Kubernetes recently celebrated its seventh birthday as an enterprise development platform. That’s enough time for a large set of lessons to be taught.
Kubernetes is well-known for various things, the most notable of which is its ability to orchestrate containers. When you’re just getting to grips with it, it’s also recognized for its steep learning curve.
Teams and individuals who are new to the platform don’t have to figure things out on their own because the platform has been around long enough. There is lots of assistance available.
Here’s some solid advice on how to save time and prevent difficulties using Kubernetes. By the end of this article, you should improve your understanding of Kubernetes. And hopefully, rise much higher in the steep climb that so many face.
What Is Kubernetes?
Kubernetes is available as an open-source orchestration technology for containers. You can use it for automating application deployment, management, and scalability. It also makes cloud-native development more affordable, which is great for app development.
Google employees created Kubernetes before its open-source release in 2014. It began life as Borg, a container orchestrator for Google. They designed the Kubernetes logo as a helm. This is because it came from the Greek word Kubernetes, which means pilot or helmsman.
Nowadays, Kubernetes and the container ecosystem are growing into a general-purpose ecosystem. They’re also becoming a computing platform that competes with virtual machines (VMs). It works as the fundamental building blocks of modern applications and cloud infrastructure.
It is an ecosystem that lets businesses provide a high-productivity Platform-as-a-Service to tackle many infrastructures. It also deals with operations-related chores and difficulties associated with cloud-native development. This allows development teams to focus only on code and innovation.
What Are Containers?
Containers are small, operable application parts. They include all dependencies and operating system libraries to code run in any environment.
Containers use a type of operating system virtualization called process isolation. This virtualization allows several applications to share a single instance of an OS. It does this by segregating processes and regulating the amount of memory, CPU, and disk space they have access to.
Containers have become the standard compute units of current cloud-native apps. The reason is they are more resource-efficient, portable than virtual machines, and smaller.
Kubernetes Tips and Tricks
There’s a wealth of knowledge to be gained from industry experts that have wrestled with some of Kubernetes’s challenges and come out the other side victorious.
Let’s check out five essential tips and tricks concerning this open-source platform.
Rigorous Auditing Is the Backbone of Automation
When it comes to running containers at scale, one of Kubernetes’ main promises is that it can help automate what would otherwise be unsustainable operational overhead. However, automation does not always automate the things that you wanted it to. If you’re constructing a platform from the ground up using an open-source distribution, you’ll want to make this a top priority.
The deployment of Kubernetes, along with its YAML files and Helm charts, necessitates a large amount of scripting and human effort.
As a starting point, look for repetitive operations like automatically checking container images for known security flaws. This is not an area where humans are cut out of the process. Effective automation, on the other hand, necessitates ongoing intervention and monitoring.
A thing to keep in mind with Kubernetes is that automation and audits have a fascinating relationship. That is, automation decreases human errors, while audits allow people to correct automation errors. And so, nobody wants to automate something that isn’t working.
When it comes to container security, it’s typically best to employ a multi-layered strategy that includes automation. Automation of security regulations governing the use of container images stored in your private registry should be a priority. Also, automated security testing as part of your build or continuous integration process is key.
Another method for automating security needs is Kubernetes operators. The best part is you can utilize Kubernetes operators as a way of managing Kubernetes itself. This makes it easier to automate and deliver safe deployments. Operators can, for example, control drift by using Kubernetes’ declarative nature to reset and reject configuration changes.
Don’t Ignore Pod Labeling in Kubernetes
Kubernetes allows you to label items like pods to apply an organizational scheme to your system. Labels are a type of key-value pair. Labels specify distinguishing features of objects that are useful and important to users. But they do not imply semantics to the core system, according to the Kubernetes manual.
This may appear to be an extra function that you don’t need to pay attention to at first, but you may come to regret that decision later, especially if you’re attempting to save money.
A piece of advice that will save you time and problems in the long run: choose and enforce a pod labeling strategy early on! You’ll quickly lose the capacity to extract expenses at meaningful aggregations if you don’t.
There are several approaches to creating your own labeling scheme; choose one that makes sense for your team or company.
Creating pod labeling norms by application, product, team, and customer and relying on namespaces are some options. This will ensure that you have the visibility you’ll need across teams, departments, products, consumers, and more if you do it early on. Create a pod labeling system and keep to it.
Fully Understand Your Resource Needs
Developers may be tempted to approach Kubernetes like any other environment, especially if the team is attempting to move quickly. If you’re only experimenting locally or managing a single application, this might be fine. But what if you want to operate a scalable production environment with numerous containerized applications? First and foremost, make sure you understand your resource requirements.
Many developers write their code and deploy it to a Kubernetes cluster. Yet, it’s critical to comprehend the apps’ resource requirements. This isn’t a problem in most developer settings. However, in production scenarios, when several apps are co-hosted, this will cause problems. The constraints or thresholds for the resources that the programs can consume, must be appropriately set.
Play Around With etcd at Your Peril
Avoid messing with etcd. It’s a key-value store for distributed systems. It serves as a backup repository for your Kubernetes cluster information.
That information would get into etcd if you created a cluster and configured it in a specific way. With the help of etcd, developers may backup and restore Kubernetes clusters. If they mess with any of the key-value pairs in the etcd store belonging to the cluster without knowing the repercussions, the cluster may become dysfunctional when it is restored.
Utilize the Custom Resources Out There
Kubernetes’ increasing ecosystem and community appear to have something for everyone these days, which is very positive.
Taking a look at all of the Kubernetes-related projects might make you feel like a fox in a henhouse! Monitoring, security scanning, service meshes, CI/CD tools, registries, and other features are available. It’s seductive to go right in, download some software, and start putting together a container platform.
Sure, it appears to be a bit complicated, but how difficult can it be?
Well, it gets complicated once you start roaming down that rabbit hole. This is one of the main reasons for Kubernetes’ rep for being difficult. Many people who take the “do-it-yourself” path discover that their company isn’t in the business of constructing bespoke container platforms.
But don’t worry, you don’t need to go it alone and build from the ground up. There are a plethora of commercial distributions produced by teams that specialize in container platform development.
As a result, your team can concentrate on designing applications and services, rather than the platform on which they run. Going this way also doesn’t imply you have to give up control or flexibility.
Using a Kubernetes distribution for enterprise is an excellent way to keep some control over your Kubernetes clusters. You may be operating the clusters, whereas someone tasked with building a container platform makes prescriptive judgments, conducts integration testing, and selects reasonable defaults. Basically, you get someone to take care of your Kubernetes management needs.
You can still customize as necessary, but you’ll get a well-documented result that takes a lot of the guesswork out of getting started with cloud-native app development.
Enterprise Development With Kubernetes
As you can see, there are many things to consider when embarking on your journey with Kubernetes.
One of the best ways to use it for enterprise development is to make use of professionals who can manage your Kubernetes well. By doing this, you can focus more on the business strategy end of things, without getting bogged down in all the details of Kubernetes and making some common mistakes along the way.
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