Brad Campbell explains how Cloudreach is working with Google Kubernetes Engine to deliver our new Kubernetes Launchpad.

If you’re reading this, you’re already focused on building “what’s next with secure infrastructure, developer tools, [and] APIs” using the extensive toolset that GCP gives you.

Your forward-thinking mentality means you’re at least aware of Kubernetes, if not already making plans to actively incorporate into your supported development platforms.

In either case, it’s likely that you’re here because you want to go deeper with Kubernetes, but you’re not sure where to start.  Should you use your own ingress with Nginx or use a Kubernetes-provisioned Cloud Load Balancer?  What’s the best way to manage Secrets?  What’s the best way to provision worker nodes?  Are there advantages to self-managed worker nodes?

Are Kubernetes Worth It?

Yes, Kubernetes comes with a lot of decision points. It entails upskilling, reskilling, new operating models, and a lot of changes. All of these questions and thoughts begin to form into a single, pointed question: is moving to Kubernetes worth it?  Let’s ask box:

“We looked at a lot of different options, but Kubernetes really stood out….the fact that on day one it was designed to run on bare metal just as well as Google Cloud meant that we could actually migrate to it inside of our data centers, and then use those same tools and concepts to run across public cloud providers as well.”

box Case Study, Kubernetes Web Site

It’s clear from statements like these (and many more) that organizations can benefit from the use of Kubernetes.  What’s perhaps less clear, though, is what’s necessary to get up and running with Kubernetes quickly.  Having been in IT long enough to know that it’s often what you don’t know that can present the most risk and challenge to an adoption project, a cursory study of a full DIY implementation leaves you with the feeling that there’s a long journey ahead of you.

Bridging the Gap

What if you could cross that gap more quickly — and with less risk? Cloudreach can help you cross that gap more quickly. We designed our Kubernetes Launchpad for GKE with you in mind. Guided by our experience, we have built an opinionated solution that abstracts away the complex choices in building clusters and the backing infrastructure for you. Together, we can focus on driving business value for you by focusing on a proof-of-concept application deployment on your new cluster.

In short order, you’ll be able to hit the ground running with services up and running in your new cluster.  

Cloudreach Kubernetes LaunchPad for GKE

Batteries Included

Included in the Cloudreach Kubernetes Launchpad for GKE is everything you need to begin using Kubernetes to run an application in a full DevOps environment. The Launchpad creates not only the GKE-based Kubernetes cluster for you, but it also generates a backing GitHub organization for code storage and Cloud Build pipelines to manage the infrastructure, application container, and Helm chart creation processes.

The Launchpad accomplishes all of these tasks by leveraging various API providers (GKE and Cloud Build pipelines via GCP, GitHub org and repos via GitHub) consistently through the use of Terraform. By not just focusing on the Kubernetes cluster, but also treating the underlying management resources (e.g., repos and pipelines) as first-class citizens within the solution, the Launchpad elevates itself to not only an accelerator but also as the foundation for a production-based deployment — out-of-the-box.

 

Google Kubernetes Engine  and More

Cloudreach Kubernetes Launchpad for Google Kubernetes Engine provides you with more than just GKE-backed Kubernetes clusters. We’re giving you the capability to deploy separate projects for your cluster and your deployment pipelines.

Cloud Build

Guard against security threats in your software supply chain with vulnerability scanning. Automatically block deployment of vulnerable images based on policies set by DevSecOps.

Cloud Build is a fully serverless CI/CD platform managed by Google.  Cloud Build is an extremely fast and powerful CI/CD solution.  Below is an example pipeline from Google’s documentation; in fact, our Launchpad for GKE uses a very similar pipeline design to take your application code to an image.

GKE Cloud Build

It also possesses enhanced security capabilities, giving you the ability to scan container images for vulnerabilities as you create them — a perfect service to use to build your app container images to run in your new cluster!

Cloud Monitoring and Cloud Logging

Our solution is built on GKE and its native integration with Cloud Monitoring and Cloud Logging.  Included in the solution is Kubernetes-centric monitoring dashboard.  If you want to export application logs to this same solution along with your cluster logs, you’re able to do so.  This unified view of your application and your application fabric is a powerful tool for debugging operational issues, especially operational issues who trace their roots back to application code issues.

More, Really…

Is security top of mind?  Good — we’re aiming to please by taking advantage of Google’s Secret Manager to manage your Kubernetes secrets.   By the way, Secret Manager “[d]ata is encrypted in transit with TLS and at rest with AES-256-bit encryption keys” (https://cloud.google.com/secret-manager), ensuring your secrets are protected.  In addition to leveraging Cloud Build’s container scanning capabilities, we’re aiming not only to ensure that you have good runtime security, but that we’re helping you “push left” by adopting DevSecOps practices.

We want your GKE experience to be a great one, so we’ve focused on making sure we’re providing you with a solution that meets your proof-of-concept needs but also one that is capable of running in a fully operational context.  By aligning our designs to best practices, ensuring you have development and deployment capabilities backed by Cloud Build, and baking in Day Two necessities like monitoring with and log handling via Cloud Logging and Cloud Monitoring, we’re setting you up for success once your proof-of-concept is up and running.

Get Ready for Launch

Getting ready for launch isn’t a complicated process.  You’ll need connectivity to GCP and an account created that we can deploy the solution into.  Once you have those, get in touch, and let’s get building!