The Kubernetes Current Blog

Airship & Rafay: Automated Cluster Management & Application Distribution

The Combination delivers seamless Lifecycle Management for Bare-Metal Infrastructure,
Kubernetes and Containerized Applications for Service Provider Networks 

Telcos and service providers such as AT&T and South Korea Telecom (SKT) are leveraging Airship, an Open Infrastructure project, to programmatically bring up production-grade Kubernetes clusters on bare-metal servers using declarative principles. These companies see Airship as a key enabler towards deploying and operating high-value network functions such as evolved packet cores (EPCs) and customer workloads across their networks.

Airship does an incredibly good job of automating bring up and lifecycle management of Kubernetes and OpenStack powered clusters.  But when it comes to managing the lifecycle of containerized applications running across Airship-powered clusters, the task of automating the DevOps workflow falls on the application owners. Many telcos are exploring paths to simplify the deployment of network functions, as well as latency-sensitive workloads belonging to enterprise customers, across their networks. And this is where the Rafay and Airship combination makes sense.

The Rafay and Airship Combination

The Rafay platform provides an intuitive, prescriptive framework to declaratively automate the lifecycle management of containerized applications. By translating business intent into underlying configurations across Kubernetes and all other in-cluster packages (Prometheus, Fluentd, GlusterFS, Calico, Flannel, etc.), Rafay provides an elegant abstraction layer that the DevOps teams can use to speed up their ongoing automation efforts. Rafay’s unique approach to managing an application footprint across clusters also makes it easy for the DevOps team to distribute their application workloads across cloud and service provider networks. Rafay’s wizard-like tool generates YAML files for Kubernetes and other in-cluster packages, enabling operators to declaratively manage the entire lifecycle of containerized apps running globally.

The Rafay platform can easily be deployed on top of Airship-powered Kubernetes clusters through the use of the Rafay Operator. For service providers who would prefer, the Rafay platform optionally provides a managed Kubernetes offering.

And here’s the best part: Service providers using the Airship and Rafay combination can empower enterprises to dynamically schedule and place containerized workloads/applications anywhere – in service provider networks, public clouds, private clouds, or traditional data centers.  Rafay’s unique placement feature set works in a hands-free, closed-loop way to move workloads to clusters that automatically minimize end-user user latency. This is a powerful enabler for edge applications, where latency-sensitive applications must be deployed closer to end users based on actual usage.

If you’re using or exploring Airship already, you should really be looking at the Rafay platform to automate the lifecycle of containerized workloads running on top of Airship-powered clusters. Please email us to discuss your requirements in greater depth, or view a demo of the Rafay platform.


Containers , edge , infrastructure , Infrastructure As Code , Kubernetes , Thought Leadership

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