Introducing bare metal deployments for Amazon EKS Anywhere
At one time, all servers were bare metal servers. We have come a long way with virtualization, cloud computing, and more recently with containers and serverless technologies. Despite these innovations, bare metal servers remain popular on premises. Customers run applications on bare metal infrastructure for performance benefits, to gain direct access to underlying hardware resources, to reduce complexity in their infrastructure stack, and to save on licensing and support costs. As customers modernize their applications, they want to use Kubernetes consistently between their existing on premises bare metal infrastructure and the cloud.
Running Kubernetes on bare metal infrastructure is complex, requiring specialized expertise and significant customer investment in time and the tools needed to automate Kubernetes cluster lifecycle management. Customers have to hire or develop these specialized skills to build elaborate tooling and allocate valuable resources to infrastructure operations rather than focus on business innovation. Customers said that using a virtualization layer alleviates some of these problems but adds software licensing and support costs. In summary, to run Kubernetes clusters on bare metal infrastructure, customers spend time, effort, and money on tasks that amount to undifferentiated heavy lifting.
At launch in September 2021, Amazon EKS Anywhere enabled you to create and operate clusters using on premises infrastructure with VMware vSphere. Today, we are excited to announce the general availability of Amazon EKS Anywhere on bare metal, which gives you a broader choice of deployment options for running Kubernetes on premises. You can now automate all steps from bare metal hardware provisioning all the way up to a running Kubernetes cluster through a workflow built on open-source tooling. AWS supports all Amazon EKS Anywhere components including integrated third party software so you can reduce support costs and accelerate your modernization journey by leveraging AWS as a single point of contact for Kubernetes tooling and support.
Infrastructure requirements for running Amazon EKS Anywhere on bare metal
Amazon EKS Anywhere gives you the flexibility of using a bundled open‑source toolset to manage Kubernetes deployments on bare metal infrastructure. You can configure server bootstrapping, cluster size, networking, storage, and software components through a workflow that uses Tinkerbell (a Cloud Native Computing Foundation sandbox project). Once the cluster is provisioned, you can manage the cluster lifecycle using Amazon EKS Anywhere tooling built on the foundation of Cluster API.
You can create clusters with a high-availability architecture or reduced availability architecture. The minimum requirements for each bare metal node (including, control plane and worker nodes) are published here. To get started, you provide a comma-separated values (CSV) file with hardware inventory information and a cluster configuration file (YAML) as inputs to the workflow. Amazon EKS Anywhere manages and monitors bare metal servers via the baseboard management controller using Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) and Redfish protocols. Through extensive testing in a variety of on-premises customer environments during our beta phase, we expect Amazon EKS Anywhere on bare metal to run on most generic hardware that meets these requirements. In addition, we have collaborated with our hardware original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners (Dell, HP, Lenovo, Supermicro, and others) to provide you a list of validated hardware. You can choose Bottlerocket (default) or Ubuntu as the operating system for running your clusters. Bottlerocket is an open-source Linux distribution purpose-built to host containers. It includes only the essential components and permissions needed to support the orchestrator and container runtime, yielding a rapid startup, smaller footprint, reduced potential attack surface and lower overall management overhead.
Support from AWS for your Amazon EKS Anywhere clusters
Amazon EKS Anywhere is available as open-source software that you can freely download, install on your existing hardware, and run in your data centers. There are no upfront commitments or fees to use Amazon EKS Anywhere. For production use, Amazon EKS Anywhere Subscriptions enable you to get 24/7 support from AWS’ highly-trained engineers and subject-matter experts. You can reduce support costs and avoid maintaining multiple open-source and third party tools by leveraging AWS as the single point of support for Amazon EKS Anywhere cluster components and bundled open‑source tooling such as Bottlerocket, Cilium, Flux, and more!
Hear from customers who collaborated with us during the beta for Amazon EKS Anywhere on bare metal.
“iSpot.tv helps advertisers measure the brand and business impact of TV and streaming advertising, from concept to airing to conversion which requires scalable workloads in the cloud where we’ve grown to love Amazon EKS. It provides us with needed flexibility and performance which is essential for us and we could not wait for Amazon’s EKS Anywhere since it would allow consistency between our on-premises and cloud deployments. The ability to install/run EKS Anywhere on bare metal and getting a fully supported Kubernetes cloud orchestration is what we’ve been waiting for a long time”, said Taut Bruzas, Director of IT operations at iSpot.tv.
Parallel Wireless is a leading software provider created to take advantage of Moore’s Law and cloud-native approach for wireless infrastructure with solutions that support outdoor and indoor private networks. Here’s what they had to say: “We have a lot of latency sensitive workloads on cell sites, in the public and private clouds, so it is essential that we have common and responsive infrastructure and tooling for our customers across the globe,” said Steve Papa, CEO, Parallel Wireless. “The vision for Amazon EKS Anywhere to provide strong operational agility and scalability across cell sites, Edge and the cloud matches up with our needs and our customers’ needs. Additionally, the ability to deploy EKS Anywhere directly on bare metal machines enables us to reduce cost and easily leverage our specialized hardware layer directly for our RAN 5G container deployment use-cases. We look forward to working with AWS to explore the full potential of Amazon EKS Anywhere.”