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Are there tools or platforms that support AWS Firecracker?

Although there are a handful of tools to help run Firecracker more easily, admins might find issues with the lack of major tool integration for the software.

AWS Firecracker provides a highly efficient container management platform, which imposes a minimal footprint. But AWS has yet to update its software to work with other container tools, such as Kubernetes or Docker. A handful of small tools might be available to help make AWS Firecracker more convenient to run, but it continues to lack major tool integration.

As of early 2019, the Kata Containers 1.5 release does include support for AWS Firecracker, which enables the Kata runtime -- the container engine -- to run either a QEMU, or Quick Emulator, VM or a Firecracker VM. This does place several additional requirements on the Kata environment, but the potential versatility of handling both instance types can be compelling for IT administrators.

A lack of tool integration

Some admins might wonder why AWS has yet to integrate major tools with Firecracker. Part of the issue here is value. The micro VM concept is compelling, but there isn't enough motivation to drive the broad inclusion of Firecracker integration into mainstream tools. As micro VM technology achieves more attention and broader adoption, it's plausible to see more native integration support for AWS Firecracker.

However, in the meantime the Firecracker API does enable ready programmatic access. The principal means of interfacing and integrating with a Firecracker layer is through the API. So it's possible to write scripts to operate the Firecracker infrastructure or write custom integration code capable of interfacing AWS Firecracker to desired management, orchestration and other tools. This will require additional effort on the part of Firecracker community.

Tools to help run Firecracker

As micro VM technology achieves more attention and broader adoption, it's plausible to see more native integration support for AWS Firecracker.

Although integrations available for AWS Firecracker are sparse, there are a few available tools admins can use to make Firecracker easier to run. The principal means of interfacing and integrating with a Firecracker layer is through the API. For example, the firectl tool on GitHub offers a simple command line that can run fully functional AWS Firecracker instances along with console access, access to file systems and network connectivity.

The UniK tool can also provide admins with a platform for compiling application source code into uni-kernels, which are basic bootable disk images, and micro VM files rather than conventional binaries. UniK enables admins to compile Go code into Firecracker micro VM instances.

Next Steps

Use these protocols to obtain, deploy and manage AWS Firecracker

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What tools do you use in conjunction with Firecracker?
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