Cluster API Provider for Azure Is Another Giant Leap for the Community

December 18, 2020 Craig McLuckie

VMware is committed to making Kubernetes boring, and that requires some excitement around Cluster API (CAPI). For Kubernetes to be simpler to deploy and operate, we need a common, consistent way to deploy and manage clusters. CAPI has emerged as that force in the Kubernetes ecosystem. There have been plenty of proof points, the latest being Microsoft’s announcement of Cluster API Provider for Azure (CAPZ). 

CAPZ is the cluster lifecycle solution for users operating clusters on Azure IaaS. Microsoft’s operationalization of the CAPZ provider further advances the project and positions CAPI to deliver more value to enterprises as the standard for Kubernetes management.

At VMware, we are huge supporters of CAPI and the use of Kubernetes management patterns beyond the boundaries of managing Linux containers. We use CAPI across the VMware Tanzu portfolio, bringing control and consistency to clusters deployed on premises and in public clouds. For example, the latest release of our Kubernetes distribution supports deployment of clusters on Azure. That means a customer can run a consistent version of Kubernetes in vSphere and on Azure; it’s not only the binaries that are consistent, it’s the operating model. 

I’m encouraged by how enterprises are unlocking more and more capabilities with Kubernetes. It’s clearly more than just a way to schedule workloads—it brings desired state management to distributed systems developers. These are the patterns that people like Brendan Burns pioneered with Custom Resource Definitions. I remember when we were working together in the earliest days of Kubernetes, I thought aspects of this approach were crazy. They turned out to be prescient, supporting intent-driven systems of many kinds.

From a community perspective, it’s great to see leaders like VMware, Microsoft, and others rally around CAPI. The collaboration allows us to pool our development efforts, accelerate the ecosystem, and deliver common operations that benefit everyone. Users can focus less on management of Kubernetes, and more on building systems and applications on top of Kubernetes. 

Microsoft’s commitment to CAPZ raises the waterline for operating Kubernetes on Azure and benefits everyone who is active in the community. So, as we wrap up this year, a toast to all those in the community who have worked hard to advance Cluster API and make Kubernetes a little more boring.

You can learn more about Microsoft’s Cluster API Provider for Azure here and explore how the VMware Tanzu portfolio can help you deploy and manage Kubernetes on Azure here.


About the Author

Craig McLuckie is VP of research and development at VMware, working in the Cloud Native Applications business unit. Previously, he was co-founder of the Kubernetes project, and founder and CEO of Heptio.

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