Cyclops: Simple Kubernetes Deployment Manager

Yitaek Hwang
5 min readNov 14, 2023

A user-friendly dashboard for developers to leverage existing Kubernetes frameworks to deploy and manage applications.

When it comes to deploying applications to Kubernetes, the division of responsibilities between developers and infrastructure teams at various organizations is always an interesting (or contentious) topic. Some teams prefer their developers to fully buy into the DevOps ethos and own the entire stack. In this model, developers are expected to not only write their application code, but also the necessary Kubernetes components to run their applications. On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve also seen teams with embedded DevOps or SREs who take on this burden of writing Helm charts and owning everything after code has been merged into their main branch.

Obviously, the “best” option in dividing these responsibilities will depend on the makeup of your team, especially along their familiarity with Kubernetes concepts and/or their willingness to learn. The latter point is especially important as I’ve seen some developers simply refuse to touch anything YAML. The learning curve going from Docker to Kubernetes has always been a huge challenge.

The community has not been ignoring this problem either. In fact, there’s been many attempts to address this tension. Some tools have really focused on the templating and generation of Kubernetes manifests that developers can leverage. Others have focused more on developer environments to promote remote development and execution, and thereby having the developers interact with Kubernetes earlier in the development lifecycle. I’m also sure there are tons of internal tools that address some aspect of this problem in very opinionated means (as I can attest with lots of tools I’ve written in the past).

This brings me to an interesting new open-source project called Cyclops that takes yet another crack at this problem. I was able to speak with Petar Cvitanovic, who is one of the main contributors, and decided to give it a try.

What is Cyclops

Cyclops is a web-based tool that focuses on making Kubernetes deployment and configuration into a more developer-friendly experience. Instead of reinventing the wheel, Cyclops decided to adopt Helm charts that have been the de…

--

--

Yitaek Hwang

Software Engineer at NYDIG writing about cloud, DevOps/SRE, and crypto topics: https://yitaekhwang.com