Aug 03, 2021

By David Dymko, Technical Lead, Cloud Native Development

Over the past several years Kubernetes has emerged as the de facto standard for container orchestration. But, it can take an awful lot of time to set up and maintain your own Kubernetes cluster from scratch.

That's why we built a managed service that automates much of the grunt work you'd otherwise have to do manually.

We're pleased to share that Vultr Kubernetes Engine (VKE) is now available in Beta in our New Jersey and Los Angeles locations.

A Less Complex Kubernetes

Kubernetes is an open source, free platform, but it still comes with a cost: complexity. Given Kubernetes' substantial learning curve, the last thing you should worry about is how to set up and maintain a cluster.

That's why we built Vultr Kubernetes Engine — so you can spin up managed clusters in just a few steps:

  1. Go to the Kubernetes tab in the control panel.
  2. Choose a cluster name and location.
  3. Add node pools with Cloud Compute or High Frequency VMs.
  4. Click the 'Deploy Now' button.
VKE Demo

After your cluster is ready, download the configuration file and check your pods:

$ kubectl --kubeconfig=kube_config.yaml get pods -A

Spinning up and connecting to a Kubernetes cluster running on Vultr has never been easier.

Powering Cloud Native Apps

At Vultr we're focused on the fundamentals of cloud infrastructure. And while we'll never build hundreds of managed services, Kubernetes has become a platform in its own right – an easier way of utilizing cloud computing at scale.

That's why we joined CNCF last year, and why we're introducing a managed Kubernetes service today. VKE is the cornerstone of our effort to support "cloud native" apps: the new generation of apps that are purpose built to run in elastically scalable clouds like ours.

To facilitate the operation of cloud native apps, we've tightly integrated VKE with the rest of the Vultr platform, including DNS, Block Storage, and Load Balancers.

We've also ensured that VKE plays nicely with external tools. VKE is fully compatible with standard Kubernetes toolchains, e.g. Helm, cert-manager, and External DNS.

The upshot of all of this interoperability is that you can easily migrate your existing Kubernetes workloads to VKE.

And why might you migrate to VKE? Well, besides its ease of use, there's one other big reason...

VKE Can Be 50% the Cost

Costs are often a key factor when choosing a cloud provider, and it's our hope that Vultr's pricing makes our managed Kubernetes service an attractive option.

Unlike the Big Tech clouds that typically charge Kubernetes management fees in excess of $70 per month, we provide the VKE control plane free of charge. You'll only pay for the underlying resources that you use with your cluster: your worker nodes, block storage, load balancers, and network utilization.

Our approach to pricing means that if you're learning Kubernetes, you can experiment with it on Vultr for as low as $10 per month.

Businesses that run Kubernetes at scale might find that VKE costs roughly half of what they would pay if they used an alternative service from one of the Big Tech cloud providers. Vultr's compute, storage, and network are always priced in low-cost, easily understandable ways.

We think that Vultr's pricing is in contrast to the Big Tech clouds', who charge so much that Andreesen Horowitz (a16z) has begun questioning whether they're worth using at all.

Get Started Today

We've been road testing VKE with users for several months now, and already we've heard some great feedback. Here's what the CEO of Porter, a K8s-based Platform-as-a-Service, had to say about VKE and their open source Heroku alternative:

Porter Logo "VKE is really easy to use, and I love that its control plane is completely free of charge. We're super excited to partner with Vultr and are working hard now to support deploying apps to Vultr Kubernetes Engine."
— Trevor Shim, Founder and CEO of Porter

To get started with VKE, simply provision a cluster within the control panel. You'll find our documentation here, and you can contact us with any issues, or to discuss migrating large scale workloads to Vultr.