The history of computer science can be characterized by the development of abstractions that aim at reducing complexity and empowering people to create more sophisticated applications. However, the development of scalable and reliable applications is still more challenging than it should be. To reduce the complexity, containers and container orchestration APIs such as Kubernetes have been introduced as crucial abstractions that radically simplify the development of scalable and reliable systems. Though orchestrators and containers are in the process of being absorbed into the mainstream, they do a great job at enabling the developers to create and deploy applications with agility, reliability, and, above all, speed.
Kubernetes has become the de-facto platform used for deploying and managing cloud-native applications. Evidently, the adoption of Kubernetes has developed to be used in more complex and mission-critical applications. As such, enterprise operations teams ought to be conversant with Kubernetes to effectively manage any challenges that may arise. Note that developer experience, operator experience, and multi-tenancy are the core challenges that Kubernetes users encounter. Though the complexity of using and operating Kubernetes may be a huge concern, enterprises that manage to overcome the challenges enjoy different benefits, such as increased release frequencies, faster recovery from failures, quicker adoption of cloud technologies, and an improved customer experience that, in turn, offers a myriad of business advantages. The good news is that developers have the freedom to ensure faster innovations, while the operations teams ensure that resources are utilized efficiently and compliance is upheld.
What is Kubernetes?
Kubernetes is a Greek word used to define an open-source container orchestration system that is automated for deployment, scaling, and management. The first version of Kubernetes was released in July 2015 as a collaboration between Google and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). It makes it easier for a developer to package an application with the various elements it needs and finally come out as one package. For developers wanting to create more complex applications that require various elements involving multiple containers and machines, Kubernetes is an ideal solution. It can help application elements to restart and move across various systems as they are required to. It serves as the basic framework that allows users to choose the different frameworks, instruments, and the language, among other tools they may prefer. Even though Kubernetes is not a platform service tool, they still form a good basis for the development of these applications. Kubernetes is designed to help solve and offer modern application infrastructure solutions.
Its main unit of organization is called a pod. A pod is a group of containers that are taken as a group on a machine and has the ability to communicate with one another easily. Each pod has a unique IP address, thereby ensuring that different applications can use similar ports without the risk of conflict. All containers using the ports can recognize each other as local hosts and can therefore correlate. These pods are organized into a service that works together to become a system of labels to store metadata in Kubernetes. These parts then create a systematic and consistent way to give predefined instructions via a command line centre. A pod can define the volume of a network disk and relay the information to the containers in the pod. Pods are easily managed by setting up a control system, thus ensuring they are working properly.
Kubernetes does not limit the types of applications that are supported, and its main objective is to give support to a wide variety of workloads. It’s important that people understand that Kubernetes does not give source codes, nor does it build the workload; instead, it determines the workflow of the application development and the technical requirements. Kubernetes does not do command logging, monitoring, or alerting solutions— it gives an integration to a mechanism that collects and exports metrics. It does not give any comprehensive configurations or management systems, which is left to the developer to ensure they create a good, self-healing system to protect their application. Kubernetes creates a no-need environment for orchestration and gives the user a continuous, current state that will eventually lead to the desired state. It makes it easier for users to move from the first step to the last step, thus avoiding the need to have an orchestration system. This makes Kubernetes an easy, efficient, powerful and resilient system. The ecosystem provided by Kubernetes ensures that there is a micro-based implementation to address the concerns of microservice. The efficiency of Kubernetes makes it the best in terms of information technology and is widely used by many developers to ensure that their applications and software tools are efficient and flawless.
Kubernetes also has replica sets that ensure swift maintenance of the number of containers that have been assigned to one pod. A selector, in this case, is used to help the replica sets work properly; that is, it helps in good identification of the pods that are associated with every container. This sorts out what pods to add to which containers, and which to reduce or maintain. Kubernetes, being a multi-tier application, offers two modes of service discovery, beginning by first assigning stable IP addresses and DNS names to the services. These ensure that there is no traffic in the network and that the IP addresses match with those of the selector. In case of any defaults, the service is exposed inside or outside the cluster, depending on a load of traffic in the cluster network. Ample storage is readily available in the Kubernetes containers since every pod restart tends to clear data on these containers. This, therefore, gives the pod enough space to serve them for a lifetime, even though this space can still be shared with other pods. The pod configuration determines the location at which every volume is mounted. Different containers can then mount their volume at different locations in the cluster network.
