The importance of Kubernetes in a cloud-native ecosystem

This is an article from DZone’s 2022 Kubernetes in Enterprise Trends report.

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If you are a developer or engineer working in the software industry, you have undoubtedly noticed the complexity of managing resources across various services and applications. This is especially true when your company has grown beyond a single data center or environment. With so many stakeholders involved in various projects, it becomes difficult for everyone to keep track of where everything is at any given point of time. This is where Kubernetes comes into the picture.

There are several reasons why Kubernetes has gained popularity among modern businesses:

  • Kubernetes can improve productivity and scalability, reduce the risk of downtime, and enable continuous delivery of applications.
  • Kubernetes comes with a rich set of features out of the box, making it easy for you to set up and manage a containerized application lifecycle from development to production.
  • Kubernetes is open source, and its development is community driven. It is also highly extensible, allowing third-party vendors to build tools and services that can integrate with Kubernetes making it even more powerful.
  • Kubernetes supports all major operating systems and is also compatible with most standard programming languages.

Kubernetes is a powerful tool to accelerate your journey into the cloud-native world, making it easier for you to manage containerized microservices and accelerating the adoption of DevOps practices. In this article, we’ll look at why Kubernetes businesses should adopt cloud-native tools and how it helps them speed up their software deployments.

Kubernetes: King of the Cloud-Native Ecosystem

Today, enterprises of all sizes are embracing cloud-native computing to accelerate their digital transformation. Kubernetes continues to be the leading provider in the cloud-native ecosystem and is becoming an essential tool for anyone looking to adopt a cloud-native strategy.

Figure 1: Kubernetes Architecture

Image Source : Nived Velayudhan, CC BY-SA 4.0

Kubernetes can help you achieve a cloud-native ecosystem by automating the process of setting up an environment where you can host your containerized applications. This can be done with just a few simple commands. Kubernetes can help you deal with the complexity involved in managing your application resources across different services and applications that are distributed across multiple environments.

Kubernetes handles the entire lifecycle of your application containers, including the orchestration, configuration, and scheduling of containers across a set of machines. In addition, Kubernetes is designed to be highly scalable and fault-tolerant, making it ideal for continuous delivery of your code and allowing you to achieve continuous delivery with less manual effort and better collaboration among your teams. make capable.

The most important advantage of Kubernetes for DevOps and cloud-native ecosystem is that it reduces the burden. It allows engineers to share their dependencies with IT operations. It also resolves conflicts between different environments. This allows engineers to handle customer needs while relying on the cloud for many functional applications. Kubernetes simplifies container tasks, such as Canary deployment, rolling updates, and horizontal, vertical, and dynamic auto-scaling. It is important for DevOps managed services to streamline the development, testing, and deployment pipelines.

Kubernetes can aid in continuous application delivery by rolling out updates in a consistent and streamlined fashion. Applications can be orchestrated using containers. To deploy multiple applications using Kubernetes, each of them is placed in a separate container. Since updates can be done in one part of the application by restarting the container without affecting the rest of the software, they can be accomplished in one part of the app.

Life before Kubernetes

It all started with large monolithic applications, which involved the complexities of managing and distributing software. It used to take months for developers to push their changes to production. There used to be severe downtime, and insufficient uptime caused businesses to suffer. It was a headache for organizations to ensure that their services handled ongoing changes smoothly without impacting any service. That’s when microservices emerged as a boon, where a humble monolithic application breaks down into multiple services, and each service is controlled by a group of developers.

Each microservice behaves as an individual service without affecting the other service. It helped developers as well as organizations to deploy software with increased frequency. During this time, Docker was introduced to deploy these microservices with the containerization concept.

Figure 2 below shows a simple representation of the microservices architecture with the various microservices included in an e-commerce website:

Figure 2: Representation of Microservices

Docker completely revolutionized software packaging and delivery with containers, helping organizations deliver software faster. While containerization took a big step forward, an orchestrator was needed to manage these containers, and this is how Kubernetes was born.

