How is Kubernetes any better than... standard virtual servers? What are those unquestionable benefits of using Kubernetes?
What are its features, first of all?
And what are... containers? What specific needs does a container orchestration tool come to address? In this respect, why would you use Kubernetes over... Docker, for instance?
Let's dig up its unique features and most compelling benefits:
1. But First: What Are Containers More Precisely?
Before we (even) attempt at defining Kubernetes we need to... define containers, right?
They're (mini) virtual machines that deploy ready-to-run applications on other virtual machines (or host OS)...
The conveniences they provide?
- they're smaller, lighter (considering that apps usually need just the bare essential in terms of operating systems to run on)
- they streamline app deployment
- they're the guarantee that those virtual machines are used at their full capacity
- they can be run just like any VM template: with no configuration (or hardly any)
Note: you can find tons of preconfigured Docker images in Dockerhub. The bundles of convenience come from the fact that you're free to scan through and download the needed nginx as well as complex items without worrying about configuring them.
Other developers have invested their time and knowledge to set up all the due software configurations for you...
2. What Is Kubernetes in Simple Words?
Going back to containers, we're faced with a specific need: that of keeping a close track of them.
How do you monitor your virtual machines? How do you identify, let's say, those that keep running pointlessly? Without doing... anything in fact?
Also, by keeping track of your current containers, you'd be able to easily spin up a few more when you need more CPU, storage or memory...
This is where a cluster container orchestration tool comes in handy. A tool like... Kubernetes.
What it does, precisely, is to streamline the whole process of managing your containers, enabling you to leverage their full potential.
In short, by using Kubernetes you can easily deploy your containers to clusters (“ecosystems” of virtual machines). You get just one interface that you can use for deploying your containers to:
- virtual machines
- physical machines
- multiple types of clouds...
And where do you add that it's designed to manage a wide range of container types. Not just Docker containers.
Note: Google, its creator, has been using it for 10 years. Now, just try to imagine all their heavy systems running on this particular container management tool! They must have “stuck” to Kubernetes for a good reason...
Luckily for us, Kubernetes joined the “club” of the open source technologies 2 years ago. Furthermore, it's now a managed service on Azure and Google Cloud, as well.
3. Why Should You Care? 7 Key Benefits of Using Kubernetes
Why would you use Kubernetes? The long-term payoffs must to be more than “tempting”, considering that the learning curve is quite steep.
And they are...
Here, I've selected the 7 best possible answers to your “Why should I use Kubernetes?” question:
3.1. It works smoothly with Node apps
Which means that you get to run any type of application with it.
3.2. It reduces and simplifies...
2 of the main benefits of using Kubernetes is that:
- it cuts down cloud computing costs
- it simplifies operations and trims down your container architecture...
3.3. It helps you get the most of your hardware resources
And here I'm referring to network bandwidth, memory, storage I/O...
How does it help you maximize the way you use them?
- it helps you automate the whole process of updating your cluster (and respectively rolling back those updates, when necessary)
- it bundles together, on the very same hardware, all those apps that use minimal resources
- it places those applications "in need for" more resources on systems that can better cope with their “needs”
In short: Kubernetes will optimize the use of hardware resources.
3.4. It's easy to use
Compared to other container management engines and despite its high learning curve.
3.5. It speeds up the development process
This is another one of the undeniable benefits of using Kubernetes. How precisely does it boost the development cycle?
- it runs all the needed updates
- it performs automated deployments, operations across multiple clusters of hosts, scaling...
- it manages all your apps and services included in your infrastructure with minimum downtime
3.6. It ships with a self-healing mechanism
From re-scheduling to auto-restarting, to replicating containers, Kubernetes' self-healing system is one of its strongest points.
Basically, it lifts the time-consuming burden of keeping your app up to date and perfectly adapted to users' latest expectations.
It will restart services when trouble strikes: it will address all the “health issues” that might occur and get your app automatically “cured”.
3.7. You Can Run Your App in Both Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Environments
Just imagine: Kubernetes enables you to leverage features specific to multiple individual clouds.
Basically, you're free to run your Kubernetes application in any cloud or “combo” of public or private clouds.
Using its own set of primitives — federation — it's designed to synchronize multiple clusters, placed across different clouds and regions...
4. When Is Kuberentes the Best Choice?
First of all, Kubernetes makes a great choice when it's a highly available distributed system that you have in mind.
Secondly, choose it when the convenience of using the same CLI for orchestrating all your different systems is of particular importance to you.
Just think: is it crucial for you to have just one CLI for pushing your containers to various different clouds (the Amazon cloud here included), to your physical and in-house machines...?