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The Operator Metering project is now available

We recently open sourced the Operator Framework and today we’re happy to share the next milestone: Operator Metering. Operator Metering is designed to help you gain more knowledge about the usage and costs to run and manage Kubernetes native applications (Operators). This joins the other Operator Framework components – SDK and Lifecycle Management – that are a part of the Operator Framework family, an open source toolkit designed to manage Operators in a more effective, automated, and scalable way.

Now available as an open source version, Operator Metering enables usage reporting for Operators that provide specialized lifecycle services for applications running on Kubernetes. The project is designed to tie into the cluster’s CPU and memory reporting, as well as calculate Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) costs and customized metrics such as licensing. Examples of such services could be metering products running in Kubernetes for use in on-demand billing or to derive DevOps insights, such as tracking heal operations across Gluster storage clusters.

We believe Operator Metering will enable Kubernetes operations teams to be able to associate the cost of their underlying infrastructure to the applications running on their Kubernetes clusters in a consistent way, across any environment, be it on public cloud infrastructure or on premises.

Metering is an important tool for organizations that use capacity from a Kubernetes cluster to run their own services, as well as for IT departments that manage these clusters. In the past, many departments tended to overestimate their resource needs. This could easily result in wasted capacity and wasted capital.

Today, management teams want to understand more concretely where budget is spent and by whom, and for which service. Metering provides that information, providing an understanding of how much it costs to run specific services, while also providing usage information that can lead to improved budgeting and capacity planning. With this information, IT can also internally bill departments to reflect the costs directly associated with their actual infrastructure usage, driving accountability for service costs. This helps to eliminate some of the more manual IT “plumbing” work in tallying costs and usage by hand or managing spreadsheets – instead, by using metering, IT teams can free up their time to tackle bigger problems and even drive business-wide innovation.

Here are some examples of how metering could be applied in the real world:

  • Cloud budgeting: Teams can gain insight into how cloud resources are being used, especially in autoscaled clusters or hybrid cloud deployments.
  • Cloud billing: Resource usage can be tracked by billing codes or labels that reflect your internal hierarchy.
  • Telemetry/aggregation: Service usage and metrics can be viewed across many namespaces or teams, such as a Postgres Operator running hundreds of databases.

We are extremely excited to share Operator Metering with the community as part of our commitment to making Kubernetes more extensible and widely usable. Operator Metering is currently in alpha, so we are looking forward to your feedback and comments on bugs, tweaks, and future updates. Our current plan is to incorporate feedback, stabilize the code base, and fix any critical problems before moving on to adding more features.

Learn more about the Operator Metering project at https://github.com/operator-framework/operator-metering.