Product updates

Grow even faster with the new control plane for DigitalOcean Kubernetes

Bikram Gupta

Posted: October 12, 20214 min read

Back in 2018, we launched DigitalOcean Kubernetes, a managed Kubernetes offering that makes it easy to provision and deploy production-grade Kubernetes clusters. Over the years we have made numerous enhancements to the product and added features such as autoscaling for clusters, tokenized authentication, Container Registry, automatic upgrades and patches, and an extensive collection of popular 1-Click Apps like Prometheus, Linkerd, Grafana, and Loki.

Today, businesses and developers use DigitalOcean Kubernetes to deploy web applications, microservices, CI/CD pipelines, IoT applications, blockchain-based services, and much more. DigitalOcean Kubernetes does the heavy lifting of managing the infrastructure for you, so that you can focus on growing your business and bring your apps to market faster, and we’re excited to share some key updates to the product below.

Our approach to Kubernetes design and functionality

We understand that running workloads reliably and with increased resiliency is the number one goal when you move from running prototypes to running production-grade clusters. The Kubernetes control plane is critical to achieving this goal, as it is the mastermind behind a successful Kubernetes configuration by running multiple replicas of its components (Controller Manager, Scheduler, and API server).

We’re thrilled to share that we’ve redesigned the control plane of DigitalOcean Kubernetes to make it easier for you to run workloads reliably, and to provide high availability. From today the new control plane with high availability is available for all users of DigitalOcean Kubernetes!

Here are the key benefits of the new control plane:

  • Provides high availability: The new control plane eliminates the single point of failure in the cluster by maintaining the redundancy between the master nodes.
  • Faster control plane creation: It takes close to ~30 seconds for the new control plane to spin up.
  • Repairs itself in no time: If one component of the control plane fails in any way, it can recover without any significant downtime.
  • More secure: The new control plane is backed by isolation and runtime primitives of containerization technology itself.

Check out this short walkthrough video that shows the new control plane in action.

The control plane for DigitalOcean Kubernetes is free. You can add the high availability feature to the control plane for only $40/month. Additionally, for clusters above a certain size, we waive the $40/month charge and you get a control plane with high availability for free. Please read the docs for more details.

We’re consciously focused on the biggest challenges startups face: cost, scalability, availability, and security. DigitalOcean Kubernetes manifests exactly that goal with production-ready clusters coupled with fault tolerance and high availability.

How DigitalOcean Kubernetes is helping businesses grow

DigitalOcean customers such as Hack The Box and Atom Learning are leveraging DigitalOcean Kubernetes to scale their businesses effectively while keeping their teams lean.

“The fact that it’s so easy to configure, administrate and scale with DigitalOcean is something which I love. I’ve worked with Kubernetes before, hands-on, self-hosted, but the DigitalOcean integration and provision of Kubernetes has been the most seamless that I’ve experienced so far. “ - James Hooker, CTO, Hack The Box

Hack The Box offers advanced training for IT security professionals and hackers through a series of learning challenges in a gamified environment. Watch this video to learn how Hack the Box scaled their user base to almost 750,000 users in the past year, while saving time and money with DigitalOcean.

“The reason we got hooked with DigitalOcean Kubernetes is the ease of setup and upskilling. We’ve scaled to thousands and thousands of users and the environment really hasn’t shown any issues and it has enabled us to scale as quickly as our business has grown. There’s no vendor lock-in so a multi-cloud approach is easy to implement.“ – Tim Osborne, CTO, Atom Learning

Atom Learning is a rapidly growing, UK-based educational technology startup. Learn how CTO Tim and his team leveraged DigitalOcean Kubernetes to help them scale quickly and reliably as their customer base grows.


Looking ahead

Today’s announcement is a continuation of our journey. We’re committed to making DigitalOcean Kubernetes the ideal Kubernetes platform for developers, entrepreneurs, and startups. As always, you can get started with DigitalOcean Kubernetes without breaking the bank, since your master node is free. If you haven’t yet, we encourage you to spin up a DigitalOcean Kubernetes cluster today!

Additionally, if you’re attending KubeCon North America from October 11 to 15, meet the team at our virtual booth. If you’re not attending KubeCon, we’ve got plenty of free and open-to-everyone events such as live Tech Talks & Cloud Chats, plus the opportunity to connect with our solutions engineers and more. If you’d like to have a conversation about using DigitalOcean and Managed Kubernetes in your business, please feel free to contact our sales team.

Happy coding!

DigitalOcean Kubernetes Team


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