Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Kubernetes Packager Secures Cloud-Native Apps 

An open source version of the Kubernetes cluster orchestrator is intended to package and deploy cloud-native applications to restricted, on-premise infrastructure such as government clouds.

Gravitational, which was founded by Rackspace veterans in 2015, said its aptly named Gravity open-source Kubernetes packaging tool emphasizes secure cloud-native application deployments. It also allows users to take a snapshot of their Kubernetes cluster, then package all applications and dependencies into a single file. That file could then be installed into restricted environments such as Amazon Web Service’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) GovCloud or isolated server rooms.

Gravitational said Wednesday (Oct. 31) its new Kubernetes-based packager includes an open source privileged access management tool for cloud-native infrastructure. Called Teleport, the tool incorporates security practices for monitoring logging activity across clusters to meet enterprise compliance requirements.

The Gravity tool is the latest example of how Kubernetes and cloud-native applications are making inroads in enterprises, including on-premise infrastructure handling mission-critical apps. Gravitational is betting it has found a niche in reducing operational complexity associated with the cluster orchestrator’s detailed configuration requirements.

The startup claims that complexity has created a need for “Day 2” operational support for tasks like monitoring and logging as well as software upgrades and security patches. Its solution is intended to reduced operational complexity by pre-configuring “upstream” distributions of Kubernetes with “hard earned” operational best practices developed by early adopters like large financial institutions and government contractors like AWS.

“We have seen a lot of companies creating in-house, cobbled-together solutions to solve the very complex issue of running many Kubernetes clusters across different environments. It’s incredibly time consuming and often insecure,” said Ev Kontsevoy, CEO and cofounder at Gravitational, Oakland, Calif.

The company added that software services vendors could use its Kubernetes packaging tool to deploy complex software into private datacenters or third-party cloud accounts owned by enterprise customers. That feature addresses the common enterprise requirement to run software on-premises for security or compliance reasons.

The Gravity tools also allows DevOps teams to remotely manage instances of a cluster, even if they are located behind a firewall, the startup said.


About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).