Security, Kubernetes, Multi-Cloud, Container Management, Enterprise Kubernetes, Multi-cluster Management, Cost Management

The Business Case for CAPI: Enhanced Kubernetes Management and More

Jan 30, 2023

Chip Nickolett


The Business Case for CAPI: Enhanced Kubernetes Management and More

5 min read

To learn how the D2iQ Kubernetes Platform with built-in CAPI and GitOps workflow can give your organization Kubernetes management agility, speak with the experts at D2iQ.
There are instances in which organizations miss the opportunity to improve their infrastructure and gain competitive advantages by clinging to entrenched, well-worn technologies with which they are comfortable.

This is the case with Terraform and Cluster API (CAPI). When explaining to various organizations the benefits they could gain through CAPI, I have heard hesitant responses such as:
  • “We want to stay with the technology we are familiar with.”
  • “We plan to use products closer to our current technology stack.”

CAPI is a newer, state-of-the-art open-source project focused exclusively on creating and managing Kubernetes clusters. CAPI is superior to Terraform for Kubernetes cluster management because it is purpose-built for Kubernetes clusters. In contrast, Terraform, a product released nearly a decade ago, is a more general-purpose infrastructure provisioning tool. 

CAPI provides Kubernetes-native constructs such as declarative APIs and controllers, enabling organizations to standardize cluster lifecycle management across multiple infrastructure providers.  By using declarative object management (declaring the desired end state), CAPI can significantly reduce human operator error and the effort required to manage Kubernetes fleets. CAPI also has built-in support for features such as cluster autoscaling and self-healing, which are mission-critical capabilities required in production environments. 

If your organization’s modernization strategy involves a multi-cloud or heterogeneous infrastructure deployment requirement, CAPI (through the D2iQ Kubernetes Platform) can enable a consistent operating model across any infrastructure. Teams do not need to invest time on the nuances of different infrastructures-as-a-service and instead can focus on building platforms that deliver higher value to the organization.

CAPI-Driven Benefits

CAPI can give a significant boost to your business by providing the following capabilities:

  • Consistency and Standardization. CAPI provides a consistent and standardized way to create, configure, and manage Kubernetes clusters, making it easier to automate these processes and reduce errors. This produces more reliable and predictable deployments and ensures that all clusters are configured similarly. 
    • Configuration drift and security gaps are all-too-real problems in many environments.

  • Elasticity. CAPI enables you to scale your Kubernetes clusters up or down automatically, making it easier to handle changes in workload and traffic. This can help ensure that your resources are being used efficiently and that your clusters can support your application's demands. 
    • Elasticity enables businesses to rapidly adapt to changing workload demands and optimize resource utilization that yields cost savings.

  • Better Security. CAPI provides built-in security features, such as role-based access control (RBAC), and can help ensure that only authorized users have access to your clusters. Additionally, CAPI can ensure that your clusters comply with security best practices through immutable cluster deployments.
    • CAPI has native integration with the RBAC mechanisms that are available through the underlying infrastructure provider (for example, IAM on Amazon Web Services).

  • Savings Multiply with Reduced Infrastructure Complexity. CAPI abstracts many of the underlying complexities of managing Kubernetes clusters, making it easier to deploy and manage multi-cloud, hybrid cloud, and fleet topologies. The reduced burden gives DevOps teams more time to focus on higher-value business-related tasks.  
    • CAPI supports a higher level of workflow optimization and automation for Kubernetes management. Less time is spent working on tasks, with complex tasks often completed with the click of a button. Simplicity and standardization eliminate errors, save time and money, and promote operational excellence. 
    • Automation also reduces costly errors that might lead to outages, loss of data privacy, and more. As a recent article on points out, there is a “clear need” for automation to address efficiency and security concerns.
    • Optimized workflow, automation, and AIOps mean that lesser-skilled DevOps team members can perform as though they were Kubernetes experts.
    • Platform and DevOps teams using DKP are frequently 50%-70% smaller than teams managing similar footprints and workloads using competitors’ platforms. 

  • Increased Adaptability and Portability. The Kubernetes ecosystem is rapidly growing, so having a proven method to easily plug in a new CAPI provider’s solution to expand a platform’s capabilities means platforms can rapidly support new tools, infrastructures, architectures, platforms, processors, and more. 
    • As a mature open-source project, CAPI enables you to leverage community-defined best practices when automating the deployment and management of Kubernetes clusters.
    • The open-source community effort around development and maintenance of CAPI yields many infrastructure options to mitigate risk of lock-in and maximize flexibility.

CAPI + GitOps = Kubernetes Done Right

Another open-source project that has transformed the ability to manage Kubernetes through GitOps workflow is Flux. The combination of CAPI and Flux gives you an exponentially greater capability to reduce the complexity of Kubernetes management, increase productivity, and gain agility. 

Individually, each of these capabilities can have a positive impact on your business. Combined, they can create a major competitive advantage. The return on investment yields real value, including significant and measurable cost savings. 

At a time when costs are increasing and profit margins are shrinking, the type of advantages that CAPI brings can make a difference between expanding your business, just getting by, and losing ground to more nimble competitors. As author John Maxwell stated, “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.

To learn how the D2iQ Kubernetes Platform with built-in CAPI and GitOps workflow can give your organization Kubernetes management agility, speak with the experts at D2iQ.

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