Understanding Cloud-Native Kubernetes




Wissen Team


August 10, 2023

The rise of cloud-native applications has reshaped the landscape of modern software development. Amidst this paradigm shift, Kubernetes has emerged as a key enabler, revolutionizing the management of containerized applications.

Consider this; in a recent survey, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) found out that backend developers using Kubernetes are more involved in emerging technology areas like mini apps, computer vision, blockchain applications, biometrics, conversational platforms, edge computing, robotics, self-driving vehicles, and even quantum computing.

After all, Kubernetes (also referred to as K8s) offers seamless deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. It's useful for automating critical operational tasks and empowering organizations to harness the full potential of cloud-native computing.

What's the Need for Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is a robust and resilient container management platform that facilitates scalable development and deployment for cloud-native applications.

The Kubernetes design pattern shows how to manage a cluster of nodes that together run an application by creating pods that contain running containers. The pods are then clustered together to achieve load balancing, high availability, out-of-the-box monitoring, and more. It gives developers a way to work at scale without the need to think about storage or infrastructure aside from the application itself.

Here's why Kubernetes bodes well for cloud-native applications:

  • It provides a way to manage containers at scale. What this essentially means is that Kubernetes can automate the task of deploying, scaling, and managing containers. As per Kubernetes' documentation, it can accommodate up to 300,000 total containers.
  • Not to mention that Kubernetes' built-in logging and monitoring capabilities suffice well for tracking applications' health and troubleshooting any associated problems.

All in all, Kubernetes proves immensely useful for managing containerized applications. Having said that, it's prudent to drill down into the advantages it accrues to better comprehend its viability for cloud-native applications.

How Is Using Kubernetes Advantageous for Cloud-Native Apps?

According to a recent survey, 95% of all new applications will be cloud-native by 2025. As of 2023, the awareness of cloud-native technologies is high. Cuing back to the aforementioned CNCF report, only 9% of the developers in Q1 2021 said that they'd never heard about Kubernetes. Likewise, only 4% and 6% confirmed to have not known about containers and microservices, respectively.

What this reflects upon is the utter prominence and awareness in the development space about cloud-native technology's prowess, and rightly so. There are advantages galore — certainly with Kubernetes.

First off, It's Free to Use

Originally developed by Google, Kubernetes is both free to use and open-source. CNCF heads Kubernetes and ensures accessibility and continuous development thanks to a vibrant community

Second, It Runs on Nearly Any Cloud System

Operational agnosticism (as we'd usually adjudge it) is probably the first thing that comes to mind when we ponder why Kubernetes is so useful. It exhibits remarkable versatility by functioning on both cloud-based systems and on-premise hardware. This adaptability ushers in opportunities to facilitate consistent application deployment across various environments, be it on-premise, hybrid, or full cloud setups.

It Improves Scalability & Enables Better Resource Usage

There's no better example to elucidate the importance of auto scalability than eCommerce apps that have to sustain instantaneous, massive user volumes. Their backend (which is now being powered by microservices and trends like headless and composable commerce) has to scale incrementally (in response to the massive loads) so as to accommodate heavy user levels.

As it stands, Kubernetes leads the race in container orchestration tools supporting autoscaling. Users are equipped to horizontally scale the number of containers based on application requirements. Thanks to HorizontalPodAutoscaler (HPA), the entire process is streamlined and is adaptive to changing workloads.

Besides (and this is exceptionally important), Kubernetes facilitates efficient resource location. How? It allocates resources by selecting appropriate worker nodes to run containers. This way, not only do enterprises realize cost savings by eliminating wastage and preventing over-usage of server and cloud resources, they can also be assured that their applications run at faster speeds.

The Declarative Structure Advantage

Kubernetes operates on a declarative model. Essentially, it makes sure that the system maintains the desired state of the cluster regardless of the current state. Result? Enterprises can:

  • Minimizes human errors
  • Fosters operational consistency
  • Allow for precise tracking and collaboration among developers through version control systems like Git.

