, and we strive to automate and enable those security patterns we consider essential for all the enterprises that use Pipeline. For us, Istio is no exception, in that we apply the best available security practices to the service mesh, while maintaining the sleekest, most automated user experience possible.

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Two weeks ago we announced the first release of our Istio operator. Since then we’ve added support for Istio’s preliminary 1.1 release. This post will detail how and why you should try it. In creating the operator, our main goal was to simplify the deployment and management of Istio’s components. This release is still in alpha, and its main goal is still to replace Helm charts as a preferred means of installing Istio, but it provides a few additional features we think you’ll find convenient.

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One of the key features of the Pipeline platform is its ability to automatically provision, manage, and operate different application frameworks through what we call spotguides. Among the many spotguides we support on Kubernetes (Spark, Zeppelin, NodeJS, Golang, even custom frameworks - to name a few) Apache Kafka is among the most popular. We are heavily invested in making it as easy and straightforward as possible to operate Apache Kafka automatically on Kubernetes, and we believe that our current Apache Kafka Spotguide does just that.

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Last week we released our open source Istio operator designed to help ease the sometimes difficult task of managing Istio. One of the main feature of the operator is its ability to manage a single mesh multi-cluster Istio. Multi cluster scenarios Typical multi-cluster-based patterns are single mesh - combining multiple clusters into one unit managed by one Istio control plane - and mesh federation, wherein multiple clusters act as individual management domains and the service exposure between those domains is done selectively.

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Service mesh has, without question, been one of the most vigorously debated and obsessed over topics of discussion in recent memory. It seems like, whichever way you turn, you run into heated arguments between those developers that are convinced that service mesh will outgrow even Kubernetes, and the naysayers convinced that, outside of use in a few large companies, service mesh is impractical to the point of uselessness. As always, the truth probably lies somewhere in between, but that doesn’t mean you can avoid developing an opinion, especially if you’re a Kubernetes distribution and platform provider like us.

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If you are looking to try out an automated way to provision and manage Kafka on Kubernetes, please follow this Kafka on Kubernetes the easy way link. At Banzai Cloud we use Kafka internally a lot. We have some internal systems and customer reporting deployments where we rely heavily on Kafka deployed to Kubernetes. We practice what we preach and all these deployments (not just the external ones) are done using our application platform, Pipeline.

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