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What is Kubernetes?

Perhaps you've heard of kubernetes before but you don't know what it is or how it can help you. Learn all about this open-source software here.

4 min read
What is Kubernetes?

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Cloud-based computing has evolved exponentially in recent years. They've evolved so far beyond simply being a remote hard drive. They can be entire systems unto themselves, these days.

One of the most exciting advancements is containers. 86% of business leaders use containers to run applications currently. Containers enable businesses to package their applications and all the application's system dependencies together to be deployed as a Kubernetes cluster on any server platform seamlessly. This has been a huge game-changer, but many companies have found implementing containers at scale to be challenging. Deploying your applications in a Kubernetes cluster does usually require some minor modifications to code and processes, but the end result is worth it.

65% of business owners use some third-party solution to manage their container applications to deal with these challenges. Kubernetes is one of the most popular container management platforms. It's also one of the most powerful.

What Is Kubernetes?

Container adoption is on the rise. IT teams adopting container applications more than doubled in 2019 from the year before. Businesses are investing more in container technologies, with 38% spending more than $100,000 each year.

Of course, containerized applications are just one potential usage for containers. That's where container management platforms like Kubernetes come in.

Kubernetes is open-source software that enables you to implement and manage your containers at scale.

When you're using containers for an entire enterprise, it's not uncommon to end up with hundreds, if not thousands, of containers. Each of these containers needs to be maintained, secured and coordinated. That's what Kubernetes is for.

Kubernetes was initially developed by Google and was later donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) to be maintained as an open-source project.

That's one of the first and best reasons that Kubernetes is so popular. It's truly, completely open-source. For one, this means that absolutely anybody can use it.

It also means that it has a vibrant, robust community of developers working with it. Kubernetes has been one of the fastest-growing open-source projects in history. This makes it far more accessible to less technically-minded people.

You don't need a degree in computer science to use Kubernetes.

Kubernetes is also popular among DevOps teams, as it can do so much more than simply host applications. It can also manage a wide array of automated processes, making it a blessing for time- and resource-strapped developers. Spin up a cluster to run Jenkins as part of a CI/CD pipeline for example.

Kubernetes' cluster autoscaler determines how many containers are needed in the cluster and the role that each one will play. The cluster is then scaled based on need.

This speaks to the sophisticated ways that containers are being used in today's increasingly cloud-based world. Containers are an integral component of many cloud-native architectures, as everything can be run entirely from a Kubernetes cluster.

Considering Kubernetes' popularity, several managed platforms have appeared on the market to help run the popular container ecosystem. Let's take a look at one of them, Amazon EKS, to get an even clearer picture of the ways that enterprises are using AWS Kubernetes.

What Is AWS EKS?

If you'll notice, Kubernetes is not an Amazon product. It was created by Google, after all. Amazon Web Services has built its own Kubernetes management environment.

Not every enterprise wants to maintain an active AWS Kubernetes control layer, however. This is where Amazon EKS comes in. Amazon EKS is a managed Container-as-a-Service (CaaS) that greatly simplifies running Kubernetes on AWS.

EKS stands for 'Elastic Kubernetes Service' and serves as a control panel for running Kubernetes on AWS. This makes it much easier to manage your cluster and handle many of the more arduous technical tasks.

Amazon EKS creates the Kubernetes master node, for instance. It also configures service discovery and manages networking. Amazon EKS also integrates with several third-party apps and services.

Amazon EKS also helps to manage the Kubernetes control plane. The control plane is what integrates your cluster with the cloud provider. A malfunctioning worker node is detected and deleted, then replaced with a new node. This helps ensure that your application services remain functional even if individual containers go down.

There are a number of useful services for AWS Kubernetes available for EKS as well. There's AWS Identity and Access Management, which manages authentication and authorization. There's also the Elastic Load Balancer, which helps to distribute loads evenly across your pods.

It also helps to ensure that you're making the most of your resources. It uses a service called AWS Cloud Map, which is a resource discovery service. It names different application resources and makes sure their locations are updated and current. This makes sure that your network is always running at peak capacity.

It acts as a service layer for third party apps and microservices, as well, by seamlessly integrating with the AWS App Mesh.

At Reinvent 2020, AWS announced the new "EKS Anywhere" capability which you an use to deploy your Kubernetes cluster(s) in an Amazon EKS worker node in on-premises servers or even on other cloud providers' plaforms! This can also be achieved through AWS Outposts.

These are some of the many reasons that enterprises choose to use Amazon EKS. It helps to ensure your infrastructure's security and stability without needing to get too deep into the nitty-gritty of configuring a large number of separate AWS services. With Amazon EKS you can manage all of your applications in Amazon EC2 instance worker nodes in your Kubernetes cluster, from one central control panel. The control plane integrates with the cloud provider to enable interaction with other services.

The world is only going to become increasingly virtual. Remote work will only become more prevalent, for instance. The cost and efficiency benefits of migrating to the cloud and eliminating the costs and hassles of on-premises data centres have never been more clear. Cloud-native applications are on the rise, as well.

This means you need to come to grips with cloud-based services. That's what makes AWS Kubernetes Service so beneficial, so you don't need to spend precious time, energy, and resources creating custom configurations to deploy your applications on different platforms. All the infrastructure you need to support your applications can be contained within the Kubernetes cluster making it highly portable. No more cross-platform issues. Run the same containers anywhere for consistent results. This also means that your business software can more easily integrate with other business software you're already using.

With platforms like Amazon EKS, it becomes even easier still.

Are You Considering Migrating To AWS?

Let us help you! Whether you're looking to host cloud-native services and applications in AWS Kubernetes or make sure that your data storage and architecture meet compliance requirements, we have everything you need to make your transition to the cloud smooth and painless. Contact us today with any questions or to schedule a consultation.

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