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How the rise of Kubernetes will drive DevOps

Jobin Kuruvilla
Jobin Kuruvilla
1 December 21 DevOps
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What’s the link between DevOps and Kubernetes? While one is a methodology, the other is a platform. But on the surface, it may not be completely clear how these two tie together. In this blog, we’ll explore the relationship between DevOps and Kubernetes and all the ways they help organisations deliver software faster.

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The relationship between DevOps and Kubernetes

As organisations demand faster innovation and quicker time to market, they’re increasingly turning to new approaches to collaboration such as DevOps to accelerate application transformation and modernisation.

DevOps ways of working call for increased flexibility and nimbleness in workflows so that you can quickly build, test, deploy, receive feedback on your experiments, and accelerate the flow of value to customers. It’s difficult to reach this level of real-time agility using legacy IT systems and development tools.

While not always the answer, many developers find containers and their operational payloads, microservices, to be an excellent solution for meeting the accelerated deployment and agility demands they face. 

Containers are tailor-made for DevOps with their ability to to support an entire runtime environment, without the extra baggage of a complete operating system. Since these  packages are completely isolated from each other, developers can seamlessly code, test, and run these workloads without interfering with other applications.

But, where teams typically run into challenges is around the management of all the workflows and processes involved in running multiple containers in production within complicated environments. While it might not be difficult to deploy an initial container, operationalising containers at scale is a whole new ball game. 

Hence, you need a container orchestration platform like Kubernetes to run and orchestrate containerised applications and eliminate many of the manual processes involved in deploying and scaling them. In doing so, Kubernetes enables organisations to solve common dev and ops problems easily, quickly, and reliably.

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The benefits Kubernetes brings to DevOps

Enables infrastructure and configuration as code

Kubernetes treats your entire infrastructure as code. Infrastructure and application layers are written in the form of declarative and portable configuration instructions, and stored in a repository. 

Kubernetes simply takes the code, and based on your instructions, deploys and maintains your infrastructure – automatically. Plus, it allows code to be managed as versioned artifacts, just like your applications in development. 

This, in turn, makes the process of defining and modifying infrastructure and configurations simpler and streamlines your team's ability to plan end-to-end workflows collaboratively. The change management process, which is often a source of conflict in DevOps, becomes both more robust and dynamic.

Makes development, testing, deployment, and production environments consistent

Using Kubernetes enables you to manage infrastructure and configurations consistently across different environments and also provides enhanced agility in switching between them. 

With Kubernetes you can build once and deploy into consistent, production-like environments anywhere, so it is exactly identical whether you’re in a test, pre-production or production environment (both on-premises or on a public cloud). 

Indirectly, Kubernetes brings dev and ops closer together and makes it easier for them to collaborate effectively by solving application conflicts between different environments. Because configurations and resources remain consistent, dev can share their software and dependencies easily with production environments while eliminating the typical "it works on my machine" excuse.

Automates time-consuming manual tasks, improves team productivity

Manually setting up and maintaining infrastructure operations can be a burdensome task for your developers, sys-admin, and other teams. Kubernetes helps you deploy applications anywhere, without worrying about the primary infrastructure layer. 

Operationally, this layer of abstraction makes a world of difference for organisations that run containers. The disentangling of applications from the underlying infrastructure gives teams the flexibility to make more independent changes in each layer. 

Developers have more control and flexibility over when to deploy what to production, without intervention from the teams managing the layers underneath. They can roll-out a code change faster than they ever could in the past. Rolling back a bad release or redirecting more traffic to a new version is also a much simpler task, without dependence on operations specialists. 

And in turn, ops can take more ownership and control over the configuration of services by enabling paradigms such as infrastructure as code that allow treating infrastructure as a software development problem. 

Also, once a Kubernetes cluster is set up and properly configured, you can expect your containerised applications to run without the need for frequent support intervention. Kubernetes can regularly monitor the health of containers through a series of health-check features that eliminate many of the headaches associated with deploying a new iteration. Its Control Plane checks the health of nodes and pods, automatically intervening when the desired state is not achieved by launching new pods or rescheduling them to a healthy node.

This results in a dramatic reduction of administration and operations burden, allowing you to free up ops time to focus on other productive tasks.

Provides effortless scalability

The success of applications in the DevOps age doesn’t depend solely on features, but also on their ability to scale in the face of changing business demands. After all, in the absence of scalability, an application will be highly non-performant, and at the worst case, entirely unavailable.

Container orchestration systems like Kubernetes give you the power to automatically scale and improve application performance. Kubernetes offers native auto-scaling functionality that enables you to automatically change the number of running containers, depending on the ever-changing application load or any other application-provided metrics.

Overall, this leads to greater flexibility in responding to changes in business demands and managing your infrastructure budget.

Multi-Cloud capabilities

With Kubernetes you can deploy Kubernetes over multiple cloud services and providers. This can also be a way for organisations to efficiently manage Multi-Cloud architecture. Multi-Cloud is a great option for large enterprise organisations because it provides crucial portability to switch between cloud providers based on the needs of the project.

One of the main challenges when developing applications across multiple environments is that each app has different topologies and dependencies. However, it is possible to create isolated projects and manage them separately on a micro level, but this can become difficult when scaling up, as this increases the risk of human error and can cause costly vulnerabilities.

Kubernetes works across different environments and is a perfect fit for configuring, automating and managing workloads and facilitating migration between clouds.

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As organisations seek ways to speed up time to market, they will continue to see increased value in the automation and infrastructural capabilities offered by tools like Kubernetes for enabling DevOps. 

As a methodology, DevOps covers each step of the software lifecycle, right from planning and creation through deployment and monitoring. However, the underlying goal is to release software faster. To accomplish this, DevOps teams become heavily dependent on improved collaboration, communication, integration, and automation.

The inherent consistency, repeatability, resilience, and visibility that platforms like Kubernetes provide make it easier for organisations practising DevOps to break down conventional silos between teams. Further, the improved automation capabilities supported by Kubernetes minimise the infrastructure considerations for DevOps delivery and help achieve the nimbleness and speed of operations necessary for organisations to remain competitive.

Contact us to learn how we can help you navigate your Kubernetes journey to drive DevOps success

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About the authors

Jobin Kuruvilla

Jobin Kuruvilla

Jobin Kuruvilla is a DevOps subject matter expert, and an experienced solutions expert and App developer. Jobin has several certifications under his belt, including Atlassian products, GitLab certified PSE, AWS, Kubernetes, Jenkins to name a few, and has spearheaded implementing Digital Transformation for teams and enterprises.