Kubernetes orchestrates containerized applications in private, public, and multi-cloud environments. Specifically, the platform organizes resources and traffic for cloud applications and their related microservices, so everything works optimally.
This article summarizes the basics and lists some reasons for why many businesses choose it. You’ll also learn what applications are a good fit for the platform.
Already using Kubernetes or ready to get started? Contact us to schedule a free call to learn how a cloud migration partner like Moonswitch can set you up for long-term success with managed Kubernetes services.
Kubernetes is like a project manager that oversees application deployments.
Let’s start with a (really) simplified analogy to explain how Kubernetes works.
Picture a project manager overseeing an important client marketing campaign. Many moving parts comprise this project, including the kickoff, client communications, task management, content delivery, and more.
It doesn’t make sense to deliver the content and then do the kickoff, right? Further, you wouldn’t assign five team members to design one infographic while leaving one person to write ten articles.
Instead, the project manager organizes the people and tasks in an efficient way to ensure everything is successfully completed.
Kubernetes is somewhat analogous to a project manager. In fact, Kubernetes is often referred to as an “orchestrator”.
Like a conductor in an orchestra, Kubernetes controls services within their containers so everything plays together in perfect harmony.
What Kubernetes Does
If you “hire” Kubernetes as your application deployment “project manager”, it will oversee responsibilities on your on-premises, private or public cloud platform(s) that include:
Deploying containers and images
Optimizing resources for containers and clusters
Scaling containers and clusters
Managing cloud services traffic
By handling the above tasks, Kubernetes frees your DevOps teams from managing infrastructure in your cloud environment. Instead, they can add value to your business by focusing on developing and improving your software products.
How Kubernetes Works
Now, let’s quickly go over how Kubernetes works.
Orchestration tools within Kubernetes automate application creation, deployment, scaling, and destruction within system containers.
The hierarchy within Kubernetes looks like this:
Master —> Cluster(s) —> Node(s) —> Pod(s) —-> Containers
The “master” creates and schedules pods, which are hosted by nodes. Containers are located in pods, and pods that run multiple containers manage them as a single entity and share resources.
Kubernetes clusters enable containers to run across multiple environments and machines: virtual, physical, on-premises, and multiple private, public, and hybrid cloud-based environments. Further, unlike virtual machines, Kubernetes containers are not restricted to a specific operating system and can share multiple operating systems.
Some Kubernetes processes include:
A deployment enables updated code rollouts, replica pod scaling, or rollbacks to earlier deployment versions.
Services route traffic to a set of pods. They allow developers to scale pods easily and manage load-balancing configurations.
An ingress is an API object that provides routing rules (typically HTTPS/HTTP) that expose a service outside the application infrastructure.
A job executes a set of pods until successful completion through repeated execution attempts until a specific number are successfully terminated.
Horizontal Pod Autoscaler
Based on the amount of resources the CPU uses, the horizontal pod autoscaler automatically scales the number of pods in a deployment, replication controller, or replica set.
5 Benefits of Using Kubernetes
In the right circumstances, Kubernetes can optimize development and deployment in many ways.
Some reasons businesses choose Kubernetes include:
1. Kubernetes Helps Improve Team Productivity
As mentioned earlier, Kubernetes eliminates the need for most manual tasks and underlying infrastructure maintenance. Instead, teams stay productive and can focus on delivering software according to current industry demands.
2. Kubernetes Offers Multiple-Cloud Capability
Kubernetes is super-flexible, with options to keep workloads in a single cloud or across different cloud platforms. As a result, your infrastructure becomes more resilient, and teams can additionally leverage the benefits each cloud platform offers.
3. Kubernetes Is Flexible and Portable
Kubernetes is super-flexible and works with almost every runtime out there. It also works with a range of different infrastructures, including on-premise services, private and public clouds.
4. Kubernetes Makes New Version Roll-Outs Easier
The market is always changing, and consumer needs and expectations constantly evolve. The ability to deploy new versions is therefore critical to staying competitive.
Kubernetes gives teams the functionality and tools to roll out updates quickly and easily. That way, customers receive new features, bug fixes, and performance improvements promptly and efficiently.
5. Kubernetes Is Open-Source And Editable
Kubernetes is open-source software that’s backed by the support of an extensive community. Besides being free, open-source software allows your development team to edit the code to better fit the needs of your application.
What applications are a good fit for Kubernetes?
Kubernetes is vital for large-scale applications with numerous services running in different containers. However, if you have a simple application with a static user base or don't use distributed architecture, Kubernetes may add a layer of complexity your team doesn’t need.
As mentioned previously, Kubernetes isn’t for everyone. Some alternatives include:
- Porter Platform-as-a-Service (Paas) - a popular Kubernetes-powered solution that enables teams to deploy and manage apps on Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- AWS Fargate - A serverless compute engine used with Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS)
Azure Kubernetes Services - A service that enables teams to deploy directly on Microsoft Azure
- Google Cloud Run - A fully-managed serverless platform that allows teams to run Docker container images as stateless, auto-scaling HTTP services
- Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) - Automated deployment and management of Kubernetes clusters on Amazon infrastructure
- Rancher - an open-source platform that runs containers across multiple on-premise and public cloud environments
- Docker Swarm - an open-source platform that allows developers to package applications into containers
- Apache Mesos and DC/OS - an open-source application that manages resources and tasks as a distributed systems kernel
- HashiCorp Nomad - a flexible scheduler and workload orchestrator that allows teams to deploy and manage containerized and legacy applications
You have many options — gain clarity with strategic advice from the deployment pros at Moonswitch.
Choosing the wrong solution costs time and money, and might even subject your business to vendor lock-in.
Make the right choice from the start with professional consulting from the cloud modernization experts at Moonswitch. Contact us for a free call to review your options, and what services best align with your business.