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What's New with Crossplane v1.16?

The New Era of Cloud Computing

June 7, 2022


Read time: 5 mins


Every company is a cloud company today. More than 90% of all companies have at least a minimal presence in the cloud—even if they’re not selling software, digital experiences. Running in the cloud is business-critical for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

In order to meet the needs of customers and deliver products and services faster, organizations have created platform teams to deploy cloud infrastructure designed to give operators a central point of control and developers a paved road experience to getting applications to production.

In the old world, when engineers wanted to deliver solutions faster, they would have to determine and negotiate what tools they needed, go through approvals, and ultimately get bogged down by internal red tape.

Enter Upbound, a complete platform to manage infrastructure, eliminate configuration drift, and empower developers with self-service. Our mission is to enable customers to build, deploy, manage, secure, and consume their very own Internal Developer Platforms on top of their cloud and on-premises infrastructure already in use.

Since launching Upbound earlier this year, we’ve come a long way as a company and wanted to share more information about why customers like Portuguese bank Millennium bcp choose Upbound to power their Internal Developer Platforms.

Upbound provides customers with 3 things:

  1. Paved road experiences for developers looking to use cloud infrastructure and deploy applications to production.
  2. A tailor-fit solution specifically addressing the customer's needs.
  3. Forward-thinking design such that any component can be modified as business needs evolve so that customers will never worry about re-platforming again!

What is unique about Upbound

Upbound is unique in that platform teams have the ability to build their own platform vs. buying something off the shelf like Anthos, OpenShift, Heroku or others. Platform teams at companies like Grupo Boticário or Millennium bcp define custom interfaces like APIs, consoles, and CLIs for developers using Upbound and Crossplane to deploy their apps to production.

With solutions like Anthos or OpenShift, platform teams are forced to align on opinionated and rigid rules about the level of abstraction e.g: how applications should be configured or defined, how a database should behave, etc. These rules exist to provide platform teams with guardrails for their Internal Developer Platforms, almost like a framework, but they’re completely proprietary to that vendor who’s incentivized to lock customers into their ecosystem.

Upbound’s approach is different. By building on top of Crossplane, an open-source framework for building control planes, our product gives customers the ability to pick and choose the infrastructure services they want to build their Internal Developer Platform. For example, we don’t care whether you use GKE, EKS, or AKS for Kubernetes in your organization—but we know you care so we give you a great experience regardless of your choice.

Customization and interoperability are core values of our product. Regardless of the infrastructure customers choose, or the interfaces they expose, Upbound enables organizations to centralize control using managed control planes.

This enables Upbound to scale with customers as their businesses change and grow. When new infrastructure vendors, regions, or zones are added to your platform, Upbound can easily handle it.

The end result is a total self-serve platform for developers which is production-ready and meets all the security and compliance requirements.

The benefit for operators (e.g.: SREs, DevOps or Platform engineers) is that they get a single view of their infrastructure and what's going on within it, whether it’s on-prem, on AWS, GCP Azure, or anywhere else.

Key benefits of Upbound?

  • Enacting automation to reduce risk: Automatically manage major and minor upgrades. Automatically manage snapshot platform state for disaster recovery.
  • Future-proofing platforms: Never re-platform again. No matter what tools and vendors you add to your infrastructure, Upbound can manage them.
  • Reducing deployment time from hours to minutes; Customers save over 20,000 hours, using Upbound control planes.

Amongst others:

  • Streamlining faster times to deployment: Applications and new features are shipped faster so businesses can innovate quicker.
  • Creating happier customers who get new products and features faster.
  • Working the way engineers work with seamless git integration. Platform definitions stored in a Version Control Service allowing teams to integrate with git pull requests and review flows.
  • Acting as a force multiplier for your platform engineering teams: helping them do more with less.
  • Simplifying the jobs of platform teams operating Crossplane at scale. First of its kind to exist in the Crossplane ecosystem, the Upbound Console allows users to view control plane usage, manage operations, debug API calls flowing through users’ control planes, and integrate with logging and monitoring solutions.
  • Bootstrapping an Internal Developer Platform in under two minutes. Upbound’s First Run Experience helps teams get set up with their Internal Developer Platform based upon Crossplane configurations which already have an API defined.

Other benefits that come with the product friendly to major stakeholders:

  • Lower CAPEX: Cloud computing bills are reduced.
  • Lower OPEX: Reduced labor costs with increased team efficiency.
  • Reduced risk: Big fixes and governance controlled all in one place.
  • Innovate faster: Software engineers can focus on building rather than infrastructure provisioning, configuration, and management.
  • Smarter tech stack: Annual vendor negotiation results in more favorable terms for the customer.
  • Happier software engineers whose jobs have become more enjoyable results in higher retention and successful hiring.
  • Streamlined development processes which remove TicketOps and simplify setting up GitOps workflows for infrastructure.
  • Enterprise-ready architecture which supports multi-tenant Kubernetes cluster consumption of control plane resources.
  • Built on Crossplane offering a future-proofed and trusted design.

Features of the Upbound platform

Upbound is built in such a way that provides a more secure system than any other Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tool can provide. Some features that create the universal solution are:

  • Managed control planes: a single Crossplane instance hosted and managed by Upbound in Upbound. Upbound manages the underlying infrastructure, auto-scales users’ control planes to support platforms running >1,000 CRDs.
  • Automatically manages major and minor upgrades of core components.
  • Automatic snapshotting of platform state for disaster recovery.
  • A single root configuration: Installed on every managed control plane, the root configuration’s definition is always stored in git. The root Configuration itself can declare dependencies on other Configurations, but at the end of the day, it traces back to a root Configuration. The Configuration defines the API that will be emitted by the control plane.
  • A simplified Internal Developer Platform: By combining a configuration stored in git installed onto a managed control plane.
  • Upbound Console: View control plane usage, manage operations, debug API calls flowing through users’ control planes, and integrate with logging and monitoring solutions.
  • Countless front-end solutions to fit your needs: Companies can choose from Backstage, an Internal Developer Platform Portal served by Upbound or any other Managed Control Plane Connector.
  • Get started in minutes: Users select a configuration, connect to GitHub, create a managed control plane, configure the MCP all in the first few minutes.

How to Get Started with Upbound?

You can get started building above the clouds with managed control planes on Upbound today. For pricing and commercial information, contact Upbound sales.

Additionally, Upbound is available for users to start a free trial, and you can invite up to nine other team members into your trial organization to explore Upbound together. Head over to Upbound's docs to find the quickstart guides.

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