What is Managed Kubernetes?

Civo offers managed Kubernetes, meaning you do not have to configure your cluster’s setup from scratch every time you want to try something out. Our system is based on Rancher Lab’s k3s distribution of Kubernetes, which is a lighter-weight but fully-compatible version of Kubernetes. This allows our system to provision your cluster and get you live in a few minutes.

If you are looking to deploy an application or a set of microservices, we believe you’re more likely than not looking to do just that, rather than getting involved in the minutiae of cluster setup. That’s why we are offering Kubernetes as a Service, allowing you as a developer to concentrate on what’s interesting to you.

If you want to read a more in-depth document on the reasons we chose k3s to underpin our service, our CTO Andy wrote just such a piece.

So, what is Kubernetes exactly?

Kubernetes is a container orchestration system. It allows you to manage deployment and scaling of applications stored in containers through bundling them in clusters of nodes. A “node” is just a machine host, most commonly in the cloud. Each node hosts pods within which run containers, singly or together with tightly-coupled related services. So, what Kubernetes allows you to do is to make sure all the components that make up your app are up, ready, and scale to demand.

A brief overview of Civo Kubernetes

We aim to have the provisioning and getting up and running with your Kubernetes cluster as easy as possible. Everything you need can be configured and viewed at a glance on the Kubernetes Dashboard page, from the number of nodes in your cluster to their specification.

Kubernetes Dashboard

We also provide an open-source marketplace of commonly-deployed applications, which will allow you to just layer your own work on top. From setting up SSL certificates to monitoring out of the box, you can get these set up on your cluster with little fuss. Plus, as it’s open source, if you find yourself adding a particular application to every cluster you create, or believe others would benefit from an application to be included, it’s easy to add in through our GitHub repository!

Kubernetes Marketplace

For an example of deploying apps from the marketplace, check out this guide written by our community member Ruan Bekker on deploying Jenkins for CI/CD automation. You can have an automation pipeline ready in minutes!

Command-line interface and API

We have a fully-fledged command-line interface and API to allow you to manage your Kubernetes clusters. Whether you’re scripting something for deployment automation or want to scale up your cluster with a single command on the terminal, you can do it. The API you have access to is the same one our web user interface uses, meaning anything you can do to your clusters on the UI, you can do through the API. You can read more about the available API endpoints here.

Check out this video for a run through of launching a cluster both of the Civo CLI and from the dashboard.

K3s, the distribution underpinning our managed Kubernetes service, is a full-featured flavour of Kubernetes. That means you can use any command-line applications already out there to manage your clusters. We have a guide to get to grips with your clusters on the command line, as well as guides for our favourite monitoring and management interfaces such as Octant.

We even have a guide to deploying a controller that watches for changes in a file and makes changes to your cluster infrastructure accordingly, all through the API.

Other Projects to try

Building a blog on Civo k3s

Could you host a blog on Kubernetes? Sure! Take a look at this guide on building a Ghost blog on top of Civo Kubernetes.

Audit your cluster performance with Polaris

If you want to find out how you can make a cluster be more performant, reliable and scalable, Milind Chawre wrote a guide on setting up Fairwinds Polaris on your cluster. This is a neat little tool that you can run once to check your cluster is following best practices, or as a pre-commit hook as part of a CI/CD/automation process. If you're interested in what makes your cluster tick, Polaris is a great way to get to grips with some of its inner workings.

Build a Helm chart for your own microservice

Ready for a deep dive? Want to build and deploy a microservice from scratch? Alex Ellis wrote an in-depth guide to provisioning an instance, setting up Helm 3, creating your microservice and deploying it. Check it out here and let us know how you get on!

Join and learn from the Community

We have a lively, friendly and knowledgeable community of Civo Kubernetes users on Slack. As a Civo user you will receive an invitation to join and be able to bounce ideas, feedback and get quick help on your projects from fellow members. If you have not yet signed up to Civo, join now!