Meet Civo – The Cloud Native Infrastructure Services Startup Offering Kubernetes As A Service
Civo, a UK-based startup, is one of the first to offer cloud native infrastructure services powered by Kubernetes. Unlike other hyperscalers, where virtual machines are first-class citizens of compute infrastructure, Civo is built from the ground up to deliver blazing-fast Kubernetes clusters.
Mark Boost, Andy Jeffries and Barry Fenning, the co-founders of Civo, come with decades of experience in hosting and data center management. They founded Civo in 2019 as a community-powered, Kubernetes-based infrastructure service provider.
Civo claims to provision a Kubernetes cluster within 90 seconds. This promise is delivered by K3s, an ultra-lightweight, blazing-fast Kubernetes distribution from Rancher.
With less than a 100MB footprint, K3s is the most optimized version of Kubernetes that can run anywhere from the cloud to the data center to the edge. It’s a CNCF Conformant Kubernetes distribution and also a CNCF Sandbox project.
K3s is an ideal Kubernetes distribution for IoT and edge devices. With the rise of Kubernetes at the edge, K3s is on its way to becoming the de facto standard. Civo is betting on K3s to build its managed cloud native infrastructure and platform.
While it’s exciting to see a commercial cloud service is powered by K3s, does it matter to users? What’s the key differentiating factor of Civo? How is it different from other managed Kubernetes service offerings?
Civo reminds me of Digital Ocean from its early days. Entering a crowded market dominated by deep-pocketed companies, Digital Ocean found its niche through unmatched developer experience and a vibrant community. Civo is attempting to do the same but in the cloud native infrastructure market.
Personally, I like the simplicity and clean user experience of Civo. If you quickly need a multi-node Kubernetes cluster to deploy a prototype, you are just minutes away from seeing it in action. It’s not just the UX. Civo has worked closely with Infrastructure as a Code (IaC) tooling providers like HashiCorp and Pulumi to build plugins to automate provisioning and management. They also have a simple yet powerful API and CLI to take control of your clusters.
Another sign that Civo is a developer-centric platform is the support for webhooks. You can invoke an external HTTP endpoint every time a cluster is created, scaled, or deleted. This feature allows developers to automate workload deployment and cluster management.
Apart from UX, Civo is a pocket-friendly Kubernetes service provider. A cluster with a modest configuration based on X Small instances with 1GB RAM and a single CPU core with 15GB NVMe storage costs just $4. Unlike hyperscalers, they don’t charge for the control plane. A liberal data transfer plan is included in most of the cluster configurations. Civo also consists of an AI-powered firewall to mitigate DDoS attacks.
Civo partnered with StorageOS, another UK-based container-native storage company, to add persistence to Kubernetes workloads. A 1GB StorageOS volume attached to a Kubernetes cluster costs as low as $0.10.
The Civo marketplace has a set of curated applications and tools with support for one-click installation. From databases to security tools, you can find the most popular containerized apps in the marketplace.
Civo is also planning to launch a managed database service powered by open source MySQL and PostgreSQL. This addition turns the service into a full-blow application platform to run end-to-end applications.
Civo will have to add core services such as object storage, private registry, private network, cluster backup and restore, integrated monitoring, GPU-based nodes, and more to attract startups and midsized companies.
Currently, in its early access phase with availability in London and New York regions, Civo is gearing up for a commercial launch later this month.
If you are a cloud native developer looking for a blazingly fast, affordable Kubernetes service, check out Civo. You won’t be disappointed.