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DigitalOcean Kubernetes Control Plane General Availability (GA), now with a 99.95% SLA

Posted: June 23, 20224 min read

At DigitalOcean, we strive to create a simple and safe managed Kubernetes experience so that you can scale your business with intuitive developer tools.  Today, we are thrilled to announce that DigitalOcean Kubernetes’ High Availability (HA) control plane now includes a 99.95% Service Level Agreement (SLA) to provide confidence that your control plane is fault-tolerant no matter the load. Additionally, all DigitalOcean Kubernetes users can enjoy our new, faster, and more powerful control plane at no cost.

New High Availability (HA) capabilities

Kubernetes is an incredibly popular tool that produces workloads that can scale and heal themselves, saving resources and introducing automation to your infrastructure. However, if your control plane fails, your workloads may keep running, but it can’t schedule new workloads or perform cluster-level operations. This weakness in Kubernetes is a single point of failure, and because of this behavior, a resilient and scalable control plane is a must-have, especially for those running production workloads. Our High Availability control plane gives you confidence that you can rely on DigitalOcean Kubernetes.

When High Availability is enabled, DigitalOcean Kubernetes runs three replicas of your control plane to ensure better performance and uptime. We offer a 99.95% Service Level Agreement (SLA) per month for the new control plane with High Availability. If you experience downtime beyond this level, we’ll credit your DigitalOcean account.

Configuring HA is straightforward and costs an additional $40/month. Spin up an HA cluster using the UI in a click, with doctl CLI, or Terraform.

Additional enhancements to the new control plane

To create the new DigitalOcean Kubernetes control plane we leveraged the latest cloud-native and open source technologies including the ClusterAPI for API-based cluster management. We containerized the control plane components and used Kubernetes to manage them, a concept referred to as Kubeception. Because containers are so lightweight, we can spin up new control planes faster than ever. See below for diagrams outlining how the new control plane differs from the legacy control plane.

The below enhancements to the control plane are applicable for all the DigitalOcean(DOKS) users regardless if you have HA enabled or not:

  • Built on Open Source Software: The DigitalOcean Kubernetes control plane is built with Cluster API for better operability and reliability. DigitalOcean contributes to Open Source Software (OSS) projects like the Cluster API provider DigitalOcean that you can use to provision DigitalOcean Kubernetes clusters. As a member of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) all DigitalOcean Kubernetes clusters are certified by the CNCF allowing migration to and from our platform**.
    **

  • Faster cluster creation and recovery: By containerizing the control plane it spins up faster, providing faster recovery from control plane failures of any type with minimal downtime**.** You can also create clusters and access the Kubernetes API more quickly with the new control plane.

  • Resiliency and Stability: The control plane automatically detects and replaces unhealthy control plane components making it more resilient to unexpected failures. The Cluster API’s dynamic resizing of the control plane pods stabilizes it during unpredictable application load increases.

  • Dynamic CPU allocation: The new control plane allocates CPU and memory resources to the control plane components on-demand, dynamically adapting to variable usage patterns.

  • Get new features and updates faster: The new control plane can now be updated continuously behind the scenes to ship new features and address bugs, requiring less manual interventions from you. Provisioning a control plane from a Droplet (VM) required installing components onto an immutable image. By containerizing the cluster components, they become mutable, easy to maintain, safer to roll back, and quick to adjust. You will get new capabilities and releases faster. That said, you still choose when to upgrade Kubernetes versions. You can also schedule automatic updates if desired.

Feature availability and pricing

All new DigitalOcean Kubernetes clusters are now managed by the new control plane, which comes free with DigitalOcean Kubernetes.

In addition to the benefits that come with the new control plane, when HA is enabled on your clusters, your control plane will have an SLA of 99.95%. Enabling HA is straightforward. It is just a simple check-box or a CLI flag during the cluster creation. If you choose to enable High Availability, you pay $40/month for the control plane. We currently don’t support HA for existing clusters, so to utilize HA you will need to create new clusters.

We are committed to making the DigitalOcean Kubernetes experience simple for startups and tech-enabled small businesses. We look forward to working with you as you scale your business on DOKS.

Happy Coding,

Udhay Ravindran

Senior Product Manager, Kubernetes

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