Author Archives: Reza Ramezanpour
Author Archives: Reza Ramezanpour
Cloud-native applications offer a lot of flexibility and scalability, but to leverage these advantages, we must create and deploy a suitable environment that will enable cloud-native applications to work their magic.
Managed services, self-managed services, and bare metal are three primary categories of Kubernetes deployment in a cloud environment. Our focus in this article will be on Amazon Web Service’s (AWS) managed Kubernetes service, Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), and capabilities that Calico Open Source adds to the EKS platform.
A managed cluster is a quick and easy way to deploy an enterprise-grade Kubernetes cluster. In a managed cluster, mundane operations such as provisioning new nodes, upgrading the OS/Kubernetes, and scaling resources are transferred to the cloud provider, which allows you to expand your application with ease.
EKS is a managed service by AWS that offers a fault-tolerant Kubernetes control plane endpoint and automates worker node maintenance and deployment process.
Most popular managed services, such as EKS, come with an official CNI that offers networking and other features for your cluster. While these CNIs are highly integrated with the underlying system, they can introduce some limitations. To remedy these limitations and unlock the Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago, TIgera engineers released the new version of Calico, as part of a community effort to drive cloud security and networking even further. But before I begin diving into the details of this new release, I want to first spotlight a few of our community members who have merged their contributions to Calico Open Source for the first time.
Shout out to @agaffney for adding configurable labels and annotations to the
tigera-operator deployment in Helm charts.
Shout out to @backjo for improving the Calico Windows installation script and adding support for IMDSv2 in AWS EC2 data retrieval.
Shout out to @juanfresia for contributing changes to enable Calico to run without programming the route table, useful when integrating with other routing mechanisms.
Shout out to @muff1nman, who added Wireguard traffic to the Calico failsafe ports, allowing us to confidently apply network security policies without worrying about accidentally cutting off Continue reading
With the recent advancements in service delivery through containers, Linux has gained a lot of popularity in cloud computing by enabling digital businesses to expand easily regardless of their size or budget. These advancements have also brought a new wave of attack, which is challenging to address with the same tools we have been using for non cloud-native environments. eBPF offers a new way to interact with the Linux kernel, allowing us to reexamine the possibilities that once were difficult to achieve.
In this post, I will go through a brief history of the steps that eBPF had to take to become the Swiss army knife inside the Linux kernel and point out how it can be used to achieve security in a cloud-native environment. I will also share my understanding of what happens inside the kernel that prevents BPF programs from wreaking havoc on your operating system.
In the early days of computing, Unix was a popular solution for capturing network traffic, and using CMU/Stanford packet filter (CSPF) to capture packets using 64KB PDP-11 was gaining popularity by the second. Without a doubt, this was a pioneering work and a leap forward for its time but like Continue reading
An important part of any Kubernetes cluster is the underlying containers. Containers are the workloads that your business relies on, what your customers engage with, and what shapes your networking infrastructure. Long story short, containers are arguably the soul of any containerized environment.
One of the most popular open-source container orchestration systems, Kubernetes, has a modular architecture. On its own, Kubernetes is a sophisticated orchestrator that helps you manage multiple projects in order to deliver highly available, scalable, and automated deployment solutions. But to do so, it relies on having a suite of underlying container orchestration tools.
This blog post focuses on containers and container networking. Throughout this post, you will find information on what a container is, how you can create one, what a namespace means, and what the mechanisms are that allow Kubernetes to limit resources for a container.
A container is an isolated environment used to run an application. By utilizing the power of
filesystem from the Linux kernel, containers can be allocated with a limited amount of resources and filesystems inside isolated environments.
Amazon’s custom-built Graviton processor allows users to create ARM instances in the AWS public cloud, and Rancher K3s is an excellent way to run Kubernetes in these instances. By allowing a lightweight implementation of Kubernetes optimized for ARM with a single binary, K3s simplifies the cluster initialization process down to executing a simple command.
In an earlier article, I discussed how ARM architecture is becoming a rival to x86 in cloud computing, and steps that can be taken to leverage this situation and be prepared for this new era. Following the same narrative, in this article I’ll look at an example of the Calico eBPF data plane running on AWS, using Terraform to bootstrap our install to AWS, and Rancher K3s to deploy the cluster.
A few changes to Calico are needed for ARM compatibility, including updating parts, enabling eBPF, and compiling operators for the ARM64 environment:.
Central processing units (CPUs) can be compared to the human brain in that their unique architecture allows them to solve mathematical equations in different ways. x86 is the dominant architecture used in cloud computing at the time of this writing; however, it is worth noting that this architecture is not efficient for every scenario, and its proprietary nature is causing an industry shift toward ARM.
ARM (Advanced RISC Machines) is a type of CPU architecture that powers most tablets and smartphones, as well as the fastest supercomputer in the world (supercomputer Fugaku). ARM’s low power consumption and high computational performance make it a worthy rival for x86 in cloud computing.
In this article, I will talk about a few popular ARM projects, the main difference between x86 and ARM architectures, and explore how we can prepare developers for the future by providing them with an ARM-based container environment.
