An open-source system for automating the management, scaling, and deployment of container-based apps, Kubernetes’ popularity has soared along with the increased adoption of cloud-based technologies, solutions, and infrastructures by businesses.
What’s Kubernetes and why is it so popular? Let’s check out here.
A container is an application package composed of system libraries, program, runtime, and other settings necessary to run a software. Since the 1980s, Linux has already adopted containers in its system. But it was only after Docker (with its wide range of tools and formats for containers) that containerization was noticed.
Increased adoption of containerization
In recent years, container adoption has steadily risen from 48 percent in 2018 to 57 percent in 2019. Major cloud service providers such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud have also shifted to containerization.
As businesses increasingly use critical and complex container applications, the need for a system to manage these containers has become paramount. This is where Kubernetes comes into the picture.
Launched by Google heavyweights
Google’s involvement in the development of Kubernetes has helped boost its reputation. Kubernetes owes its success from the collective experience of its creators. Some of the most talented software programmers in the world served as the bedrock of this robust platform. Having handled the largest software services in terms of scale, Kubernetes is designed to meet the scaling needs of enterprises. Indeed, this platform is a major step forward in the software development sector.
Although released by Google, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) has since held the management of Kubernetes. The platform maintains its flexibility which can be deployed in various settings depending on the objectives. It can be used over the cloud for creating an infinite number of apps.
Kubernetes container platform can be deployed in-house for transforming data centers into containers or clusters thereby maximizing available resources. It can also help companies avoid the costly and risky vendor lock-in period by using it over multi-cloud. Lastly, a hybrid setup can be done where Kubernetes create cloud-based apps when on-premises servers are loaded. This optimizes all available IT resources and ensures efficiency.
Offers multiple benefits
Kubernetes has rose to fame and even touted as the primary container management system due to its various advantages that include:
- Ease of porting between different types of programming language
- Offers optimum reliability and stability due to its high fault tolerance clustering
- Efficient scalability across multiple servers in a cluster. Plus, its autoscaler feature enables the replication of Kubernetes pods or instances to different nodes, further optimizing available resources
- Enhanced safety guaranteed through its vulnerability scanning, built-in data encryption, and other features
- Enables developers to maintain clone sets, hence, there’s no need to replicate the entire program. This results in a more responsive and resilient project.
Finally, the raging popularity of Kubernetes can be attributed to the positive results of its use cases. Today, there are numerous companies that use containerization in their system. Their efficiency and success can attest to how Kubernetes can be of use in devops.
Some highly popular use cases of Kubernetes include the New York Times, AirBnB, and Pokemon Go. New York Times uses the platform for the majority of its customer-facing apps. The multi-million company has transitioned from a ticket-based system for resources to containerization. Meanwhile, AirBnB shifted from monolithic to a microservices architecture as the demand to scale continuously became apparent. Compartmentalizing their architecture spreads the company’s IT resources and can be made available to over 1,000 engineers. It was the same experience with Niantic Inc., the developer of Pokemon Go. As the game served over 20 million active users daily, the developers were not able to anticipate the surge of traffic. This is where Kubernetes came to the rescue as it maximized the resources.
The wide open source community of Kubernetes also bodes well for its popularity. It has over 75,200 stars on GitHub with contributions from thousands of organizations. This library makes it a preferred option as compared to closest rivals Apache Mesos and Docker Swarm.
Kubernetes is indeed a powerful platform but it is not always the best option. It is crucial to evaluate your IT needs when considering containerization.