Kubernetes, also known as K8s or “Kube”, is an open-source container orchestration platform that automates containerized application deployment, scaling and management of applications. It automates many of the manual processes involved in deploying and scaling container applications. Google has been running containerized workloads in production internally for more than a decade using a container management platform named Borg, which is the predecessor to Kubernetes.
Kubernetes offers many advantages over traditional methods of deploying applications, including:
Allows Horizontal Scaling
Anticipating capacity requirements for current and future demands is a challenge for most IT teams. Horizontal scaling or ‘scaling out’ means scaling by adding more machines to your pool of resources. With Kubernetes, new servers can be added or removed on demand, or based on the consumption demand or requirements to the Kubernetes Cluster. Similarly, the pod (which hosts the application) can be scaled based on the resource requirements, or manually on demand.
Extends the Ability to Run on any Platform
As an open-source platform, Kubernetes is extremely flexible, enabling developers the freedom to effortlessly utilize any platform – public, private or hybrid Cloud, as well as virtual or physical machines. In addition, your Kubernetes manifest, which describes the resources you want to create and how you want them to run inside a cluster, can be run anywhere and has a reusable template for multiple applications.
Offers Automated Rollouts and Rollbacks
Kubernetes has a built-in rollback mechanism that allows applications to be rolled out without any downtime and can easily be rolled back if something goes wrong. Zero-downtime deployment is ideal when you don’t want to interrupt live traffic and allow the user to continue working without any interruption. Kubernetes also monitors the health of the application and ensures that the app won’t go down during the release or rollback process.
Possesses the Ability to Self-Heal
One of the great benefits of Kubernetes is its self-healing ability. If a containerized app or an application component goes down, Kubernetes will immediately try to correct the issue by restarting the pod or by removing it from the service load balancer. As a result, the users can continue to use applications without noticing any downtime, providing exceptional end-user service.
Allows Canary Deployments
A canary deployment releases an application or service incrementally to a subset of users. All infrastructure in a specific environment is updated in phases and is a low-risk form of deploying new applications. The developer is able to test a new application version in parallel with the older version of the application. It allows a developer to test in production with real users and can be rolled back easily if something goes wrong.
Maximizes Scalability through Load Balancing
Load balancing, a strategy for maximizing availability and scalability, is the process of distributing network traffic efficiently among multiple backend services. Kubernetes automatically balances workload to various pods ensuring users are provided with continuous availability.
“Kubernetes is a game changer for enterprise start-ups. Providing a standard platform for software vendors to design their products to run, opens a world of possibilities for new application development”, says Vincent Yeung, Manager, Enterprise Services & Provisioning/CISO, Cover-All Managed Cloud and IT Services. In the past, deciding which server environments to support could make-or-break the success of a new app. With all the benefits that Kubernetes brings to both app developers and businesses, it will likely be the choice for expanding IT infrastructures into the foreseeable future.
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