A Love Letter to Our Favorite Open Source Projects

Tyler Au
7 minutes
February 14th, 2024
Tyler Au
7 minutes
February 14th, 2024

What Are Open Source Projects?

The month of February is Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) month! Established in 2017, the nationally observed month seeks to uplift and celebrate the efforts of open source software everywhere, from the developers constantly innovating, to the companies expanding upon these powerful pieces of tech. 

Open source software refers to code that anyone can modify and operate on, with open source projects being the projects that are free to use, modify, and ship out. Tons of communities around the world form around these projects, further developing them with each update or even creating something entirely new with the source code. 

These days, new solutions can cost a fortune, with the cost of experimentation even driving up as new innovations appear. The open source approach is critical in the progression of technology, enabling developers of any experience to turn their ideas into reality and grow as a developer. While February is the month of open source, it’s important to support these communities and solutions whenever possible.

That being said, here are some of our favorite open source projects!

Open Source Container Orchestration

Kubernetes (k8s)

You probably know, but at Lyrid we’re big fans of Kubernetes- what’s not to love?

Originally open sourced by Google in 2014, the container orchestration platform and widely popular open source project focuses on managing containerized applications and services through its extensive use of automation. Automations offered by Kubernetes include automated deployment, cluster healing and monitoring, updating, and so on, streamlining all of your important container processes from development to launch management. Kubernetes and container tech can also be run on both public and private clouds, allowing you to experiment with your approach to development.

With more than 2.5 million GitHub commits and steadily growing number of open source contributors (currently sitting at 3,000+), Kubernetes is one of the fastest growing and heavily supported open source projects of all time. Despite the growing library of updates, documentation, and different versions of Kubernetes, a drawback of the platform is the initial complexity of it. Many novice developers find themselves struggling to make sense of the tech, working with outside distributions to ease their experience.

At Lyrid, we offer a managed Kubernetes solution to provide you with all the features and benefits of Kuberentes, without the headaches of getting started. Some of the feature and benefits include:

  • All the automation capabilities of Kubernetes
  • Infrastructure modernization assistance
  • 24/7 global engineering support

And more!

To learn more, visit our managed Kubernetes page.


Developed by Rancher by SUSE and sandboxed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF),  k3s is a lightweight Kubernetes distribution capable of automating many of the tasks that Kubernetes is able to perform, but with different uses. 

Because it’s so much lighter than Kubernetes (removing approximately 3 billion lines of Kubernetes source code) k3s is suitable for tasks that require agility and are resource-constrained. Disciplines like edge computing, IoT and IoT devices, software development, and CI/CD benefit greatly from k3s’ lightweight demeanor, delivering all the same benefits of Kubernetes, without the heavy resource demand and complexity. K3s is the perfect solution for smaller businesses looking to test the waters with container tech

While k3s seems like a perfect case to pivot away from Kubernetes, the popular container orchestrator has tons of use cases where k3s flounders. Kubernetes is perfect for tasks requiring heavy duty clusters, high availability, big data, and for servicing massive hyperscalers.

k3s | CNCF
Image courtesy of CNCF

That being said, k3s is always evolving due to a growing number of open source contributions, providing a suitable alternative to Kubernetes. Heavily backed by the SUSE community, k3s is great for scalable solutions and for bare metal deployments- the exact reasons why k3s has a permanent home in our tech stack!

Open Source Storage


With all the talk about Kubernetes and related systems in the previous section, surely there must be a solution that can house all the power of Kubernetes clusters, right?

Longhorn is a cloud native distributed block storage source for Kubernetes. Being 100% free open source, Longhorn addresses many of the storage concerns for Kubernetes, providing an easily deployable and upgradable storage solution that is as portable and reliable as Kubernetes itself is. 

Conducting its block storage through the use of containers and microservices, Longhorn offers its users invaluable benefits, especially when it comes to something as important as Kubernetes operations. Storage-musts including snapshots and backups (including backups to secondary storage compatible with NFS and S3), block storage distributions to combat single points of failure, automatic upgrading, and cluster recovery options are all offered by Longhorn. With servicing your Kubernetes operations being a top priority for Longhorn, many of the features revolve around backups and replication, ensuring that your clusters are safe and accessible to you at all times. 

Battle of Bytes: Comparing kubernetes storage solutions | by Vaibhav Rajput  | Medium
Image courtesy of Longhorn

We use Longhorn for their enterprise-grade Kubernetes storage, providing us with most of the capabilities we need in an open source storage solution, including a user-friendly interface, easy installation, and lightweight shell.

Ceph and Rook

An open source solution as big as Kubernetes, Ceph is a distributed storage system that offers object, file, and block storage capabilities and interfaces in the form of clusters. In itself, Ceph offers data backups and scalable storage options, creating clusters that perform within any business without drastically driving up costs.

Our approach towards Ceph incorporates the usage of Rook, an open source Kubernetes storage operator that orchestrates Ceph. Rook monitors the running and operation of Ceph clusters, ensuring that everything is running smoothly while automating many of the tasks of a storage admin. Everything from the configuration and deployment to the scaling and upgrading of Ceph is conducted via Rook. Through the use of Kubernetes resources, Rook is able to provide Ceph clusters with automated management, scaling, and healing services.