Finally, Self-Healing Containers

Kubernetes incorporates self-healing capabilities to address container failures. It expedites automated health checks, which rather accurately determine which containers require replacement. In fact, Kubernetes swiftly restarts failed containers — ensuring continuous application availability and reliability.

So, How Does Kubernetes Manage Cloud-Native Applications

By now, it's rather evident that Kubernetes is an ideal choice for cloud-native applications. The question, however, remains as to how exactly it works.

In essence, the Kubernetes cluster constitutes one master host that manages the cluster and each pod running an application container. Servers in the cluster coordinate with one another by exchanging messages using a message bus called kube-proxy. This helps ensure that all components are working together to deliver desired results.

Network Configuration in Kubernetes

Kubernetes, as a robust container orchestration platform, manages the network configuration for cloud-native applications seamlessly. Much can be attributed to its networking model, which includes features like Service Discovery and Load Balancing. These suffice well for enabling communication between containers within and across nodes.

Besides, Kubernetes employs the Container Network Interface (CNI) to integrate with various network plugins. This provides flexibility in choosing networking solutions tailored to specific cloud environments or requirements.

At the end of the day, be it overlay networks, software-defined networking (SDN), or other solutions, Kubernetes simplifies network management for cloud-native applications.

Customization of Deployments for Application Requirements

Kubernetes offers extensive customization capabilities for deploying cloud-native applications, ensuring optimal resource utilization and scalability. Through manifest files or declarative configurations, developers can specify desired states and requirements for the application. This includes defining resource limits, node placement constraints, and scaling policies.

Kubernetes' powerful features like ReplicaSets and Deployments enable rolling updates and automated scaling based on workload demands. By tailoring deployment strategies, developers can ensure application stability, efficient resource allocation, and seamless updates without downtime.

Implementing Cloud Deployment Strategies

Kubernetes excels in implementing diverse cloud deployment strategies for cloud-native applications. It allows easy portability across cloud providers, facilitating multi-cloud or hybrid cloud setups.

Kubernetes' support for Persistent Volumes (PV) and Persistent Volume Claims (PVC) enables stateful applications to maintain data integrity during migrations or scaling.

Moreover, Kubernetes integrates with cloud provider-specific services and APIs, making use of cloud-native features like auto-scaling groups, load balancers, and managed databases. By embracing cloud deployment strategies, Kubernetes optimizes application performance, cost-effectiveness, and availability in various cloud environments.

Kubernetes as the Foundation for Scalability

As elucidated above, Kubernetes is a container orchestration system that helps you deploy, manage, and scale containerized applications at scale. It is a popular choice for cloud-native applications. Based on CNCF's latest data, there are about 5.1 million Kubernetes users worldwide.

Companies like Spotify uses Kubernetes to deploy and scale their streaming service. Spotify's streaming service is one of the most popular in the world, and it needs to be able to scale to handle millions of users at any given time. Kubernetes helps Spotify to achieve this by automatically scaling the service up or down based on demand.

In line with the autoscaling capabilities, Site Reliability Engineer James Wen of Spotify says, "Before, teams would have to wait for an hour to create a new service and get an operational host to run it in production, but with Kubernetes, they can do that on the order of seconds and minutes."

Kubernetes provides several features that make it well-suited for scalability, including:

  • Deployment automation: Kubernetes can automate the deployment of containerized applications, which can save time and reduce errors.
  • Container scheduling: It can schedule containers to run on different nodes in a cluster, which helps to balance the load and improve performance.
  • Resource management: It can manage the resources that are allocated to containers, which helps to ensure that applications are not using more resources than they need.
  • Health monitoring: Kubernetes can monitor the health of containers and automatically restart them if they fail, which helps to ensure that applications are always available.

At Wissen, we leverage our expertise to support organizations in their cloud-native development initiatives. With our support, companies can harness the full potential of cloud-native Kubernetes to revolutionize their customer experience and achieve unparalleled success in the digital landscape. Contact us today to learn more about us here.