Consider a scenario where a start-up is using Docker containers. As startup grows, so does the number of applications and so do containers. These containers are easy to manage when the number of them is less, but as the number starts increasing, it becomes difficult and you need an orchestrator to manage these containers. This is exactly where Kubernetes shines and helps you manage containers with unique features of scalability, security, self-healing, high availability and much more.

Figure 3: Application Delivery Flow

Life after Kubernetes

Google introduced Kubernetes in mid-2014, and Microsoft, Red Hat, IBM and Docker have since joined the community. Kubernetes has made life easier for every developer and SRE, helping them to coordinate well and manage workloads efficiently. When used efficiently, Kubernetes:

  • removes downtime
  • Helps in application scalability according to traffic patterns
  • Helps to secure applications and secrets by including security policies
  • Allows multiple applications to run in production
  • Allows apps to roll back if something goes wrong
  • Increases developer productivity by automating tasks associated with containers.

With Kubernetes, you can deploy new projects more quickly. New loads can now be distributed across different projects in the form of a reusable pipeline and code modules. It can be difficult for development teams to keep track of them and monitor infrastructure operations if they are not automated. For example, there may be unexpected traffic spikes or power outages. When the application goes down, it is not a good sign for the organization. With Kubernetes, you can automate scaling and update patches to address such issues.

Let’s consider an example to help understand the importance of Kubernetes in a cloud-native ecosystem. Let’s say you have a production app that handles customer orders. You don’t want to push new code to that app until it’s thoroughly tested and meets certain criteria. Traditionally, you would wait until your test team has confirmed that the new code can be deployed safely, and then you would wait for an operations engineer to perform the deployment manually. While this model works, it is incredibly time consuming. This is especially true if you have a number of apps that require this type of attention.

If your app fails, you may need to wait several days before retrying deployment. This causes your organization to lose valuable production time while you wait for the system to be redeployed. With Kubernetes, you can use continuous delivery to deploy new code in your production app every time a new version is pushed to the code repository. This ensures that nothing is deployed to production until it meets your organization’s deployment criteria. Kubernetes also has a built-in self-healing mechanism that can quickly detect when nodes are offline and bring them back online.

Kubernetes Usage: Notable Case Studies

Now, Kubernetes is being used by all the big organizations who like to deploy their software fast with scalability. Kubernetes has become a de facto container orchestration tool in the cloud-native world. Let’s look at some notable examples of the use of Kubernetes in different organizations:

  • German automaker Mercedes-Benz uses 900 Kubernetes clusters to support its wide range of products around the world.
  • PayPal recently started growing Kubernetes to over 4,000 nodes and 200,000 pods.
  • HBO found that at the time of Game of Thrones’ peak demand, it was running out of available IP addresses to help deliver content to viewers, and HBO chose Kubernetes to address this problem with scalability issues. . “We went from not running a single service inside a container to hosting all Game of Thrones season seven with Kubernetes,” HBO senior staff engineer Ilya Chekrygin told the 2017 KubeCon audience.
  • Kubernetes helped Tinder engineering drive innovations towards containerization and low-touch operations through immutable deployments. Application creation, deployment and infrastructure will be defined as code. They were also looking to address the challenges of scale and stability, and they solved interesting challenges by moving 200 services and running large-scale Kubernetes clusters.
  • Pinterest used Kubernetes to grow their workloads, and by the end of 2020, they organized 35,000+ pods with 2,500+ nodes in their Kubernetes groups.

conclusion

From its origins as an open-source project within Google to becoming a major force in the enterprise cloud-native space, Kubernetes has come a long way. Today, enterprises and developers around the world are finding new ways to leverage Kubernetes for operations and application development. Kubernetes has become the standard approach to deploying and managing containerized applications. The Google-backed project has grown significantly in adoption since its inception. If you want to accelerate the digital transformation journey of your organization, you should consider using Kubernetes. While it is not a tool that every organization will need, it is an essential piece of any modern IT toolkit. Kubernetes has gained a special place in the cloud-native ecosystem, and in fact, it has become synonymous with the term “cloud-native”.

This is an article from DZone’s 2022 Kubernetes in Enterprise Trends report.

for more information:

read the report

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