Open Source Insider

Jul 26 2019   9:26AM GMT

Fairwinds Polaris is an open source Kubernetes diagnostics tool

Adrian Bridgwater Adrian Bridgwater Profile: Adrian Bridgwater

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Cloud-native infrastructure solutions provider Fairwinds has been shooting the breeze, blowing fresh air, firing up the wind turbines, enjoying the scent of… (Ed — enough already, we get it, the company has a windy name) … news coming out of its production department detailing the availability of Polaris, an open source tools to keep Kubernetes environments performing optimally. 

Polaris automates configuration best practices based on Fairwinds’ previous experience patterns logged through building and managing cloud-native production deployments. 

It is now available to the Kubernetes community as a free service known as Polaris Snapshot or as an open source download. 

Fairwinds Polaris consists of two key components: a dashboard that provides ratings for clusters that are currently deployed; and a webhook that can help prevent future configuration errors based on defined standards.

Small errors, big problems

“Keeping cloud-native environments healthy is a challenge. Even the smallest errors in Kubernetes deployment configurations can lead to major issues ranging from poor container performance to production outages and security breaches,” said Bill Ledingham, CEO at Fairwinds. 

Ledingham claims that Polaris is built on a set of well-tested standards and so provides a way to identify configuration issues early, fix them and prevent future problems.

“Using Fairwinds Polaris to scan Kubernetes workloads allows teams to spot potential issues early in the application lifecycle and stay aligned with best practices. Result categorisation by Kubernetes namespace in Polaris helps application and infrastructure teams to address configuration issues in parallel, resulting in faster time to production,” said Debashis Das, VP of architecture at Veracode.

Polaris Dashboard

Polaris runs a variety of checks on Kubernetes deployments against established best practices and tested standards. 

It presents a dashboard that scores a cluster’s health, provides reports for each individual workload… and breaks out results by category, name space and deployment. 

Each check includes links to corresponding documentation and further resources on the topic. In addition to an overview of the current state of deployments, Polaris provides a roadmap for making improvements.

Polaris Webhook

The webhook provides a way to automatically enforce a configuration standard for all future cluster deployments. Once an issue on the dashboard is addressed, the webhook is deployed to ensure that future configurations adhere to that standard. When deployed in a cluster, the webhook will prevent any deployments that have “error” level configuration violations. 

Polaris is the release of Fairwinds’ most recent open source software development project.

Others include RBAC Manager for simplifying the management of Role Bindings and Service Accounts; rok8s Scripts, for managing application deployment life cycles in Kubernetes with scripts; and Reckoner, for streamlining the installation and management of multiple Helm chart releases.

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