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10 reasons why you should consider building a Kubernetes strategy

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It’s hard to have worked in IT in recent years without hearing about Kubernetes. A method of container orchestration, Kubernetes is an increasingly popular option for organizations to increase scalability, flexibility, and availability. 

At the same time, Kubernetes can be overwhelming. Is it right for your organization? Will it be worth the investment of creating and learning a new IT system?

Here are 10 reasons to consider building a Kubernetes strategy at your organization.

1. Kubernetes provides high availability for reliable business systems

High availability is the cornerstone of Kubernetes – the entire system is built to provide it. Kubernetes ensures that applications are always available and accessible, despite failures that may occur. It achieves this through features like automatic replacement of failed containers, multi-replica services for load balancing, and support for multi-zone and multi-cluster configurations.

This may not be essential if your company is a small local organization, like a gym or a cafe, where it’s not a serious problem if your website is down for a while. But if you have systems – like cash registers, warehouse inventory software, or more – that absolutely must be available during your business hours, then the high availability of Kubernetes is essential.

 

2. Kubernetes provides scalability for businesses with varying resource needs

Kubernetes allows applications to scale up or down automatically based on demand, without manual intervention. This elasticity makes it easier to handle peak traffic periods and can lead to more efficient use of resources.

The advantages of scalability are especially important if your business has significantly different workloads at different times of the day, month, or year. In the long run, you may be able to save money by only using the resources you need at any given time, instead of having to keep peak resource levels available at all times because scaling is too challenging.

 

3. Kubernetes makes rollouts easier for seamless updates

Traditionally, if you need to switch from one version of your application to another, you would turn off all the old pods and turn on the new ones. In many cases, this only takes a few seconds, which may not be an issue. But if your system connects to a large database, or if constant availability is required, then this can jeopardize your operations.

Kubernetes lets you roll out a new version in such a way that there’s no disruption to your service. By default, a Kubernetes system will turn off one old pod, then turn on one new one, then turn off a second old one, then turn on a second new one, and continue like that until all the old ones are off and the new version is up and running. This way, there’s no downtime at all.

There are several strategies on how to do this, like blue green deployment, canary deployment, A/B testing, shadow deployment, and more. All of them make sure that your rollout doesn’t disrupt your business operations or your users at all.

 

4. Kubernetes rollouts let you test new versions strategically

Some of the rollout strategies just mentioned allow you to strategically test new versions of your applications with your users. For example, with a canary deployment you can send just a small percentage of your traffic to the new version to make sure it’s working. This test group can be random, or you can specifically choose testers based on traffic patterns. A/B testing lets you do something similar by splitting your users in half.

This strategic testing of updates can give you valuable information on what’s working, what users like, and what may cause problems if you roll it out to everyone. With this information, your business can avoid potentially rollout problems before they happen.

 

5. Kubernetes makes rollbacks instant and simple

If you’ve been on an IT team that’s rolling out a new update, you know that it’s stressful when the rollout fails. But nothing is more stressful than when the rollout fails – and then the rollback to the previous version fails too.

With Kubernetes, rollbacks don’t fail. It’s a built-in feature that you can rollback instantly and easily if there’s any issue with your new version. Your IT team will rest more easily knowing that they can safely go back to a verified version at any time.

 

6. Kubernetes is secure

It can feel risky to introduce a new technology to your IT system, especially with cyberattacks so frequent and serious in today’s world. But by adding Kubernetes, your security is likely to improve.

Kubernetes provides a range of security features, including network policies, pod security policies, and secrets management, helping businesses protect their applications and data. Additionally, the Kubernetes community continuously works on security improvements, ensuring that the platform remains secure against evolving threats.

 

7. Kubernetes is open source and supported

Kubernetes is supported by a large and active open-source community, which drives continuous innovation and support. The ecosystem around Kubernetes includes a wide range of tools and extensions that enhance its capabilities, so it’s a versatile platform for a variety of use cases. You will always be able to find information and support.

 

8. Kubernetes saves developer time

By abstracting away the infrastructure layer, Kubernetes enables developers to focus on writing code rather than managing environments. This accelerates development cycles, as developers can easily test, deploy, and scale applications in a consistent environment.

The first time you add Kubernetes to an application, it may be challenging. It will take time for your IT team to make sure everything is deployed correctly. But the second time you add Kubernetes to an application, it will require very little work. Your developers can essentially copy the Kubernetes strategy from the first application and move on.

 

9. Kubernetes is flexible and works anywhere

Kubernetes is platform-agnostic, meaning it can run on any public cloud, private cloud, or on-premise environment. This portability allows businesses to avoid vendor lock-in, freely move workloads across environments, and choose the best infrastructure for their needs.

You can choose to run Kubernetes on bare metal or through virtualization, based on your needs. Virtualization will allow you to move containers around remotely, while bare metal will let your applications run extremely fast. Kubernetes is versatile enough to allow you to make the best strategic decisions for your goals.

 

10. Kubernetes maximizes resource use

By intelligently scheduling containers based on their resource requirements and available infrastructure, Kubernetes maximizes resource use and efficiency. This can significantly reduce infrastructure costs by ensuring resources are not wasted. And by only using the resources you need, Kubernetes can help your organization become more “green”, especially as technical resource use becomes an increasingly important sustainability concern.

If you’ve decided Kubernetes is right for you, the team at R2i is here to support you.

Our experts can help you assess your systems, ensure your environment is sized correctly, and transition you to Kubernetes seamlessly. Contact us to get started.
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