AWS and Upbound Partner on EKS-D Launch

Today we're proud to announce Upbound as a launch partner for AWS's recently launched EKS-D, Amazon's official upstream Kubernetes distribution that powers AWS EKS. Using EKS-D, AWS customers can create reliable and secure Kubernetes clusters on-premises, in the cloud, and at the edge.

As a launch partner, Upbound is joining the APN to give AWS customers a first-class experience with our product, Upbound Cloud, the production implementation of popular open source control plane project Crossplane.

Upbound Cloud makes it easy for EKS-D users to consolidate configuration of clusters into a single, environment-agnostic repository of Crossplane configuration. Using this configuration, new clusters can then be provisioned on-premises, in the cloud, or at the edge through a single unified API interface or easy to use console interface found inside of Upbound Cloud.

Together, Upbound and AWS are not only helping customers build and manage hybrid cloud Kubernetes deployments, but also providing a standard way for the cloud-native community to deploy Kubernetes into hybrid cloud environments using our popular open source project, Crossplane.

If this is interesting to you, please reach out, we would love to give you a demo and learn more about your hybrid cloud Kubernetes use case. You can get started with Crossplane using Upbound Cloud's free community tier, and we’ll be updating Upbound Registry with Crossplane configurations for EKS-D alongside the currently available AWS reference configuration. Continue reading to learn more about our vision for cloud agnostic cluster deployment, and what's next for our partnership.

Kubernetes in the Hybrid Cloud

Today, most organizations have a healthy mixture of on-premises and cloud infrastructure. Sometimes this is strategic, other times it's due to acquisitions or specific workload requirements. Regardless, it’s reality for most customers. With Kubernetes becoming the standard application runtime across cloud providers and on-premises environments, customers have more freedom to run workloads wherever they are best suited. However, with this freedom has come some unforeseen challenges.

First, setting up clusters in a uniform manner across environments is tedious and risk prone. Infrastructure-as-Code tools help with this, but configuration drift can still occur, resulting in clusters being perceived as fragile and finicky - the exact opposite of what the cloud-native community promotes with Kubernetes.

Second, another challenge organizations have is figuring out how to bring the provisioning experience of the cloud back into their data centers. With EKS, customers can easily login to a web UI and provision a cluster. With traditional on-premises Kubernetes deployments, emails are exchanged between application and operations teams, tickets created, and one-off scripts are run.

Upbound Cloud provides an easy to use provisioning and management interface for Kubernetes clusters running in any environment, including EKS-D clusters. Administrators define cluster configuration for both cloud and on-premises environments inside of a single repository of Crossplane configuration YAML, then give application teams access to Upbound Cloud where they're able to provision and manage clusters running across cloud and data center environments.

What’s Next for Upbound and EKS-D

These scenarios are being enabled thanks to the work the Crossplane community is doing with crossplane/provider-capi. Though it's still early, by using provider-capi, Crossplane users will be able to use Cluster API (CAPI) through Crossplane to manage Kubernetes clusters (such as ones running EKS-D) on-premises or in the cloud.

Upbound Reference Platforms (like upbound/platform-ref-aws) can compose EKS-D deployments with provider-capi resources (Clusters, MachineDeployments) and configure additional logging, telemetry, and GitOps controllers using the extensive set of Crossplane Providers including provider-aws, provider-helm, and more.

While composing platform configurations on top of Cluster API is powerful by itself, Crossplane also supports defining Cluster Infrastructure underneath CAPI, allowing EKS-D users to define custom infrastructure configurations with the exact specifications they require.

Our team is excited to be partnering with AWS on this major milestone, and enthusiastic about helping customers solve challenges the cloud-native community has been dealing with for many years.

Upbound Product Manager Phil Prasek and AWS Principal Engineer Jay Pipes will be talking more about our partnership during our upcoming Crossplane Community Day. Register now to learn more!


PS: Powering every Upbound Cloud account is the CNCF popular open source project, Crossplane. Crossplane is hosted on Github, and we have a thriving community on Slack and Twitter. Come join the fun!

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