Whitecruiser: the easiest way to manage your Kubernetes clusters

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Microservices are common these days, either for Telco or IT workloads, the biggest example is the 5G SA platform and its new service-based architecture (SBA). In that matter, operators now are looking for a platform to allow them to manage several clusters and workloads in a centralized way, including tools for monitoring and observability. Whitecruiser offers a new and very flexible alternative to provide that and has even more high-value benefits like:

Whitecruiser’s high-value benefits.

Architecture

Whitecruiser is built using open-source projects, the management center is based on the Rancher project and from there we’re able to deploy and manage several clusters on top of different types of infra (i.e. OpenStack, bare metal, etc).

Whitecruiser architecture

Enterprises/operators can also scale their clusters based on the traffic demand, they can have one cluster for CI/CD, one cluster just for web applications, or one cluster for their telco workloads, possibilities are endless. Whitecruiser provides this feature based on an open-source project called Rancher.

Based on successful open-source projects like Rancher, Istio, Jaeger, and many others that add value to both the IT and Telco applications, Whitestack’s unique approach with WhiteCruiser aims to fulfill the following values:

  • A converged approach for supporting both IT and Telco workloads.
  • Lightweight, selective deployments modes to adapt to both the Cloud and Edge with the same platform.
  • High performance and network throughput, mainly for mobile operator’s core and distributed components.

Features

Whitecruiser offers many features to aim the deployment of applications as easiest as could be, the main features are:

Multi-cluster: Whitecruiser allows enterprises/operators to deploy multiple Kubernetes clusters using a centralized platform to manage them. Also gives them access to a marketplace where users can install their PaaS tools with one click, depending on what role they want to assign to their cluster. Enterprises/operators can also scale their clusters based on the traffic demand, they can have one cluster for CI/CD, one cluster just for web applications, or one cluster for their telco workloads, possibilities are endless. Whitecruiser provides this feature based on an open-source project called Rancher.

Centralized analytics and monitoring: Whitecruiser provides tools for analytics dashboards, long-term databases, E2E distributed tracing, and collection of metrics, logs, and events from servers and applications. Open-source projects making possible this feature are Grafana, Kibana, Elastic, Prometheus, Cortex, Fluentd, and jaeger.

Identity and access management: Whitecruiser allows the management of user federation, user management and authentication, and fine-grained authorization for enterprises/operators’ applications and secure services. Some features are Single-Sign-On, admin, and account management console and support standard protocols. Open-source tools available are Keycloak and WSO2 Identity Server.

Data Store as a Service: Whitecruiser includes data store as a service to have databases (DB) available in the clusters, whether an enterprise/operator needs SQL Relational database, NoSQL document-oriented database, or in-memory distributed data store. In one click you’ll have your DB up and running. Databases available are MariaDB, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, Redis, and Inifinispan.

Service mesh: Whitecruiser includes tools to manage service-to-service communication in a microservices architecture, observability, traffic, security, and policy are part of the benefits if enterprises/operators are running large-scale applications composed of many microservices. Open-source projects available are Istio and Kiali.

GitOps: Whitecruiser allows enterprises/operators to run their pipelines for the continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) of all their containerized applications, developers of the enterprise/operator can build, test and deploy applications in a cloud-native environment. The following open-source projects are available: Tekton, argoCD, Jenkins, and all of them can be integrated through git with the code repository.

Message brokers: Whitecruiser includes tools to manage the message validation, transformation, and routing between applications in your cluster, it can be deployed in distributed and federated configurations to meet high-scale, high-availability requirements. Kafka and ActiveMQ are the open-source projects available.

API management: Whitecruiser includes tools to manage the process of designing, publishing, documenting, and analyzing APIs in a secure environment across the enterprise and across clouds. It manages the lifecycle of the APIs. Open-source tools included are Kong and WSO2 API Manager.

Registry: Whitecruiser allows the management of your software built for Kubernetes in an efficient way, also includes a private registry for all your container images and helm charts with their respective tags and versions. Harbor and Helm are open-source tools available.

Whitecruiser’s tools

When asked about the difference with more popular platforms like Red Hat’s OpenShift, Whitestack highlighted the fact that even though the open-source projects are mostly the same -except for some differences like the preference of the Rancher project for the multi-cluster orchestration part- WhiteCruiser “is more focused on the special needs of Telco’s IT and Network workloads convergence at the Cloud and Edge, while innovating with a license consumption model that is more suitable for this particular industry

As we saw, Whitecruiser provides several tools to allow the deployment of IT or Telco workloads with centralized management and a cloud-native approach leveraging open-source tools to help the developers or application vendors to focus on coding instead of worrying about the infra or platform as a service (PaaS) tools.

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