7 Key Benefits of Using Kubernetes

2023/06/26 11:16

Unveiling the Advantages of Utilizing This Open-Source Container Orchestration Solution for Microservices Architecture Management.

Kubernetes, also known as K8s, stands as an open-source container orchestration platform designed to effectively schedule, automate, and scale containerized applications (microservices). With a focus on optimization, Kubernetes streamlines the once manual tasks of deployment, management, and scaling, significantly simplifying the workflow for software developers and automating various DevOps processes.

So, what's the key to the platform's remarkable success? Kubernetes services play a pivotal role by offering load-balancing capabilities and simplifying container management across multiple hosts. These services enable enterprises to achieve enhanced scalability, flexibility, portability, and productivity for their applications.

In fact, Kubernetes has witnessed unprecedented growth and has become the fastest-growing project in the realm of open-source software, following in the footsteps of Linux. According to a study conducted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) in 2021, the number of Kubernetes engineers soared by 67% to reach 3.9 million from 2020 to 2021. This translates to 31% of all backend developers, marking a 4-percentage point increase within a year.

The growing adoption of Kubernetes by DevOps teams implies that businesses experience a smoother learning curve when venturing into the realm of container orchestration. However, the advantages extend far beyond that. Let's delve deeper into why companies are opting for Kubernetes to handle various types of applications.

The following are some of the key benefits that arise from utilizing Kubernetes to manage your microservices architecture.

1. Cost savings through container orchestration

Companies of all sizes, ranging from small startups to large enterprises, benefit from cost savings when using Kubernetes services for container orchestration. Kubernetes automates various manual processes and efficiently manages the ecosystem, resulting in reduced expenses. By automatically provisioning and optimizing container placement within nodes, Kubernetes ensures optimal resource utilization. In some cases, public cloud platforms charge a management fee for each cluster, making it advantageous to run fewer clusters, thereby reducing costs associated with API servers and other redundancies.

Once Kubernetes clusters are properly configured, applications experience minimal downtime and high performance. This reduces the need for extensive support in the event of node or pod failures that would otherwise require manual intervention. The streamlined workflow provided by Kubernetes' container orchestration results in increased efficiency and decreases the need for repetitive tasks, leading to fewer servers and reducing the reliance on inefficient administration processes.

2. Enhancing DevOps efficiency for microservices architecture

Kubernetes offers improved DevOps efficiency by providing seamless integration with containerization and access to diverse storage resources from different cloud providers. This simplifies the development, testing, and deployment processes. Creating container images, which encapsulate all the necessary components for application execution, proves to be simpler and more efficient compared to creating virtual machine (VM) images. Consequently, development cycles are accelerated, and release and deployment times are optimized.

Integrating Kubernetes early in the development lifecycle yields significant benefits. Developers can test their code at an early stage, thereby mitigating the risk of costly mistakes in later stages. Microservices-based applications are composed of modular functional units that communicate through APIs. This enables development teams to work in smaller groups, each focusing on specific features, while IT teams operate with enhanced efficiency. By utilizing namespaces, which allow the creation of multiple virtual sub-clusters within a single physical Kubernetes cluster, access control is improved, resulting in further operational efficiency gains.

3. Seamless deployment of workloads in multi-cloud environments

In the past, deploying an application involved provisioning a virtual machine and configuring a domain name system (DNS) server to point to it. However, Kubernetes brings additional advantages, including the ability to deploy workloads in a single cloud or easily distribute them across multiple cloud services. Kubernetes clusters facilitate the swift and streamlined migration of containerized applications from on-premises infrastructure to hybrid deployments across various public or private cloud infrastructures offered by different cloud providers. This enables the seamless transfer of workloads without sacrificing any functionality or performance. Consequently, organizations can move their workloads to closed or proprietary systems without the fear of being locked in. Prominent cloud providers in Vietnam such as VNG Cloud, Viettel IDC, CMC Cloud, and FPT Smart Cloud offer smooth integration with Kubernetes-based applications.

There are several approaches to migrating applications to the cloud:

  • Lift and shift: This involves moving an application to the cloud without modifying its underlying code.
  • Replatforming: This approach entails making minimal changes to the application to enable its functionality in the new environment.
  • Refactoring: A more extensive approach that involves rewriting the application's structure and functionality to optimize it for the cloud environment.
4. Enhancing portability by reducing risk of vendor lock-in

Utilizing containers for application deployment offers a lightweight and agile alternative to virtual machines (VMs) for virtualization. Containers encapsulate only the necessary resources for an application, such as its code, installations, and dependencies, leveraging the features and resources of the underlying host operating system (OS). This results in smaller, faster, and highly portable containers. In a traditional scenario where four applications are hosted on four separate virtual machines, each VM would typically require its own copy of a guest OS. Conversely, adopting a container approach allows all four applications to coexist within a single container, sharing a unified version of the host OS.

