Chris Tomkins

Author Archives: Chris Tomkins

The importance of Calico’s pluggable data plane

This post will highlight and explain the importance of a pluggable data plane. But in order to do so, we first need an analogy. It’s time to talk about a brick garden wall!

Imagine you have been asked to repair a brick garden wall, because one brick has cracked through in the summer sun. You have the equipment you need, so the size of the job will depend to a great extent on how easily the brick can be removed from the wall without interfering with all the ones around it. Good luck.

Now that we have that wonderful imagery in mind, let’s look at how to go about designing walls — and how they can be maintained.

About software coupling: Fixing walls and designing great walls

“Coupling” is the term used to describe the interdependence between pieces of software. Closely coupled systems are interdependent and difficult to separate; loosely coupled systems are more like building blocks designed to work together, but they come apart cleanly. So, since the bricks in our garden wall are closely coupled (in this case, by cement), attempting to remove just one creates difficult challenges.

We can think of software as being built in “walls,” Continue reading

A Sneak Peek at the “Calico Certified Operator: AWS Expert” Course

This One’s All About You

Recently, we released our new “Calico Certified Operator: AWS Expert” course. You can read more about why we created this course and how it can benefit your organization in the introductory blog post.

This blog post is different; it’s an opportunity for you, the potential learner, to get a glimpse of just a few interesting parts of the course. You won’t learn all the answers here, but you’ll learn some of the questions!

If you find that you already know the answers, then you’re all set to grab yourself a shiny badge. If not, consider taking some time to invest in your personal development and pick up some new knowledge in AWS and container networking—really current and relevant knowledge.

Let’s take a sneak peek at what the “Calico Certified Operator: AWS Expert” course has to offer.

Considering Cluster Types

There are several ways to build a Kubernetes cluster in AWS. There is no single “right” way. What are the considerations your organization should have in mind, and how can you help your organization make an informed choice?

You will review, amongst many other things, how to decide:

Calico eBPF Data Plane Deep-Dive

Why Take the Lid Off if it’s Working?

Sometimes the best way to understand something is to take it apart and see how it works. This blog post will help you take the lid off your Calico eBPF data plane based Kubernetes cluster and see how the forwarding is actually happening. The bonus is, unlike home repairs, you don’t even have to try to figure out how to put it back together again!

The target audience for this post is users who are already running a cluster with the eBPF data plane, either as a proof-of-concept or in production. Therefore, we will not go through the steps to set up a cluster from scratch. If you would like to learn how to do that, the best starting point is this documentation.

In the best case and likely scenario, you will have no data plane issues in the future and this knowledge will still help you to make informed decisions about the Calico eBPF data plane and your future clusters, and how to get the best from them. Knowledge is power!

If you are unlucky enough to experience future issues, being armed with a good understanding of the underlying technologies will Continue reading

Enabling You to Get the Best from AWS: Introducing the New Calico AWS Expert Certification

Why Create a Course About Calico in AWS?

Calico is the industry standard for Kubernetes networking and security. It offers a proven platform for your workloads across a huge range of environments, including cloud, hybrid, and on-premises.

Given this incredibly wide support, why did we decide to create a course specifically about AWS?

Well, our previous online course continues to be a great success (it’s self-paced, so if you haven’t already, we would love for you to take it and become an expert in Kubernetes networking and security). The course covers how Kubernetes networking works, how to configure and manage a Calico network, and how to secure your Kubernetes cluster.

Once you know the underlying concepts, it becomes a more important consideration to identify the nuanced differences between possible implementations. These become even more relevant once you have selected a platform to move forward with.

Amazon’s cloud computing platform, AWS, has played a huge role in changing the landscape around how users consume compute resources and data. As little as ten years ago, it would have been difficult to anticipate the speed with which companies and other organizations would embrace moving their precious compute resources and data out of their Continue reading