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New HA clustering on MicroK8s eases path to clustered edge appliances

Nov 15, 2019 — by Eric Brown — 401 views

Canonical announced high availability clustering in MicroK8s, its single-node Kubernetes environment for prototyping k8s applications and running edge containers on IoT gateways. The feature is enabled using Dqlite.

Last month with the release of Ubuntu 19.10, Canonical announced “strict confinement” support for Canonical’s MicroK8s Kubernetes environment for single-node clusters, thereby enabling easier deployment on edge devices. Now, Canonical has announced high availability (HA) clustering in MicroK8s.

High availability clustering enables a group of hosts that act like a single platform. It’s often used to ensure continuous uptime via load balancing, backup, and failover strategies. All the HA-clustered hosts need to be able to access the same storage.

The small-footprint MicroK8s is deployed via Ubuntu’s container-like snaps package mechanism on computers including the Raspberry Pi. It’s typically used for offline development, prototyping, and testing of Kubernetes (k8s) applications on a desktop before deploying them to the cloud as appliances. However, with the strict confinement feature, Canonical is pitching it as a platform for deploying container software on edge devices.

The HA clustering capability is enabled using Canonical’s lightweight Dqlite SQL database. Dqlite “removes process overhead by embedding the database inside Kubernetes itself, and reduces the memory footprint of the cluster which is important for IoT,” says Canonical.

Using Dqlite as the Kubernetes datastore simplifies the deployment of resilient K8s clusters, says the company. “Telco and retail edge applications can now achieve high reliability at very low cost on x86 or ARM commodity appliances such as clusters of Intel NUCs or Raspberry Pi boards.”

Just as MicroK8s supports lightweight SQL software such as Dqlite as a datastore, Canonical’s latest multi-cloud Charmed Kubernetes now supports corporate SQL databases instead of relying on the more challenging Etcd as a data store, says Canonical. Charmed Kubernetes supports platforms such as Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL and Postgres, as well as public cloud SQL offerings like AWS Relational Database Service (RDS). Etcd, however, will continue to be supported.

 
Further information

A version of MicroK8s with high availability clustering is available now. More information may be found in Canonical’s announcement, as well as its MicroK8s product page.

 

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