Kubernetes – Not just for millennials

Eloisa Tovee 30th September 2019

What is Kubernetes?

Well that was easy…

So easy in fact, you’ll pull 29,800,000 results in less than a second – and that’s without spelling it it correctly! But whilst having choice is nice, we think you’ll agree, 29 million is a little excessive… With this in mind, and to save you the trouble of swimming through a tsunami of search results, we thought we’d bring everything together into one simple blog.

Here we go. 

Once you get beyond the seemingly easy task of spelling the darn thing, you will learn the most unimportant fact about Kubernetes. That is, “Kubernetes” is derived from the Greek word κυβερνήτης, meaning “governor”, “helmsman” or “captain”. This is only relevant when trying to understand the weird and wonderful names companies choose for their container-related tools. And the occasional curve ball question at your local pub quiz.

The first and most important distinction that should be made when learning about Kubernetes is that it is container orchestration software, and in most cases, the container being orchestrated are Docker containers. We don’t hold a royal charter, but if we did, we would tell you that there are other container runtimes available such as CRI-O, Containerd and other CRI runtimes such as frakti. All of these are container runtimes supported by Kubernetes, but remember, not all container runtimes are made equal.

Enter Kubernetes

Kubernetes (K8s) is an open-source system for automating the deployment, scaling, and management of containerised applications.

It does this by grouping together groups containers that make up an application into logical units. This in turn makes way for easy management and discovery.

As well as simplicity of use, Kubernetes prides itself on offering the following features:

  • Service discovery and load balancing
  • Service placement and bin packing
  • Self-healing
  • Storage orchestration
  • Automated rollouts and rollbacks
  • Secret and configuration management
  • Horizontal scaling
  • Batch execution

Whilst impressive on paper, this innovation might have something to do with the team behind the tool… Kubernetes was created by engineers at Google who spent 15 years running production workloads. It also leverages best-of-breed ideas and practices from the community AND is now hosted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). Since joining the CNCF, Kubernetes has seen rapid growth and adoption in just a few short years.

Why does this matter to you?

As the rate of digital transformation programs continue to rise, and the use of container technology becomes more common place, Kubernetes is being leveraged across a multitude of large-scale projects. This is having huge implications on the businesses in which it is being deployed, as well as the IT industry at large. Here are just a handful of use-cases:

  • Modernising Legacy Applications
  • Microservices / Cloud-Native Applications
  • Implementing CI/CD or DevOps-based processes
  • Data Science
  • Edge Computing
  • Cloud Migration
  • Digital Transformation

Kubernetes in numbers

According to a 2019 report by Gartner, 75% of global organisations will be running containers in production by 2022.

This rise in popularity is partly in response to how IT organisations are looking at ways to reallocate investments from business-as-usual systems and applications – which consume 71% of the budget – to innovation projects. At the same time, there’s a strong desire to build new applications quickly and deploy them in a variety of scenarios from on-premises, hybrid and multi-cloud strategies to edge computing. Container technology helps address both of these.

Containers are the new norm

Today, you can’t move for new start-ups or established giants offering ‘the best’, ‘fastest’ or ‘most secure’ SAAS/PAAS for running the new and most complicated container orchestration kid on the block. But the extra bells and whistles isn’t always necessary.

Your container platform of choice should look to remain relevant in an ever-changing landscape and deliver high-velocity innovation. The easiest way to spot this is to ask yourself: “are they offering to ‘add value with a bespoke and unimitated useless addition’, or is it simply upstream Kubernetes?” If there’s no value being added, we recommend you stick with Kubernetes and train your team to use the tool so it can do the following:

  • Allow developers to seamlessly build and share any application — from legacy to modern,
  • Enable operators to securely run them anywhere – from hybrid cloud to the edge,
  • Drive everyone in the delivery chain to deliver more constant and more secure containers,
  • Deploy distributed applications globally to any datacenter or cloud,
  • Update those applications along with the underlaying infrastructure on-demand, with zero downtime,
  • Scale your solution

On this last point, it’s always satisfying to out scale an attacker, survive peak time on your applications load with your fingernails intact, or just keep the operations team overtime down for the month. Kubernetes can allow automatic and dynamic scaling of your distributed applications with very few clicks, offering the easiest and fastest way to use containers at scale.

With these capabilities under its sleeve, Kubernetes is the perfect platform for the rapid delivery of new engaging customer experiences. It focuses on UX and gives teams the tools they need to scale up solutions to meet customer demands. But you need to move beyond the basic skills of Kubernetes to tap into its true value.

In a way, Kubernetes is a bit like Lego. With Lego anyone and everyone has a different instruction manual, with different Lego pieces to play with. Some people don’t need the instructions to build beautiful and complex structures, whilst others adopt a ‘learn on the go’ approach, enduring a rocky journey with the instruction manual in one hand and a handful of bricks in the other.

If you sit within this second party, we admire your optimistic spirit. We also feel you and your team would benefit from an Introduction to Kubernetes training course. Designed to give you hands-on experience with the tool, you’ll soon be running Kubernetes clusters with no manual in sight.

Kubernetes Training

At ECS Digital, we know that a well-trained team who understands the systems they use is key to maximising ROI, providing new opportunities and diversifying the technical expertise of your workforce.

As well as being Official Docker Training, we provide a bespoke “Introductions to Kubernetes” training course for those looking to kickstart their Kubernetes enablement. Designed by seasoned professionals with real-world experience implementing containers in different industries, our course uses real work examples, offering a jumpstart and helpful hand in to the work of Kubernetes and Container orchestration at scale.

If you’re based in Singapore, we’ve recently published new dates for our Kubernetes training in October. Book onto the course here.

If you reside within the UK, our Introduction to Kubernetes course is currently offered as a private course only. Please contact the team directly to book.

Here at ECS Digital we’re always happy to talk about how what we do can help benefit you and your business. If you’re interested in finding out how we can help – whether in up-skilling your team in the latest DevOps tools or accelerating your digital transformation ­– get in touch today.

Found this interesting? Why not share it: