Red light, green light for Kubernetes clusters

Introducing Gimbal, an open source load manager for Kubernetes

Jane Elizabeth
© Shutterstock / alice-photo

Looking for a new load balancer for your Kubernetes and OpenStack clusters? Gimbal has got you covered with a flexible, cloud native solution to route traffic wherever you need it to go, with no traffic jams.

Are your clusters stuck in traffic? There’s a new platform for that. Heptio Gimbal is a load balancing platform with cloud-native abilities to manage multi-team Kubernetes clusters.

Gimbal is built on a foundation of Kubernetes, the Envoy proxy, and Contour, Heptio’s own Kubernetes Ingress controller. This gives it a sturdy base to provide simple and flexible load balancing platform for all kinds of Kubernetes clusters and hybrid environments.

This is not exactly a normal load balancer. Ross Kukulinski, an engineer at Heptio, described Gimbal as “a powerful multi-team, multi-platform load balancing control plane”.

In particular, this load balancing solution makes it easier for companies to switch to Kubernetes, even if they already have existing solutions with technologies like OpenStack. Developers can manage multiple cluster ingress across OpenStack and Kubernetes to start, although Heptio promises more options are in development.


How Gimbal works. Original found here

As a load balancer, Gimbal routes high volume traffic into Kubernetes clusters or any other existing enterprise solutions. Other advantages include:

  • Cost-effectiveness – Gimbal is a software solution, not a purpose-built hardware solution.
  • Cloud native –API driven, dynamic, and rapidly scaling
  • Legacy friendly – Makes it possible to integrate your already existing systems with the new Kubernetes workflow for a unified traffic tier across back-end systems new and old alike.
  • Simplicity and flexibility – Works at scale, no matter the size you need.

How did this load balancer get developed? Well, everyone likes infrastructure upgrades, including Yahoo Japan, which was looking to modernize by upgrading to Kubernetes without causing any friction to their legacy code in OpenStack.  So their subsidiary Actapio joined in with Heptio to develop Gimbal.

And that was that!

SEE MORE: “Kubernetes is not an afterthought”

Getting Gimbal

Gimbal is under active development and any help is welcome. Currently, it supports discovering services from OpenStack Mitaka and Kubernetes 1.7+, with more to come.

Head on over to their GitHub page for more information. Gimbal’s technical details are here.

Jane Elizabeth
Jane Elizabeth is an assistant editor for

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