Kubernetes uses namespaces to ensure that there is a way of partitioning how various users apply the provisions given by Kubernetes. These namespaces can differentiate between development, production, and testing for various users, and they ensure there is a free environment for each Kubernetes user. ConfigMaps and Secrets in Kubernetes are used to help with changes in the configuration settings, which is to ensure that users find a better place to store and manage the information on these containers. Kubernetes store their memory in nodes that are used by the ConfigMaps and Secrets. If the information in these pods is deleted, then the information on the whole memory copy system in the ConfigMaps and Secrets is deleted as well. Users will only be able to access these pods through environment variables or in the container file system, which can only be accessed from within the pods— nowhere else in the system. Developers now have an easier time in the configuration and deployment of these applications. The advanced configuration of Kubernetes will ensure more efficient data protection and configuration. Kubernetes provides a good platform for cloud-native applications that require scaling and real-time data streaming, which is why most people see Kubernetes as an efficient and important tool in their work.
Why People Need Kubernetes
Developers look for good methods they can use package and run their applications, thereby ensuring fewer downtimes. Kubernetes saves the day by ensuring that your system is up and running all the time. It offers good value for people who use them, and many who have used it found it to be beneficial.
Kubernetes ensures that if, for example, you delete the complete production environment you had before, you can recreate the same environment by using the backup data. Kubernetes helps you during disaster recovery, thus ensuring that you do not need to start the configuration all over again. This can only be achieved if you follow the instructions given by cloud providers. You can change your account and still be able to recover the data you had backed up. The concept of reproducibility brought out by Kubernetes helps you create a cloud account. If you use Terraform and Ansible to code everything for your application, then the cost of your development might be higher than you thought it would. In the past, people spent time and money writing and generating codes for the configuration, but with the rise of Kubernetes, this is now as easy as a snap of a finger. With Kubernetes, you can easily describe everything in YAML (or YAML Ain’t Markup Language) files. It also manages the DNS records that are required to bring together services. It gives you a chance to create a series of multiple infrastructures rather than having just one. You can also create a new setup demo by using YAML files and deploy them into different namespaces on the cluster system. To achieve this, users should be able to follow the right steps and do things the right way. Creating these containers ensures that you built them in a way that allows you to easily change the configuration settings. Always expect to have various or separate environments as you create your YAML files. The Continuous Integration (CI) system used should be able to create an easy environment, which is why the deployment process should be well-integrated. Kubernetes makes it easy for you and others who use it to achieve the desired results.
Kubernetes has a special way of immutability, in that you do not have to update anything; rather, you would replace it. Traditionally, people used to upgrade their software every time there was a new or better version. Going through the hassle of upgrading to the software is over with the introduction of Kubernetes. If problems occurred while people updated their software, developers could experience a tough time looking for ways to fix the problem, and the hassle of reading through documents, troubleshooting, and looking for solutions online could be stressful. Kubernetes came up with a better way to cover the downtime needed when upgrading and updating— instead of updating your server, you would install a new server.
Before installing the new server, you would first need to ensure that it works perfectly and that it is compatible. If everything is okay with the new server, you can then go ahead and install it. A spare server is also essential, as it will be handy when it comes time to deploy the infrastructure. While undertaking these upgrades, you can also make sure that you have the virtual machines and cloud providers to make the work a bit easier. Manual installation or updates of servers can be time-consuming, which is why you need automated tools to continue with the installation.
Kubernetes ensures that it is easier for you to install the servers, as the concept and virtual machines used to set them up have been simplified. The person using Kubernetes will realize that the containers running on top of Kubernetes are secure if the correct installation methods are used, and the containers are replaced rather than adjusted. Kubernetes has made it possible for users if there is a problem with the newer version, to easily switch back to the previous version. However, during this upgrade, you need to recognize that you do not need to change to the previous container after an upgrade. For example, if the new container version is not compatible with your previous database, the rejoining of the previous nodes can be difficult, and you may not be able to go back to the previous version of the database format if it has already been adjusted.
