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Upstream Kubernetes is an open source version of Kubernetes that is maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). It consists of the core components that provide the infrastructure for container orchestration. It forms the basis for commercial Kubernetes distributions (in other words, it is 'upstream' of other distributions).

Upstream Kubernetes does not include any add-on components for monitoring and life-cycle managing your cluster. It's therefore targeted for organizations that have the ability to put together a usable orchestration solution by themselves. It's also good for users who want to quickly get a bare bones proof-of-concept installation up and running.

Upstream Kubernetes also does not include a CNI plug-in. After you install a fresh cluster, you'll need to install a CNI plug-in for that cluster. With Contrail, you simply run the supplied Contrail deployer. The Contrail deployer runs in a container and behaves just like any other Kubernetes application. The deployer installs and provides life cycle management for Contrail components.

Once Contrail is installed, you manage it using kubectl and other standard Kubernetes tools. If you also install Contrail Analytics, you'll get Prometheus, Grafana, and other open source monitoring software installed automatically, with the added benefit that Contrail will work seamlessly with these latter applications with no further configuration necessary.

Benefits of Upstream Kubernetes with Contrail

  • Open source Kubernetes platform together with industry-leading CNI
  • Install only what you need, fully customizable
  • Ideal for roll-your-own and proof-of-concept installations
  • Contrail deployer facilitates installation