The software that orchestrates containers Kubernetes (“k8s”) has been ranked among the most popular open-source projects of all time, and its use has steadily been growing over the last few years. As a manager in a company that has been creating and scaling software using Kubernetes in 2015 and beyond, I’ve seen our engineers traverse every phase in the Kubernetes adoption process with an unending enthusiasm for the possibilities this technology has to sleepless nights trying to resolve issues regarding our deployments and clusters. Suppose you’re beginning this journey or are considering taking the plunge and implementing Kubernetes to manage the cloud platform of your choice. In that case, this blog can help you consider the benefits and drawbacks of Kubernetes principal advantages and drawbacks. You can learn more from the Kubernetes Course.
Advantages of Kubernetes
- Utilizing Kubernetes And Its Massive Ecosystem Can Boost Your Productivity
If Kubernetes is implemented correctly in the engineering processes, it could result in significant productivity gains. The vast Kubernetes ecosystem could best be illustrated using The CNCF landscape, which allows you to utilize Kubernetes with greater ease and efficiency and reduce the negative impact of its complexity. With the help of tools designed specifically for cloud-native applications and solutions, you will be able to access solutions that are difficult to ever create by yourself.
Tools like Drone can be used to create pipelines that can be used for CI/CD on Kubernetes and other tools such as Prometheus help you monitor your environment more easily than ever before. The variety of tools available in the Kubernetes ecosystem can cut the release cycle dramatically, enhance the engineering process, and ultimately enhance the quality of software from the beginning to the end of production. Of course, the vast array of technology also makes it easier to customize your software to meet your specific needs. In addition, many of the software in the k8s community is open-source and therefore is free to use.
- Kubernetes And A Cloud-Native Technology Stack Draw Talented People
Many software engineers wish to work in organizations that employ cutting-edge and fascinating technology. Kubernetes is definitely one of them, being listed as the 3rd most desired platform within the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2019. With a streamlined workflow and other cloud-based applications, Your technology stack and procedures will be attractive to prospective applicants. Additionally, for your current staff, it is stimulating to be working with something different and improves the overall satisfaction of your teams, and could even lower employees’ turnover in the long term. The benefit is one of the benefits Kubernetes is often ignored and yet, in the face of the scarcity of tech professionals, this can be a significant benefit for your company.
- Kubernetes Is A Future-Proof Solution For The Future
If you decide to go with Kubernetes then you are pretty certain that this technology will be useful in the long run, due to several reasons:
- Kubernetes support every major cloud vendor with solutions that are out of the box for it.
- Alternative solutions for container orchestration are way behind K8s in terms of acceptance and support from cloud providers as well as their respective ecosystems. Companies that were previously focused on competing technologies are now supporting Kubernetes: Docker is offering Docker Kubernetes Service instead of Docker Swarm solutions and Mesosphere changed its name to D2IQ to make it more accessible to Kubernetes and not exclusively concentrated specifically on Apache Mesos.
- And of course, there is the Kubernetes ecosystem is expanding incredibly rapidly and new applications that meet different requirements in addition to Kubernetes are being added to the Kubernetes platform are coming out every single day.
Kubernetes can also be considered future-proof from a personal viewpoint: If you anticipate the number of users you have to add or even reach a massive number of users and you are confident that Kubernetes will be able to handle it since it was created to handle massively distributed systems. Additionally, it was created by Google engineers and supported by their knowledge of building high-performance platforms such as Borg. This is the same when your application grows and gets more complicated. In this case, microservice architectures usually become necessary and for such, Kubernetes is clearly the most popular technology available in the present. Suppose you’re looking to change your cloud provider for any motive, e.g. changing away from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to Microsoft Azure. In that case, you can quickly find a similar Kubernetes service from another service provider, and Kubernetes can make switching relatively easy while avoiding vendor lock-in.
- Kubernetes Assists In Making Your Application More Efficiently And More Secure
If you have to ensure that the software you use is functioning and running efficiently, Kubernetes can assist you in this regard. It allows, for instance, you to get continuous updates that can alter the software without interruption. Additionally, it is possible to configure Kubernetes to support high availability applications. And If you’re using cloud-based services offered by large companies and you are sure of achieving a high uptime. (However, it can also be possible to use other systems and technologies but usually requires much more work.)
- Kubernetes is Reasonable In Comparison to Its Competitors
Another benefit of K8s is that it could occasionally be less expensive than other options (depending on the type of application). Because the platform itself has several general computing requirements, it is generally higher priced for smaller applications. But the more significant your computing resource requirements, the less crucial the basic infrastructure requirements in the overall cost calculation. In such instances, other elements become crucial. For instance, Kubernetes is able to automatically scale according to the requirements of your application, as well as traffic that is handled by your application. This means that Kubernetes can grow your application and the resources they require during high traffic times, but can also scale down your infrastructure at less busy periods of the year, during the week, or even throughout the day. It means you pay less when nothing is happening. In the end, this results in excessive utilization and also prevents you from spending money on services you don’t require.
