Sharing HAProxy’s Kubernetes Story at KubeCon Europe 2024

“HAProxy is an awesome load balancer,” was the common refrain on the expo floor at KubeCon Europe 2024, “but what does HAProxy do with Kubernetes?”

I’m so glad you asked! Let me just scan your badge…

I still get tingles thinking about HAProxy taking the top spot in the G2 Winter 2024 Grid® Report for Container Networking. Even so, three days immersed in the enthusiastic press of CNCF’s flagship European event (this year in Paris, France) was enough to show the size of the opportunity still before us. The love for HAProxy was strong – with hundreds upon hundreds descending on the HAProxy booth to share their stories and grab a T-shirt – but for many longtime fans, HAProxy’s Kubernetes story was a new one.

haproxy loady elephant plush toy and haproxy in kubernetes book

Our week at KubeCon Europe, nestled in the cozy rectangle of booth G29, reminded me exactly why HAProxy sponsors and attends community events like this one. Firstly, we gain so much from meeting our users: the passion to do more and keep smashing expectations; camaraderie over shared war stories from the app delivery trenches; and ideas for how to make things simpler and more satisfying for our users.

Secondly, the chance to tell our own story. HAProxy is the world’s fastest and most widely used software load balancer, but for many of the 12,000-odd Kubernetes aficionados streaming through the expo hall, this was as far as they had got. They were ready to unfold the next chapter. And what a chapter it’s been lately, with several updates to our Kubernetes solutions!

kubecon eu 2024 haproxy booth

To begin with, our products have long been available in container images that you can deploy in Kubernetes (or any other container orchestration platform). If you need a load balancer, web application firewall (WAF), API gateway, or ingress controller in a containerized form factor, HAProxy has you covered. We designed our products with a lightweight software-first approach, so you can expect high performance and efficiency with none of the downsides that come from squashing an appliance form factor (uncomfortably) into a container.

HAProxy Kubernetes Ingress Controller reached version 1.11 earlier this month (March 2024), bringing more robust support for Custom Resource Definitions (CRDs), rootless containers for more advanced security, and full QUIC support. HAProxy Kubernetes Ingress Controller has been downloaded more than 50 million times on Docker Hub, and the enterprise edition adds a powerful WAF, enterprise administration features, and our expert support.

For many users, we find that an ingress controller is not always the best (or only) solution. From Kubernetes experts migrating from a public cloud to an on-premises deployment (who suddenly need to think about external load balancing), to those facing a major adjustment moving from load balancers to ingress controllers: we saw an opportunity to offer a simple, automated solution to the cases where an ingress controller doesn’t cut it. Enter HAProxy Enterprise and HAProxy Fusion – working together to provide load balancing and centralized management, monitoring, and automation. HAProxy Fusion adds service discovery for Kubernetes, automating the process of delivering scalable external load balancing, multi-cluster routing, and external IP address allocation for dynamic backend services. You can learn more in our on-demand webinar, External Load Balancing and Multi-Cluster Routing for Kubernetes.

haproxy team at kubecon eu 2024

HAProxy’s Kubernetes story seemed to be a gripping page-turner for the hundreds of fans flocking to our booth. But I also came away with a big grin because of the charm on display from the community. Here are some of my favorite things said by those who dropped by HAProxy’s booth:

  • “HAProxy saved our lives last week!”

  • “Who do I have to [redacted] to get that sweet backpack?”

  • “Your T-shirt is the best at KubeCon.”

  • “I think I can fit into the child’s T-shirt. It’s cute!”

  • “You know you can pay someone in sponsor services to fold your T-shirts? You don’t have to fold them yourselves.”

You know what? We don’t mind folding hundreds of custom-designed HAProxy T-shirts to give to our fans at events like KubeCon. We owe our success to our community; folding your T-shirts ourselves is the least we can do. From your load balancer configuration to a perfectly hand-pressed crease, you’ll always get our best.

See you at the next one.

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