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Jumping through the hoops: SSH jump host functionality in Orchard

Almost a year ago, when we started building Orchard, an orchestration system for Tart, we quickly realized that most worker machines will be in a private network, and that VMs will be only reachable from the worker machines themselves. Thus, one of our goals became to simplify accessing the compute resources in a cluster through a centralized controller host.

This effort resulted in commands like orchard port-forward and orchard ssh, which were later improved to support connecting not just to the VMs, but to the worker machines themselves.

Today, we’re making an even further step in this effort: with a trivial configuration, an Orchard controller can act as an SSH jump host to allow connecting to the VMs using just the ssh command like ssh -J <service account name> <VM name>!