Originally designed by Google and initially released in 2014, Kubernetes is now the leading solution for automating app development, management, and scaling. This open-source system for orchestrating containers used in software automation can work with various container tools and can run containers in clusters.
Companies that are on the cloud can greatly benefit from Kubernetes. It offers a number of advantages organizations should learn to take advantage of. Hesitating to give it a try means foregoing its significant benefits, technical and strategic in particular.
Here are six important reasons why it makes sense to use Kubernetes for organizations that are using the cloud infrastructure, web-based applications, and online services.
1.Widely used solution
A report by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) reveals that Kubernetes is the most popular solution for container orchestration. It is employed by 78 percent of CNCF’s graduated projects. It is clearly the go-to option for an overwhelming majority of organizations.
This popularity is an important advantage because it means that there is a huge community of users, which means it is very unlikely for Kubernetes to randomly cease working or stop getting updates or become obsolete. With many organizations relying on it, it continues to be improved in line with what is needed by users over time.
Additionally, the vast number of users entails that information about using Kubernetes is virtually unlimited. Many users readily share information about their K8s experiences. There are those that offer their insights, knowledge, and even assistance in addressing various issues or problems. It is easy to get a reliable Kubernetes troubleshooting guide online. Users will not find it difficult to get help in solving problems even though Kubernetes is not a proprietary solution that comes with the obligatory support service.
Companies that heavily use the cloud for their operations will likely realize soon enough that containers and orchestration are crucial in modern IT and digital transformation. Containers are said to be the future of cloud computing. Choosing a highly popular and reputable container orchestration solution is the logical thing to do.
What makes Kubernetes even more enticing is the fact that it is a free solution. There are no licensing costs involved in using it. Prospective users can get it from GitHub and start with their deployment. Even with it being available for all kinds of use at no cost, it stands out for being a high-quality solution. Netflix software architect Paul Bakker describes it as “a great tool when it comes to automating a deployment pipeline.” He also notes how “deployments are not only more reliable, but also much faster,” and that “builds and deployments have become more reliable because it’s easier to test and ship containers.”
Also, many Kubernetes tools are available for free. There’s Kubelet, which serves as a master-to-node bridge. cAdvisor or Container Advisor is another excellent free tool intended for container resource usage and performance analysis. For those who want to generate metrics for the state of several Kubernetes objects such as cron jobs and pods, Kube-state-metrics is a good option to try.
3. Easy scaling
Kubernetes is an excellent way to build scalable modern applications. Organizations that develop solutions aimed at infrastructure and virtual machines will find it advantageous to do things on Kubernetes, especially if their project involves multiple services and necessitate the unpredictable need to scale up or down.
A good example of a company that took advantage of the scalability benefits of Kubernetes is Airbnb. The company had to switch from a monolithic architecture into one that consists of microservices. To achieve a smooth transition and operation, the company adopted Kubernetes. This allowed Airbnb to support more than a thousand engineers in concurrently implementing countless configurations and deploying over 250 critical services.
4. Faster time to market
In connection to the easy scalability benefit, Kubernetes also enables accelerated time to market. Kubernetes-facilitated containerization in companies allows a clean separation of concern among IT development and operations teams, which makes it easy for developers to focus on their application logic and dependencies. With it, project development teams can concentrate on their respective deployment and management goals without having to aler app details.
A major cloud company that demonstrates this faste time to market benefit is Tinder. The company successfully migrated its services and achieved smooth operation as it adopted Kubernetes. The journey was no walk in the park, but Tinder managed to successfully run 200 services featuring a thousand nodes, around 15,000 pods, 48,000 containers running simultaneously.
“It took nearly two years, but we finalized our migration in March 2019 … Infrastructure is no longer a task reserved for our operations teams. Instead, engineers throughout the organization share in this responsibility and have control over how their applications are built and deployed with everything,” Tinder’s Engineering Team shared in a Medium post.
5. Flexibility with hybrid and multi-cloud environments
Another major benefit of Kubernetes is its compatibility with hybrid and multi-cloud scenarios, something many enterprises are using at present. Kubernetes makes it easy to run applications on any public cloud service and in combinations of private and public cloud platforms. This means the freedom to choose different cloud services or hybrid multi-cloud setups, allowing companies to avoid vendor lock-ins while having the flexibility to assign workloads to the most suitable cloud services.
Companies can choose the best possible cloud option with the best features to match their needs. Also, it provides leverage when migrating, as it entails more choices that would allow companies to realize the best ROI for their IT expenditures.
6. Consistent deployment management
In a blog post, Microsoft partner DevOps specialist Predica Group points out an important advantage of Kubernetes: “it is based on a declarative state of the environment delivered through APIs.” The company suggests that this is how the entire cloud should be.
This advantage of Kubernetes translates into the benefit of consistent deployment, as it allows development teams to focus on the desired state of an application and achieve quick deployments and implement rollbacks as deemed necessary based on a declarative state.
This does not mean flawless deployment management, though. Kubernetes does not eliminate the possibility of encountering problems. However, it significantly improves deployment management with best DevOps practices and the right CI/CD pipelines.
Kubernetes is by no means the perfect containerization solution. There are also challenges in adopting it and potential drawbacks for those who fail to carefully examine the pros and cons of container orchestration with K8s. Still, it is one of the best options out there especially because of its massive popularity, free open source nature, and its benefits of scalability, flexibility, and deployment management consistency.