Changelog #5

Updates from this year so far.

👋 Hugo here, co-founder of Namespace.

This year saw us shift towards making it even simpler and more affordable to run ephemeral container workloads.

But what are ephemeral container workloads?

They are workloads that use all of the containers capabilities, but are optimized to run for a limited amount of time. In our case, we dramatically improve on startup latency, and running costs.

For example: Want to show a quick demo to someone else in the team?

$ nsc run --image nginx -p 80
  Created new ephemeral environment (...).
    More at: https://cloud.namespace.so/...
  Running "nginx-gd32"
    Exported 80/tcp as https://...fra1.nscluster.cloud

And you get a public-facing (but workspace-access protected) endpoint in just 2 seconds.

Major updates

In the last couple months we've introduced the following new products:

  • Ephemeral Clusters: ephemeral environments optimized for containers, that support the containerd, Docker and Kubernetes APIs. Deploy containers in seconds, or any Kubernetes workload in 10 seconds.

  • Remote Builders. Zero-configuration high-performance build capacity.

  • Container Registry: The glue between your builds and ephemeral environments.

You can try all of these for free today under our Early Access, with pricing being announced soon.

Ephemeral Clusters

As we were building Foundation we realized how important it was for us to be able to spin up individual and isolated Kubernetes-based environments in CI. We wanted to run representative tests, and we wanted to run many tests.

Nothing else in the market came close to offering us what we needed:

  • We need to create new capacity quickly, i.e. in seconds, not minutes.
  • We don't want to compromise on not being able to run privileged workloads, sometimes we have to.
  • We want to be able to understand what happened in our tests without spending hours and days in printf-debugging: we want to SSH into the cluster after or during the CI run!
  • We want to easily share runs within our team simple, understandable, SSO.
  • And we wanted as much elasticity as possible without breaking the bank.

Ephemeral Clusters cover all of these, and more. They are full featured environments optimized for containers, whether you're running Docker or Kubernetes, or even just plain containerd.

Despite functioning as fully-fledged clusters, Ephemeral Clusters operate like serverless containers. They remain inactive when not in use, conserving resources. However, the cluster's state is preserved as it enters a sleep mode, automatically resuming when required.

And to top it off, logs and metrics — both system and user — are persisted without any additional configuration required.

This unique combination provides the best of all worlds at affordable prices, ensuring a seamless and cost-effective solution for CI pipelines.

cluster screenshotEphemeral cluster overview

Remote Builders

Once we improved the speed of our tests, we focused on optimizing our build process. Despite extensive caching fine-tuning within GitHub Actions, the lack of incremental building still led to suboptimal performance.

That's when it dawned on us: we have access to on-demand ephemeral capacity, which can be effortlessly maintained across CI runs.

As a result, we developed Remote Builders on Ephemeral Clusters. These high-capacity machines, typically equipped with 16 cores and 32 GB of RAM, integrate seamlessly into your existing docker build and docker buildx workflows without requiring any modifications.

build screenshotA cached build

Container Registry

What else do you need to connect your builds to your containers? A container registry. Our private container registry works out of the box with the rest of the Namespace components.

Same authentication, same sharing capabilities.

Start pushing today to nscr.io.

What's coming next

You've heard this before. But we're just getting started.

Being software engineers ourselves we experience many of the same pain points you do. And we're determined to make development and testing easier, so you can ship better software, faster, and with joy. As big Github Actions users, we couldn't help but complete the circle.

gh runner teaser

We'll share more about this next week. ⏰

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