Automating the $H!T out of Kubernetes: Part 2

Hey there! Maybe you read the last part in this intended series, but if not you should check it out! Sadly, this story really doesn’t end the way I intended it to, but that’s cool because hey that’s how life works.

I was really hoping I would be able to wrap up this story by saying something like, “look at all this sick Kubernetes automation I wrote!”, but the reality is that this is a crazy difficult tool to bootstrap on your own from the ground up. The silver side of this coin is that there are some really great tools already out there to get you up and running. The BIG lesson here is that I really should have done more research into what was out there before heading down the path of building out a new cluster. Live and learn ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

So, what I’m going to do with this wrap up piece is talk a little bit about what we ultimately ended up going with and why, and that’s RANCHER!

First of all, can we just acknowledge that their logo is “totes adorbs”? Good job Rancher. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let me just say that I’ve been hardcore geeking about this tool for the last week. For a super small team like mine that might have trouble investing the time to build a Kubernetes cluster, it really doesn’t get much better than this. Bootstrap a set of nodes to a rancher server and GO. Love it ❤

The other super cool piece of this is the authentication model. Rancher has built in support for LDAP and GitHub Enterprise authentication, which means that your cluster auth is handled for you through Rancher (this is really where the swooning began). This was probably one of the bigger struggles when trying to manually build a cluster, and then Rancher swooped in and gave me a button to download a kube config.

If this all sounds exciting to you, go check out their docs! May they bring you as much joy as they’ve brought me.

In the end I prefer to not think of this as a tale of surrender, but rather a tale of realization that there’s a better way to do our tooling that let’s us get back to building awesome features for our users. As I said, live and learn ¯\_(ツ)_/¯