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Heptio Automates Kubernetes Recovery with Ark and Improves Diagnostics with Sonobuoy

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted August 8, 2017


Craig McLuckie and Joe Beda launched Heptio in November 2016 with the promise of making Kubernetes friendlier. When Heptio debuted, details on precisely how the company would be making Kubernetes easier were sparse, but in the months since, multiple efforts have emerged.

The most recent pair of Kubernetes simplification efforts from Heptio are the open-source Ark and Sonobuoy projects. Ark is a Disaster Recovery (DR) tool, while SonoBuoy is a diagnostic tool.

"Heptio Ark is a utility for managing disaster recovery, specifically for your Kubernetes cluster resources and persistent volumes," the Ark Github Heptio Projectsproject page states. "It provides a simple, configurable, and operationally robust way to back up and restore applications and PVs from a series of checkpoints."

In a blog post detailing the motivation behind Ark, McLuckie explained that as Heptio's customers begin to deploy Kubernetes in production, they were facing challenges with figuring out how to manage data recovery operations.

"We have seen developers attempt to recover clusters from direct replicas of the underlying cluster state (etcd), with varied success," McLuckie wrote. "This problem gets even more complex when you add stateful workloads into the mix."

The promise of Ark is that it makes it easier to back up all of the various objects in a Kubernetes cluster. Going a step further, backups can be restored with a single command.

The data restoration capabilities of Ark aren't just for disaster recovery either. McLuckie expects Ark will be useful for cross-cloud migration of Kubernetes clusters as well.

Sonobuoy Delivers Detailed Diagnostics for Kubernetes Clusters

While Ark is about recovery, Sonobuoy is all about Kubernetes cluster visibility and diagnostics.

"Heptio Sonobuoy is a diagnostic tool that makes it easier to understand the state of a Kubernetes cluster by running a set of Kubernetes conformance tests in an accessible and non-destructive manner," the Sonobuoy Github project page states.

Over time, the plan is to add more conformance tests to Sonobuoy to help administrators with cluster configuration and interoperability capabilities.

"Heptio Sonobuoy is also built to be cluster-agnostic," McLuckie explained. "Regardless of your setup, it creates a readout of your cluster’s core characteristics, which you can use to verify that things are as you expect."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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