Hi, I’m Rich Burroughs, and I’ve just joined Loft Labs as a Senior Developer Advocate. I’m very excited to be here, and I’d like to share a bit about why I joined the team.
Multitenancy in Kubernetes is a nightmare. Everyone knows it. Namespaces are great but they don’t provide the isolation that a lot of teams need. A developer who has access to a namespace can’t manage things like CRDs, which live outside the namespace, or see cluster-wide resources.
What this leads to is one of two results, which are both pretty painful. Either you use shared clusters and your developers have to live with those problems, or you create dedicated clusters for teams. If you go that second route, you probably have multiple clusters per team for different environments. That seems to be the path that most teams are taking.
How do you keep up with all of those clusters, let alone manage them? Cluster sprawl is a huge problem, and as Holly Cummins mentioned in her fantastic KubeCon 2020 EU keynote, the problem isn’t just financial. There’s an impact on the environment as well.
Loft’s Spaces are a level of abstraction above namespaces that let users access a space as if it was their own dedicated cluster. Loft is powered by Virtual Clusters, which I think are a huge advancement in how we manage clusters. You can even have idle clusters sleep to save on resources.
If multitenancy was the only problem the Loft Labs team had tackled, I’d be pretty impressed. But there’s a lot more. With Loft, users can provision their own spaces when they need them. If you’ve ever opened a ticket to get someone else to provision an environment for you, you know how vital self-service is. It helps keep cycle times lower and developer happiness higher.
And speaking of cycle times, the Loft team has also built DevSpace, a developer workflow tool for engineers working with Kubernetes clusters. Have you ever waited around for a new container to build so you can see if your changes work? Or even worse, for a CI pipeline to run integration tests? With DevSpace you can hot reload your app in the running container as you make changes. It’s super cool and it’s open source. You don’t have to be a Loft customer to use DevSpace.
Honestly, I’m blown away by how much the Loft Labs team has built with just a few engineers. What impresses me more is that the tools they’ve built help solve the very real-world pain that engineers and platform teams feel. That’s really the thing that made me want to join the team. When I saw what they were building, I knew the vision behind it was very on point. The team’s tooling is being used by all kinds of companies already today, from series B-funded startups and unicorns all the way to Fortune 500 financial institutions.
And last but not least, I’m delighted to be working in the Kubernetes community. I first saw Kelsey Hightower speak about Kubernetes in 2015, when he was still working at CoreOS, and I was hooked. Since then, I’ve met a lot of amazing people in the Kubernetes community. I wanted an excuse to talk to them more, so in 2020 I created the Kube Cuddle podcast to interview people about their experiences with Kubernetes. You can find it in your podcast player by searching for the name or listen to episodes here.
I’m excited to talk to you all about what we’re doing at Loft. If you’d like to say hi, you can find me on Twitter, in the Loft Slack, or the #devspace channel in the Kubernetes Slack. Let me know if you have any questions about Loft or DevSpace.