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According to a Forrest Group report, Kubernetes is winning in the “war for orchestration”. Since its launch in 2014, Kubernetes has grown exponentially in popularity, quickly becoming the standard for container management. Being open-source, several third-party enterprise Kubernetes management solutions were developed to help with clusters management. Read on to learn more about these container management tools and how to choose the right one for your organization.
Why Enterprises Should Use Kubernetes
Kubernetes is an open-source container management tool, which was released by Google in 2014. It provides a Platform-as-a-Service, (PaaS), vendor-agnostic solution for automatic deployment, scaling and operation of application containers across multiple hosts. This solution lets you deploy containers to clusters, working with different containers, simplifying operations and architecture.
If you have multiple containers and need to group them for easy management, that’s where Kubernetes can help. Some of the platform’s out-of-the-box features include:
Automated or manual scaling up or down
Workload management and batch execution
Progressive application deployment
The main goal of Kubernetes is to abstract machines into a single interface to deploy containers to all kinds of environments, including clouds and virtual or physical machines. This flexibility makes Kubernetes very popular amongst companies of all sizes. Other key benefits of choosing a Kubernetes solution over other container technology solutions include:
A large and collaborative community
Being open-source, it generated a large and growing community of support, with thousands of contributors on GitHub. These contributors collaborate to release new features constantly, making Kubernetes an ever-evolving platform. Kubernetes is not only hosted and supported by the Linux Foundation and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), but it also has the input of members of the cloud community, such as AWS, Google and Microsoft, who develop best practices for container management.
Deploying a hybrid environment containing both a cloud and an on-premise data center requires that you can easily run and move workloads between them. You can implement Kubernetes across environments, whether cloud or on-premises, or you can run it as a service. This allows DevOps teams to build applications and use Kubernetes to deploy them or in the on-premises data center or the public cloud.
Improves the DevOps Process
A quick response to changes is critical to survive and be competitive. The DevOps method improves development helping organizations to achieve business agility. Kubernetes flexibility helps DevOps innovation by simplifying it. It eliminates the need for scripting deployment or scaling workflows, automating those tasks. One example of how Kubernetes help with scaling is the game Pokémon Go. The success of the online game was such that it drew in fifty times the expected traffic, taking the developers by surprise. Since Kubernetes was the infrastructure on top of Google Cloud, it enabled the game platform to scale up to meet the demand.
Features to Consider When Evaluating a Solution
While you can install and implement Kubernetes from scratch, many companies opt for a Kubernetes Management Solution. How to choose the right enterprise Kubernetes management solution? Read on to find out the key aspects to keep in mind as you shop for the right Kubernetes platform.
Since configuring Kubernetes can be resource-intensive, a production-ready solution can help you overcome configuration hassles. The solution should automate all management tasks on the cluster, such as backup, recovery and restore so it can speed up your production line.
Kubernets allows you to work with multiple cloud vendors, building a common infrastructure between clouds, cloud regions, and the data center. The apps can run in various environments without the need to adapt them. The Kubernetes platform should support these capabilities.
As managing a Kubernetes cluster is not an easy feat you should opt for a Kubernetes platform that incorporates raw data analysis. Automated intelligent monitoring will provide the necessary early detection and intervention to prevent disasters.
Since Kubernetes does not offer deployment of highly available clusters, you should choose a Kubernetes Platform with a high availability solution. This solution should have features such as auto-repair and recovery.
Kubernetes does not provide an out-of-the-box load balancing for services that need to be exposed to outside clients. Your enterprise solution should include load balancing capabilities.
Enterprise-grade user interface
One of the things developers often find lacking is that Kubernetes does not provide a web user interface. A Kubernetes platform should provide an enterprise-grade user experience. A friendly user interface allows companies to manage their hybrid environments through a single UI. This provides visibility and enables users to perform operations across multiple clusters.
Managed Kubernetes Platforms
Installing Kubernetes in-house can be expensive and challenging, so you’re better off going with a managed platform. Here is a list of some of the top managed solutions:
Google Kubernetes Engine
The Google Cloud Kubernetes solution. Kubernetes Engine provides an all-in-one solution to deploy, manage and monitor applications. You can run the containers cluster and attach storage to the database. The autoscaling allows you to configure to scale up or down based on the usage. It has the flexibility to work both in the cloud and on-premises, allowing you to move your applications back and forth.
Platform9 is a Kubernetes-as-a-service platform that is flexible enough to work on-premises, in the cloud and on VMware. This Kubernetes enterprise solution offers high-availability across multiple environments, ensuring reliability even in the event of failure of an availability zone. Another exciting feature of this enterprise-ready platform is the easy to use dashboard that enables you to manage the clusters and their services.
This managed platform allows you to run cloud-native or traditional applications on the same platform. It also supports container images and frameworks, with an integrated image registry that works with Docker. In addition, you can test their container platform for free with OpenShift Origin.
Amazon Elastic Container Service (EKS) runs Kubernetes across multiple AWS availability zones, providing high availability. The AWS platform manages the complete infrastructure. It features a web UI and provides a native AWS load balancer.
Which One Should You Choose?
The right Kubernetes management solution for your organization should simplify your management of container clusters, while providing extra features not originally offered by Kubernetes, such as high-availability or a user interface.
Kubernetes is a great tool for supporting DevOps workloads, as you can automate the scaling, deployment and operations of application containers. However, installing and implementing it from zero can result in complicating the infrastructure management.
Thus, it makes sense to leverage the automation tools available through a managed platform, which can do the heavy lifting for you. These tools can give you the support you need to manage Kubernetes, simplifying the organization and implementation of your containers and providing production-ready configurations.