What is Kubernetes?

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is a container-centric management software popularly used to deploy and operate containerised applications by many organisations since the widespread adoption of containers. The Greek word “Kubernetes” means “helmsman” or “pilot.” The acronym K8s is derived from counting the eight letters that separate the letters “K” and “s.” The software is based on Borg, Google’s internal container orchestration platform. 

2014 saw the release of Kubernetes as an open-source tool, with Microsoft, Red Hat®, IBM, and other prominent tech companies joining as early supporters of the community. The open-source community’s invaluable contributions and Google’s 15 years of experience running containerised workloads are the foundations of Kubernetes. In this article, you will learn in detail about Kubernetes, key features, and its uses. 

Key features

Several features of Kubernetes facilitate the orchestration of containers across multiple hosts, automate K8s cluster management, and optimise resource usage by optimising infrastructure utilisation. Some key features include:

  • Across a cluster of machines, Kubernetes controls container placement and scheduling, guaranteeing that the application remains in the desired state.
  • By automatically adding or removing containers based on resource utilisation and user-defined rules, it enables applications to scale horizontally.
  • Because of its integrated service discovery mechanism, containers are able to communicate with one another via reliable network addresses. It also makes use of load balancing to divide up incoming network traffic among containers.
  • It keeps an eye on containers’ health. To maintain the application in the desired state, it automatically restarts failing containers or swaps them out for new ones.
  • Applications can be updated with the least amount of downtime thanks to its rolling update support. It also makes rolling back to earlier versions easier in case something goes wrong.
  • It offers a mechanism to control volumes of persistent storage and connect them to containers as required.

What are the benefits?

As mentioned earlier, Kubernetes is an open-source system for deploying, scaling, and managing containerised applications anywhere. It makes application management easier by automating the operational tasks of container management and providing built-in commands for deploying apps, rolling out changes, scaling apps up and down to meet changing requirements, monitoring apps, and more. 

Organisations and developers aiming to create and manage scalable, robust, and portable applications can significantly benefit from Kubernetes and containerisation. See below for further details on the benefits.

  • Containerisation
  • Automated operations
  • Scalability
  • Infrastructure abstraction
  • High Availability
  • Resource efficiency
  • Self-healing capability
  • Portability
  • DevOps enablement

1. Containerisation

Containerisation is the primary benefit since Kubernetes encapsulates applications and their dependencies into lightweight, isolated units known as containers by utilising containerisation technologies like Docker. Improved resource utilisation, simple application packaging, and consistent behaviour in various environments are just a few of the benefits of using containers. It also provides a secure environment for applications, allowing for easier and more reliable deployments. They are cost-effective and scalable, making them ideal for applications with changing needs.

2. Automated operations

Kubernetes comes with built-in commands that take care of many of the labour-intensive parts of application management, enabling you to automate routine tasks. You can ensure that your applications always function as you intended. It also makes it easy to scale applications up or down as needed, helping to reduce infrastructure costs and increase operational efficiency. Additionally, Kubernetes provides visibility into the application’s performance, making it easier to diagnose and fix any issues.

3. Scalability

Kubernetes allows apps to scale quickly. You can add or remove instances or pods according to workload demands, enabling horizontal scaling of your microservices applications. Therefore, your application is more likely to be able to handle spikes in traffic or greater resource demands. It also increases responsiveness and performance, which is crucial when shifting workloads to DevOps.

4. Infrastructure abstraction

Once Kubernetes is installed, it handles your computer, networking, and storage workloads. It frees developers from worrying about the underlying environment and lets them concentrate on applications.

5. High Availability

Kubernetes offers load balancing and automated failover mechanisms to support high availability. It performs ongoing health checks on your services, restarting containers that crash or stall and only enabling user access to services once it verifies they are operational. It can replace unhealthy instances, automatically restart failed containers, and divide traffic among healthy instances. This ensures that even in the case of container or infrastructure failures, your application will continue to function, increasing reliability and decreasing downtime.

6. Resource efficiency

With its sophisticated scheduling features, Kubernetes maximises resource usage and allocation. Based on workload requirements and resource availability, it intelligently distributes containers among nodes. By optimising the use of computing resources, it minimises waste and lowers expenses.

7. Self-healing capability

Because of its self-healing capabilities, Kubernetes can automatically identify and resolve problems in the application environment. In the event of a node or container failure, Kubernetes can reschedule containers onto healthy nodes. Additionally, it can carry out automated rolling updates and replace instances that fail without affecting the availability of the application as a whole.

8. Portability

Kubernetes’s portability enables applications to be moved easily between various environments, including public clouds, on-premises data centres, and hybrid setups. Because of its container-centric design, applications and their dependencies are packaged together. It lowers the possibility of incompatibility and permits smooth deployment across various infrastructure platforms. 

9. DevOps enablement

With its single platform for managing and deploying applications, Kubernetes helps teams working on development and operations collaborate more effectively. Kubernetes manifests enable developers to define application configurations as code, facilitating version-controlled and repeatable deployments. Continuous Integration and Delivery (CI/CD) pipelines, application health monitoring, and deployment workflow automation are all possible with Kubernetes for operations teams.

Kubernetes is the talk of the town right now, and every organisation wants to adopt this cutting-edge cloud-native technology to stay current with constantly evolving standards. This open-source container orchestration platform has completely transformed the way that businesses deploy, manage, and scale their applications.

By using Kubernetes, organisations can increase the overall dependability of their apps, minimise downtime, and optimise resource utilisation. Its automated failover mechanisms and self-healing capabilities guarantee that applications continue to function even in the event of disruptions or failures. Kubernetes will be in every company’s tech stack to manage containers and workloads and ensure they are highly scalable and resilient.

Interesting Links:

An introduction to the wildly popular container orchestration platform: Kubernetes

More information about Kubernetes

Pictures: Canva

The author: Sascha Thattil works at Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.

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