Kubernetes GitOps with Azure Arc and Charmed Kubernetes

This week, Canonical announced the integration of  Charmed Kubernetes with Microsoft Azure Arc. This integration provides businesses with a centralised place to manage their Kubernetes clusters and deploy their applications at scale, from cloud to the edge. The Azure Arc dashboard enables management and governance of any Kubernetes, across any substrate. These capabilities are now combined with Charmed Kubernetes’ full lifecycle automation tooling to drastically simplify multi-cloud deployments and operations traceability with GitOps. Today’s announcement builds on the existing relationship between Microsoft and Canonical with Ubuntu already the default OS for Azure VMs and Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). 

Benefits of Azure Arc

Azure Arc provides a multi-cloud, multi-cluster single pane of glass for all data services, Kubernetes clusters and their substrates. It also allows defining roles and responsibilities for teams, giving a clear separation of concerns through policy management. Arc is open for integration with different Kubernetes distributions providing an easy way for an organisation to manage their entire IT estate. This is aligned with Canonical’s vision of vendor agnostic software which enables organisations the flexibility to avoid vendor lock in and ensure their infrastructure is running as economically as possible. 

Taking a GitOps approach

Charmed Kubernetes, Canonical’s enterprise multi-cloud Kubernetes solution, with Azure Arc enables businesses to adopt cloud practices on any infrastructure. Charmed Kubernetes runs  on-premises and on public clouds easily thanks to Juju – an automation engine that helps simplify Kubernetes deployments and operations while bringing application lifecycle automation capabilities. Arc and Juju drive an infrastructure as code (IaC) approach with both using manifest files to describe infrastructure and application primitives. Arc also adds a GitOps engine to the equation. GitOps is a new way of doing DevOps by combining source control with declarative configuration management. In other words, GitOps gives organisations a clear overview of the full provenance of all IT operations across any number of clusters, which, until recently sounded like an impossible feat. This improvement in ops traceability will also dramatically simplify rollbacks, in case any operation goes south.

Looking ahead

Following today’s announcement, it is only natural that we think forward to the next improvement this will bring our customers. We call it full-stack GitOps. Charmed Kubernetes brings a Kubernetes control plane which essentially comprises a collection of containers bundled via a .yaml file. Combine that with Arc’s  GitOps and what you get is full traceability of the operational changes of your workloads. Now add the same capabilities to your entire infrastructure. Hard to fathom? Here’s what it boils down to: you can have full tracking and control of all operational changes, from your application layer down to the orchestration layer and the physical servers or cloud infrastructure of your hybrid-cloud. Essentially, you can stop worrying about your IT infrastructure and focus on your business.

Get Started

Azure Arc seamlessly integrates with Charmed Kubernetes by spinning up a container to run the Arc agent on an existing K8s cluster. If you want to have Arc managing your local K8s clusters or your edge and IoT appliances, the same can be done with MicroK8s.

Learn more about Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes on Microsoft’s blog.

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What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes, or K8s for short, is an open source platform pioneered by Google, which started as a simple container orchestration tool but has grown into a platform for deploying, monitoring and managing apps and services across clouds.

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