While still a relatively young technology, Kubernetes has seen rapid adoption by IT organizations around the world. In 2017, Gartner predicted that by 2022 half of enterprises' core services would run in a container orchestration environment. This has already proven to be the case. According to Google Trends, Kubernetes is at its highest popularity since it was open-sourced in 2014. This article will explain why Kubernetes is important, how it works, and the challenges that lie ahead, primarily around security and scalability.
The history and development of Kubernetes
Google launched the Kubernetes project in 2014. Google used containers in its production environment long before that time and had developed an internal container management system called Borg, which inspired Kubernetes. In June 2014, Google announced that it was making Kubernetes available as open source. In March 2015, Google partnered with Red Hat, CoreOS, and others to form the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). The CNCF is the umbrella organization for Kubernetes and other cloud-native technologies such as Prometheus and Envoy.
The following are some popular benefits of using Kubernetes:
Cross-cluster deployment with ease – One of the biggest advantages that Kubernetes offers is cross-cluster deployments. This means that developers can deploy their app on any cloud provider they want, which provides them with incredible flexibility while also making deployment simple.
Easily scalable applications – Another big advantage offered by Kubernetes is its scalability. Developers can easily scale up or down on-demand as traffic fluctuates, making it a versatile tool for application deployment.
High availability - This feature allows you to ensure that all your apps are highly available from different zones or regions.
Self-healing - When an application crashes or gets stuck on a node, Kubernetes helps replace them with new pods automatically, so there is no downtime for applications.
Load Balancing - With the load balancing feature, all the containers get equal CPU and memory resources as per their need. Hence, it balances the load across all the containers running within a cluster.
Kubernetes has been around since 2014, so why is 2022 labeled as 'the year of Kubernetes'?
Kubernetes provides all the necessary tools for developers to deploy and manage their applications at scale. This service is ideal for teams looking to scale in terms of the number of containers or the number of nodes in their deployment.
Even though Microsoft Azure, VMware, and Google Cloud have been offering the service for a while, AWS has announced that it will be adding full support for Kubernetes in 2022.
AWS (Amazon Web Services) has officially confirmed that they will be expanding support for Kubernetes in 2022. That means users will finally be able to run containers without worrying about extensive underlying platform adjustments.
Improvements or changes you expect to see with Kubernetes in 2022
As Kubernetes is becoming the standard for container orchestration, it's important to know what to expect as it continues to mature.
Here are some areas where we expect Kubernetes will improve:
Its networking model will improve.
Kubernetes' current networking model, the Container Network Interface (CNI), is not the most flexible or scalable option and leaves room for improvement. A new networking model called Service Mesh Interface (SMI) has been proposed and will be a welcome addition to Kubernetes.
The SMI provides a specification that enables different service mesh providers to integrate with Kubernetes and allows developers to choose their preferred mesh without making changes at the infrastructure level.
It will become easier to use and manage.
Kubernetes is complex by design, but that complexity becomes less with good tooling and documentation. As more and more developers start using Kubernetes, tools like Compose can help those already familiar with Docker Compose get started immediately with minimal effort. In addition, as more people start using Kubernetes, we'll see more detailed documentation that helps answer questions related to specific use cases.
The complexity of stateful applications will be easier to manage
Kubernetes is a great tool for running stateless applications which don't store data. But when you need to store data, it's more work — with Kubernetes, you have to set up your storage system.
Developers will be able to build apps faster with it
Another thing that makes it hard to use Kubernetes is that it takes a lot of time to learn and configure. As the platform sees more adoption and more developers become familiar with it, this learning curve should flatten out, making it easier for new users to get started.
Security will be more robust.
Kubernetes has received criticism as being insecure by default. The platform itself has various security features, but they are disabled by default and require configuration and careful management. This means that many Kubernetes clusters aren't very secure. Shortly we'll likely see the platform become more secure by default.
For now, Kubernetes remains a young project - still subject to rapid change and innovation. But by 2022, that's likely to change. We may look back on this post someday and compare it to the early days of discussion around the open-source platform.
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