SmartX today releases SKS 1.0, to help I&O teams easily deploy and manage production-ready Kubernetes clusters. This new product preloads commonly-used Kubernetes addons and integrates industry-leading SmartX hyper-converged product components (including virtualization, distributed storage, networking and security, etc.), to build a complete enterprise cloud infrastructure that can support both virtualized and containerized applications.

Addressing Most Pressing Challenges

As Kubernetes deployments grow rapidly across the enterprise and move from development and testing environments to production environments, I&O teams are increasingly involved in building and operating Kubernetes. In addition to managing the operations and maintenance of the original virtualization resource pool, I&O team needs to master a new technology stack, select the right storage, network, and management components for building production-ready Kubernetes clusters, and deal with possible new Kubernetes cluster resource “silos”, which poses many challenges for I&O team. 

In response to these challenges, SmartX has released SKS 1.0, providing a one-stop solution to build Kubernetes clusters and the underlying infrastructure with necessary computing, storage, networking and security resources.

Product Architecture

SKS can automatically create multiple VMs to build Kubernetes high-availability clusters. With built-in production-ready SmartX distributed storage and CSI (Container Storage Interface) plug-in, SKS provides stable, high-performance persistent volumes for stateful applications. With SmartX networking and security product and CNI (Container Network Interface) plug-in, it enables flat interconnection of VMs and containers and unified security policy management.

SKS is pre-integrated with addons including load balancer, Ingress, monitoring, and log in the cloud-native ecosystem, speeding up Kubernetes cluster readiness; at the same time, SKS also supports users to use open source components of their choice. I&O teams can quickly process creation, deletion, scale-out or scale-down, upgrade and other operations for all clusters through the unified SKS graphical interface, as well as monitor cluster status in multiple aspects, and view cluster logs and events.

With SKS, I&O teams can easily deploy and manage production-ready Kubernetes clusters,  transform to the cloud-native era and accelerate application modernization.

Product Features

SKS is “easy to use”, “production ready”, and has “no vendor lock-in”.

Key Feature #1: Easy-to-Use Kubernetes Cluster Lifecycle Management.

  • All clusters are managed through a graphical management interface.
  • Quickly create Kubernetes workload clusters with a few clicks.
  • Unified management of storage resources such as storage classes and persistent volumes in the workload cluster.
  • Install, delete, and configure commonly used plugins via the graphic interface.
  • Monitor cluster status from multiple aspects, and view cluster logs and events.

Key Feature #2: Production-Ready Storage and Network Pre-Integration with Cluster High Availability.

  • Built-in production-ready SmartX distributed storage CSI plug-in provides stable, high-performance persistent volumes for stateful applications.
  • Enable flat interconnection of VMs and containers and unified security policy management.
  • ​​Unified network security policy management for VMs and containers, supporting workload-level policy settings.
  • Automatically configure control plane virtual IPs to achieve control plane high availability for SKS management clusters and workload clusters.
  • When the node’s physical host is down, it can be automatically pulled up on another host.
  • Ensure business continuity during cluster upgrades, scale-out or scale-down, node replacement, etc.

Key Feature #3: Flexible Choices for Components and Kubernetes Versions.

  • Provide standard Kubernetes with support for user-selected open-source components.
  • Integrate various proven components from the CNCF ecosystem such as MetalLB, Contour, Prometheus, etc.
  • Support using different Kubernetes versions in workload clusters with no vendor lock-in.

Use Cases

SKS can be used in multiple use cases.

Quickly Create and Manage Kubernetes Clusters Based on VM.  In the HCI cluster with SmartX Native Hypervisor ELF, create a Kubernetes cluster with VMs as nodes and use it as a Kubeconfig file. Automate and standardize full lifecycle management of Kubernetes clusters, including rapid cluster scaling, node replacement, and upgrade/rollback.

Support Virtualized and Containerized Apps on Existing Hardware Resources. Manage multiple VMs and Kubernetes clusters in a unified management platform, share and logically isolate resources using HCI virtualization, and reclaim resources promptly to improve resource utilization.

Provide Kubernetes Clusters for Multi-Tenants. Multiple Kubernetes clusters of varying sizes, versions, configurations, and purposes can be created and maintained in the same resource pool, with isolated resources and networks that do not interfere with one another.

Additionally, SKS can be managed by mainstream container cloud platforms and has completed compatibility tests with platforms such as Alauda and Bocloud, to help users build a complete container cloud solution.


If you are interested in the product or have any questions, please send your inquiries to or contact sales representatives.

Additional Info

Check below resources to learn more about SKS & SmartX HCI.

SKS Product Brief Webpage

SmartX HCI Product Brief Flyer

SmartX HCI Product Video (6mins)

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Suggested article: Why Should I&O Team Be Prepared to Take over Kubernetes Deployment and O&M?

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