Storage Architecture - Rook Ceph Documentation
Image courtesy of Rook

Rooks hosts features such as:

  • Automated storage management
  • Hosting storage of all types (provision, file, block, and object)
  • Hyper-scalability of Ceph clusters
  • Data replication and distribution

And so on. 

While Ceph on its own is competent in its own capabilities and is an excellent choice for storage, operating Ceph through Rook allows an automated approach to storage management that incorporates all the best features of Kubernetes. 

Open Source Database and Open Source Data Analytics

Percona Everest

Percona Everest is an open source Database as a Service (DBaaS) geared towards revolutionizing the database experience. All too often, powerful databases are cost-locked behind costly providers; Percona Everest seeks to remove the vendor lock-in aspect of databases by providing database capabilities from Postgres, MySQL, and MongoDB within Kubernetes clusters. Faster code deployments, rapid deployment scalings, reduced database overhead costs, and control over data aspects are some of the big selling points for Percona Everest.

Data is at the forefront of everything Percona Everest creates, with some of the data benefits including:

  • Streamlined and simple maintenance
  • Automated backups and data security
  • Monitoring and optimization capabilities
  • Instant database instance launching
  • Seamless scaling without compromise

Percona Everest is our go-to solution for making Kubernetes into a DBaaS while compiling valuable database operators into a single operator. While the project is still in alpha, we heavily use Percona Everest within our operations and find the service to be extremely convenient. With the open source community rallying behind the project, Percona Everest shows no signs of slowing down their evolution into a truly robust product.

Manage clusters - Percona Everest
Image courtesy of Percona Everest

Prometheus and Grafana

Prometheus is an open source software aimed at data monitoring and alerting, providing data and metric collection and storing services. Operating most optimally with cloud native environments, Prometheus provides users with time series data, letting users accurately know when exactly the data was recorded. Prometheus is best  suited for service-oriented architectures and when numeric time series really matters- the service is built for reliability and does not require external network storage. Prometheus hosts a ton within the data capturing space, however what it lacks is a way to visualize that data

If Prometheus is a big bowl of cereal, Grafana is the highly-needed serving of cold milk.

Grafana is an open source observability platform that provides analytics and visualization to data sources, specifically working well with time series databases such as Prometheus. Grafana provides the ability to unify your data within flexible, easily customizable dashboards, allowing for accessible visualization of your Kubernetes clusters, Google sheets, essentially any data source, all within a single interface.

While you can use these services separately, we prefer to combine the power of both of them and use them together. Prometheus is used to collect and store our cluster data while Grafana is used to analyze and visualize that data. We especially enjoy this for the cluster servicing; we’re able to monitor our cluster usage and cluster status within Grafana with individual cluster metrics being provided from inside the cluster itself.

Prometheus metrics | Grafana Cloud documentation
Image courtesy of Grafana

Open Source Diagram Software and Honorable Mentions is an open source online diagram software that we use to build engineering diagrams and flowcharts. With their highest priority being privacy and security, hosts features comparable to those offered by big diagramming tools, offering integrations in popular applications such as Google Workspace, Notion, Git and Dropbox, and Atlassian and Jira. – Diagrams for Confluence and Jira -
Image courtesy of

Honorable Mentions

Other open source projects we’ve enjoyed and are currently enjoying include:

  • Uptime Kuma: Self-hosted monitoring tool, we use this for Kubernetes monitoring to views and monitors cluster metrics from the outside
  • Taiga: Project management tooling known for its flexibility, workflow boards, estimation tools, dashboarding, and overall extreme customizability
  • MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB: Open source database software

Our Open Source Partners

We would also like to shed some spotlight on some of our open source partners! Whether it’s an open source software towards databases or an open source network maker, we believe that propping up our open source partners is important to creating a stronger open source community and furthering developer enthusiasm. Our open source partners include:

  • NocoDB: Open source no-code data platform that allows for easy no-code database building. NocoDB provides flexible views and is able to import data by connecting to any PostgreSQL/MySQL database
  • Co.meta: Open source testing software for code that runs throughout an application’s lifecycle, allowing developers and non-devs to test automation in complex scenarios
  • Accuknox: Open source zero-trust cloud native application protection platform (CNAPP) that provides protection throughout the entire development process, even offering protection in cloud, containers, supply chains, and runtimes.
  • Netmaker: Open source network creator that provides WireGuard VPN for security, making a secure highway between all devices, cloud, VMs, and servers within the network

Lyrid’s Relationship with Open Source Technology

While the month of February is geared around open source technologies, it’s important to emphasize open source tech year round. Free open source software has the potential to create the next generation of great developers, great founders, and great solutions- the ability to change the world and our relationship with technology is housed within an excited developer. 

As shown, we love our open source tech. Open source is in everything we do, and everything we use to achieve our goals and missions. Without the prospects of open source, our experimentation and development, products and features, and company wouldn’t be possible! 

If you’re interested in any of the open source technologies mentioned above, check them out! Each one offers a unique approach in their respective fields, giving you more flexibility and experimentation prospects because of their open source demeanor. 

If you want to learn more about our usage of open source tech, be sure to check us out at !

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