Kubernetes, or popularly known as k8s (k, 8 characters, s…get it?), or “Kube” is an open-source platform that automates Linux container operations. Kubernetes is a portable, extensible, open-source platform for managing containerized workloads and services, that facilitates both declarative configuration and automation. It has a large, rapidly growing ecosystem. Kubernetes services, support, and tools are widely available. It functions to eliminate many manual processes involved in deploying and scaling containerized applications. You can also cluster together groups of hosts running Linux containers, and Kubernetes helps you manage those clusters easily and efficiently. Kubernetes clusters can span hosts across public, private, or hybrid clouds. Kubernetes, therefore, is an ideal platform for hosting cloud-native applications that require rapid scaling, like real-time data streaming through Apache Kafka.
Kubernetes was originally developed and designed by engineers at the Google R & D center. Google was one of the early contributors to Linux container technology and has talked publicly about how everything at Google runs in containers. (This is the technology behind Google’s cloud services.) Google generates more than 2 billion container deployments a week, all powered by an internal platform: Borg. Borg was the predecessor to Kubernetes and the lessons learned from developing Borg over the years became the primary influence behind much of Kubernetes technology.
The primary advantage of using Kubernetes in your environment, especially if you are optimizing app dev for the cloud, is that it gives you the platform to schedule and run containers on clusters of physical or virtual machines (VMs). More broadly, it helps you fully implement and rely on a container-based infrastructure in production environments. And because Kubernetes is all about automation of operational tasks, you can do many of the same things that other application platforms or management systems let you do, but for your containers.
With Kubernetes you can:
- Orchestrate containers across multiple hosts.
- Make better use of hardware to maximize the resources needed to run your enterprise apps.
- Control and automate application deployments and updates.
- Mount and add storage to run stateful apps.
- Scale containerized applications and their resources on the fly.
- Declaratively manage services, which guarantees the deployed applications are always running the way you deployed them to run.
- Health-check and self-heal your apps with auto-placement, auto-restart, auto replication, and autoscaling.
Containers are a good way to bundle and run your applications. In a production environment, you need to manage the containers that run the applications and ensure that there is no downtime. For example, if a container goes down, another container needs to start. Wouldn’t it be easier if this behavior was handled by a system? That’s how Kubernetes comes to the rescue! Kubernetes provides you with a framework to run distributed systems resiliently. It takes care of scaling and failover for your application provides deployment patterns and more. For example, Kubernetes can easily manage a canary deployment for your system.
Kubernetes provides you with:
- Service discovery and load balancing
Kubernetes can expose a container using the DNS name or using its own IP address. If traffic to a container is high, Kubernetes is able to load balance and distribute the network traffic so that the deployment is stable.
- Storage orchestration
Kubernetes allows you to automatically mount a storage system of your choice, such as local storage, public cloud providers, and more.
- Automated rollouts and rollbacks
You can describe the desired state for your deployed containers using Kubernetes, and it can change the actual state to the desired state at a controlled rate. For example, you can automate Kubernetes to create new containers for your deployment, remove existing containers, and adopt all their resources to the new container.
- Automatic bin packing
You provide Kubernetes with a cluster of nodes that it can use to run containerized tasks. You tell Kubernetes how much CPU and memory (RAM) each container needs. Kubernetes can fit containers onto your nodes to make the best use of your resources.
Kubernetes restarts containers that fail, replaces containers, kills containers that don’t respond to your user-defined health check, and doesn’t advertise them to clients until they are ready to serve.
- Secret and configuration management
Kubernetes lets you store and manage sensitive information, such as passwords, OAuth tokens, and SSH keys. You can deploy and update secrets and application configuration without rebuilding your container images, and without exposing secrets in your stack configuration.