At a high level, it’s easy to see why Kubernetes is popular: it’s a flexible and scalable, open source tool orchestrator that streamlines the task of managing containers. But what are Kubernetes' benefits when implemented in your organization? Read on to find out more.
As the first Cloud Native Cloud Foundation (CNCF) project and donated by Google, Kubernetes is the fastest growing project in the history of open Source software, after Linux.
Why are so many businesses today turning to Kubernetes in particular to solve container orchestration needs? There are several reasons:
Portability and flexibility
Kubernetes works with virtually any type of container runtime. (A runtime is the program that actually runs containers. There are a few different options on the market today.) In addition, Kubernetes can work with virtually any type of underlying infrastructure -- whether it is a public cloud, a private cloud, or an on-premises server -- so long as the host operating system is some version of Linux or Windows (2016 or newer).
In these respects, Kubernetes is highly portable, because it can be used on a variety of different infrastructure and environment configurations. Most other orchestrators lack this portability; they are tied to particular runtimes or infrastructures.
Due in part to its portability, Kubernetes can host workloads running on a single cloud as well as workloads that are spread across multiple clouds. In addition, Kubernetes can easily scale its environment from one cloud to another.
These features mean that Kubernetes lends itself well to the multi-cloud strategies that many businesses are pursuing today. Other orchestrators may also work with multi-cloud infrastructures, but Kubernetes arguably goes above and beyond when it comes to multi-cloud flexibility. There are however other requirements involved when considering a multi-cloud strategy.
Increased developer productivity
Kubernetes with its declarative constructs and its ops friendly approach has fundamentally changed deployment methodologies and it allows teams to use GitOps. Teams can scale and deploy faster than they ever could in the past. Instead of one deployment a month, teams can now deploy multiple times a day.
Kubernetes is a fully open source, community-led project overseen by the CNCF. It has several major corporate sponsors, but no one company “owns” it or has unilateral control over how the platform develops. In 2019, Weaveworks was named one of the top eight Kubernetes contributors in the CNCF’s Kubernetes Project Journey report.
To many businesses, this open source strategy makes Kubernetes preferable to orchestrators that are closed-source (such as some of those that are built into public clouds) or that are open source, but closely associated with only one company (like Docker Swarm).
Proven and battle-tested
Four or five years ago, you would have been brave to throw Kubernetes into production. At the time, it was a very new orchestrator, with few proven production deployments.
But today, that is no longer the case. Thousands of IT teams are using Kubernetes on a daily basis. In addition this makes it a proven, reliable solution that can reduce cloud complexity.
Kubernetes adoption within enterprise IT environments is rising and no longer just a developer community project. In a recent survey, 59% of respondents cited they were running Kubernetes in production.
What is popular may not always be right, of course. But when it comes to container orchestrators, there are clear advantages to choosing the most popular solution. More developers and IT engineers know Kubernetes, which lowers the learning curve for businesses that adopt it. Plus, Kubernetes has a large ecosystem of complementary software projects and tools that make it easy to extend its functionality. There are several ways to implement and manage Kubernetes in your organization to start reaping the business benefits.
Will Kubernetes remain so massively important to businesses five or ten years from now? That’s anyone’s guess. The container ecosystem evolves rapidly. If you predicted in 2014 that Kubernetes would become as popular as it is today, many folks might not have believed you.
Still, for today, Kubernetes stands apart from the crowd of container orchestration solutions in several key ways. It’s the clear choice for managing modern container deployments in an efficient, flexible, and business-friendly way.
Excited about the opportunity of cloud native and Kubernetes benefits, but not sure how to navigate your organization to the path to success? Whether you’re using Kubernetes in the cloud or behind the firewall your team needs battle-tested architectures, workflows and skills to operate Kubernetes reliably. Our QuickStart program is a comprehensive package to design, build and operate Kubernetes in production using the GitOps methodology. Contact us for more information.