Kontena Pharos – The simple, solid, certified Kubernetes distribution that just works.

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The simple, solid, certified Kubernetes distribution that just works.

Simple, solid and certified

We believe setting up and maintaining a complex platform like Kubernetes from scratch is not where the race is won. Just like with Linux, building it once is a good educational experience but not for real use. Kontena Pharos is a complete, maintained and certified Kubernetes distribution that works on-premises, on any cloud and beyond!

Easy to install, maintain and extend

Kontena Pharos is always up-to-date and built from the latest upstream Kubernetes, including a standardized set of essential features. It is easy to install and maintain with the dedicated CLI tool. The standard deployment may be extended with ready made add-ons for most common use cases, or any extras from the Kubernetes ecosystem!

Open Core, Free Versions Available

The Kontena Pharos is made available with open core licensing model. The core contains all essential features and is 100% open source under Apache 2 license. You can use it for free, for any purpose. For businesses, we offer versions with more functionality, fully managed solutions, support and consulting.

Features at a Glance

The simple, solid, certified Kubernetes distribution that just works.

Managed Kontena Pharos

Focus on the stuff that matters: let Kontena take care of setting up, running and maintaining Kubernetes for you on the infrastructure of your choice.

Managed Kubernetes on your infra

Enjoy fully managed Kubernetes on the infrastructure of your choice; bare metal, VMWare, OpenStack and public clouds are supported.

Built-to-last, always up-to-date

The solution is built to meet your requirements. We'll take care of setting up, running and maintaining the platform for you.

Predictable costs, no lock-in

The solution is provided with simple pricing. If you feel you're not getting value from the managed solution, we're happy to hand over the keys.

How does the managed Kontena Pharos solution work?

1. We set up the Kubernetes cluster for you

We will design and set up Kontena Pharos according to your individual business needs including choice of infrastructure, types of workloads, scale and monitoring systems.

2. We run and maintain your Kubernetes cluster

We will run and maintain the system for you 24/7 with enterprise grade SLA. In addition to generic support for using Kubernetes, your SLA covers uptime, on demand scaling and platform updates.

3. On request, we will hand over the keys

If you feel you're not getting value from the managed solution, we are happy to transfer the control over to you. We offer training for administering Kubernetes to ensure a smooth handover.

Get Started

Let's demonstrate how easy it is to create a Kubernetes cluster with Kontena Pharos!

Step 2.

Spin up machines for your cluster. To keep things simple for the sake of this tutorial, let's create 3 machines with at least 2GB of memory in each. You can create these machines on any infrastructure. The only requirement is that these machines must meet host machine system requirements. Once the machines are up and accessible via SSH, take a note of their IP addresses.

Step 3.

Create a simple cluster.yml manifest file that will describe your Kontena Pharos cluster. You can learn all supported configuration options from the Kontena Pharos docs.

  - address: ""
    user: root
    ssh_key_path: ~/.ssh/my_key
    role: master
  - address: ""
    user: root
    ssh_key_path: ~/.ssh/my_key
    role: worker
  - address: ""
    user: root
    ssh_key_path: ~/.ssh/my_key
    role: worker
  provider: weave
     enabled: true

Step 4.

Run the pharos up -c cluster.yml command to create a cluster based on the just created manifest file.

Step 5.

Configure the kubectl tool that is used to operate the Kubernetes cluster. If you don't have kubectl installed yet, follow these installation instructions. If you are lazy (like us) and don't want to configure kubectl manually, you can import an automatically generated configuration file that matches the cluster you just created. Do this by running the command you'll see at the end of the Kontena Pharos installation process.

Once the kubectl tool is configured, you can verify it is working with your cluster by running the kubectl get nodes command to get a list of all nodes in your cluster. Congratulations, your Kontena Pharos cluster is now ready for use!

Kontena Pharos FAQ

What is Kontena Pharos?

Kontena Pharos is a simple, solid and certified Kubernetes distribution that just works. It is composed of the latest upstream Kubernetes with all the essential components delivering a robust foundation that works at any scale. It is open source under Apache 2 license and free for any purpose: personal or commercial.

What is unique about Kontena Pharos?

Unlike most of the existing solutions that simplify installation of Kubernetes on public cloud, Kontena Pharos works on any infrastructure: public cloud, private cloud, on-premises, bare metal or hybrid. It also features robust tools for updating and maintaining the system after installation. In addition, it is commercially supported with support that also covers the use of Kubernetes itself. And finally, unlike many competing solutions out there, it just works!

How does Kontena Pharos differ from other Kubernetes distributions?

Please see the comparison in the Kontena Pharos docs.

How does Kontena Pharos relate to Kontena Classic?

Kontena has been developing its own container platform solution (including its own orchestrator) a.k.a. Kontena Classic for running containers and micro services since 2015. The motivation for this solution has always been to empower developers to architect and run containerized applications with minimal effort on any infrastructure. This solution has been very popular and we feel we have nailed down the developer happiness factor.

At the same time, Kubernetes and the ecosystem around it has been growing to biblical proportions. Despite all of its issues, Kubernetes has been declared as the "winner" of container orchestration. While technically Kontena Classic is almost on par with available features and provides superior usability, the ecosystem is strongly behind Kubernetes.

Kontena Pharos is the combination of developer experience you will find from Kontena Classic and Kubernetes with its endless customization options and vibrant ecosystem. Kontena's motivation is still the same: empower developers to architect and run containerized applications with minimal effort on any infrastructure. With Kontena Pharos, we are now also able to deliver this experience to people in the Kubernetes ecosystem.

Should I upgrade my existing Kubernetes deployment to Kontena Pharos?

If you are not 100% happy with your current deployment and feel Kontena Pharos can provide functionality or peace of mind that is not available to you with your current setup, we suggest you give it a try!

Will Kontena Pharos offer a web based management UI?

Many of you might be familiar with the Kontena Cloud web UI for managing container workloads. Over time, we plan to deliver this same experience also to Kontena Pharos users. For the time being, you can use the standard Kubernetes web UI that is easily available via the Kontena Pharos add-on.

What will happen to Kontena Classic? How do you prioritize development?

Kontena Classic is "feature complete". it has all the features and functionality we originally envisioned. It works for the purpose it was designed. We will keep updating and maintaining Kontena Classic but don't expect new features such as support for multiple container engines, namespaces or RBAC (just giving some examples) to be added to Kontena Classic. To be honest, most people don't even need these features. Depending on your use case, there might be no real benefit for switching to Kontena Pharos (or Kubernetes in general).

As mentioned in the Kontena Pharos announcement blog post, we see Kontena Pharos as the spiritual successor to Kontena Classic. Kontena Pharos will continue from where Kontena Classic ends. The core features you'll get are mostly coming from the Kubernetes open source project or the ecosystem around it. While we are part of the Linux Foundation and CNCF that oversees the Kubernetes project, we are not in the driver’s seat. Nobody is. All the core features you will get are the result of the Kubernetes open source project which is a 100% community effort.

How can I find out more?

Please contact us at sales@kontena.io for more information or if you have any questions not covered in the FAQ.