Why Organizations Want A Kubernetes-based Container Service for Cloud
As per a recent survey on container management tools by Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Kubernetes remains the leader with 83 percent of respondents citing use of this technology in comparison with Amazon ECS, Docker Swarm, and Shell Scripts
Next-gen technologies such as big data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and cloud computing are changing the way businesses are run. In this scenario, innovative, software application development has become a critical objective for businesses, and this is where using containers in the cloud comes into play. This concept first emerged with Unix V7 way back in 1979. Over the years, ‘container technologies’ have evolved, and they are now exploding onto the application development scene like never before. While containers offer numerous benefits, they also pose challenges with technology management. For instance, containerization suffers if it is not adequately isolated from the core operating system (OS) or if application containers are not abstracted from the host OS on to a virtual machine (VM). Security threats can then affect the entire system. In situations like these, Kubernetes can help. So, what is Kubernetes and how does this technology help manage containers efficiently?
Kubernetes is an open source solution for automating, managing, and deploying containerized applications. More specifically, it orchestrates containerized applications to automate and manage resource utilization, failure handling, availability, desired state, configuration, and scalability. As per a recent survey on container management tools by Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Kubernetes remains the leader with 83 percent of respondents citing use of this technology in comparison with Amazon ECS, Docker Swarm, and Shell Scripts. And as Kubernetes becomes immensely popular, let us look at its growing adoption and business value, and see how Kubernetes can accelerate your organization’s digital transformation.
How can Kubernetes enable efficient application development?
With Kubernetes, developers can define how the applications should run and the ways they should interact with other applications or the outer world. It also enables developers with high flexibility, power, and reliability. Finally, the technology allows users to run scalable, highly available, containerized workloads on an immensely abstracted platform. For instance, a few years ago, when The New York Times decided to move out of its data centers, they decided to go ahead with a Kubernetes-as-a-service offering. As a result, deploying docker images became a lot faster, versus spinning up virtual machines (VMs). Legacy VM-based deployments that earlier took 45 minutes now just needed a few seconds to a couple of minutes with Kubernetes. Impressed with the effective results, the company is now building a larger Kubernetes ecosystem. In early 2017, its first production application—the nytimes.com mobile homepage—was run on Kubernetes, catering to just one percent of its traffic. Today, nearly all end-user facing applications on www.nytimes.com are run mostly on Kubernetes.
While Kubernetes’ architecture and its internal components can seem intimidating, its power, flexibility and robust features are unmatched in the open source world. By understanding how the basic building blocks fit together, developers can design applications that fully utilize the capabilities of the platform to run workloads at scale.
Why Kubernetes for businesses
Kubernetes comes with multiple benefits. First of all, it allows for easy container management. Second, this technology enables horizontal autoscaling of pods (a single or group of containers that are deployed on the same host). When the application is accessed by huge traffic, Kubernetes will replicate pods and balance the load to avoid downtime. Third, Kubernetes suits both stateless and stateful applications. It even allows customization and supports pre-built solutions that one might need to run the application. Also, there is no vendor lock-in, so migration of apps from one infrastructure to another is significantly easier. One of the biggest testimonies to the benefits of Kubernetes is the huge success of Pokémon Go. The mobile game supported 25 million users at its peak, which was 50 times its preliminary target. Although it had a few performance issues at launch, the team was able to scale up to accommodate the massive influx of traffic rapidly. In general, entrepreneurs and developers can reduce costs and gain more application scaling efficiency by adopting this technology.
In a nutshell, the success of Kubernetes can be attributed to its architecture, innovation, and the vast open source community around it.
Best practices for deploying and managing Kubernetes
●Find out the types of failures you want to protect your cluster from
●Build the capability to handle failures for all cluster-related data needs without losing data
●Choose a leader-election algorithm depending on the kind of workload that is being run
●Run the application across failure domains to reduce hardware failure risk
●Stay in the know through conference talks, articles, and special-interest group meetings as Kubernetes is continually evolving
Authored by Prabhakar Jayakumar, Country Director, DigitalOcean India
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