Transforming The Edge: Platform9 Introduces Highly-Available 2-Node Kubernetes Cluster

Traditionally, Kubernetes deployments required a minimum of three nodes, but this approach is often impractical in many environments. Space constraints and, more importantly, cost considerations pose challenges. This is especially true in edge computing scenarios, where adding a third server is neither practical nor necessary. The justification for additional computing power becomes elusive, resulting in wasted resources and an unnecessary increase in operational expenses. In such environments, there is a growing demand for highly available Kubernetes clusters in response to this demand for efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Platform9 is introducing an innovative solution to meet this need: the 2-node Highly Available Kubernetes cluster. This ground-breaking configuration ensures that even if a server fails, the edge site remains operational, with applications running seamlessly.

Revolutionizing Retail Store IT Economics

In the fiercely competitive retail industry, optimizing operational costs is critical for sustaining profitability and scalability. At the forefront of this imperative is the deployment of two-node High Availability (HA) Kubernetes clusters at store locations. This strategy not only saves millions of dollars, but also paves the way for a technological transformation that is in line with the diverse needs of today’s retail landscape.

Traditionally, the effectiveness of Kubernetes clusters required a minimum of three nodes, posing challenges for retailers, particularly in space-constrained environments.

Enter Platform9’s innovative two-node HA configuration, which not only meets high availability requirements but also reduces hardware and associated costs by up to 30% per store. This translates into millions of dollars in savings for retail giants with large footprints, including reduced capital expenditure, lower energy consumption, and lower maintenance costs. 

The Two-Node HA Solution: Technical Details Unveiled

Traditional Kubernetes setups required a minimum of three nodes to maintain a quorum, essential for leader election within the cluster. This three-node requirement presented challenges, particularly in the limited space and resource constraints typical of retail environments. Recognizing this, Platform9’s innovative two-node solution provides a high-availability Kubernetes cluster that operates effectively with only two nodes, significantly cutting hardware requirements and associated costs.

Key Technical Aspects:

  • Transition to Containerized Solutions with KubeVirt: Moving from traditional dedicated servers for specific applications to a containerized solution and leveraging KubeVirt for virtualization enhances flexibility and scalability. This shift enables retailers to adapt swiftly to changing requirements without the constraints of traditional hardware setups.
  • Provisioning from Bare Metal with Zero Touch: Remote PXE booting into an operating system and automatically setting up the entire Kubernetes and application stack streamlines the deployment process, minimizing manual intervention and reducing the time to operational readiness.
The minimal setup needed for a retail store includes two servers—forming a two-node HA Kubernetes cluster—along with a switch, router, and 5G hotspot.


The minimal setup needed for a retail store includes two servers—forming a two-node HA Kubernetes cluster—along with a switch, router, and 5G hotspot.

In-Store Applications: Innovative Freedom and Testing New Apps

Today, many stores operate using dedicated servers for specific applications, such as Network Video Recording (NVR). The shift towards containerization enables more effective utilization of servers in stores, reducing the footprint of servers and unlocking a myriad of benefits.

The transition from dedicated servers to a containerized solution not only optimizes the use of servers but also brings the freedom to innovate and test new applications in stores without the need for additional hardware. With a containerized approach, retailers can easily deploy and manage a variety of applications, adapting to evolving customer needs and market trends with agility.  The two-node solution, along with containerization, enables a myriad suite of in-store applications that cater to diverse operational needs without adding to the infrastructure cost or operational complexity.

Kubernetes: The Driver of Innovation

In the contemporary retail landscape, Kubernetes emerges as the primary source of innovation. Traditionally requiring three nodes, Kubernetes clusters present challenges in space-limited retail environments. However, Platform9 addresses this limitation by providing a two-server HA Kubernetes implementation, offering all the benefits of high availability, reduced hardware footprint, and substantial cost savings.

The combination of the two-node Kubernetes solution and these leading in-store applications represents a watershed moment in retail technology. This comprehensive approach not only optimizes economic factors but also ushers retailers into a new era of increased agility, efficiency, and customer-centric retail operations.

Conclusion

The two-node Kubernetes cluster represents a monumental leap in retail technology, providing a robust, scalable, and cost-effective solution. The convergence of business justification, technological innovation, and strategic in-store applications not only optimizes economic factors but also moves retailers into an era of increased agility, efficiency, and customer-centric retail operations.

Peter Fray

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