Kubernetes is an open source software designed to manage containerised applications and services. It’s a cluster management tool that automates deployment, maintenance, and monitoring of containerised applications. Organisations use Kubernetes to monitor and control their production containers at scale. Kubernetes has been described as the Linux of the microservices world because it can be used to deliver those services reliably and securely in any kind of environment. You can think of Kubernete-s as a virtual version of Google’s Borg or Omega clusters, but with a lot more documentation and support behind it. If you’re not sure what this means, don’t worry: We’ll explain everything you need to know about Kubernetes below, including why you should care about it and how you can use it in your organisation.
What is Kubernetes? #
Kubernetes is an open source container orchestration and cluster management tool designed to automate the process of deploying and managing containerised applications and services. It’s primarily deployed as an open source-based PaaS, but various vendors offer managed Kubernete-s services for enterprises that want to run their containers on premises. Kubernete-s is an open source system used to manage containerised workloads across a cluster of machines. It was developed by Google and contributed to the open source community in 2014. Kubernetes builds upon Google’s experience managing containers for over 10 years, including the technology behind its Google Container Engine service, which has been offering hosted Kubernetes since 2015. Kubernetes is often used with other open source technologies and distributed systems, such as Docker Swarm, Apache Mesos, or Apache Spark.
Why Use Kubernetes? #
Kubernetes is an amazing tool for the orchestration of containerised applications, but why use it? There are many reasons, but the three most common include the following:
Standardisation – Containers, when managed effectively, are an amazing way to standardise application environments across a company. Deploying Kubernetes across the board means consistent environments in all departments, all of the time.
Simplicity – Kubernetes can offer a simple, automated solution for deploying and scaling applications across the board. This saves time, effort, and money across the board, and has proven to be incredibly useful for large companies, who often have thousands of applications in use at any given moment.
Visibility – Kubernetes makes it easy for businesses to see what containers are running where. This allows them to quickly trace an issue, and respond to it faster than ever before.
How to Use Kubernetes? #
Let’s break down the process of actually running Kubernetes. The first step is to choose which host or cluster you want to run your Kubernetes process on. Multiple options exist here, including on-prem hosted solutions, and public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud. Once you’ve selected your host, you need to install Kubernete-s on it. This can be done using one of two methods:
- Install using a distribution-specific package.
- Install using the kubectl CLI.
Downsides of Using Kubernetes #
There are a few downsides to using Kubernetes, including the following:
Overspending on your Kubernetes deployment – If you’re not careful, you can overspend on your Kubernete-s deployment. This is especially true if you don’t have a budget set in place before beginning to install Kubernete-s on your machines, as you may end up spending more than necessary.
Lack of visibility – While Kubernetes can offer visibility into container performance, it can be difficult to see performance trends across the board. This can make it hard to see long-term problems with specific containers, or even applications, which can be problematic in certain industries, like healthcare.
No native support for stateful applications – Kubernetes does not offer native support for stateful applications. This can be problematic for some businesses, as stateful applications often include databases, etc.
Lack of hybrid support – Kubernetes is primarily used for on-prem deployments. This means it’s not ideal for hybrid environments that contain a mix of on-prem, public cloud, and hosted Kubernete-s.
Key Takeaway #
Kubernetes is an amazing tool for the orchestration of containerised applications. The tool offers a plethora of benefits for businesses, including easier application deployment, increased visibility, and consistent environments. When implemented correctly, Kubernete-s can vastly improve the way your company manages its containers, but only if you choose the right host and installation method!