Docker has collaborated with Loft Labs to enable Docker Desktop users in setting up and managing virtual Kubernetes clusters. Loft Labs enables any company to expand self-service to Kubernetes from 10 to 10,000 engineers. 

Lukas Gentele, Co-founder and CEO, Loft Labs, commented, “This brings together two hugely popular technologies and integrates the functions of vcluster for the users of Docker Desktop who are increasingly working in Kubernetes. Using their familiar Docker Desktop, users can set up as many different virtual Kubernetes clusters as needed for development, testing, as well as production.”

Docker Extensions, an extensions API was launched by Docker to allow partners to grow Docker Desktop capabilities with added capabilities for developers. Loft brought vcluster, an extension for open source that helps in the easy creation and management of virtual clusters in Docker Desktop.

vcluster allows users to develop virtual clusters which they can pause and resume easily. Virtual clusters are ideal for developers helping them set diverse development and testing configurations which is easy to practice. Each configuration can run as virtual clusters in Kubernetes, almost similar to machines on a server. Docker Desktop creates and shares containerized applications and microservices as it runs on Windows, Linux, and MacOS.

Vcluster was first unveiled in April 2021, it became popular and was downloaded 500,000 times and received 1,300 stars on GitHub. Vcluster is employed to build Kubernetes clusters that run within the namespaces of fundamental Kubernetes clusters. Including virtual clusters helps in solving multiple multi-tenancy challenges of Kubernetes because they offer- 

  • Improved isolation compared to simple namespace-based multi-tenancy.
  • Since virtual clusters are much more lightweight help in cloud computing cost reduction. They are also resource-efficient compared to separate single-tenant clusters.
  • Encapsulation and logical separation of application workloads from the shared infrastructure workloads of the fundamental cluster.

Simultaneously, users of virtual clusters may anticipate that their virtual clusters will function just like any other Kubernetes cluster as vcluster is a certified Kubernetes distribution and has passed all CNCF-mandated conformance tests. When engineers create, test, and debug cloud-native software, virtual clusters are widely utilized as development environments. However, they are also frequently employed as ephemeral environments for running continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines.