How to Time Travel in a Red Hat Openshift and Kubernetes Container Environment

SANTA CLARA, CA. Thursday, February 11, 2021


How to Time Travel in a Red Hat Openshift and Kubernetes Container Environment

It is a big trend to migrate application architecture and workloads into Red Hat® OpenShift®  and Kubernetes container environments to take advantage of its light-weight footprint, flexibility, scalability, and reliability.


When it comes to testing within Red Hat Openshift and Kubernetes environment, how to time travel is an even bigger challenge than traditional environments as there could be hundreds of containers running dynamically within a cluster.

Date and time sensitive logic, such as month-end, quarter-end, year-end processing, expiration/deadline dates, and new regulations date, still require time travel to such time trigger dates to test among the containers.

How to do it at all and be able to automate is a hard nut to crack.


Time Machine for Kubernetes containers is implemented as a non-root sidecar container to be placed inside a pod to provide a pod virtual clock to time travel all the containers within the pod as a whole.

This approach offers many advantages for Kubernetes, Red Hat Openshift, and other container orchestration customers:

1. Time Machine comes in as a sidecar container. Images of containers with the pod do not need to be modified at all to add Time Machine time travel capability.

2. Sidecar is non-root; so no security concerns.

3. The Pod virtual clock provides simplicity to the discovery process when setting up a sync group. If you have multiple containers within a pod, only one virtual clock is needed for the whole pod.

4. Time Machine Sidecar is self-contained. No Time Machine installation is needed on the container host system itself.

5. Time Machine Sidecar containers within the Kubernetes and Red Hat Openshift clusters could be easily managed by Floating License Server, Sync Server, and Enterprise Management Console on the same management box. Customers can optionally provision such a box from the AWS marketplace with all three components pre-installed.

6. Time Machine Sidecar container could get its license automatically from Floating License Server's pool of licenses. No manual key is required for each sidecar container ever and it is perfect for a dynamic environment; where pods could go in and out based on loads.

7. Sync Server can broadcast the same virtual clock to multiple sidecar containers with multiple pods and even outside of the Kubernetes and Red Hat Openshift environment. Sync Server also offers URL API for test automation. The whole Red Hat Openshift cluster with the outside supporting environment (if any) could be time traveled together with one http, or https call to the sync server!

8. Enterprise management console provides easy-to-use GUI access to monitor and manage virtual clocks for sidecar containers, sync server, and floating license server.

Software virtual clocks provided by Time Machine Sidecar container with management tools enables developers and testers to time travel your containerized application with ease.

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