The relatively recent concept “nodeless Kubernetes” with solutions like Virtual Kubelet or elotl provides the possibility of saving the cost of infrastructure.
In the end, Kubernetes can thus be less expensive in certain situations but more costly in other cases and it is always a possibility to cut costs operating it. To do this, you have to assess it in relation to your specific needs and evaluate the various services that meet your needs (however, when it comes to selecting your cloud service provider, there are many factors beyond cost that can be considered).
Disadvantages of Kubernetes
- Kubernetes Is A Good Choice For Basic Applications
Kubernetes is a complex, but capable technology that allows the running of software in a cloud environment on a huge scale, and quite effectively. If you do not plan to create something complex for a wide or dispersed public (so that you’re not creating an online store with thousands of customers, for example) or have large computing requirements (e.g. machine learning programs) There isn’t any benefit to you from the power of technology offered by K8s. For instance, if you only would like to build a website with the hours of operation and address of your company. You shouldn’t use Kubernetes since this isn’t the purpose it was designed for. But, it is not possible to declare that all machine learning software must run on Kubernetes and that no website should. It’s more likely to be advantageous in the initial instance than in the subsequent one.
- Kubernetes Is Very Complicated And Could Lower Productivity
Kubernetes is famously known for its complex nature. Particularly for those who aren’t familiar with infrastructure technology and their associated technologies, it can be difficult to master how to use the process of developing with Kubernetes. Suppose you’re looking to apply the DevOps method. In that case, developers must have access to and then deploy Kubernetes as quickly as possible in the development phase to test their code fast and promptly to avoid costly mistakes later in production. At the same time, there is a growing trend to make Kubernetes simpler to access and more accessible ( DevSpace is one example of this and is striving to become the easiest and fastest Kubernetes application for developers); However, it is recommended to have at minimum one Kubernetes expert who has extensive knowledge of k8s on each engineering team. However, anyone with this knowledge could be employed, which is expensive as the median salary of a Kubernetes expert in the US for those with K8s knowledge is higher than $140,000 or get trained to become a certified trainer can take several months.
In any event, your development team is likely to have to alter specific processes in order to make them fully cloud-native. In the near time, this could lead to lower productivity as well as longer release times. (However, k8s could also increase your efficiency in the long run when done correctly.)
- Transitioning To Kubernetes Isn’t Without Its Challenges
Because most businesses cannot begin in a greenfield, the software you have in place needs to be modified to run seamlessly on Kubernetes or develop a new application that can work with Kubernetes. It’s difficult to determine the amount of work required since it depends on the application (e.g., is it containerized already or a different programming language employed). In addition, some processes require to be changed to work in the new environment, particularly the deployment process. Even with experienced personnel in place, the introduction of Kubernetes could be difficult and take an enormous amount of effort and effort.
- Kubernetes Is More Expensive Than Other Alternatives
I’ve already explained that Kubernetes is less expensive than other technology. However, it could also cost more. All the disadvantages mentioned above require time for your engineers, which isn’t focused on creating the new “tangible” economic value.
If your developers are spending their time converting an application that is already running to run on Kubernetes, the objective is to improve the status quo using new technology.
If they achieve this goal, then the application users will not immediately reap the benefits from this move (however, it could provide some benefits like enhanced stability). As engineers’ time can be a valuable resource, it is something to consider when choosing to use Kubernetes.
In addition to this indirect cost, there are times when the cost of infrastructure operating Kubernetes is higher than that of other infrastructures, specifically for small applications, since Kubernetes does have some computing requirements. Similarly, let’s consider the more straightforward example of a simple site. Going with a more manageable infrastructure could be more affordable, for instance, one VM or hosting platforms like Heroku and Netlify.
There’s no simple way to determine if implementing Kubernetes is the best choice to make or is not. It’s based on your requirements and priorities, and many technical factors were not listed in this article. Suppose you’re starting the creation of a new application. In that case, you are a part of an enterprise that plans to expand and build more than an instant MVP or to upgrade an older application, Kubernetes may be the best option, giving you the capacity, flexibility, and power. But, it requires an investment since new skills must be learned and new workflows need to be established within your development team.
If you do it right, spending the time studying and implementing Kubernetes can pay off shortly because of higher quality service, greater productivity, and a more enthusiastic workforce.
In any event, you must take a wise decision, and there are a lot of advantages to choosing Kubernetes or to leaving it.