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Cilium in the Cloud – February 2024

Dean Lewis
Dean Lewis
Published: Updated: Cilium
Cilium in the Cloud – February 2024

Cilium is available everywhere you look, and not only can you benefit from the networking, observability, and security features that Cilium brings to your platforms, but you can also do this in the public and private cloud of your choice! It’s no secret that Cilium has become the de facto component you need regardless of where you implement your cloud-native journey.

With so many announcements and content to cover in the recently released Cilium 1.15 article, we decided to provide a dedicated quarterly update for Cilium and its integrations and use cases with various cloud providers.

In this blog post, let’s review some of the recent developments related to Cilium in public or private clouds:

Cilium on AKS

Isovalent’s partnership with Microsoft remains as strong as ever. Azure selected Cilium as the default CNI and as the recommendation option for large-scale clusters.

At KubeCon Chicago 2023, Chandan Aggarwal, Software Engineering Manager at Microsoft, answered why Microsoft selected Cilium, and how they combine forces with Isovalent to achieve customer’s cloud-native connectivity goals.

The below image from Amit’s blog post gives you a simplified flow chart on how to upgrade your existing Azure AKS clusters to using Cilium regardless of your starting point. 

Azure Plugin(s) Upgrade Path

Working with Microsoft, we’ve also made it easier for  AKS users to install Isovalent Enterprise for Cilium in AKS clusters and also how to make the most of the Cilium Enterprise features.

Additionally, we’ve expanded the integration points with various Azure offerings. For example, when Azure Linux was launched, there was immediate interest in validating that Cilium would work seamlessly with Microsoft’s Linux distribution. You can read more about how Amit details it in the blog post about how to deploy Azure Linux with Cilium.

Customers have been asking us whether Azure Arc – Microsoft’s multi-cloud multi-cluster management plane – would work with Cilium or its Enterprise edition. It is fully supported and, if you read Amit’s latest blog post, you will see how we can use Azure Arc to manage Cilium-based clusters running in AWS, GKE, Kind, and K3S, not just Azure!

Our final update to share on Azure is Amit’s run-through of installation and use cases for Cilium Cluster Mesh with Azure AKS, which provides the ability to create global application services across AKS clusters, regardless of their deployed region. 

Cilium on EKS

Cilium is widely used by EKS users – often for its support for advanced network policies, its observability capabilities, and its smart and flexible IP address management capabilities.

In 2021, AWS announced that for EKS-Anywhere, Cilium would be the default Container Network Interface (CNI) for its Kubernetes distribution. Since then, the partnership between AWS and Isovalent flourished.

Over the past few months, we’ve seen an acceleration of Cilium’s adoption of the EKS offerings.

Amit recently documented how to upgrade from the default and limited Cilium version that comes with EKS-Anywhere to the fully-featured Cilium OSS or Isovalent Enterprise for Cilium. To make this transition even simpler, Isovalent Enterprise for Cilium is available on the AWS Marketplace, making it very easy for users to spin up, test, and use our Enterprise edition of Cilium on EKS clusters.

Cilium on Red Hat OpenShift

We’ve previously covered why Cilium and Red Hat OpenShift are a match made in heaven and how Cilium and eBPF can supercharge OpenShift clusters. In recent months, we’ve documented a technical walkthrough covering how to install Cilium with Red Hat OpenShift. For those of you who already have Red Hat OpenShift deployed, then you can read up on this community post about the considerations and how to migrate from Red Hat OpenShiftSDN/OVN-Kubernetes to Cilium, and when you are ready, reach out to our experts to help plan any potential migration!

Cilium on Nutanix

Nutanix’s own Kubernetes distribution is seeing an upgrade. Their “Next Generation Workload Cluster” (currently in Tech Preview) will offer enhanced architecture, enhanced security, and increased resilience. What is the CNI underpinning it? Cilium. You can read more about this change in the Nutanix documentation. We can’t wait to see this offering mature. 

Learn more

In this blog, we’ve provided lots of links to various publications covering Cilium and its features with various cloud partners. To continue the learning, you can further use one of the resources below:

Join Cilium Slack to interact with Cilium users

Dean Lewis
AuthorDean LewisSenior Technical Marketing Engineer
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