Armory Agent: Managing Kubernetes at Scale

Mar 10, 2022 by Daniel Gonzalez

Almost half of all organizations now use Kubernetes (K8s) to empower continuous integration and continuous development (CI/CD) and stay competitive in a software-centric world.

The challenge? Effective management becomes an issue as K8s deployments scale from tens or hundreds of clusters to thousands or more. From lacking skills to existing integration issues and legacy incompatibility, many organizations encounter roadblocks when they move from initial deployments to more robust Kubernetes frameworks.

Armory is leading the charge on improved Kubernetes management — first with Spinnaker and now with the availability of the Armory Agent. This lightweight, scalable service monitors your K8s deployment and streams changes back to Spinnaker’s Clouddriver service.

But what’s under the hood? Let’s explore how the Armory Agent can help streamline Kubernetes at scale.

Connecting with Kubernetes

As developers scale Kubernetes clusters exponentially, they often run into corresponding performance and account management challenges. On the performance side, continuous retrieval of data — even when nothing has changed — can negatively impact operational efficacy. These recent polls from Pulse, show just a few of the challenges:

Pulse Survey on the Growth of Kubernetes

Pulse Survey on the challenges felt with Kubernetes

Pulse Survey on the Impacts felt with supporting Kubernetes

On the account management side, the centralized nature of Spinnaker makes it difficult for teams to manage credentials and permissions on a per-cluster basis.

The Armory Agent offers a new approach to Kubernetes and Spinnaker management designed to facilitate connections at scale.

Armory Agent infographic

Exploring the Armory Agent Advantage

The Armory Agent listens to changes at a cluster level and then streams them back to Spinnaker. As a result, any changes to your infrastructure — whether initiated by Spinnaker or not — appear in real-time in the Spinnaker cache over a single TCP connection per cluster. This cluster-level approach helps reduce the amount of redundant data accessed and retrieved, boosting overall performance.

On the account management side, Armory Agent allows teams to manage credentials and permissions anytime, anywhere without restraining Spinnaker.

Management, Evolved

Bottom line: Kubernetes deployments backed by Spinnaker infrastructure are now essential for effective CI/CD. But there’s always room for improvement, especially when it comes to scalability. By integrating the Armory Agent, organizations can scale to tens, hundreds, or thousands of clusters on-demand without compromising security, usability, or speed.

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