To evaluate the services Banzai Cloud Backyards offers, we recommend to create a test environment and use our demo application. This way you can start over any time, and try all the options you are interested in without having to worry about changes made to your existing environment, even if it’s not used in production.

Production installation is very similar, but of course you won’t need to deploy the demo application, and you must exactly specify which components you want to use.

Prerequisites 🔗︎

Before deploying Backyards on your cluster, complete the following tasks.

Create a test cluster 🔗︎

You need a Kubernetes cluster to test Backyards with. If you don’t already have a Kubernetes cluster to work with, create one with one of the methods described in Create a test cluster.


The cluster must run a Kubernetes version that Istio supports. For Istio 1.8, these are Kubernetes 1.16, 1.17, 1.18, and 1.19.

Make sure that your Kubernetes cluster has sufficient resources. The requirements can be as high as 8 CPUs and 16 GiB of RAM if you try all the features with our demo application. The minimum requirements are 6 CPUs and 8 GiB of RAM.

Install the Backyards tool 🔗︎

Install the Backyards command-line tool. You can use the Backyards CLI tool to install Backyards and other components to your cluster.

Note: The Backyards CLI supports macOS and Linux (x86_64). It may work on Windows natively, but we don’t test it.

  1. Register for an evaluation version of Backyards.

    As you might know, Cisco has recently acquired Banzai Cloud. Currently we are in a transitional period and are moving our infrastructure. Contact us so we can discuss your needs and requirements, and organize a live demo.

  2. Install the backyards-cli package for your environment by running the following command:

    Evaluation downloads are temporarily suspended. Contact us to discuss your needs and requirements, and organize a live demo.

    For other options, see the Backyards CLI Installation Guide.

Set Kubernetes configuration and context 🔗︎

The command-line tool uses your current Kubernetes context, from the file named in the KUBECONFIG environment variable (~/.kube/config by default). Check if this is the cluster you plan to deploy the product by running the following command: kubectl config get-contexts

If there are multiple contexts in the Kubeconfig file, specify the one you want to use with the use-context parameter, for example: kubectl config use-context <context-to-use>

Deploy Backyards 🔗︎

After you have completed Prerequisites, you can install Backyards on a single cluster, or you can form a multi-cluster mesh right away.

Note: The default version of Backyards is built with the standard SSL libraries. If you’d like to use an FIPS-compliant version of Istio/Backyards, contact us.

Select the installation method you want to use:

You can install Backyards on a single cluster first, and attach additional clusters later to form a multi-cluster mesh.