Introduction to Kubernetes and the Solution Space it Created

Containers can be hard to wrap your head around. It’s even more confusing when looking at container platform options. Many container platform solutions utilize Kubernetes. Kubernetes originated from Google, but it has expanded tremendously from there. It is an open source technology that was maintained by Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) until its recent graduation.

Kubernetes is not a company like Docker. It’s a tool that various providers have utilized for the cloud. Kubernetes has over 11,000 contributing developers according to CNCF, making it one of the largest open source projects ever. What are the benefits that draw so many companies and developers to Kubernetes?

Fast and Portable Platform

The concept of containers is beneficial to IT teams in a variety of ways. It doesn’t make a lot of sense anymore to use the traditional virtual machine method. VMs are slower and use more computing power. They also don’t scale as well. Containers improve on VMs by running atop the OS kernel directly, meaning that they are more lightweight, start much faster, and are easier to move. This kind of flexibility is immensely important for DevOps teams.

Kubernetes combines the development and operations side of container management. Containers alone don’t have the ability to manage workloads in an effective way on their own. The platform manages Kubernetes workloads to verify they’re behaving as expected.

As a standalone platform, Kubernetes can be difficult to run. Kubernetes.io states, “Kubernetes was also designed to serve as a platform for building an ecosystem of components and tools to make it easier to deploy, scale, and manage applications.”

Vast Resources and Options

Kubernetes may be functional as a platform, but it shouldn’t exist alone. Many solutions help it become more user-friendly and easier to manage. For example, IBM, Amazon, Google, etc. all have solutions that help enterprises host Kubernetes. Additionally, companies like Twistlock provide users with additional security functionality, which is difficult to accomplish alone.

Considering how many cloud infrastructure options there are today, it’s important to have a tool that can work on any of them. Since Kubernetes is so commonly accepted across the cloud world, teams don’t need to worry as much if they’re changing their cloud provider.

Since Kubernetes is open source, there will always be an abundance of resources and options to improve your practices. At the time of writing, there are over 63,000 commits on GitHub. This vast and supportive community supports continued technology growth.

Managed service providers offer help to enterprises interested in implementing Kubernetes. It’s difficult for enterprises to successfully add this tool on their own.

Application Management

Containers allow developers to have an isolated environment between their applications, meaning a mistake won’t be detrimental to your entire system. Kubernetes also provide increased visibility into failing deployments. Component failures aren’t detrimental to your application, as the failure is isolated. You can pause or revert changes to individual containers without entirely destabilizing functionality.

There is also flexibility in where you can run your containers. You can utilize on-premises, hybrid, or cloud infrastructures. Having a faster and more efficient environment to work will speed up releases, and isolating applications into OS-level virtualization is more secure.

Containers and Kubernetes allow teams to work faster and more efficiently. Apps will improve as it’s much easier to discover and fix problems in development. The constant influx of new tools and security options also allow teams to have peace of mind when it comes to deployment.

Tyler W. Stearns

Tyler is the lead editor at Solutions Review's Cloud and Network Monitoring sites. He writes to bridge the gap between consumer and technical expert to help readers understand what they're looking for. He studied English and film at the University of Massachusetts Boston. His passions outside of enterprise technology include film, screenwriting, games, swimming in rivers, mechanical keyboards, fun socks, ramen, and goats.