AWS adds bare metal support to EKS Anywhere

And throws some cold water on the 'K8s works best inside a VM' argument


Amazon Web Services has made a small but important change to its EKS Anywhere on-prem Kubernetes offering – the option to install it on bare metal servers instead of exclusively inside a VMware vSphere environment.

"Amazon EKS Anywhere on bare metal enables customers to automate all steps from bare metal hardware provisioning to Kubernetes cluster operations using a bundled open source toolset built on the foundation of Tinkerbell and Cluster API," states the cloud colossus's announcement of the offering.

The offering is free, but AWS generously offers service subscriptions.

VMware argues that its own vSphere virtual machine management platform is a fine way to run Kubernetes, as once container-wrangling toolkit underpins mission-critical apps it needs the isolation and manageability afforded by well-managed virtual machines. Virtzilla is not alone in that position.

But in a post discussing the bare metal option, AWS product manager Vipin Mohan wrote: "Running Kubernetes on bare metal infrastructure is complex … Customers said that using a virtualization layer alleviates some of these problems but adds software licensing and support costs."

AWS also feels that customers who run on-prem Kubernetes value hybrid clouds that behave consistently on-prem and off. As EKS effectively runs on bare metal in the AWS cloud, that consistency is now available.

EKS Anywhere on bare metal requires at least two servers: one to host the control plane and another to run workloads. To run the tool in production, AWS recommends three control plane boxes and two workers.

Each machine needs a pair of CPUs, 8GB of RAM and 25GB of storage.

Support for the likes of Redfish or Dell iDRAC is required, although AWS has admitted it's possible to run EKS Anywhere without such Intelligent Platform Management Interfaces – at the cost of not being to upgrade software or automated shutdown and startup of servers.

AWS has validated servers from Dell, HPE, Lenovo and SuperMicro.

One of the rivals for EKS, Google's Anthos, was recently re-invented as a way to bring the G-cloud experience, and hybrid cloud-native applications, on premises.

Those who fancy running Kubernetes on-prem are therefore increasingly spoiled for choice. ®

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