DevOps is perhaps the largest growing practice in the modern IT industry. With the IT industry going crazy with the speed of delivering their products, it is important that everything is connected to each other and everything will be functioning seamlessly. DevOps is a practice where the development and the operations team combine to form a common knowledge base. Some of the common DevOps tools currently used are Azure DevOps, Jenkins, Docker, Phantom, Ansible, etc.
To understand how to integrate Kubernetes into the DevOps cycle, we need to understand the basic concepts of Kubernetes first. Completing a Kubernetes Certification is a great way of self-learning and putting a step forward in the world of containerization.
What is Kubernetes?
We have containerized applications hosted and executed in the Kubernetes platform. Containers are nothing but applications packaged with dependencies to make them portable across all the environments. A containerized application can be executed in all the environments without any dependency or any issue. But, when we are hosting multiple applications in multiple containers, there is always an operational head to maintain, monitor, and troubleshoot all the containers simultaneously. The task is extremely impractical to perform. In such business cases, Kubernetes comes into the conversation.
Speaking on a higher level, Kubernetes is an orchestration tool, which helps us to enable multiple containers to function seamlessly. Kubernetes reduces the operational burden. It manages all the containers by itself. Kubernetes has multiple tools up in its sleeve – redundancy, volume storage, auto-scaling, etc. Similar to a cloud container, Kubernetes can be installed and run on a public cloud, private cloud, or on an on-premise solution.
Kubernetes and DevOps
Kubernetes has made life simpler for a lot of developers and for the Operations.
Using Kubernetes, the infrastructure considerations while deploying applications in DevOps minimizes a lot. Along with that, it also provides scalability and application resiliency. This reduces a lot of overhead for the DevOps team, as they can deploy the application without any concern. That is a huge bonus.
Kubernetes helps us to deploy any number of containers to the nodes without letting the DevOps team worry about the underlying architecture and the availability of the nodes. The entire workload is managed by the Kubernetes architecture. Along with that, it also manages the container tasks – horizontal auto-scaling, rolling updates, deployment into the canary environment, etc.
Kubernetes in CI-CD
In today’s world, CI-CD has become hugely prominent, because of the ability to develop and release robust, error-free applications almost in real-time. Kubernetes plays a major role in continuous integration and deployment practices in DevOps.
With Kubernetes, the release process is hugely impacted. Instead of deploying applications in different virtual machines and different IIS platforms, Kubernetes helps to deploy them in the corresponding nodes in each environment without taking the overload of changing anything with respect to the containers. Previously, the IIS platforms used to support Monolithic architecture, but the integration of Kubernetes has helped to simplify it into Microservices. Breaking a huge architecture into smaller pieces undoubtedly helps to manage them better. This increases scalability, availability and helps to utilize the resources in a better way.
Based on integrating Kubernetes in DevOps lifecycle is huge:
Firstly, it takes up the responsibility of making all the environments consistent. When the application is written and deployed, it carries a huge risk of being compatible in all the environments equally. Kubernetes manages it so that when the code is shifted between the two environments, it doesn’t break. Hence, the same code can be deployed across all the environments at the same time without breaking either of them.
Secondly, Kubernetes helps to make simple updates in the container. If we have to update a single container without disturbing the others, it can be achieved using Kubernetes. Once the update is completed, a simple re-start to the particular container will make the update live without disturbing the other containers and nodes. This streamlined orchestration is a huge advantage for Kubernetes.
Thirdly, Kubernetes provides support to multiple frameworks or deployment platforms at the same time. In a real-time development scenario, an application can shift from one framework to another, because of multiple reasons. One of the most common reasons why this happens is because the code becomes incompatible with the current platform or the framework. In the case of a monolithic architecture, this shift from one platform to another would have been a nightmare, as it would include reinstalling and reconfiguring every single thing. Using Kubernetes, this is not so complicated. We can move individual containers into any framework or architecture without any hassle.
Other than the advantages mentioned above, Kubernetes also provides elastic scalability based on container performance. The containers can scale up and down individually based on their performance. This also ensures the high availability of all the containers, and in turn, of all the applications.
However, it’s not all nice and rosy when it comes to Kubernetes. They have their fair share of disadvantages as well. The most critical disadvantage is the availability of highly skilled resources. The usage of Kubernetes has almost doubled in almost no time at all. But the availability of engineers hasn’t increased in the timeframe.
Also, Kubernetes looks very easy from the outside, but in reality, a lot of additional functionality is required- high availability, security, disaster recovery, backups, etc. All these components have to be configured spotlessly to make the application production-ready.
From our discussion, we can understand how to integrate Kubernetes into DevOps practices. We also took a look into the advantages of doing so. In a nutshell, Kubernetes is the next hot thing in the industry, which is making huge inroads into the DevOps field. It is inevitable, and most organizations will eventually move towards using it. The only drawback is the availability of skilled resources to do so. But with the meteoric rise in Kubernetes, even that day isn’t far away.