No Silver Bullet for Kubernetes Multicluster Management

The most recent Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) End User Technology Radar, focusing on multicluster management, finds that cluster management is complex with no clearly defined path to success. This announcement may come as no surprise to those involved, but the findings and methodology still shed light on the growth and development of the Kubernetes ecosystem.

The CNCF Technology Radar, according to the website, acts as “an opinionated guide to a set of emerging technologies” and is intended for a technical audience that wants to know which cloud-native solutions end users use and recommend.

Within the guide’s framework, participating users place solutions at one of three levels:

  • Adopt: The CNCF End User Community can clearly recommend this technology. We have used it for long periods of time in many teams, and it has proven to be stable and useful.
  • Trial: The CNCF End User Community has used it with success, and we recommend you have a closer look at the technology.
  • Assess: The CNCF End User Community has tried it out, and we find it promising. We recommend having a look at these items when you face a specific need for the technology in your project.

Kubernetes multicluster management is maturing, the website notes, but it is still undergoing much development and trialing. Overall, the following five themes were identified in the latest CNCF End User Technology Radar:

  1. There is no silver bullet for multicluster management.
  2. Cluster management often requires custom-built in-house solutions.
  3. Common tool combinations include: Helm with Operators & GitOps Argo/Flux.
  4. Operators are a favorite tool for management of clusters and core services.
  5. The community eagerly awaits readiness of Cluster API.

At present, the website states, multicluster management “tends to require a large amount of tooling and processes compared to other areas of the ecosystem. While there are many tools available, few if any stand out as comprehensive solutions.”