Developed by Google, Kubernetes is a well-known and widely used open-source container orchestration tool. Kubernetes is also called K8s because there are 8 letters in between the letters “K” and “S”. But what exactly is Kubernetes? And what are the Kubernetes alternatives?
What is Kubernetes?
Back in 2014, Google thought of letting users use their container orchestration tool. And thus, the Kubernetes became open-sourced. Also known as K8s, this tool packs a lot of useful features. It has the ability to make the containerized applications more available, easily scalable, and surely, makes the apps much more predictable.
Additionally, Kubernetes also provides you with the capabilities of automating, managing, and scaling applications of containerized types. Based on such facilities, Kubernetes is commonly used for more complicated websites and mobile software. This way the cost regarding web servers lessens and optimization of the development enhances. But ever wondered what it does?
What does Kubernetes do?
Imagine you have a parcel distribution company. So what are your activities? Collect all the parcels from the clients, organize them, categorize them according to the location, manage riders, and deliver them. A lot of work right? But luckily you have a master employee. And what does he do? He completes all these above-mentioned activities in a more efficient and timely manner. Kubernetes is your that master-employee and the app is your parcel distribution company.
In short, Kubernetes is like an operating system but for your app. It will be in charge to allocate all your resources accordingly to all the sectors. It will cover the schedules, check whether the infrastructure is in the perfect state, and maintain them accordingly. Cloud services, or a private data center environment, Kubernetes can run modern software on both.
What is Container Orchestration?
It’s an automation platform to run workloads as well as a pool of services that are containerized. Perse, you have an extended amount of tasks that the software needs to complete and needs to be covered. Kubernetes will take the charge to complete all. The wide range of tasks including the provision, deployment, both upscale and down as well as balancing the load along with maintaining the network.
In this system, the method container is used. The container helps you to structure, bind/package and deploy the software. However, do not confuse them with Virtual Machines as they are not. Similarities may seem at first, but with extended focus, dissimilarities are also apparent. In the case of a container, you can take away it from the infrastructure on which they are running on.
Advantages of Kubernetes?
Kubernetes comes with several advantages. Thus they are so popular now, as people are adapting to this system more and more. In a report of RightScale 2019, they have mentioned that the adaption of Kubernetes has increased 21% in a year, from 27% in 2018 to 48% in 2019.
But what are the advantages? Glad you asked. Let’s dive into some –
- Uses hardware more efficiently, thus decreasing the cost of optimization of the infrastructural resources.
- Makes deployments as well as the updates automated while keeping them in control.
- You can scale your application as well as the resources on a real-time basis.
- Has the ability of container orchestration on several hosts.
- Capable of testing and autocorrecting the applications.
- Can communicate and manage a bunch of clusters simultaneously.
- “Best Location” – yes, it can identify the perfect location to place a container.
Disadvantages of Kubernetes?
Although Kubernetes is great, it comes with its shortcomings. These disadvantages create a certain level of challenges, of which some are inevitable. It better for you to be aware of these drawbacks so that you can be ready for what may come as an obstacle.
- If resource requests and limits are not explicitly implemented in Kubernetes, then risk increases.
- Does not come with an integrated Blue-Green deployment strategy.
- No integrated load balancer apart from AWS or GCP. If you want to run your application in a cluster, you require setting up a load balancer on your own.
- High probability of port conflicts and facing difficulties while scaling clusters.
- No logging or monitoring features.
- Has high vulnerability issues in case of a legacy application.
- Also, no CD/CD built-in facilities.
If any of these disadvantages seems prominent to you, have no worries. There are several Kubernetes alternatives out there that you can check. These come with their own distinctive features while maintaining the basic footprint.
Alternatives for Kubernetes
- Docker Swarm: A native to Docker, this contains managers as well workers. The managers have the responsibilities of managing the membership as well as the role of delegation. On the other hand, workers are those who run swarm services. Further, the managers and workers are able to communicate in a very secure manner.
- Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS): This service let you run applications very easily on a cluster of EC2 instances. Backed by AWS Identity Access Management (IAM), its security is built-in. You can easily use it with any other AWS services, just because of its nature.
- Nomad: Able to run Docker, micro-services, and other workloads, Nomad is one of the well-known alternatives to Kubernetes out there. Because it runs as a singular binary, no external service for storage as well as for coordination is required. This is very easy to install. However, it is limited in managing and scheduling the clusters.
- RedHat Openshift: Another open-source platform that can be operated as PaaS, is RedHat Openshift. However, it is limited to be installed on RHELAH, CentOS and Fedora. Also, you cannot run your containers on root here. Why? Because its security policy is much secured. This makes the safety very high while taking away much of the flexibility.
To recapitulate, we just can’t deny the fact that Kubernetes performs excellently. However, it is not compulsory for you to only use it. Which one you should be considered to set, totally depends on you, your purpose, and how you are going to build run your application. It might be excellent or it might not, the nature of the application will define the performance.
Therefore, checking for Kubernetes alternatives is always a good approach. May this cause you additional efforts and time, the effort is totally worth it. Before looking for the right one, check what your business requirements are, and then after, align your expectations with the offerings.