Introduction to CAOS

Learn more about what is behind the name CAOS, why we founded our company, our vision and a brief overview of our products.

Introduction to CAOS image

What is behind the name CAOS

CAOS is a software company located in St. Gallen, which is a lovely town in the eastern part of Switzerland. We founded CAOS on the 1st of April 2019, which is actually no April’s fool. We even chose to make this date an official company holiday.

We are a small but dedicated team of talented individuals.

Mainly our staff consists of engineers with an IAM and/or cloud native background, some management positions and a user experience designer. Together we have over 20 years in combined IAM knowledge and around 15 years of cloud experience.

Voxel CAOS Team

Everything we do is with a strong commitment to open source software and industry standards. Most of our source code is completely open with an Apache 2.0 license.

Why we founded CAOS

At the previous employer, the team behind CAOS primarily worked in the areas of eGovernment as well as Identity and Access Management and also Kubernetes. As time progressed we built up a strong foundation of knowledge in these topics in which we thought it would be great to expand further.

At that time, we were one of the only teams who were fully service / product oriented and as such interdisciplinary. From product management, development to operations, everything in one seamless value chain and organisational unit. This made the process of improving things easy, as we had short decision-making procedures. All of our decisions were backed by an enterprise architecture strategy which really allowed us to excel.

With this idea in mind we set off to start talking with our company about possible options for spinning out our team into an incubator company. This to keep up the speed we gained over the course of years. Yet ultimately, we chose to go our own way, founded our company CAOS and started our own great journey.

CAOS Vision

Our vision is to create an Identity and Access Management product and service that changes a lot of paradigms like pricing, audit trail, performance, and integration options. And all this with a strong focus towards lifecycle automation.

Our mindset is influenced by GitLab’s’ ideology of providing an open source project that is a product and cloud services as well. But without the “by user” pricing. This especially holds true for an IAM because we think it is an anti-pattern to price an IAM by user. We will explain in an upcoming article why we think this needs to be changed.

This vision resulted in a set of engineering and design principles. Which can be found in our documentation and boils down to our company claim.

Always run a changing system

This claim simply and precisely expresses our company culture.

What Problems CAOS solves

CAOS provides engineering, consulting and operations for two areas. First and foremost, the Identity & Access Management and second, the area of “platform management”. We are going to explain why those topics are closely tied together in a second. First, let’s take a look at our line-up and what makes it special.

Introducing ZITADEL, our Identity and Access Management

ZITADEL

ZITADEL is our cloud native open source IAM written in Go and Angular. We built ZITADEL to serve multiple use cases.

You can use ZITADEL for identity brokering, so that your applications only need to trust one identity provider. This feature also plays a vital role in our self-service ideology, because it enables your customers to manage federations on their own. So a business you provide with a service could manage their users, roles and federations without your intervention. You can even delegate the management of roles from your services to third parties (e.g. your customers). ZITADEL is built around some unique features to make your life, and ours as well, easier.

  • Easy deployment and scaling
  • Strong audit trail by design with event sourcing
  • Hyper-converged setup with the help of ORBOS
  • GitOps for reproducible configuration management
  • Industry standard compliance
  • Security features are no paywall feature

With ZITADEL you never have to build a login again. Just integrate with proven industry standards and our management API

Introducing ORBOS, our Platform Management Tooling

ORBOS

ORBOS is our platform tooling to deploy and lifecycle distributed clusters across multiple cloud providers with GitOps. With ORBOS we have a predefined and well established set of tools to operate any application on different providers. This includes tools like Kubernetes, Ambassador, Prometheus, Fluentd & Fluentbit, Loki, Grafana and Argo CD. ORBOS not only aims to be a platform purely optimized for running applications but also manages the operating system so that your servers stay up-to-date.

  • Self driving operations, no central management system needed
  • GitOps, all configuration is stored in a git repository and the logic is executed within each cluster
  • Provider agnostic, we won’t be tied into one specific provider
  • Run smaller clusters instead of bigger ones to reduce the “blast radius” of misconfiguration or other threat vectors

Treat clusters as cattle not pets

Where it comes together

The powers of both tools combined enables us to provide a unique product. Our customers can run dedicated ZITADEL clusters powered with ORBOS wherever they want, without the need of addressing all the provider specific platform level details all the time.

ZITADEL ORBOS Stack

This setup is bootstrapped within about 15 minutes from scratch

To make this possible we also bring the database. We partnered with Cockroach Labs to make this possible. You can read more about this in the success story.

This is also what powers our shared cloud offering zitadel.ch, where we run multiple clusters to protect the service from provider failures.

The future

Even in these strange times we think the future looks bright and we are extremely excited to release more and more features with our products to enhance the life of many developers and SRE’s.

If you have any questions regarding us as a company, our products or just want to chat feel free to contact us at any channel (Twitter, GitHub, Mail).

Contributions are always welcome!

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