Critical Stack, an enterprise-focused secure Kubernetes container orchestration platform, was released for developers on Tuesday at Collision 2019 in Toronto. Critical Stack was acquired by Capital One in 2016 as part of its digital transformation efforts, as well as part of a broader effort to expand the company beyond a financial institution into a technology solutions provider. For developers, the first five nodes launched using Critical Stack are free of charge, with additional nodes priced at $5 per month.
Primarily, Critical Stack enables organizations undergoing digital transformation efforts to take on-premises operations and move them into the cloud, as well as leverage microservices. Capital One touts these abilities as “allowing designers, developers, and engineers to collaborate and innovate together,” adding that “the platform’s transparency, security, and automation enable a vibrant microservices architecture.”
Capital One’s experience as a financial institution gives the company insight into regulatory compliance–particularly as it relates to security–which influences how Critical Stack was designed, according to the company. Critical Stack integrates components such as AppArmor to restrict programs using per-program profiles, in addition to other tools designed to enable reporting and regulatory compliance for container execution, container networking, logging, namespace integrity, and Role Based Access Control (RBAC), among others.
SEE: Deploying containers: Six critical concepts (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
“When you think about when you’re moving to a microservice strategy, when you’re moving to a platform strategy, what are your objectives? They are to enable reuse, to save cost, to standardize, and to simplify,” Liam Randall, president of Critical Stack at Capital One, told TechRepublic. “When you think about undergoing a cloud transformation, you are ushering in those tenets. The ability to let disparate divisions work together to build on common platforms requires that level of standardization.”
Critical Stack was released in a limited beta in 2017, with ZDNet editor-in-chief Larry Dignan noting the trend of businesses releasing part of their software stack for external use, such as Comcast providing their X1 platform to other cable providers, publishing tools developed by The Washington Post opened to other media outlets, and furniture maker Steelcase developing an Internet of Things (IoT), smart office analytics platform.
For more on cloud and containers, check out Container adoption increasing as businesses increasingly rely on multicloud deployments and Google Cloud Platform launches Cloud Run, aims to bring enterprise workloads to serverless, Kubernetes on TechRepublic.