Nirmata is an enterprise Kubernetes operations & management platform, designed to reduce complexity and drive DevOps agility.
Nirmata provides comprehensive policy-based automation for deploying, operating, and optimizing Kubernetes applications across clouds, via easy-to-use, intuitive interfaces, empowering enterprise DevOps teams by fully automating the complex operations and management of application containers.
Carrier Grade Kubernetes
As they describe in their blog Nirmata can be deployed with technologies such as VMware Cloud Director, to achieve ‘Carrier Grade Kubernetes’, developed from their deep expertise of building telco networks.
Nirmata is a unified management plane for all your Kubernetes clusters and workloads, simplifying Kubernetes operations and accelerating the adoption of cloud-native technologies. In Nov 2019 they released version 3.0 which enables advanced multi-cluster workflows and use cases for cluster operators and the freedom to enable multiple developer experiences.
They have also created Kyverno, an open source policy engine for Kubernetes.
The Enterprise Cloud Native DevOps Journey
Via this presentation Nirmata provides an overview of Cloud Native DevOps.
This summarizes the journey from monoliths in VMs to microservices in containers, from ITSM Runbooks to automated infrastructure, and the central role of Kubernetes as the ‘Cloud Native OS’, and how their solution enables the creation and management of virtual Kubernetes clusters.
In their marketing ebook Nirmata offer a guide to planning your Enterprise Cloud Native Journey, to achieve this modernization and transformation.
It is a particularly helpful and practical resource in that it takes on one specific ‘leg’ of the journey, and examines it in expert detail, headlined through asking the decision question ‘PaaS vs Containers?’
They explore PaaS as a concept that pre-dated the use of containers, and now with their proliferation and popularity of tools like Kubernetes, making a comparison between the two approaches. They highlight the ability to containerize legacy applications while also build new microservices that utilize the same platform.
On page 12 they conclude with a very useful ‘CaaS vs PaaS’ Cheat Sheet decision matrix.
Learn from Netflix
The Nirmata ebook also provides a context for reviewing the 2018 news of Netflix open sourcing their ‘Titus’ product, another download that has originated from their own pioneering practices of Cloud Native approaches, in this case their history of using containers.
Most organizations don’t have the luxury or in-house talent to customize Kubernetes to existing processes. It’s critical to identify critical points in your existing application support model that doesn’t comply with you selected cloud-native tooling.
Nirmata is designed to easily integrate with build tools like Jenkins, to holistically integrate this type of capability into Continuous Delivery pipelines, propogating change management policies across the complexity of large scale Cloud deployments.
This is an effect that can be applied to legacy applications too, via a principle they describe as “Application Containerization“, providing a simple walk through of when to consider this approach.
They describe how they decided upon the best recommendations for a profile of these modules by building their own SaaS, via an approach they describe as “Application Dockerization“.
Reducing AWS costs
In addition to reducing the impacts of change management failures another key benefit is how this efficiency yields cost savings for use of Cloud providers like AWS.
In their case study of Smyl, a financial services SaaS provider, they describe how the startup wanted to optimize their AWS costs but found neither the built-in services nor open source options provided them the capabilities of ease of use to make it practical to do so.
The team built a full DevOps pipeline with automated container management and provisioning powered by Nirmata, so that whenever a developer checks in code, it automatically builds a new container image and deploys it into a shared staging environment, with changes promoted directly to production.
“Nirmata allows us to deploy services from a single console. Each service is deployed across a cluster of three containers to cater to both scale and availability needs,” Syml’s CTO Guy Pallister. “This way, we don’t need to maintain failover servers.” These newly provisioned services are immediately available since Nirmata automatically configures the addressing.
Nirmata works seamlessly with AWS spot instances to deliver significant cost savings. “As soon as a new spot instance appears in the cluster, Nirmata re-provisions the containers from an on-demand instance to the spot instance. Even if we provision 3x for each service we still save 50-60% in our monthly AWS costs.