Designed with feedback from creative studios to ensure a flexible, scalable, and accessible on-prem experience.
The new ftrack Enterprise on-prem installation package
Based on feedback from our customers, and many years of combined production expertise, we’ve developed the new ftrack Enterprise installation package to ensure an even more effective and manageable on-prem experience.
The main goals of the new ftrack Enterprise on-prem installation package are threefold. We want to provide an ftrack service with great flexibility, scalability, and high availability.
- Flexibility: means a setup that can be tailored and customized to run at any studio for any purpose.
- Scalability: an application that can scale both vertically and horizontally and can keep pace as a company grows, adds more users, and further integrates their pipeline
- High availability: a system that continues to operate normally even if parts of the system are unavailable.
To attain these goals, we’ve built the new ftrack on-prem package with Docker images running in a Kubernetes cluster. This setup has many similarities with ftrack’s cloud infrastructure, which run on Kubernetes with high success for many years.
Kubernetes has been in use for many years. As early adopters of Kubernetes for ftrack’s cloud infrastructure, we’ve long been impressed by the technology. When researching the new on-prem installation package, we investigated and tested many different technologies and approaches, but Kubernetes remained the best tool for the job. Kubernetes provides the flexibility and features that studios need and has become the standard for container orchestration.
Historically, Kubernetes proved challenging to set up and maintain, but more tools and documentation have come into place that make things much more straightforward. Also, more lightweight and certified Kubernetes distributions have surfaced, which allow for simple one-click installations and upgrades. We’ve also watched as increasingly more enterprises have adopted a Kubernetes cluster running in their data center, which simplifies the set up ftrack as there is no need to provision new hardware.
Docker containers are the base of the new on-prem installation setup. They provide flexibility and ease of use, as they abstract away the underlying OS for services and enable applications to run anywhere.
Kubernetes also provides an array of features when it comes to availability and redundancy. Kubernetes can auto-scale based on resource usage and heal services by restarting them if they start to behave incorrectly. All excellent news for ftrack users!
Kubernetes also makes it easy to add tools on top of ftrack, so you can handle logging and metrics in a way that works for you.
The new on-prem installation package also greatly simplifies configuration across the ftrack service. With it, you’ll find it much easier to manage different installations such as production, staging, development, and so on.
A bit of background:
Software distribution, like ftrack, is often built around multiple applications working together, such as Nginx, RabbitMQ, and so forth. This approach posits individual configurations per application, each of which must be maintained and customized. Using multiple applications in this manner can snowball into a significant problem, both for end-users, as they need to know and understand more about the application and keep their configurations updated between releases, and for us as developers at ftrack when providing a new release.
The new ftrack on-prem installation package uses Helm 3 to solve these problems. Helm is a Kubernetes package manager, or in other terms, a templating tool that allows a single configuration file to drive all configuration in the ftrack service. Using Helm means no more patching of individual files and keeping track of those changes. Instead, a single file contains just the few configuration options required for your ftrack installation.
Runs anywhere, on any scale
Thanks to Kubernetes, the new ftrack on-prem installation will run on almost any Linux based platform. That means no more restrictions on what version you use or needing to wait for a new ftrack release to use the latest CentOS.
ftrack can run on any scale, either on a single node cluster for small production loads or staging environments, to large-scale, highly available clusters capable of handling any production.
ftrack can run in your private cloud, where the cloud provider can provide Kubernetes as a managed service. Running ftrack in a managed Kubernetes cluster has many benefits. For example, the cluster can automatically scale and add more compute resources as the usage of ftrack increases.
The new package takes the hard work away from you, so you can worry about other things, like creating fantastic projects for your clients.
The new ftrack on-prem package will soon be available for all Enterprise customers, but until then, Enterprise customers can gain early access upon request. Simply submit the form below to register your interest.