THE K8’s JOURNEY SO FAR

INTRODUCTION

“Gartner, the well-known US-based technology research and consulting organization, predicts that by the end of 2022, more than 75% of global companies will be running containerized applications in production.”

Containerisation is the new trend in the most advanced stages of application development. It began with Docker in 2013, the first-ever application to make use of containers targeted to a broad audience. Like any other innovation, containerization also came with its own challenges. The major challenge was the management and delivery of products and services that spread over thousands of containers. Managing such containers in multiple deployment environments using self-made tools was almost an impossible task. To mitigate this situation, container orchestration tools were introduced.

Ever since the arrival of cloud-native computing, it has become the constitutive part of software development. Cloud technology has reduced the risks and hardships of running applications through the traditional way of virtual machines that include increased cost, security risks, and lack of scalability. Furthermore, cloud adoption helps the industry to get more clarity on application traffic and improve resilience by planning a reliable recovery strategy. The rise in the use of microservices in software deployment is what caused the rapid adoption of cloud technology by industries. Migration of application containers to the cloud can be easily done by the developers with container orchestration platforms. In this regard, Kubernetes has emerged as the de-facto standard for cloud-native container orchestration. Since the launching of Google Cloud’s Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) in 2014, a radical shift to the cloud-native system has occurred in the software environment.

THE ASCENT OF KUBERNETES

In this competitive global market, the key need of every enterprise, regardless of the sector, is to speed up the time to market along with developing agile capabilities to give them an upper hand. The business motives of each organization may differ from each other, but business imperatives such as scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency remain the same for everyone. Therefore, it is crucial for every enterprise to have the propensity to adapt to the ever-changing conditions of the technical world quickly. That is where cloud-native technologies such as Kubernetes assume importance. Kubernetes provides the automation and observability necessary to manage applications in a very dynamic environment. Its API-driven infrastructure enables the organizations to focus on their objectives by taking care of the business criteria, which is done by containerized deployment. With Kubernetes, one can break down the software into microservices during development and then combine these microservices together to create the logical unit at deployment. Enterprises can expand their application ecosystem across both public and private cloud systems because K8s with hybrid cloud infrastructure can run stateless as well as stateful applications due to their portability and agility. Kubernetes clusters can be configured to set up disaster recovery mechanisms, which backup and restore data in case of any accidental failures to prevent possible data losses. The self-healing capabilities of Kubernetes help it to detect errors and resolve them automatically, thus improving quality and reducing cost.

HOW KUBERNETES REVOLUTIONIZES BUSINESS

Kubernetes has several advantages when compared to the traditional way of application deployment. Its flexibility in providing a declarative way of deploying application code enables automation. K8s is more cost-effective than virtual machines because it reduces the costs of extra hardware and its installation, as well as the number of experts required to run the system 24/7. It also eliminates the unnecessary costs of underutilized resources, which is a huge disadvantage of VM’s. In addition, K8s is highly resilient with zero downtime deployment, scalability, and self-healing of containers.

On top of that, Kubernetes deployment architecture consists of a control plane named Kubernetes Master (having Scheduler, API Server, Controller Manager, and etcd) and cluster nodes (having Kubelets and KubeProxy). Its design is intended to efficiently distribute workloads across available resources, optimizing the infrastructure cost. Differing from most of the other container orchestration platforms, which can deliver only application availability, K8s architecture is created to deliver the availability of both applications and infrastructure.

All in all, Kubernetes speeds up application development and drastically reduces the time to market for the applications, as it manages and secures IT infrastructure requirements of agility, elasticity, and resilience. Development teams can devote their time and resources to focusing on application logic and business strategy and leave operational aspects to K8s declarative and API-driven infrastructure. Increased autonomy for the development teams empowers them with more productivity and innovation.

K8s JOURNEY SO FAR

The introduction of GitOps in 2017 as an operating model for Kubernetes cluster management and deployment came with enormous benefits. GitOps provides an audit log for every alteration made in the cluster, which is helpful in ensuring stability. It can also assure consistency in end-to-end workflows across the entire company because it provides a single model for developing infrastructure. The convenience of describing the entire application in a single source, that is Git, enormously reduced the Mean-Time-To-Recovery (MTTR) after a meltdown.

Almost a decade after the introduction of Kubernetes, and with the support of programs like GitOps, Git is now the standard repository for cloud-native technologies. Kubernetes-based platforms, namely Kubeflow and Knative attract advanced technologies like the Internet of Things and Edge Computing to the cloud-native systems. Cloud adoption is growing so rapidly that it seems the future of the computing world will be dominated by platforms like Kubernetes. The use of cloud-native systems became universal since it simplifies complicated application development with the added advantage of reduced cost and faster deployment. Companies are relieved of the traditional obstacles faced in application development and implementing version updates, and they can lavishly think about developing the system in the way they wish it should be.

LOOKING FORWARD

In a survey conducted by Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) in 2020, it was found that 84% of organizations are using containers in development applications which is a huge growth from 2016 when the number was at 23%. A vast majority of these companies use K8s to orchestrate their applications. This has resulted in increasing the demand for such platforms, especially K8s.

The future of information technology needs systems like Kubernetes that can support contemporary structures as well as espouse the developments that are yet to come.

About the Author

Kubernetes, CLOUDCONTROL

Dr. Anil Kumar

VP Engineering, Cloud Control
Founder | Architect | Consultant | Mentor | Advisor | Faculty

Solution Architect and IT Consultant with more than 25 years of IT Experience. Served in various roles with both national and international institutions. Expertise in working with both legacy and advanced technology stacks and business domains.