The Kubernetes platform has already gained popularity among IT professionals. In the 2020 Stackoverflow survey, Kubernetes was ranked #3 behind Docker and Linux as the most favorite platform for developers. According to the 2021 VMware State of Kubernetes survey, 65% of companies with more than 1,000 employees use it. It is a significant increase in customers compared to 2018 – 30%.
Switching to Kubernetes or other orchestration tools is a matter of time as microservice architecture or containerization are becoming commonplace. We at Wellnuts have a lot of experience with containerization tools. In this article, let us tell you about the pros and cons of Kubernetes for service-oriented architecture development.
What is Kubernetes?
Kubernetes is the software required for orchestrating containerized applications. Orchestration involves the placement, management, and coordination of programs, which makes working with them much more convenient and productive.
The Kubernetes platform was launched seven years ago. Over the past four years, it has been actively gaining popularity. To date, Kubernetes is the second fastest-growing open-source project after Linux. The benefits of Kubernetes are numerous and will be discussed below in more detail.
Benefits of Kubernetes for Businesses
Kubernetes is actively developing, and more and more companies are using the platform. It is gaining popularity as it provides customers with several significant benefits. The main Kubernetes advantages are listed below.
Portability and Flexibility
Kubernetes works with most types of container runtime (runtime is the software required to run containers). In addition, Kubernetes provides the ability to work with most types of the underlying infrastructure. One can use it for the following types of infrastructure:
- Public cloud.
- Private cloud.
- Local server.
You can use Kubernetes for local servers as long as the host operating system used on the server is no older than 2016.
On top of that, multi-cloud capabilities allow Kubernetes to host workloads in one cloud or another and distribute workloads across multiple clouds. You can also scale your environment across different clouds and virtual machines. These features indicate that Kubernetes will be a good solution for multi-cloud strategies.
You can employ Kubernetes in various environments and infrastructure configurations. It is one of the main Kubernetes benefits, setting it apart from other orchestrators that tend to be tied to specific runtimes or frameworks. It has given us the ability to accommodate our customers’ needs by moving our software deployments between different kinds of infrastructures and runtimes.
A Variety of Deployment Automation & Standardization Tools
The Kubernetes ecosystem offers many ways to make the deployment of services standardized and automated. The most prominent tool in the market is Helm. With its help, you can describe the deployment process and infrastructure requirements of any complex service.
Kubernetes uses declarative constructs and offers a friendly approach to operations, which makes it possible to use the GitOps approach. As a result, deployment and scaling are faster than before. In addition, it will be possible to run multiple deployments per day instead of one deployment over several weeks.
In the deployment automation space, many CD tools are available, including ArgoCD, Gitlab CD, etc. We are particularly experienced in using ArgoCD, which we have chosen for its Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) approach. These tools allow us to have full control of what software is deployed in our Kubernetes clusters. Also, they provide convenient, fast and secure ways of deploying new service versions.
Proper Load Distribution and Scaling
Kubernetes provides a more intelligent service distribution across servers, saving resources on large clusters. Several services can run on the same server without interfering with each other. Kubernetes also provides the ability to automatically scale services depending on external conditions (current service load, resource consumption, etc.). Plus, Kubernetes can monitor the status of running services, and if a certain service stops processing requests, it will be restarted automatically.
Kubernetes is open source, controlled by the CNCF, and driven by the community. It has no owner, only a few corporate sponsors. No one has sole control. Therefore, the project development is managed directly by the community.
No wonder Kubernetes has become the preferred choice for many companies compared to proprietary or open-source yet company-specific orchestrators (such as Docker Swarm).
Widely Used and Tested Service
A few years ago, k8s was a new technology used only by pioneers willing to take risks. Today Kubernetes is a known product in the market. Thousands of companies use it, which makes it a proven solution, and the adoption of Kubernetes in IT environments continues to grow. As one of the latest surveys showed, 94% of respondents use Kubernetes for different purposes.
Possible Disadvantages of Kubernetes for Digital Projects
Unfortunately, there is no perfect product that fits every business. Apart from the Kubernetes business benefits, this software has drawbacks as well. It is essential to pay attention to them before you start implementing Kubernetes.
1. Kubernetes Can Be Too Complex for Simple Applications
Kubernetes is a fairly complex product. It is suitable for running software in the cloud on a large scale. Therefore, Kubernetes will not be a beneficial solution for small companies. Such a business will not be able to use 100% of its capabilities. So if you’re not going to develop complex microservice systems and run an analog of Amazon for millions of customers worldwide, you can do without Kubernetes.
2. Kubernetes Can Degrade Team Performance
Developers who have not previously worked with infrastructure technologies may encounter problems working with Kubernetes. It will take time to adapt. However, if DevOps is planned, developers will need the service, and it is better to implement it in the early development stages – the sooner, the better.
It is desirable to have at least one specialist with Kubernetes experience. The services of such a specialist are expensive – the average annual salary of such a specialist can be more than $ 140,000. Of course, you can train an employee, but it will take time.
3. Switching to Kubernetes Can Be Cumbersome
Existing software will need to be adapted to work with Kubernetes. It is difficult to estimate how much effort this will require; the complexity depends on the type of software used and several other factors. However, even with experienced staff, employees risk facing compatibility problems that need to be solved. It will take some effort and time.
4. Kubernetes May Be More Expensive Than Alternatives
In some scenarios, Kubernetes can be cheaper than alternative software. However, it can also be more costly if you consider the need to train your employees, time costs, etc.
Will your business benefit from using Kubernetes?
As statistics in this article show, today, most companies use Kubernetes. However, there are differences in how they use this technology. First, Kubernetes benefits are applicable for large projects that need considerable computing power and involve an expansive infrastructure. In this case, Kubernetes will indeed greatly simplify the development process. If you’re building a small, low-capacity project, you probably won’t need k8s. Implementation and training costs will be high and unlikely to pay off for a small company.
Kubernetes has quickly gone from an entirely new approach to orchestration to a favorite tool for many developers. First of all, this software is suitable for high-load projects. We at Wellnuts have extensive experience with scalable cloud solutions and Kubernetes clusters and can select the most optimal technology stack and deployment environments for your project. Contact our managers to find out more!
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