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What is Replicated?

Replicated allows software vendors to package and securely distribute their application to diverse customer environments, including both on-premises and cloud environments.

Replicated packages the vendor's application using a set of Kubernetes manifests and installs the application onto a Kubernetes cluster in the customer's environment. For customers who do not have an existing Kubernetes cluster, Replicated provisions a new cluster on the customer's VM where it can then install the application.

Replicated includes several features that make it easier for vendors to manage their applications, release channels, customer licenses, image registries, and more. Replicated features also make it easier for the enterprise users of the application to install, update, and manage their application instance.

Replicated Features

The Replicated product includes the following main features:

  • Vendor portal: The Replicated vendor portal is the user interface where vendors define Kubernetes manifest files, including application manifests and custom resource manifests, for their application. These files describe to the app manager how to package the application for distribution. Vendors can also use the vendor portal to manage other artifacts, such as customer license files, image registries, and release channels. For more information, see Creating a Vendor Account.
  • App manager: The Replicated app manager reads the Kubernetes manifest files that the vendor defines to package and install an application on a Kubernetes cluster in a customer environment. It also installs the admin console along with the application. The app manager is based on the open-source KOTS project, which is maintained by Replicated.
  • Kubernetes installer: The Replicated Kubernetes installer provisions a Kubernetes cluster, called an embedded cluster, in the customer's environment if they do not have an existing cluster. The Kubernetes installer is based on the open-source kURL project, which is maintained by Replicated. For more information, see Introduction to kURL in the kURL documentation.
  • Admin console: The Replicated admin console is the user interface where enterprise application users can configure, update, manage, backup and restore, and troubleshoot the application that they installed. The admin console is deployed by the app manager when the customer installs the application.

How Replicated Works with Open-source Tools

In general, Replicated components are grouped into one of the following categories:

  • Cluster Operator Tools: A set of open source projects that vendors can invoke to provide cluster operators with the necessary tools to validate, install, configure, troubleshoot, and automate the management of applications. These tools are built with a strong focus on production grade day-2 operations.
  • Software Vendor Tools: Primarily hosted by the Replicated vendor portal that serves as a centralized collaboration platform to manage customers, licenses/entitlements, releases/release channels, and troubleshooting. The vendor tools are integrated with the open source KOTS projects to provide processes and workflows to operationalize and scale the distribution of a modern on-prem application.

The foundational open source projects that Replicated coordinates are the kots CLI and KOTS (installation and admin console), Troubleshoot (preflight checks and support bundles), kURL (embedded K8s option) as well as several community driven open source software (OSS) projects like Kubernetes, Kustomize, Helm, and Kubeadm.

Replicated APIs and CLIs

Replicated also includes a Vendor API and CLIs that allow both vendors and enterprise users to complete tasks programmatically.

For information about the Vendor API v3, see Using the Vendor API v3.

For information about the replicated CLI, see Installing the replicated CLI.

For information about the kots CLI, see Getting Started with KOTS in the kots CLI documentation.