Canonical Distribution of Kubernetes features

Architectural freedom. Fully automated operations. Extensible Kubernetes for all.

The Canonical Distribution of Kubernetes on Ubuntu gives you the flexibility to place your services exactly where you want them while sharing operational code with a large community.

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Kubernetes Certified Service Provider

Cloud Native Platform

The Canonical Distribution of Kubernetes (CDK) provides a well integrated, turn-key Kubernetes platform that is optimized for your cloud — private or public. It is open, extensible, and secure.

Get started now and take advantage of our rapidly growing ecosystem of technology partners like Rancher Labs, JFrog and others. CDK is the best foundation for your cloud native platform!

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AI / ML and HPC Architecture

GPGPU acceleration of AI and machine learning workloads on Kubernetes requires careful configuration of the underlying hardware and host OS. Canonical’s Ubuntu is the leading platform for public cloud GPGPU instances and Canonical offers private cloud expertise to match.

Build a GPGPU cluster and operate Kubernetes on top for HPC and high-throughput AI / ML data science.

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Keeping Kubernetes current

Developers demand the latest features as Kubernetes evolves rapidly in the open source community. On bare metal, VMs or as a service — CDK will keep your kubernetes cluster up to date

Using Snaps, point releases of Kubernetes are automatically installed. And whenever there is a new major version, juju charms make upgrading CDK easy.

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Managed Kubernetes

Predictable OpEx for organisations looking to disaggregate Kubernetes adoption from operational readiness. Canonical provides managed service for Kubernetes at great economics.

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Kubernetes fits perfectly on top of OpenStack, and VMware and MAAS bare metal

There’s no doubt that Kubernetes is the new standard operational layer for every multi-cloud business. Canonical enables K8s on demand for your devops teams — on OpenStack, on VMware, on public clouds, and on bare metal clusters with MAAS.

Deliver ‘Containers as a Service’ across the enterprise with Canonical’s Distribution of Kubernetes (CDK) which enables each project to spin up a standardised K8s of arbitrary scale, on demand, with centralised operational control.

  • Multi-cloud workload portability thanks to Ubuntu
  • Same Ubuntu OS and kernel as Google, Azure, AWS k8s offerings
  • PCI device passthrough for GPGPU, FPGA and SR-IOV workloads
  • AI and machine learning optimisations with nVidia and Google
  • Flavours to match public cloud k8s on Google, Azure, AWS
  • Standard upstream Kubernetes, CNCF builds available
  • Portfolio of third-party certified solutions for CI/CD
  • Day-2 operations encapsulated and included
  • Upgrades guaranteed between K8s releases
  • Security updates by Canonical just like Ubuntu
  • Full OCI compatibility with docker and containerd runtimes
  • Prometheus and ELK logging and monitoring included
  • Extensible, third-party ecosystem for storage, networking

In partnership with Google, Canonical delivers the perfect K8s for AI and machine learning with Kubeflow.

Learn more about Kubeflow ›


Kubernetes imposes fundamental requirements on your networking implementation including:

  • All containers can communicate with all other containers without NAT
  • All nodes can communicate with all containers (and vice-versa) without NAT
  • The IP that a container sees itself as is the same IP that others see it as

Kubernetes uses Container Network Interface (CNI) as an interface between network providers and Kubernetes networking. CNI is a library definition and a set of tools, under the umbrella of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation project.

CNI plugins

Canonical’s Distribution of Kubernetes comes pre-packaged with several tested CNI plugins like Calico and Flannel. Our distribution of Kubernetes is open and extensible — bring your favorite CNI plugin and extend CDK.

  • Secure network connectivity for containers and virtual machine
  • Flat layer 3 network without encapsulation
  • Fully routable IP address
  • Bare metal performance
  • IP-in-IP tunneling for overlay support
  • Dynamic network security rules
  • Fine-grained control over communications between containers, virtual machine workloads, and bare metal host endpoints.
  • Production scale

For assistance with your private cloud network underlay — the network that provides connectivity between your physical or virtual hosts — leverage Canonical’s work with hyperscale public clouds, with deep insight into the dynamics of cloud network performance and security best practices for large-scale multi-tenanted operations.

Learn more about OpenStack ›


Kubernetes comes with a powerful volume plugin system that enables many different types of storage systems to:

  • Automatically create storage when required.
  • Make storage available to containers wherever they’re scheduled.
  • Automatically delete the storage when no longer needed.

To improve the extensibility of the storage feature set and plugin ecosystem, Kubernetes has announced a new initiative — the Container Storage Interface (CSI) — which is currently in Beta. CSI enables storage plugins to be developed independent from the Kubernetes github tree, containerized, deployed via standard Kubernetes primitives, and consumed through the Kubernetes storage primitives users know and love (PersistentVolumeClaims, PersistentVolumes, StorageClasses). The next dot release of CDK will provide early access to CSI.

Logging and monitoring

Operations in highly coherent large-scale distributed clusters require a new level of operational monitoring and observability. Canonical delivers a standardised set of open source log aggregation and systems monitoring dashboards with every cloud, using Prometheus, the Elasticsearch and Kibana stack (ELK), and Nagios.

These dashboards can be customised or integrated into existing monitoring systems at your business.

Get started with Canonical’s Distribution of Kubernetes® *

Find out how Canonical can enable Kubernetes on demand for your devops teams — on OpenStack, on VMware, on public clouds, and on bare metal clusters.

Contact Canonical about Kubernetes

* Kubernetes® is a registered trademark of The Linux Foundation in the United States and other countries, and is used pursuant to a license from The Linux Foundation