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EKSphemeral has a control plane implemented in an AWS Lambda/Amazon S3 combo, and as its data plane it is using eksctl running in AWS Fargate. The architecture looks as follows:

EKSphemeral architecture

  1. With eksp install you provisions EKSphemeral's control plane (Lambda+S3).
  2. Whenever you want to provision a throwaway EKS cluster, use eksp create. It will do two things:
  3. Provision the cluster using eksctl running in Fargate, and when that is completed,
  4. Create an cluster spec entry in S3, via the /create endpoint of EKSphemeral's HTTP API.
  5. Every five minutes, a CloudWatch event triggers the execution of another Lambda function called DestroyClusterFunc, which notifies the owners of clusters that are about to expire (send an email up to 5 minutes before the cluster is destroyed), and when the time comes, it tears the cluster down.
  6. Once the EKS cluster is provisioned and the Kubernetes context is configured you can use your cluster.
  7. You can use eksp list (via the /status endpoint) at any time to list managed clusters.
  8. If you want to keep your cluster around longer, use eksp prolong (via the /prolong endpoint) to extend its lifetime.
  9. Last but not least, if you want to get rid of EKSphemeral, use the eksp uninstall, removing all cluster specs in the S3 bucket and deleting all Lambda functions.