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Cloud Native Ecosystem / Kubernetes / Service Mesh

Buoyant Wants to Make Linkerd Easier to Use and Manage

Buoyant has added “fully managed” Linkerd service mesh support to Buoyant Cloud to help reduce the complexity associated with Kubernetes.
May 6th, 2022 7:07am by
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Service mesh by definition is supposed to help reduce the complexity associated with Kubernetes. Linkerd, often championed by smaller organizations as the service mesh that is simpler to deploy and manage than other open source alternatives, could become even easier to use with what Buoyant is touting as “fully managed” Linkerd to Buoyant Cloud.

Automating Linkerd

The idea, Linkerd creator William Morgan, CEO of Buoyant, told The New Stack is that Buoyant Cloud will now be able to automate Linkerd upgrades, installations, rollbacks, data-plane version syncs, etc. Morgan’s creative philosophy for Linkerd also seems to continue to carry over from the early days of Twitter when Morgan’s fellow Twitter engineers sought a way to simplify scaling the platform to accommodate hundreds of millions of users, which lead to Linkerd’s creation.

“The service mesh is widely recognized as a critical component of any successful Kubernetes platform, but the space remains notorious for its complexity. In this crowded landscape, Linkerd stands apart for its laser-like focus on simplicity and minimizing operational burden,” Morgan said. “Buoyant Cloud’s new full management features take this focus to the next level, allowing adopters of the CNCF’s flagship service mesh to treat it as a true utility. Buoyant Cloud’s fully managed experience for Linkerd eliminates maintenance tasks like upgrades, monitoring and alerting, allowing organizations to achieve far-reaching goals like enabling zero-trust traffic security for K8s clusters with near-zero maintenance cost and without needing to be a service mesh expert.”

Prior to this release, Linkerd adopters were able to take advantage of the operational simplicity of the Linkerd, but they still needed to perform maintenance tasks such as upgrades, which “in the fast-paced ecosystem of Kubernetes, was a non-trivial burden,” Morgan said.

“While Buoyant Cloud has offered proactive monitoring of Linkerd clusters since its inception, allowing adopters to sleep soundly at night, the new release provides automation of tasks such as upgrades, trust anchor rotations and more, allowing SRE teams to ‘hand over’ ownership of Linkerd to Buoyant Cloud and remove service mesh management and maintenance from their plate entirely,” Morgan said.

Ultimate Control

Buoyant Cloud also allows for simpler control for monitoring Linkerd deployments, ranging from control plane to data plane, but things can still go wrong, Morgan said.

“Linkerd sits at the intersection of many sources of failure, including the network, the cluster, and, of course, your application itself. But we’re going to do this in a way that is predictable and that gives you ultimate control. For example, keeping your data plane in sync with your control plane requires — thanks to Kubernetes’s immutable pods — restarting your workloads,” Morgan wrote in a blog post. “Buoyant Cloud will do that on only the workloads you allow, and in the exact way you specify, without surprises. Upgrading your control plane will happen only when you are ready, and if anything goes tragically wrong, the existing control plane will not be removed. And so on.”

For those organizations that may just be getting their feet wet with Kubernetes or may only want to start a sandbox project, for now, Buoyant Cloud’s Linkerd could be appropriate thanks to its low barrier of entry.

“Teams that want the power of Linkerd but don’t want to invest in the maintenance and operational burden of managing it themselves can easily use Buoyant Cloud’s new ‘fully managed’ feature set, on any cluster and any cloud,” Morgan said.

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