Kubernetes at the speed of Fastly

By admin

Kubernetes
ORG

at the speed of Fastly

When most people need to scale, they go to

Kubernetes
LOC

. But if you’re the team behind

Kubernetes
ORG

and need to improve your scaling and efficiency, you turn to Fastly. The team needed a new and improved solution to help them serve

over 5 petabytes
QUANTITY

of data in downloads from their official binaries service

each month
DATE

, to people all over the world. We started by speeding up and scaling downloads for them — and what’s more, we helped them understand the full scope of a surprising problem.

Come for the speed, stay for the real-time logging

The

Kubernetes
ORG

team adopted Fastly so that they could speed up their downloads, save money on egress charges, and improve their ability to make changes on the backend without disrupting service. But it turns out that Fastly’s real-time

Observability
ORG

— our logging capabilities, access to metrics and more — was the killer feature that helped diagnose something surprising when they cut their download traffic over to Fastly. You can read the announcement from the

Kubernetes
ORG

team and hear their take on why they chose us as well.

You can watch the full video of the live traffic cutover to see exactly what happened. It was a big surprise when the traffic coming through was just a trickle compared to the volume that we all expected! Up until this point the

Kubernetes
ORG

team never had access to good monitoring or visibility into their traffic, and nothing close to real-time.

DNS
ORG

and network engineering can be incredibly challenging and opaque, but with Fastly, they can now see their traffic patterns. From the instant they switched, they knew right away that something was off. Together, the

Kubernetes
ORG

team and Fastly’s

Mission Control
ORG

team were able to quickly diagnose that a huge volume of requests were pointing directly at

the Google Cloud Storage
FAC

bucket for the binaries download, not the new, abstracted URL they were supposed to be pointing to (cdn.dl.k8s.io). It turns out that very early in the project’s history the origin hostname had been advertised publicly, and despite cleanup efforts within the project itself and among the broader community, many hardcoded instances of the

GCS
ORG

bucket’s hostname still exist. Their move to Fastly, and the straightforward, direct visibility we provide to

Kubernetes
ORG

, made this visible for the

first
ORDINAL

time in the project’s history.

With this information, the

Kubernetes
ORG

team will start a new effort to get people around the planet to point at the new domain for downloading their binaries, and they can watch the traffic through Fastly’s CDN tick up higher in real-time as they succeed. With their binaries now served by Fastly, they have freed themselves to make changes, and even migrate to a new, community-owned

GCS
ORG

bucket in the future, without disturbing service or requiring any more changes from anyone attempting to download

K8s
CARDINAL

. Downloads are already being served faster, and the project is saving tons of money in egress charges too. You can take a peek at their real-time metrics – we’ve got the

Kubernetes
ORG

dashboard embedded on our developer page.

Why Fastly is better at real-time visibility

This kind of real-time visibility within our

UI
ORG

may not seem very groundbreaking at

first
ORDINAL

glance, but most CDNs are not able to offer it, requiring their customers to work with batched log data delivered with serious lag. You can’t see it in their dashboards, and you can’t export or stream it into your other tools (we make that easy for you too).

At Fastly we’ve designed our platform to be completely software-defined, which means that we can do a ton of logging that would be impossible in legacy architecture that relies heavily on hardware switches, less adaptable components, and generally less modern technology. Fastly takes real-time data and observability seriously. You get access from the moment you flip the switch to run on our network, and we make it easy for you to integrate it into other tools that most developers already use, like

Splunk
ORG

,

Datadog
ORG

, and many more. We know you may prefer

3rd
ORDINAL

party observability dashboards, so we offer tons of logging endpoints , and stream the data in real-time . It’s your data, and you should use it however you want.

Network engineering and optimization,

DNS
ORG

, content delivery, and global caching infrastructure are all really complicated to manage.

Kubernetes
ORG

has an incredible

Infrastructure Special Interest Group
ORG

, but most development teams and open source projects don’t have an in-house team of experts for this kind of work. Additionally, Fastly is unique in the incredibly high level of data and configurability we provide,

CDNs
ORG

don’t expose information or configurability, which helps our customers fine tune their configurations to their exact specifications, and avoid big professional services bills. Fastly lets you see what’s happening, make the changes you want, and push them to production. If you do have questions, you’ve got our world-class customer support at your service, but we’ve made it easier for you to do more on your own, and see that it’s working.

What’s next for

Kubernetes
ORG

on Fastly

There is ongoing outreach to projects and teams about switching to using the new

CDN
ORG

endpoint (cdn.dl.k8s.io), and this will continue into the future – a lot of people build on

Kubernetes
ORG

so it’s a big undertaking. While that’s continuing,

Kubernetes
ORG

is looking forward to moving their backend to a different, community-owned

GCS
ORG

bucket without any disruption to people’s access thanks to their new

CDN
ORG

endpoint (cdn.dl.k8s.io). Kubernetes binaries don’t change much (compared to a lot of content on the rest of the internet), so they’re going to maximize their “time to live” (

TTL
ORG

) in Fastly’s cache to help them offload trips back to their origin as much as possible.