Is an NMachine like a VM?

No. An NMachine is a workload that talks to your cluster in order to render an operations control panel for a specific application. The relationship between your application and your cluster, and between you and your cluster stay 100% intact.

Who is this for?

Application operation is a fundamental problem in cloud native computing. We think it is most pronounced in a) self-hosted app distribution, and b) DevOps collaboration. As such, NMachine is for a) vendors and their on-Prem clients, and b) DevOps teams.

We have Helm & the Operator SDK; Why this?

Helm charts do well in hobby environments, but don't cut it in production, because they don't equip human operators to address Day 2 concerns (scaling, backups, monitoring,  etc...). In contrast, NMachines ship ready for Day 2 ops, production-ready in minutes.

Does NMachine generate my app's manifests for me?

No. You start writing an NMachine after you have written and tested your charts/manifests. We think of your application charts/manifests as part of your application's source code, which you should retain total sovereignty over.

The SaaS User Experience as a Northstar.

Peace of mind, clear and delightful UIs,  these are all good things. Our goal on the self-hosted app distribution front is to make the entire end-user experience, from installation to operation to uninstallation, as delightful as SaaS.

"Kubernetes is a Platform... For building Platforms."

Famously from Kelsey Hightower. NMachine is intended to be the purest embodiment of this idea: a standardized toolkit that puts the design, development, and deployment of that second platform, on rails.

How long does it take to build an NMachine?

5 to 20 Days with the pre-alpha SDK. The more manifest variables, health checks, operations, dashboards, and alert receivers you define, the longer it takes. We are also launching a drag-and-drop editor that compliments the SDK to further simplify development.

Do NMachines replace the entire Day 2 Ops Stack?

No. NMachines deeply integrate with the cloud native instrumentation stack, letting operators access functionality from popular tools within the NMachine, but always provide easy links to access the complete tools themselves, e.g "Click to open Grafana".