Best of 2021 – Why Kubernetes is the king of containerized tools

As we close 2021, at Container Journal we wanted to highlight the most popular articles of the year. This is the eighth in our Best of 2021 series.

Tech experts have been praising Kubernetes and its business benefits for some time. Kubernetes technology is open by nature and gives organizations the ability to containerize their applications, a critical capability for the growing number of businesses operating on cloud infrastructure.

But it’s not just tech experts who are starting to see the value of Kubernetes, C suite executives are starting to take note as well.
Gartner predicts that 70% of global organizations will run more than two containerized applications by 2023. With containerized applications, organizations enjoy the benefits of easier configuration, faster deployment, and more efficient and reliable software . It is Kubernetes’ unique ability to scale and manage these containerized applications, however, that makes it a first choice over virtual machines and other provisioning software to increase efficiency and deliver business value.

Behind the Kubernetes Curtain

Kubernetes has a reputation for harnessing its potential. A recent study from VMware shows that 95% of participants took advantage of Kubernetes, including 56% who saw better use of resources, which means lower costs for private or public cloud compute resources. Another 33% of respondents said Kubernetes offered lower public cloud costs because they are more agile than other provisioning software alternatives.

Virtual machines, for example, consume a lot of system resources, with copies of the software they provision and a guest operating system. And virtual machines are relatively static, so it’s difficult to move them between on-premises servers, private clouds, or the public cloud.

But a containerized software application runs on an external operating system, eliminating the amount of compute resources required to run multiple guest operating systems. A container also has central tools to manage how applications use server resources, which, along with the fact that there are no longer multiple operating systems to manage, reduces administrative overhead.

Rapid development, even faster start-ups

Containerized applications with Kubernetes start faster than those in a virtual machine (in milliseconds rather than minutes), which is important in terms of user engagement and time savings.

Kubernetes also stands out in terms of software development cycles, with 53% of respondents reporting faster cycles with Kubernetes. If Kubernetes is integrated into an enterprise software platform, vendors can bring new software features and capabilities to market and get them to customers, faster. In turn, companies themselves can quickly adapt to changes in the market and regulatory environment, and even turn that agility into a competitive advantage.

A company is as agile as its software

Its ability to scale quickly gives Kubernetes a competitive advantage as enterprise IT experts seek agile software that can meet unpredictable market demands.

Organizations constantly have to change or reset processes and requirements – no more ‘set it and forget it’! Today, changing customer demands, dynamic go-to-market strategies and the introduction of disruptive technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality / virtual (ARVR) all mean that the enterprise stack needs to be updated more and more regularly.

Put the power back in the hands of companies

But the migration to the cloud continues. In 2019, IFS conducted a survey of 600 business decision makers to assess cloud migration progress and strategies. Compared to a similar IFS study in 2012, the percentage of companies now relying on various forms of cloud-based enterprise software provisioning has almost doubled, while the percentage of companies with on-premises solutions has been increased. almost halved.

However, on-premises deployments still have their place. Businesses need to be able to move back and forth between public cloud, private or on-premises cloud, or even on-premises or private cloud to seamlessly use compute resources in a public cloud to handle peak demand. or hockey stick. Apps built with Kubernetes make this easier.

Kubernetes can help orchestrate containerization in a multitude of environments, including software hosting in a vendor’s cloud, self-hosted by an enterprise, or in a hybrid environment, allowing businesses to take the burden off their shoulders. ‘part of the complexity of the deployment. This means that functions that could be better closed, due to regulatory requirements, can be performed on-site or at the location most convenient for the customer. Courtesy of Kubernetes, different parts of the app can be run from separate servers – on-premises, private cloud, public cloud – all depending on what makes sense to the end user.

Safety first

Every CIO will understand that with each new deployment, security issues immediately surface. Which external device or system is allowed to access the software? Which users are authorized to view and interact with which data? All of these rules and policies should be applied as the application changes. But with Kubernetes acting as a tool for orchestrating containers in the software stack, this degree of management is easier, as security is addressed early in the software development process.

More advanced enterprise software applications will increasingly own the process of orchestrating Kubernetes containers in a way that automatically respects the security and permissions reflected in the application as a whole. Enterprise applications will provide software services in the form of Docker containers, orchestrated by Kubernetes. This will provide the scaling benefits of having regional Kubernetes clusters serving multiple customers, and the software vendor will ensure that the application maintains complete segregation and privacy of customer solutions through the use of customer solutions. Customer-specific Kubernetes namespaces, network separation, encryption, and DB instances. Enterprise software vendors who don’t intend to sell their own proprietary technology can use packaged Kubernetes environments, such as Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service, for example, in their technology stack.

The potential of Kubernetes should not be ignored

Business is becoming more and more unpredictable, and with it, the need for agile business software only increases. Kubernetes-enabled software stacks unleash true flexibility and scalability for organizations while putting security at the heart of all deployments. Decision-makers who wish to secure their business against an uncertain future should take note of its potential.

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