Unlocking the value of Kubernetes

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By Muggie van Staden, CEO at Obsidian Systems

According to research, Kubernetes is predominantly for people who build platforms with almost a quarter of respondents citing that they are DevOps engineers. This is hardly surprising given how it has become an integral component for organisations that are embracing multi-cloud operations and need container orchestration to streamline to the edge.

In fact, many expect the future of hybrid multi-cloud Kubernetes will combine best-of-breed solutions from public and private clouds to guarantee long-term cost and performance optimisations. It is all about smoothly integrating with public and private clouds while tailoring Kubernetes to the business environment, building affordable clusters, and connecting them throughout operations.

New operations

Even traditionally conservative sectors like financial services are seeing the value of embracing Kubernetes. Telcos are also leveraging Kubernetes in their data centres for streaming devices and doing things like scale to zero and subscription-based dynamic rollouts of content. Considering that improved maintenance, monitoring, and automation is considered an important technology goal, Kubernetes has a critical role to play. It can also assist in modernising infrastructure and enable companies to realise faster time to market with their solutions.

It is less about using Kubernetes to scale, and more about being able to effectively use agile solutions that have logging, monitoring, and load balancing built-in. Using Kubernetes as the foundation, a company can collapse a plethora of tools into one environment and provide the flexibility they need to test fast and roll out products fast. This also makes Kubernetes ideal for standardising infrastructure that has become increasingly complex given the rapid push to digitally transform over the past 19 months.

This is also where automation plays a key part. Today, it is all about lowering operating costs while providing flexibility to remove vendor dependencies from the technology estate.

Cloud focus

With the use of hybrid or multi-cloud environments becoming increasingly accepted as business drivers, Kubernetes will help companies navigate some of the complexities associated with this. Scale is an obvious one. With scale issues already being encountered in the bare metal, virtual machine, and Kubernetes spaces, there is a need to move towards ‘model-driven’ operations to deal with this sprawl.

Already, people are using Kubernetes for things like better configuration management or as a more enhanced automation tool. It is not a case of waiting until they get to a 200 node scale problem where current tools fall apart. Some say that the 20 to 50 node cluster range is probably the sweet spot for most people when it comes to Kubernetes. For some organisations, it makes sense to have a lot of small clusters, one for every team or one for every project, for example.

And then there are companies choosing to split their Kubernetes clusters between at least two zones, to give them a little bit of high availability, thinking about failure domains, and blast radius. Now, two to five clusters might be about a multi-region setup or compartmentalisation. An example of the latter can be having a dedicated cluster for databases, one for all the Web apps and the rest of the clusters for the more sensitive apps and/or data.

Ultimately, Kubernetes is changing the face of computing in a cloud-driven world. Companies must embrace it to compete and remain agile.

For more information, go to:  https://obsidian.co.za/blog/unlocking-the-value-of-kubernetes/