Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Kubernetes Gets a Traffic Manager 

The Kubernetes ecosystem continues to expand with the adoption of a traffic manager for easing access to the orchestrator’s application services. The control plane called Contour was contributed to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation by VMware, which acquired the technology when it bought Kubernetes pioneer Heptio in 2018.

CNCF said this week that Contour has been accepted as an incubator project, serving as a control plane for Envoy, an open source edge and service proxy for micro-service meshes.

Contour works by deploying Envoy as a “reverse proxy,” or proxy server used to retrieve resources from multiple servers. CNCF said the traffic manager supports dynamic configuration updates and Kubernetes clusters as well as providing “advanced load balancing strategies.”

“One of the most important steps for running workloads at scale with Kubernetes is to implement efficient [application layer] traffic ingress management,” Matt Klein, a software engineer at Lyft and Contour’s sponsor, noted in a CNCF blog post.

“Contour fills a common operational gap by providing a way for users to access applications within a Kubernetes cluster,” Klein added.

Kubernetes Ingress is a set of configurations used to define how external traffic is routed to an application inside a Kubernetes cluster. Contour is designed monitor changes to objects in the cluster. It then configures a data path for requests to be resolved, implementing the defined configurations.

“CNCF can play a big role in shaping the future of ingress controllers, a critical part of any cloud native infrastructure,” added Michael Michael, VMware’s director of product management.

Early adopters of Contour include Adobe and the threat intelligence vendor Phishlabs. Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) is using Contour as an ingress controller for Project Ethos, described as a multi-tenant platform based on Kubernetes.

“Modern distributed systems rely on networking and connectivity, making ingress controllers for Kubernetes an essential piece of architecture,” said Chris Aniszczyk, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s CTO. “Contour is a logical complement to Envoy and makes it easier to consume in a cloud native, multi-team environment.”

Heptio launched Contour in 2017, about a year after the startup was launched by Kubernetes project founders Joe Beda and Craig McLuckie. VMware (NYSE: VMW) released version 1.0 last November.


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).