Kubernetes went mainstream in less than a decade, with a whopping 96% of organizations using or evaluating the technology, according to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s (CNCF) 2021 survey. But what are the key benefits of Kubernetes that make it the de facto solution for container orchestration and management?
More than 90% of organizations currently use containers in production, CNCF reports - a method of packaging an application and everything required to run it in a single place so it can be seamlessly deployed across various runtime production environments.
But containers on their own are not self-sufficient, leaving many organizations struggling to execute them effectively. Without Kubernetes, some have teams solely focused on scripting deployment, scaling, and updating workflows for hundreds and even thousands of containers.
Unfortunately, such cumbersome manual work slows application development, deployment, and delivery cycles – which in turn risks impacting revenue and customer trust.
Originally created by Google to manage in-house application deployment, Kubernetes has evolved into an open-source, cloud-based, one-stop solution for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications, including software and machine learning models. It helps DevOps teams keep pace with software development requirements, deriving maximum utility from containers and building cloud-native applications that can run anywhere.
Kubernetes is also known as K8s, meaning helmsman or pilot. K8s as an abbreviation results from counting the eight letters between the "K" and "s."
While alternatives exist, Kubernetes' popularity can’t be overstated, with leading cloud providers like AWS, Azure, and Google incorporating their own Kubernetes-based offerings.
The explosive 67% growth in developers with Kubernetes experience between 2021 and 2020 further underscores its market-leading status, with 5.6 million developers focused on building expertise, CNCF reports. Kubernetes also maintains a sizable, fast-growing ecosystem of complementary software projects and tools, making it easy to extend functionality.
Let’s examine 5 key benefits of Kubernetes migration for your business:
Flexibility to scale quickly with business demand.
Utilizing the same principles that allow Google to run billions of containers per week, Kubernetes lets organizations simplify resource management that would otherwise require bloated staff and intensive human effort.
Autoscaling is a key benefit of Kubernetes, enabling enterprises to instantly respond to peaks in demand without having to manually provision or scale down resources when demand changes. It also prevents needless spending, efficiently and automatically managing workloads based on application goals and thresholds without performance issues, downtime, or waste.
Without autoscaling, organizations tend to overprovision – and thus, overpay - to ensure availability. Otherwise, services can fail during peak demand because they don’t have enough available resources to handle surges.
Portability to run anywhere.
Effortlessly use Kubernetes for your applications wherever you need them.
While many orchestrators are tied to runtimes or infrastructures, Kubernetes was built to support complex and variable infrastructure environments at scale. Not only can it work with virtually any program running your containers, but it is also portable across infrastructure hosted on-premises, in public or private clouds, or through a hybrid approach.
High availability through self-healing.
Business applications require resiliency, maintaining reliable operation regardless of technical glitches, updates, or disasters. Another key benefit of Kubernetes is that it enables your infrastructure to self-heal.
Kubernetes offers continuous monitoring and user-defined health checks that ensure your clusters always function at an optimal state. If pods or containers become unhealthy, stop running, or stop serving traffic, Kubernetes automatically works to recover your intended state.
For instance, if a container fails, Kubernetes will detect and restart it. Unhealthy containerized applications are automatically rebuilt to your desired configurations.
If a node fails, Kubernetes avoids downtime by automatically scheduling all its pods to run on healthy nodes in the cluster until the problem is fixed.
The platform also progressively rolls out changes to an application or its configuration, simultaneously monitoring application health to ensure it doesn’t kill your instances. If something goes wrong, Kubernetes automatically rolls back the change.
The biggest cost savings opportunity Kubernetes delivers is clear: it’s open source and free for anyone to use. Since it was donated by Google to CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation) in 2014, the open-source community has rallied around it – with thousands of developers and companies like Google, IBM, and Intel adding innovations and improvements to the core platform.
But businesses can also derive other significant cost optimizations by implementing a single, centralized, automated platform for container administration:
Efficient resource management. Since resource allocation is automatically adjusted to real-time application needs, Kubernetes maximizes efficiency, controls infrastructure costs, and overcomes demand and scalability challenges.
Less burden on operations teams. Automated features like autoscaling, self-healing, logics, and integrations with major cloud vendors minimize time-consuming, manual operations on your infrastructure. With less support needed, IT teams are free to focus on more value-added tasks.
Kubernetes makes it easy to realize the promise of multi-cloud environments. Since it runs indiscriminately in any environment, it can efficiently scale environments from one cloud provider to another – and even from on-premises to cloud - without functional or performance losses.
Such portability avoids vendor lock-in, allowing you to align workloads with the cloud service that’s best for your use case. Currently, 92% of organizations have a multi-cloud strategy in place or underway to drive innovation, increase resiliency, and manage costs.
Kubernetes is the market’s go-to solution for managing modern container deployments in an efficient, flexible, cost-effective way. But there’s no denying the platform’s complexity – and many organizations face a steep learning curve to realize its full potential.
Outsourcing Kubernetes implementation and management to a top nearshore location in Latin America enables IT leaders to access a deep well of exceptionally skilled, experienced DevOps talent for a fraction of the cost of hiring similar resources in the U.S. The right DevOps partner can deliver peace of mind that your applications will be production-ready at scale – using Kubernetes to operate smarter and accelerate release timelines.
Want to learn more about Kubernetes migration or other ways of leveraging DevOps to improve speed, automation, and cost savings? Schedule a consultation with our IT transformation experts today!