The versatility of Kubernetes shines through its ability to manage containers across diverse infrastructures, whether it be public cloud, private cloud, or on-premises servers, as long as the host OS is a Linux or Windows variant. Additionally, Kubernetes seamlessly integrates with virtually any container runtime, the software responsible for running containers. Unlike many other orchestrators that are tightly bound to specific runtimes or cloud infrastructures, Kubernetes avoids vendor lock-in. This grants businesses the freedom to scale and expand without the need to overhaul their entire infrastructure architecture.

5. Automating deployment and scalability

Kubernetes excels in automating the deployment of containers across multiple compute nodes, whether they are located in the public cloud, onsite virtual machines (VMs), or physical on-premises machines. This automation extends to the scalability aspect, enabling teams to rapidly adjust their resources to meet fluctuating demand. With auto-scaling capabilities, Kubernetes can dynamically spin up new containers when encountering heavy workloads or sudden spikes in requests. Auto-scaling can be triggered based on factors such as CPU usage, memory thresholds, or custom metrics, ensuring optimal resource allocation.

Once the demand subsides, Kubernetes automatically scales down the resources to avoid wastage. This platform not only facilitates scaling of infrastructure resources up and down as needed but also simplifies horizontal and vertical scaling. Moreover, Kubernetes offers the advantage of rolling back application changes in case of any unexpected issues, providing an added layer of safety and stability to the deployment process.

6. Ensuring application stability and availability in a cloud environment

Kubernetes plays a crucial role in ensuring the reliable operation of your containerized applications. It leverages automated workload placement and load balancing techniques to effectively distribute containerized workloads and scale clusters, accordingly, accommodating surges in demand while keeping the system operational. In the event of a node failure within a multi-node cluster, Kubernetes seamlessly redistributes the workload to other nodes, maintaining uninterrupted availability for users.

Additionally, Kubernetes offers self-healing capabilities, automatically detecting and responding to container failures or node disruptions. It initiates actions such as container restarts, rescheduling, or replacements to swiftly restore normal operation. Furthermore, Kubernetes facilitates rolling updates to software applications, allowing updates to be applied without incurring downtime or service interruptions. Even high-availability applications can be deployed in Kubernetes across one or multiple public cloud services, ensuring exceptional uptime and maintaining continuous service availability.

A notable use case highlighting the effectiveness of Kubernetes is Amazon, which employed Kubernetes to transition from a monolithic architecture to a microservices-based architecture, enhancing application scalability and resilience.

7. Open-source advantages of Kubernetes

Kubernetes stands as a community-driven project and a fully open-source tool, recognized as one of the fastest-growing open-source software projects to date. This open nature fosters a vast ecosystem of complementary open-source tools that are specifically designed to work seamlessly with Kubernetes. The robust support and collaborative nature of the Kubernetes community ensure ongoing innovation and continuous improvements, safeguarding investments made in the platform and preventing technology lock-in that could quickly render solutions obsolete.

Furthermore, Kubernetes enjoys extensive support and portability across major public cloud providers like VNG Cloud. This broad support from industry leaders enhances flexibility and choice for organizations, allowing them to leverage Kubernetes across various cloud environments without constraints.

It is important to clarify a common misconception that Kubernetes competes directly with Docker. In reality, Docker serves as a containerization tool, while Kubernetes operates as a container orchestration platform. Kubernetes is often utilized to orchestrate multiple Docker clusters, enabling efficient management and coordination of containerized applications at scale.

Kubernetes and VNG Cloud

vContainer by VNG Cloud is a Kubernetes-based service that ensures high availability and efficiency for businesses by running all containerized applications in the cloud. Kubernetes manages vServer clusters and handles container deployment, maintenance, and scaling processes. With Kubernetes, you can run various types of applications using the same toolkit both on-premises and in the cloud.

Features of vContainer:
  • Cluster Management: Allows customers to create clusters based on business requirements, from basic to advanced needs on Cluster Container such as Non_HA with 1 Master or HA with 3 or 5 Master nodes.
  • Integration with vVPC: Fully deploys on the initiating VPC, making it easy to integrate from VPC to Pods.
  • Integration with vLB: Provides Load balancer service with all features from layer 4 to layer 7, allowing the addition or removal of workers from vLB.
  • Integration with Autoscale: Allows users to define the minimum and maximum number of worker nodes. The system will automatically increase or decrease the number of nodes when necessary to scale up or down for operations.

By exploring these offerings, organizations can unlock the potential of containerization and leverage VNG Cloud's robust infrastructure to drive innovation and efficiency in application development and IT operations.