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Introducing Nutanix Karbon 2.0: Kubernetes Simplicity, Upgraded!

By Sean Roth

Kubernetes-- along with its growing ecosystem of cloud-native technologies-- is evolving at breakneck pace. 2019 saw four significant new Kubernetes releases (1.14 through 1.17), not to mention a huge increase in attendance at KubeCon events in North America and Europe. Now is as exciting a time as any to be working on a digital transformation project involving Kubernetes. However, for the majority of IT Operations professionals, this pace of innovation means a constant sprint to keep up with new capabilities added to an already deep and sophisticated Kubernetes feature set. Delivering the resources cloud native applications require without getting bogged down by Kubernetes’ complexities is becoming increasingly difficult.

Simplicity has long been a core Nutanix value, and customers in the midst of building production-grade Kubernetes environments on premises demanded we deliver that signature approach to managing Kubernetes. In April of 2019 we introduced Karbon, which dramatically simplifies the configuration, deployment, and lifecycle management of Kubernetes clusters while offering a native user experience with open APIs. With Karbon 2.0 (available as of January 31, 2020), we’ve added a trio of features that simplify other aspects of deploying and managing Kubernetes:

Integration with Nutanix Prism
Users can access Karbon’s capabilities through the Nutanix Prism Central user interface. It is now possible to leverage an existing Prism Central + Active Directory (AD) setup and add users as ‘read-only’ Prism users to enable Karbon access.

Support for air-gapped environments
Customers can now deploy Kubernetes within environments or sites physically isolated from unsecured networks. Traditional Kubernetes cluster deployments are difficult to perform in secure environments, as they generally require downloading various containers from registries on the internet. Since secure (air-gapped) environments do not have access to the internet, the traditional way of deploying Kubernetes clusters is not feasible.

With Karbon 2.0, Nutanix customers can download a secure bundle from the Nutanix Support Portal and upload it to their air-gapped Nutanix environment. This bundle contains all of the containers necessary to deploy and manage a Kubernetes cluster, enabling these secure environments to utilize Karbon.

Push-button Kubernetes upgrades
Users can now initiate one-click upgrades to upgrade the Kubernetes version running on their cluster. Keeping Kubernetes clusters up-to-date has been made dramatically simpler, as it can now be done without having to redeploy clusters or applications.

Lifecycle management of Kubernetes has traditionally been one of the most challenging aspects of operating a large Kubernetes environment. With the ability to upgrade your Kubernetes cluster version, in addition to the Guest OS upgrades available since 1.0, staying ahead of Kubernetes security vulnerabilities in your Karbon environment couldn’t be easier.

Karbon is included with Nutanix AHV and is a key component of Nutanix’s integrated cloud native stack, which delivers easily-scalable hyperconverged infrastructure, storage for stateful containers, workload automation, and monitoring and observability.

For more detailed information on how Karbon fast-tracks Kubernetes lifecycle operations, download the Karbon product data sheet.

Nutanix is a proud member of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and an official sponsor of KubeCon in Amsterdam on March 30, 2020.

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