When do you need to use Kubernetes?
Kubernetes is a powerful resource management and orchestration tool. It enables developers and businesses to efficiently manage a wide range of distributed services and components on multiple on-premise and cloud environments. Consequently, this helps software companies to improve operations, speed of developing, deploying, and scaling applications.
When implemented well, and matched with requirements, the tool simplifies the container management tasks and has great potential to improve operations and efficiency while reducing costs.
As such, any business looking for ways to reduce costs and infrastructure management complexities should consider Kubernetes. However, the tool has various challenges, such as complex configurations, a steep learning curve, and others that may prevent some businesses from achieving its full value.
Also, Kubernetes is a Linux based system. As such, if your infrastructure is mainly Windows servers and desktops, Kubernetes has some limitations. For example, it only supports Windows Server 2019, and even so, you can only deploy worker nodes since the master nodes are only available in Linux.
That said, Kubernetes is ideal for high availability applications and businesses with highly distributed workloads and requirements.
When using Kubernetes is justified
Kubernetes may not deliver you enough benefits to warrant its deployment if you are a small team or running a few in-house or cloud servers. However, when you have tens or hundreds of engineers, servers, and containers, the tool provides you with a wide range of operational and financial benefits.
The best strategy is to carefully evaluate your requirements, determine if you need Kubernetes or whether there are simpler alternatives. Below are some examples of when you need to use Kubernetes.
For large high-availability services
Kubernetes automates a wide range of container management tasks at scale. This includes tasks such as deployment, capacity utilization, availability monitoring, scheduling, resource utilization, and more.
The tool empowers teams to improve operations by giving them the ability to develop software at the speed of modern businesses. Additionally, it works across multiple clouds and providers while supporting a large number of stateless and stateful workloads. Consequently, this makes it an ideal solution for large, scalable, and high availability workloads.
Running containerized applications at scale
Kubernetes has the ability and power to deploy applications at an outstanding speed and scalability. This enables you to efficiently deploy, run, and manage containerized applications on a virtual environment on a massive scale.
So, if you are building software for a highly distributed and large market such as an e-commerce website with thousands of users, Kubernetes is a great solution. For such, you can use it to perform automated deployments, updates, scheduling, and scaling.
It will also monitor the health of the containers and provide self-healing to fix or replace those that are malfunctioning. Additionally, the monitoring allows the tool to automatically launch containers that meet certain resource requirements.
Streamlining operations on multi-cloud environments
Managing several containers and services in a multi-cloud environment can be a challenge in terms of skills and resource utilization. There are so many moving components to manage when using services spanning across a combination of on-premise and virtual clouds. And this can be time-consuming, and in most cases, inefficient when using manual means.
In such situations, Kubernetes helps to automate most of the manual tasks, balance the workloads, and place each on the right cloud. This enables you to manage your apps and services across different cloud environments effectively.
Other than improving your operation efficiency, Kubernetes reduces the risks of vendor lock-in.
In particular, you have the choice to run your applications in the most cost-effective and efficient environment.
Additionally, the ability to run from anywhere allows you to take advantage of the on-premise, public, or hybrid cloud infrastructures. You can also move your workloads between the different locations or cloud systems.
For microservices based architecture
Microservices strategies allow teams to break down large applications to smaller components that can perform specific tasks independently. This makes it easier to develop, scale, and troubleshoot the smaller parts as opposed to a large software package.
At times, these microservices are distributed across different cloud environments and providers. This adds some complexities to the development processes as well as managing and troubleshooting of the different components.
Linking the different pieces together, ensuring the availability of adequate resources, and that everything works efficiently requires careful planning and management. In practice, this is a big challenge if done manually. However, Kubernetes can support the microservices software development model in various ways. For example, it dynamically assigns resources and allows multiple processes to share the resources more efficiently.
Reduce the cost of infrastructure and resources
Kubernetes has efficient resource management features such as service discovery and auto-scaling to reduce infrastructure costs. These provide you with the ability to scale resources to match the demand in real-time automatically.
The features will increase resources when there is high traffic and demand for services, and then scale them down during off-peak usage. This allows businesses to save on infrastructure costs by only paying for what they use. However, it requires a pay-as-you-go cloud infrastructure plan.
Improve efficiency and quality
Whether developing software or offering other services at scale, Kubernetes has all the features you need to efficiently utilize your resources and get the most out of your on-premise and cloud deployments.
Some features enable sharing resources such as storage and others, such as service discovery enables the communication between different containers.
Supporting microservices enables software development companies to organize and optimize their operations, keep their teams small but more specialized. Usually, a team will provide the best when focusing on a single smaller software component or microservice.
To deploy and update applications faster
Kubernetes is an effective tool when there is a need to deploy or update software at scale. By design, containers are usually lightweight, easy, and fast to create in a matter of seconds. But as the numbers increase, managing them manually becomes a challenge.
You can, however, use Kubernetes to automate most of the repetitive manual tasks, hence improve speed. Other than this, it automatically manages the network resources to efficiently handle the increased traffic during the large scale deployments or updates.
Technology should ideally help organizations to achieve their goals at minimal cost and effort efficiently. As such, choosing which technology will deliver the best requires careful consideration and planning. Whether Kubernetes is good for your organization or not will depend on several factors.
Generally, Kubernetes is more effective when several dozen servers are distributed across a large and complex infrastructure. Although it can work with a few servers, you may not get its full benefits. And the effort required may be costly in terms of time, money, and lost productivity.
While deploying the technology can be a challenge for many large and small teams, they can consult third-party providers for assistance. This enables the businesses to overcome most of the Kubernetes configuration and management challenges, hence realize better ROI.