I had first heard about Kubernetes while working at Percona in 2015. Raghu, one of the engineers on my team, was pretty excited about the technology and couldn’t stop talking about it. Containerization being relatively then, it took some time for me to really grasp what the big deal was about. Understanding its genesis from Google’s Borg and the paradigms it introduced into the world of containerized cluster management is very beneficial to grasping its advantages.
Kubernetes, also known as “K8s,” is a container orchestration platform that has taken the world by storm in recent years. It was first developed by Google, but it is now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), a nonprofit organization that focuses on open-source software for cloud computing.
In this article, we’ll explore the many benefits of Kubernetes and why it has become the de facto standard for managing containers in production environments.
One of the primary benefits of Kubernetes is its ability to scale applications easily. Kubernetes can quickly and automatically scale up or down based on the demand for resources. This makes it an ideal platform for applications that experience fluctuations in traffic or demand.
Kubernetes accomplishes this through the use of “pods,” which are the smallest deployable units in the platform. Pods can be replicated and scaled up or down as needed, and Kubernetes can manage the load balancing and traffic routing between them.
Kubernetes was designed to ensure high availability and reliability of applications. It achieves this through the use of “replication controllers” and “services.” Replication controllers ensure that a specified number of identical pods are running at all times. If a pod fails, the replication controller will automatically create a new one to replace it.
Services provide a stable IP address and DNS name for a set of pods, which allows them to be easily accessed by other pods or services within the cluster. This ensures that applications are always available and can be accessed reliably.
Kubernetes is a platform-agnostic tool, meaning it can be run on any cloud provider or on-premise infrastructure. This makes it easy to move applications between different environments without having to modify the underlying infrastructure or application code.
Kubernetes accomplishes this through the use of “abstractions” that hide the underlying infrastructure details from the applications. This allows applications to be deployed in a consistent manner across different environments, which makes it easier to manage them.
Kubernetes has several built-in security features that help ensure the security of applications running on the platform. For example, Kubernetes can isolate containers from each other and from the underlying host system, which helps prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data or resources.
Kubernetes also provides fine-grained access controls and role-based access control (RBAC) to help administrators manage user access to resources within the cluster. This helps ensure that only authorized users have access to sensitive data or resources.
Kubernetes is highly extensible, meaning it can be customized to meet the needs of different applications or environments. Kubernetes provides a robust API and a plug-in architecture that allows developers to extend the platform with new features or integrations.
Kubernetes also has a large ecosystem of third-party tools and services that can be used to enhance the platform. This includes tools for monitoring, logging, and debugging applications running on Kubernetes.
While not a silver bullet that solves all cluster scalability concerns, Kubernetes has become the de facto standard for managing containers in production environments due to its many benefits, including scalability, reliability, portability, security, and extensibility. With its rich feature set, Kubernetes provides a powerful platform for managing containerized applications in a variety of environments, making it an essential tool for any organization that is serious about cloud computing.