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In a nutshell, organizations use containers to package applications and their dependencies, enabling them to run quickly and in a reliable manner. They’re also beneficial for helping developers move those applications from one infrastructure environment to another.
Containers also have a place with agile app deployments, as it enables DevOps teams to release new code quickly and easily. Technology is a boon for enterprise transformation strategies, and they are a big deal for organizations.
Kubernetes is perhaps the best-known example of container orchestration. According to a 2021 Kubernetes adoption survey, 68% of organizations surveyed have embraced Kubernetes for their containerization needs.
Are you part of the 32% that is yet to decide whether Kubernetes is suitable for your organization? If so, the following in-depth guide will discuss what the platform is all about, along with its advantages and how you can get your business on track with Kubernetes.
It’s no secret that organizations constantly look at ways to increase the speed, flexibility, and efficiency of their workflows. DevOps and containerization are the top ways of achieving those goals.
Legacy IT systems and development tools don’t offer much scope for streamlining workflows and usually result in frustration by developers, IT staff, and business leaders. With that in mind, more organizations get attracted to the benefits of containerization ecosystems.
DevOps and containerization enable enterprises to accelerate software releases and updates, and they help those organizations overcome agility and digital transformation challenges.
In a recent survey, analysis firm Gartner predicts that 70% of organizations will run a minimum of three containerized applications by 2023.
Today, several containerization ecosystems exist, and one of the most popular is Kubernetes. But, what is it, and why has it become so popular compared with alternatives like Docker and OpenShift?
Kubernetes is an open-source containerization stack initially created by Google and now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. The stack enables containers to run in clusters on local servers or in the cloud as PaaS or IaaS implementations.
It offers DevOps teams a flexible and scalable way to manage and automate storage, network, and computer infrastructures. Kubernetes is a versatile tool that helps enterprises of all sizes achieve their software production and deployment goals.
When it comes to container orchestration, Kubernetes isn’t the only solution available to enterprises.
However, it has become the go-to solution for many organizations; a 2020 Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) survey states that Kubernetes use in production environments is now at 83%.
That same survey also illustrates how Kubernetes is the ideal solution for public cloud deployments. However, the use of private and on-premise cloud solutions is also rising compared with a survey conducted in the previous year.
Kubernetes is undoubtedly rising in popularity among enterprise DevOps teams embracing containerization solutions. It turns out there are many reasons for that fact, some of which get described below:
84% of respondents to the 2021 Kubernetes adoption survey stated that they use the containerization stack to develop and test AI (artificial intelligence) models. If you’re unfamiliar with the technology, AI places enormous resource demands.
That fact alone is enough to prove that Kubernetes is a robust platform that can cope with the most demanding of workloads without breaking a sweat. It’s worth remembering that Google initially created Kubernetes; it’s heavily based on Google’s BORG cluster manager.
Of course, AI isn’t the only reason enterprise organizations use Kubernetes. The platform is also useful for a variety of DevOps software projects, thanks to its portability, scalability, and fast iteration cycle.
There’s no denying that businesses of all sizes have had to adapt to a fast-changing world. Retail companies, for instance, had to roll out new apps that offered customers services like click and collect and curbside pickups.
Kubernetes has undeniably proven that it offers DevOps teams the speed of deployment they need to make changes and evolve around business changes as a result of the pandemic.
According to the 2021 Kubernetes adoption survey, 73% of those surveyed stated the reason they use Kubernetes is due to the ability to deploy new apps and software quickly.
When it comes to seeking out a cloud platform provider, most organizations will consider Amazon, Microsoft, or Google (or a combination of them). Each of those three brands is the leading names in the cloud computing industry, and they’re in a race to dominate it.
If you’re going to use Kubernetes in the cloud, will it work with any of Amazon, Microsoft, or Google’s offerings? In short, the answer is yes. All three providers offer full support for Kubernetes.
Amazon provides support for Kubernetes via its EKS Anywhere deployment option. Microsoft lets DevOps teams deploy Kubernetes distributions inside or outside of its Azure ecosphere. Finally, Google boasts a Kubernetes-based API via its Anthos platform.
Responsible employers will undoubtedly want to help their staff develop their skills, and one such way is by providing training pathways. Any IT professional knows that having more skills, knowledge, and experience can lead to higher incomes.
Kubernetes may offer a multitude of benefits for enterprises and DevOps projects, but it can also help boost the value of employees. 64% of employees that are “very knowledgeable” about Kubernetes report an annual income between $100,000 and $250,000.
The 2021 Kubernetes adoption survey also suggests that people who were only “somewhat knowledgeable” unsurprisingly earn less than their “very knowledgeable” colleagues.
Containerization will only continue to rise in popularity, especially as enterprises look for ways to streamline their software development processes and deployment practices.
Is your organization part of the 32% who are “on the fence” about taking advantage of containerization? If so, it makes sense to embrace Kubernetes, given its popularity and scope for flexibility and scalability.
The following steps will help your DevOps team transition to containerization by working with a widely-known stack that has full industry support:
You may already find that some of your software developers are familiar with containerization and the Kubernetes stack. Of course, it’s also likely that others may be unfamiliar with the concept and the platform.
In any case, it’s a good idea to have your DevOps team learn and experiment with Kubernetes. The official website has comprehensive documentation on getting started with the stack, and your developers can test drive it with an old or existing project.
There are also many online resources to help developers who are new or familiar with Kubernetes, such as tips and tricks and best practices when working with the platform.
You’ve probably already got a DevOps team, or in the least, a group of IT experts with more than a passing interest in next-generation software development technologies. It makes sense to onboard them as part of your new DevOps containerization project.
Sometimes, enterprises might find themselves with people that perhaps aren’t quite suitable for such projects. In those cases, it’s a good idea to hire fresh talent in your organization for the purpose.
Some of your team may already have knowledge of Kubernetes and containerization. But, they might not feel like they can share such a “secret” with you if they lack confidence. That’s why you must foster a culture of participation and learning.
Encourage your DevOps team to get involved with organizations like the CNCF and learn about new developments in Kubernetes and the containerization sector. Doing so will motivate them to learn how they can further streamline their workflows.
It can be easy to get excited about working with Kubernetes and wanting to dive right into it straight away. However, before you can do that, it would be prudent to review your current IT estate and analyze your existing infrastructure.
That’s because you need to know if your existing software and development and production environments are compatible with what Kubernetes has to offer. You may find the process is relatively straightforward for your organization.
Of course, you may also find there is a need to code new applications from scratch instead of spending time on legacy workarounds. Either way, determine what you need to do before you start using Kubernetes.
Last but not least, it’s crucial to understand where your data gets stored. For example, let’s assume you want to work on a cloud-based Kubernetes solution. Does your data already exist in the cloud, or does it live at your premises?
When you know the answer to that question, you can take actionable steps to migrate your data to the cloud, if required.
Kubernetes is an exciting containerization platform that offers enterprises plenty of scope for expansion, scalability, and customization. Containers are undeniably the future of DevOps software development and production, and it’s a technology you should embrace today.
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