Pros and Cons of Kubernetes

What is Hadoop?
September 14, 2018

Pros and Cons of Kubernetes

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is an open-source, production-grade solution for automation of container deployment, containerized app management and scaling. Started and backed by industry giants such as Google and Red Hat, it makes it easier to discover and manage apps by breaking them into logical units. The cluster orchestration system makes it easier to deploy and scale containerized apps on a cluster and update/debug them with new versions.

The Scope of Kubernetes

Users expect modern apps and web services to be available 24/7, while developers also need to keep those apps and services updated, sometimes several times a day. These goals are better achieved by containerizing software, allowing developers to release and update it faster and more effectively.

Kubernetes makes container orchestration easier by combining the best community ideas with the experience accumulated over the years. The process starts with creating a Kubernetes cluster followed by app deployment, discovery, exposing it publically, scaling and updating.

Businesses and individuals might find it difficult to deploy and manage Kubernetes in the beginning. To overcome these difficulties, specialized services such as Kubernetes consulting experts from Architech help containerize software, allowing developers to manage operations more efficiently.

The highly scalable system allows running billions of containers without requiring businesses to increase their operations teams. In addition to high scalability, the system is also very flexible and works equally well for users who are testing locally or running globally. This helps them deliver apps on a consistent basis regardless of the complexity of their projects.

Kubernetes vs. Plain Application?

An article by The Enterprise Project highlights compelling statistics that make Kubernetes one of the highest-velocity projects in the history of open-source software. These include Kubernetes being the most-discussed and second most reviewed repository on Github. It bridges the gap between development and operations by allowing users to containerize them.

Containers are considered to be future’s deployment block as they make it a lot easier to package apps. They offer much better portability and efficiency compared to running apps inside of VM hypervisor. Kubernetes provides businesses with the tools they need to run containers at scale and API abstractions that enable them to plug-in different technologies.

Its orchestration capabilities enable users to run their apps on multiple cloud providers that support containers. This means users can orchestrate containers on an on-premises or cloud environment of their choice. The system now has over 25 partners that provide managed services and develop or their own Kubernetes distros.

Kubernetes Key Features

Storage orchestration

Kubernetes allows mounting a variety of storage systems, including local storage, network storage and public cloud.

Horizontal Scaling

The system is scalable horizontally, allowing organizations to easily scale as their requirements grow. Apps can be scaled up or down in a variety of ways, including based on CPU usage, through a UI or using simple commands.

Load balancing and service discovery

The system ensures efficient load balancing by giving containers their own unique IP addresses and one DNS for a group of containers. Users also don’t have to modify their apps to use service discovery mechanisms that are new or unfamiliar.

Automatic Binpacking

The system places containers and other constraints on auto-pilot based on the resources they need, without compromising on availability. This allows businesses to mix best-effort and critical workloads and save more resources while improving utilization.

Self-healing

Kubernetes automatically restarts, replaces and reschedules the failing containers or when nodes die. Users can also set the system to automatically kill containers that are not responding to the health checks defined by them, which also ensures that such containers are not advertised to the clients while they are down.

Automatic Rollouts/Rollbacks

The system is designed to roll out app changes or configuration in a progressive manner. It monitors app health and rolls back the changes if something goes wrong, while constantly monitoring app health so all the instances are not killed at the same time.

Configuration Management

Kubernetes makes it easier to deploy and update app configuration and secrets. Users don’t have to rebuild the entire images, helping then safeguard secrets in their stack configuration.

Batch Execution

Kubernetes provides the ability to manage batch and CI workloads and replace the failing containers if needed.

Pros of Kubernetes

  • Open-source and free
  • Highly scalable
  • Makes it a lot easier to establish effective CI/CD pipelines
  • It works with a variety of PaaS, including GCE (Google Compute Engine), Microsoft Azure, Rackspace and vSphere as well as operating systems such as Red Hat Atomic and CoreOS.
  • Built on top of Google’s years of experience with in-production containers
  • Microservices rolling updates
  • Makes grouping tasks easier by using labels that help identify objects according to various characteristics
  • The system is designed from the ground up to be fault tolerant and handle if parts fail, which is especially useful for a businesses using clusters
  • Easier to learn than other complex solutions and allows beginners to quickly get started with clusters

Cons of Kubernetes

  • Businesses need a certain degree of reorganization when using Kubernetes with an existing app
  • Pods sometimes need a manual start/restart before they start working as intended. This can happen in certain situations such as when running near full capacity
  • Uses a different configuration and YAML definitions and API as it wasn’t designed only for docker clustering

Benefits and Advantages of Using Kubernetes

  • Kubernetes allows businesses to deploy and manage cloud-native apps by making them portable across different environments. This makes it a great solution for development, testing and production use. It enables users to ramp up app instances quickly when demand spikes up using a system that’s highly efficient and more lightweight than virtual machines. Some of the key advantages and benefits of using Kubernetes include:
  • Better management of apps through modularity, allows decomposing apps into smaller parts
  • Eliminates infrastructure lock-ins, offers core capabilities without imposing too many restrictions
  • Enables businesses to deploy and update software at scale across Pods
  • Better version control, rolling updates and canary deployments
  • Auto horizontal scaling, autoscalers size number of Pods automatically
  • Large open-source community backing the project helps keep pace with today’s requirements
  • High-velocity updates without the downtimes associated with such updates
  • Immutable infrastructure, users can build and easily deploy new container images, rollback if needed without much hassle
  • Declarative configuration, far less error prone
  • Self-healing, brings replicas back if destroyed
  • More efficient, tasks can be packed onto fewer machines
  • Separation of concerns, small teams can achieve big results
  • Decoupling and load balancing, each component is separated from others

Conclusion

Kubernetes was designed by Google to scale its internal apps like YouTube and Gmail and radically change how we built, deploy and manage apps. It offers more velocity, better efficiency and the agility companies need in the fast-moving IT world. It enables businesses to scale horizontally, delivery app consistent updates and is designed to run anywhere, whether cloud-based, on-premises or hybrid.  

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