Introducing Tigera Essentials for Kubernetes

Since founding Tigera and Project Calico, we have been blown away by the excitement in the community for what we are doing, and the incredible adoption of Calico by users from the smallest development shops to the largest enterprises.

We are humbled and grateful for the support you have all shown. Many of you have taken a lot of time to share your experiences and your thoughts as to how we at Tigera can best help our users be more successful — both with our open source contributions and our commercial product offerings.

Here are a few things we have learned.

  • People love Calico. We hear all the time “it’s so simple”, “it just works”, “it’s the obvious solution”.
  • People love Kubernetes. While our open source projects will always be a “broad church”, supporting many orchestrators and environments, the vast majority of our users today are adopting Kubernetes.
  • There is a lot of uncertainty and confusion about how to best connect application workloads in a Kubernetes environment. Users are bewildered by the combination of options at different levels in the stack when considering the options for load balancing, cloud networking, security policies, cluster ingress, address translating, or steering traffic for balancing multiple versions (e.g. for blue-green deployments, rolling upgrades, or canary releases).
  • Now, many users are transitioning from proofs-of-concept to full-scale production — and their needs change as they seek to scale, optimize and secure their applications in an operationalized, automated environment. They are asking for more complete DevOps tooling/processes for monitoring and break/fix, advice with best practices, and multi-year support agreements with 24×7 SLAs.
  • The community is steadily forming a view of the “industry standard” projects and best practices for application connectivity within different target deployment environments. Of course, Calico, the de facto standard for at-scale production Kubernetes networking, is a core element — but Istio, flannel and other open source components all fit together to create the new “application connectivity” layer within this modern application infrastructure stack.

Given these findings, we see Tigera’s role as helping our customers address the challenges of getting Kubernetes from proof-of-concept into production, with a holistic view of application connectivity — from solving the low-level issues of getting packets routed onto the underlying network infrastructure, to building the higher layer service mesh and application logic required by modern applications.

As the next step towards this vision for Tigera, we have released our first commercial offering, Tigera Essentials™ for Kubernetes. We believe this addresses a market thirst for

  • moving away from the “work it out yourself” model to a standard, consistent industry standard stack for application connectivity
  • the assurance of enterprise-grade services, including advice direct from the domain experts, and SLA-backed production support for the entire application connectivity stack (including CNI, Calico, flannel and Istio) from a single vendor.

Check out more details, including the data-sheet, on our new website (

To be clear, Essentials is neither a “distro”, nor a commercial alternative that replaces the open source projects. Rather:

  • It complements both our open source efforts (which we continue to invest in at the same high level) as well as our partnerships with ecosystem vendors such as CoreOS, Heptio, Red Hat, Apprenda, Canonical, and others.
  • It addresses the problem we were seeing, that Dev/Ops staff need a rock-solid foundation in their infrastructure for application connectivity that they can monitor, troubleshoot, fix, and support — backed up by someone to call for priority support and advice whenever they need help.

We believe Tigera Essentials will help accelerate the adoption of Kubernetes, by assisting and supporting users as they make the transition from Proof-of-concept to Production.

As a company committed first and foremost to our community of users and developers, we’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback as we continue to enhance our offerings — shoot us a message and let us know what you think!

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