Bay Area-based modern infrastructure startup Spectro Cloud has announced a new platform that promises simplified integration and management of edge computing devices running Kubernetes.
In March, I covered Spectro Cloud’s Palette Edge – a platform to extend the power of managed Kubernetes to the edge. Last week’s announcement enhanced Palette Edge with a new workflow on embedded edge devices, an open source operating system optimized for the edge, and an NOC-style portal for visualizing and managing edge clusters running Kubernetes.
Spectro Cloud has created a distribution called Palette eXtended Kubernetes Edge (PXK-E) based on the upstream Kubernetes distribution maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). PXK-E transforms the edge into an immutable and waterproof environment, enhancing security. It follows security standards based on NIST-800 security hardening.
The unchanged part of the PXK-E is not only interesting but one of the first in the industry. Immutable infrastructure is the foundation of modern cloud computing, where the configuration cannot be modified once deployed. DevOps engineers consider it one of the best practices to maintain a repeatable, consistent, predictable and stable configuration. In the context of Kubernetes, immutability refers to the configuration and state of the cluster and workloads, which cannot be modified without developing a new definition that has been tested for stability.
PXK-E’s immutability is based on Kairos, an open source meta-operating system that can install and manage mainstream Linux and Kubernetes distributions through a declarative approach. Any change made to the operating system or Kubernetes will be saved to a staged disk partition that is applied during the following reboot process. In case of failure, it is easy to restore the system to the last known good configuration. This model was originally introduced by CoreOS, which is now part of Red Hat. Unlike CoreOS, Kairos extends immutability to any Linux operating system, including Ubuntu, Alpine, and openSUSE.
Palette Edge, the edge management layer from Spectro Cloud, can launch edge clusters running various Linux and Kubernetes distributions. Although PXK-E is the default distribution for the edge from Spectro Cloud, the platform supports mainstream distributions such as upstream Kubernetes, K3s, and RKE2 that have been curated and verified to run on the edge.
Spectro Cloud has also invested in an NOC-like dashboard that helps DevOps engineers visualize and manage their fleet of distributed clusters of edges and devices running in different geographies. This tool provides an efficient mechanism for accessing and troubleshooting clusters of edges regardless of their location.
Unlike an enterprise data center managed by skilled and certified engineers, edge devices are deployed in environments where there are no IT or support engineers. Spectro Cloud has introduced a QR code-based onboarding process that guides non-technical users through setting up state-of-the-art computing environments to simplify onboarding and launching new devices.
Spectro Cloud is squarely focused on solving real business pain points when deploying and managing Kubernetes-based edge computing environments. Palette for Edge, PXK-E, Kairos and new NOC offerings are unique approaches to addressing the complexity of managing edge infrastructure.