- Easier deployment
The deployment on servers, at times, has been a tricky situation to handle. Before the release of Kubernetes, users needed to create a new version of the application on a different service directory, then switch the symlink to all the other servers. People would need to use empty caches and make sure to populate the database, so they could deploy the servers. When the containers were created, this process was simplified because the initialization of the containers was taken care of by the launching of the container. After the natural replacement of the containers, the caches would normally purge themselves. Kubernetes ensured that their system was well-protected, so there would be no containers launched that can damage the Kubernetes cluster.
Faster and easier deployment ensures that you also get a faster time to the market. The smaller breakdown of teams allows each team to focus on a set role and ensure that it is efficient. These teams can be specialized to support experts, who can then be assigned to support these multiple teams. This will help build your IT team, allowing it to handle large applications from as many containers as possible, as they have already been managing small teams.
Tinder is one application that has used Kubernetes to grow their journey into the market and is known to be efficient and easy to use. Due to its high use, Tinder reported that they were struggling with scale and scalability. This is when they applied to outsource a reliable container system that could support them, and found Kubernetes to be their answer. Since then, their business operations have been smooth.
- Networking abstraction
Writing an iptable script was one of the many traditional ways that people used to network. Iptable was a tool that had a lot of errors. Even after many attempts to fix it, there were still many things that could go wrong with the tool, and it became hard for developers to change it due to the knowledge they needed to have about it and the required permissions. The site admins would not let any requests for change to be handled by outsiders; therefore, only internal workers could take action and requests for change. However, Kubernetes networks and policies hide the complexity of their network and make the firewall rules easily deployable. They give clear instructions on how the application should be run by storing them in the grit repository (or grit repo). The other configuration settings for the application can also be found there. They can maintain their firewall, and they tend to use the Kubernetes audit tools to ensure security. This would be better rather than restricting firewall configurations that are used as compliance policies.
- Deploying and updating software at scale
Deployment is a way to speed up the process used when building, testing, and releasing software. Most software does not support the deployment of these processes at scale, but Kubernetes does. Thanks to Kubernetes, you can maintain and change your application lifecycle. It has a deployment controller that can simplify complex tasks into easy ones; it can identify completed, in-process and failing deployments fast by balancing their capabilities; and it saves time, as it can easily pause a deployment and resume it later on. If the current or upgraded version is not stable, it can control the new version to revert to the earlier version. They have created more simplified deployment operations that include horizontal auto-scaling, in which the scalar can measure the number of pods that can be depleted by a certain number of resources; rolling updates that give you the predefined number of limited pods and the spare pods that exist temporarily; and canary deployments that ensure that you simultaneously upgrade from the older version to the newer version.
- Great for cloud multi-cloud adoption
Microservice infrastructure in these containers makes it easy for you to split your application into small components and run them in different environments and clouds. Kubernetes does not limit you and can be used anywhere— in public, private, or other hybrid clouds. This functionality enables you to reach out to users wherever they are and makes it more secure. Many of today’s businesses have grown to love and use this microservice since it makes their tools more easily manageable.
- IT Cost Optimization
If your company is operating on a massive scale, then Kubernetes has your budget covered. This is because it offers a container-based infrastructure that can package to different applications to help optimize how you use your cloud and hardware investments. Hardware and cloud management was a hard nut to crack for people who did not use Kubernetes, but since it’s been developed, people are now enjoying using Kubernetes, as it caters for their budgets.
Spotify is one company that has benefitted cost-effectively from Kubernetes. According to Spotify, since they started using Kubernetes, they have been able to save their CPU utilization, thus leading to better IT optimization.
Importance of Kubernetes
Kubernetes offers an easy and faster way for deployment. Companies can benefit from using the available multiple clouds to grow their infrastructure even more. It does not tie you down to one system and its portability makes it even easier.
This means that Kubernetes can be deployed anywhere, in all cloud environments. Their containers can run, even in bare metals or virtual machines. Due to recent changes and advancements in development and deployments, Kubernetes allows you to scale much faster than before. The orchestration system ensures that it improves the application performance automatically, which also helps optimize infrastructure utilization and makes it not just limited to the metrics, but also the resources used in the process.
A good example of a company that has been able to benefit from the scalability of Kubernetes is the LendingTree application. This application uses many microservices that act as a platform for their business operations. The horizontal scalability ensures that their clients can access the application, even when they are at their peak seasons. Kubernetes is responsible for ensuring that these applications are well-deployed and running all the time and that the applications do not default.
