Just a bit more than 5 years ago Docker, a containerization project, was launched. The developers happily moved their applications running on a VM to Docker containers and felt happier even despite the bugs they ran into. However, a year later Kubernetes was created and became a key part of the container revolution. It grounded on the 15 years of Google experience and was crafted by Google expert team. It made not only the app development easier, but offers more flexibility and opportunities for scaling to the projects.
In fact, containers revolutionized the industry of software solutions development. At present more than half of the projects, which Stfalcon team started in 2019 is actually app development with Kubernetes. Today we spoke a bit with Yevhen Hurynovych — our DevOps team lead. He helped us to find out the essence of the platform, who needs Kubernetes, in which projects it works best and finally why Kubernetes at all. Read on to know more.
What is Kubernetes, also referred to as Kube or k8s?
It’s a special open source system, which helps in automation of container-based apps’ administration, deployment, networking, scaling, and availability through container orchestration.
To put it simply — it sets containers, which constitute an app into logical units to make their administration and discovery easy. So the app is developed together with the operating environment it needs and the platform keeps it up, running, updated and quick to respond to the user demands. The applications, which become «unhealthy», can be automatically cured and no manual work or developer’s attention required. Kubernetes does the work itself and distributes the workloads to make sure everything runs as the operator envisioned.
Why does Kubernetes mark a considerable step forward for DevOps community?
Nowadays developers have to write the software solutions which run across manifold environments, public clouds, virtualized private clouds, and dedicated on-prem servers included.
With Kubernetes infrastructure is not locked-in due to more core capabilities provided for containers and no constraints imposed. An amalgamation of features within the Kube platform, with Pods and Services included, has made it possible.
Modern applications are reliant on a particular operational environment in some respects, like performance issues linked to the architecture of the network, loyalty to cloud constructs, and dependencies on a specific storage system of the back-end.
In other words, the up-to-date apps depend on various variables, which constitute their operational environment. When a problem sets in in the environment, the app performance suffers or it fails. It’s a challenge to find and fix all those bugs even when you deal with several variables.
Docker appeared to cope with the problem, but it only worked for a single machine. However, modern projects require more resources, machines, scaling, and updating.
With big projects, it becomes a great problem at times, but Kubernetes orchestration now handles it with ease. It checks the viability of each component of the operational environment and makes the necessary updates, whenever it’s necessary.
More than that, the modular approach facilitates more rapid development. The teams, which are smaller, yet more focused take responsibilities for certain containers and work on them. It also makes possible the dependencies isolating and more extensive usage of well-tuned, minor components. Additionally, it eliminates the temptation to stuff too many features into a single container.
Thus services can be shaped for discoverability, observability, and load balancing without difficulty. Kubernetes makes scaling of any project easy and hassle-free.
What are the Kubernetes advantages?
The first and the foremost advantage of the Kubernetes as an external service is that it DevOps-friendly. It definitely speeds up the processes of software creation, test performance, and product releases. Thus it has a time-saving benefit for IT specialists. It’s now much easier to manage the version control and app lifecycle through the overall infrastructure.
Besides, Kube helped to put more emphasis on how the products are deployed, scaled and brought up-to-date.
At present deploying a new version can be arranged simultaneously with the preceding version. Scaling up the new deployment can also be realized at the same time with scaling down the prior deployment.
Why is Kubernetes better than traditional PaaS?
The K8s does not put restrictions for the app types supported thus providing wide opportunities for the purpose. It does not regulate the frameworks, supported languages, or distinguishes between «services» and «applications». If a solution can work in a container, it will most likely work well on Kube.
Another advantage of K8s is getting the most out of hardware. Now the applications, which use minimal resources can be crammed together on the same hardware. Those, which need to stretch out can be put on the systems where they will have space to develop. Besides, it’s possible to automate the updates rolling out across a cluster, or back if updates break.
Kubernetes allows keeping manifold clusters synchronized across various clouds and regions. Thus an app deployment can be kept steady flanked by multiple clusters. The clusters in their turn can distribute the service discovery in such a way that one can access a back-end resource from any Kubernetes cluster.
What are the business benefits of Kubernetes?
We’d say that everything mentioned above is even more important for business running than for software product development.
Any software solution created nowadays should
- be released fast,
- demonstrate viability and
- be ready for scaling.
These are the factors important for any business. As a business owner and client, you always want to receive your product quickly and Kube allows saving time on development. With the possibilities for automated healing and updates, you also acquire a product viable on the market. Moreover, due to the possibilities of Kubernetes architecture, the scaling of the product is possible any time.
Kubernetes development environment is now extremely popular due to its novelty, architecture, and the enormous open source community it has.