Companies are increasing their pursuit to leverage ARM in order to reduce both cost and energy consumption. While x86 remains a proprietary CPU architecture, ARM provides licenses to other companies allowing them to design their own custom-built processors using ARM’s patented technology.
Amazon’s custom-designed Graviton processor is a great Continue reading
If you have access to the internet, it’s likely that you have already heard of the critical vulnerability in the Log4j library. A zero-day vulnerability in the Java library Log4j, with the assigned CVE code of CVE-2021-44228, has been disclosed by Chen Zhaojun, a security researcher in the Alibaba Cloud Security team. It’s got people worried—and with good reason.
This is a serious flaw that needs to be addressed right away, since it can result in remote code execution (RCE) in many cases. By now, I have seen many creative ways in which this can be used to infiltrate or disturb services. The right solution is to identify and patch your vulnerable Log4j installations to the fixed versions as soon as possible. If you are using Log4j, make sure you are following this page where you can find the latest news about the vulnerability.
What else should you be doing, though, for this and similar exploits? In this blog post, I’ll look at the impact of the vulnerability in a Kubernetes cluster, and share a couple of ways that you can prevent such vulnerabilities in the future.
On its own, the Log4j vulnerability Continue reading
A single Kubernetes cluster expends a small percentage of its total available assigned resources on delivering in-cluster networking. We don’t have to be satisfied with this, though—achieving the lowest possible overhead can provide significant cost savings and performance improvements if you are running network-intensive workloads. This article explores and explains the improvements that can be achieved in Microsoft Azure using Calico eBPF in AKS, including reducing CPU usage, decreasing complexity, enabling easier compliance and troubleshooting, and more.
Before going into details about how exactly Calico takes advantage of eBPF, it is important to note that in the context of this article, Calico is viewed as an additional networking layer on top of Azure CNI, providing functionality that turbocharges its performance. In particular, the standard instructions for installing Calico’s network policy engine with AKS use a version of Calico that pre-dates eBPF mode.
To show how Calico accelerates AKS network performance using eBPF, the Calico team ran a series of network performance benchmarks based on the k8s-bench-suite. These performance benchmarks compared the latest Calico eBPF data plane (using the iptables data plane) with a vanilla AKS cluster.
Tests were run using Standard_D2s_v3 nodes, which are a Continue reading
Public cloud infrastructures and microservices are pushing the limits of resources and service delivery beyond what was imaginable until very recently. In order to keep up with the demand, network infrastructures and network technologies had to evolve as well. Software-defined networking (SDN) is the pinnacle of advancement in cloud networking; by using SDN, developers can now deliver an optimized, flexible networking experience that can adapt to the growing demands of their clients.
This article will discuss how Tigera’s new Vector Packet Processing (VPP) data plane fits into this landscape and share some benchmark details about its performance. Then it will demonstrate how to run a VPP-equipped cluster using AWS public cloud and secure it with Internet Protocol Security (IPsec).
Project Calico is an open-source networking and security solution. Although it focuses on securing Kubernetes networking, Calico can also be used with OpenStack and other workloads. Calico uses a modular data plane that allows a flexible approach to networking, providing a solution for both current and future networking needs.
It has been a while since I have been excited to write about encrypted tunnels. It might be the sheer pain of troubleshooting old technologies, or countless hours of falling down the rabbit hole of a project’s source code, that always motivated me to pursue a better alternative (without much luck). However, I believe luck is finally on my side.
In this blog post we will explore using open-source WireGuard, a new technology that offers encrypted tunnels with remarkable performance and an effortless implementation, to establish secure encrypted tunnels between workloads in K8s clusters.
With the release of open-source Calico 3.14 back in June of 2020, Tigera announced a tech preview of its WireGuard integration, which allows node-to-node traffic to be encrypted using WireGuard.
Other encryption methods (e.g. TLS) were available to encrypt workloads’ traffic at higher TCP/IP layers (in this case, the Application Layer). However, WireGuard targets traffic at a lower layer (the Transport Layer), which makes it effective for a wider range of applications, and also reduces complexity for the user.
WireGuard is an open-source project that implements virtual private network (VPN) techniques to establish secure point-to-point connections leveraging Linux Continue reading
Kubernetes operations (kOps) is one of the official Kubernetes (K8s) projects. The kOps project allows for rapid deployment of production-grade K8s clusters in multiple cloud platforms. By leveraging yaml manifests, kOps delivers a familiar experience to users who have worked with kubectl. Similar to K8s clusters in popular cloud platforms, kOps helps set up self-managed clusters to easily deliver high availability. Given its ease of use, it is a very popular choice when users want to deploy self-hosted Kubernetes clusters.
With the recent release of kOps (v1.19), support for the Calico eBPF data plane was added to the utility. In addition to the above-mentioned features, the latest kOps update offers an effortless way to autodeploy K8s clusters utilizing Project Calico for networking and the Calico eBPF data plane. Calico eBPF data plane implementation replaces kube-proxy and delivers equivalent functionality; it also leverages the most optimal datapath for traffic. These changes deliver a network performance boost and source IP preservation to your cluster.
In this blog post, we will showcase the steps required to deploy a cluster that utilizes these newly available features.
eBPF is a virtual machine embedded within the Linux kernel. Continue reading