- Highly available
Kubernetes is available both at the application and infrastructure level. They also have a reliable storage system, therefore ensuring that there are readily available workloads. The configuration settings ensure that their multi-nodes replicate easily, thereby enhancing availability. Its availability makes it even better and more efficient to use, which is why developers and companies prefer it, as most other software does not allow for availability or replication. The success of the application you come up with does not depend on the features that it has, but on the availability of the application— if your application is unavailable or not working when you most need it, then you will be unable to make anything out of it. This is why developers look forward to using Kubernetes since it is always available and doesn’t break down at crucial times. This is the best solution for companies that have had problems with their application unavailability.
The open-source style gives developers the freedom to design work with Kubernetes, combined with the vast ecosystem that is available. It does not limit you to using the Kubernetes tools but has ensured that the tools you choose to design your work with are compatible with the containers available. This open-source will help in the automation, deployment, scaling, and managing your application, and you will also be able to run the application without having to waste time. The open-source feature also makes developers and companies want to use Kubernetes even more.
- Market leader without Competition
People have a lot of trust in Google and Kubernetes, and the latter having been originally designed by Google means that this faith extends to the Google-designed system. It has instant credibility to people and has, therefore, ended up as the highest used application deployment system by developers. People have tried competing with Kubernetes, but have failed or not been able to match its reach. Kubernetes can fix its security threats and does not have a lot of unnecessary traffic, since its system can clear this out from the network system. Due to this, it remains a leader in the market, with almost zero competitors.
Many developers have declared Kubernetes to be the next big thing over the next few years because they can see that the future in Kubernetes will continue to offer a set of wide infrastructure platforms for developers. Research has shown that students due to graduate over the next four or five years are keen to use Kubernetes for their application deployment. Being a virtualization admin means focusing on containers that can give you the best service since virtualization is not only relevant to infrastructure teams but developers as well. If you use the wrong containers for your application development, nobody will enjoy using the application you created. You might also end up being frustrated with the application and might even give it up, or end up spending more than you initially planned. This is why Kubernetes is known to be the best in terms of containers and application development, and the reason why it lacks competitors and will continue being the leader in the market.
- While using Kubernetes, you can constantly monitor the performance of your deployment.
It also gives you a good platform to keep a check on the different metrics regarding the components of the system’s design. It gives you the ability to showcase this easily and impactful.
- It gives you continuous integration and deployment that enables you to shift from one cloud to another during the production process.
It does not limit you, and continuous integration will ensure that it keeps your deployment process up and running at all times. Developers do not like to work with a system that limits them to one integration and does not give them the chance to move from one suite to another during production. This feature enables developers to run their applications in real-time and without much hassle. The containers give you ample space and time for you to develop and process your application into the desired design.
- It gives you the ability to switch from one server to the other.
Assume, for instance, that your company has five servers— two of the servers are overloaded and you want to reduce the load. The nodes available on these servers will give you the go-ahead as to which server to shift to, so you reduce the overload on these two servers. This is another important benefit of using Kubernetes: you do not have to put up with downtime due to the failure of one server and not being able to shift to the others. This is a reassuring feature of its use and a significant reason why developers value the system.
- It can run any containerized application.
Kubernetes has been able to combine different strategies in ensuring that the tools required for you to build your application do not differ between applications. This is as cost-effective as when developers used to need different tools for each application process. As a result, a lot of people have been given a chance to build their future through Kubernetes. Existing applications can also run on Kubernetes, and it is easy for you to migrate the existing application from one server to the other.
A company should be keen when sourcing for the best container system that can support their application development to the end, for this system to run efficiently. Kubernetes is one of those containers that a company would not want to miss out on since it has all these desirable benefits. The cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and availability will give your company the best service applications that your customers will not regret using. The better and faster the application, the happier the users will be; the happier the users, the more users will use the application as a result. The more users and clients, the higher your business or company will grow. Developers now have an easy and efficient way of coming up with applications that will be of help to their clients, and clients are happy with efficient applications that do not keep on failing; therefore, companies that care about the concerns of their clients will use Kubernetes to ensure they fully satisfy their clients. In doing so, they also increase the company’s sales and its popularity.