Kubernetes is everywhere! In the public and private cloud, and from the enterprise to startups, the majority of IT executives around the world have explored Kubernetes, and how it has evolved the way many organisations are developing and deploying their applications. But what is scary about it, and how can organisations better leverage one of the greatest tools in the field while overcoming the biggest challenges facing CIOs when adopting Kubernetes?
What is Kubernetes?
Kubernetes, or k8s for short, is an open-source platform pioneered by Google that started as a simple container orchestration tool. With the increased adoption rate, it has become one of the greatest advancements in IT since the public cloud.
Containers introduced a modern way to virtualise infrastructure that is more lightweight and focused on the cloud-native applications era. It allows users to divide up machines so that they can run multiple applications or OS instances on the same kernel and hardware while maintaining isolation among workloads. This ensures greater resource utilisation and shorter startup times by several orders of magnitude. Kubernetes, being the most widely used container orchestration tool, has largely simplified how organisations use containerised platforms for their applications.
What’s scary about Kubernetes?
Kubernetes has changed the way organisations are using containers. However, it still has its own set of challenges that many are still trying to overcome. The “Kubernetes and cloud native operations report 2021” by Canonical surfaces many findings from industry leading organisations and contributors, including experts from Google, Amazon and CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation).
Although many organisations are either using Kubernetes or planning to implement it, the majority (54.5%) have reported that lack of in-house skills and limited human resources are the top challenges facing their organisations. More reported challenges include:
- Difficulty training users
- Security and compliance issues
- Observability and monitoring
- Cost overruns
- Velocity of evolution of Kubernetes platform
- Inefficient day to day operations
A recent Gartner survey suggests similar findings, reporting that the biggest CIO challenges post-covid are filling skill gaps and managing technical debts. This has led to the development of many solutions to help organisations simplify their journeys to the cloud-native era.
“When you take something as complicated as a running Kubernetes cluster and offload its management to individual teams — that’s just another side job to them — you’re going to have poorly configured, inefficient and insecure clusters that are governed differently from each other and are on different versions. ” – said Tim Hockin, Principal Software Engineer at Google Cloud.
Building efficient day-2 operations is a very important part of planning to use a technology. You don’t just get the value of Kubernetes by deciding to use it, but also by planning how to operate and maintain it. But first, why are organisations building cloud-native applications?
The cloud-native era is shaping the future of application development as it allows realising ideas into production quickly and efficiently. Microservices, compared to monolithic apps, create loosely coupled and resilient systems that benefit from modern cloud technologies. You can basically run them on any environment, whether it’s a private cloud, public cloud or both. With the increased development speed, efficiency, flexibility and scalability, organisations are cutting down operational and infrastructure costs as well. But what does it cost you to go cloud-native?
Where do you want to direct your budget?
Every resource in your IT organisation represents an investment opportunity, whether it’s your budget or team of skilled engineers. Making the right decisions to leverage these resources will lead to a more productive and strategic business-centric IT department. Many organisations are using managed services for commodity operations to free up their resources for more strategic activities. In our whitepaper “Managed IT Services: Overcoming CIOs biggest challenges”, we discuss in detail how to build a business-centric IT using managed services.
With managed services, organisations are capable of leveraging technology experts at a fraction of the hiring cost. They are also cutting the time to market required to get their applications deployed in production. With more room for innovation, their IT specialists can focus more on digital transformation rather than keeping the lights on.
This is the exact same reason why managed Kubernetes services exist. You want to leverage Kubernetes without going through the hassle of managing its complexity. Investing time, budget and effort in operating your clusters day to day is not strategic for the business. Neither is spending weeks every year planning and rolling Kubernetes software upgrades. You are only looking to leverage the benefits of Kubernetes for your cloud-native apps.
How simple can Kubernetes get?
Read the whitepaper “Managed IT Services: Overcoming CIOs biggest challenges” to learn how to build a business-centric IT and optimise your operations.
Talk to our experts or check our Managed IT Services website to learn more