What it takes to build a scalable, multi-cloud, On-premise computing environment in minutes

Cloud manager

(2-3 minute read) 

TLDR: We talked to Fluid CTO, Alexander Turner about the challenges of building Fluid from a technical standpoint. From orchestrating scalable Kubernetes environments that stand up on their own, to maintaining cluster quorum, and orchestrating complicated cloud networks. 

What was the most complex element of Fluid to bring together? 

There are obviously a couple of elements of Fluid that have been challenging.  

A couple of major elements that really stand out are;  

Alexander Turner, Fluid CTO
  • Orchestrating scalable Kubernetes environments to stand up by themselves  
  • How do you maintain cluster quorum as servers are booting and as the clusters are being built?  
  • Networking. How do we orchestrate complicated cloud networks? 
    Networks that not only allow us to get higher resiliency down to a particular server, but also allow us to orchestrate turning up cloud providers and cloud provider links to bridge that gap between internet and high-performance switching and leverage that architecture? 

For anyone who’s played in the On-premise game before, you’ll know there’s some challenges, especially for the first time, until you get some cadence. Activities such as connecting a cloud provider, ethernet service, or global interconnect to your network. We’re talking about an AWS Direct Connect or Azure Express Route, and how many steps are involved. This usually involves finding a third-party to deliver the VLAN to you, connecting to them, turning up IP on the service, configuring the cloud provider side, also configuring BGP, accepting the circuit in AWS, or Express Route, and just dancing between those and then realizing, oh, I actually need a virtual gateway. I need this, I need that… 

We’ve built is a platform that automates all of that, including accepting the link. You simply provision a Virtual Cross Connect (VXC) with a provider like Megaport or PCCW Console Connect.  

Here’s the total steps to connect to Fluid:  

  1. Deliver a circuit to your Fluid switch, connected directly into your infrastructure or switch. 
  1. A very simple wizard that takes your cloud providers credentials. You can figure out the API credentials for your VXC provider, like Console Connect, or Megaport.  
  1. Simply put, you give the virtual gateway or the VNet you want it to connect to Amazon, Google Cloud, or Microsoft, run through the wizard with a couple of simple questions, and orchestrate the end-to-end connectivity.  
  1. Test it. You’ll get a green light when it’s on and there’s connectivity.  

We took that multi-step, very cumbersome process, and made it a single flow that is really easy to operate and use. You can just insert data, get that connectivity in, and then start scaling and building your network.  

With Fluid, cloud connectivity couldn’t be easier, especially at volume.