24.02.2020 I by Dr. Stefan Riedl
Kubernetes is often used as a way to host a microservices and container-based infrastructure. As-a-Service offerings are also conquering this market. gridscales CEO Henrik Hasenkamp explains his view of current developments.
As an open source technology released in 2015, Kubernetes - also known as "k8s" - owes its success primarily to the developer community. Google set the shell and handed over the tool to the "Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) at the time. "Unlike commercial alternatives, Kubernetes is available as an add-on for traditional Linux and Windows systems," says Henrik Hasenkamp, founder and CEO of gridscale. Although he believes that there are good alternatives for small and medium-sized container architectures, Kubernetes as an orchestration tool has become indispensable. Orchestration using Kubernetes is supported by the major cloud platforms, i.e. Microsoft's Azure, the IBM cloud offering, Red Hat's OpenShift, Amazon's AWS and Oracle's OCI.
Containers, Nodes and Pods
"Kubernetes itself is not a container technology in the narrower sense, but enables orchestration, i.e. the management of the containers in order to be able to scale the application," the gridscale founder explains. Kubernetes orchestrates so-called "pods" as the smallest usable unit, i.e. processes that run on so-called "nodes". Nodes in turn are physical or virtual machines in a cluster. Pods contain one or more containers that share a container runtime and the allocated resources.
"In practice, we see every day that companies are throwing their monolithic software architectures overboard and replacing them with modern micro-service architectures." This is where Kubernetes comes into play: "Imagine they have a small collection of just 50 different microservices, each of which performs a small task of the big picture. Kubernetes keeps track of which microservices are needed, which are started how often, where there may be performance bottlenecks, and also whether the developers may have just released a new version that needs to be put into operation".
Managed Kubernetes from the Cloud
IT players who rely on the Kubernetes platform to gain experience and test initial projects report that the volume of containers is increasing rapidly and the automation requirements are becoming more complex. This is where "Managed Kubernetes from the Cloud" or "Container-as-a-Service" come into play. For Hasenkamp, the essence of microservice architectures is that the number of containers grows rapidly: "Every new function, every change is implemented as a new container. In order to keep an overview and to orchestrate the containers in an executable way, it is recommended to use tools like Kubernetes". The gridscale founder believes that setting up a Kubernetes environment for container management is neither trivial nor absolutely necessary.
That's because managed cubernet solutions such as the one from his company provide a quickly implemented environment that is easy to configure and is regularly maintained, for example with the latest security updates. The as-a-service approach saves - for example in the case of a software company - on personnel resources that - in this example - can flow into the development of the software.
There are several ways to achieve this goal: "For example, many managed hosting or cloud providers offer not only the infrastructure but also the necessary tools and services on a platform that can be put together as required. The providers take care of the continuous development and updates, ongoing operations, capacity management, platform monitoring and security updates. Gridscale as a "Native Cloud Provider" is on the starting blocks with an automated complete offer. This is based on pre-configuration, so that the most frequently selected modules such as load balancer, persistent storage and scheduler are already preset.
The original article in german can be found here.