What is Kubernetes?

K8s is primarily cluster management software

Kubernetes, popularly referred to as “K8s”, is a segment of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation that facilitates the development of collective networking standards in cloud data software management.

To be precise, Kubernetes (K8s) is cluster management software that supervises the operations of multiple server computers and manages various programs on them. All these programs run in containers and remain isolated, eliminating manual processes and securing their development and deployment.


Google developed Kubernetes

Kubernetes was developed by engineers at Google and was sourced out in 2014. Borg, Google’s container orchestration platform, is the predecessor of Kubernetes. Kubernetes’ built-in tools, including Minikube, Dashboard, Helm and Kompose, help streamline processes and management. With limited constraints, anyone aspiring to run containers can easily use Kubernetes on-premises or in the public cloud.


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Driving automation and efficiency

Not only does Kubernetes automate web traffic in production, it also augments the web servers depending on the requirement for the software applications. Similarly, during downtime, it lowers web server instances.


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Load balancing is key

One of Kubernetes’ most important features is its capability to load balance by channelling web traffic to functional web servers. It also decreases infrastructure complexity by managing ports, helping developers opt for the most suitable port instead of adapting to the existing one. It would not be an exaggeration to define Kubernetes as a “game changer” when it comes to managing containerised applications.


In recent years, Kubernetes has emerged as a general-system computing platform and ecosystem that helps organisations to increase productivity.

How does Kubernetes work?

Kubernetes is an effectively designed mechanism that manages the lifecycle of containerised applications. It can be defined as a system that disseminates valuable functioning and streamlines how applications work.

Kubernetes manages clusters that are comprised of master nodes and worker nodes, which can be both virtual and physical machines. These nodes run pods (Kubernetes’ unit of containers) that are connected to master components and manage networking to complete the allocated workload. Every pod denotes a specific instance of an application comprised of one or more containers.

Kubernetes handles operations (starts, stops and replicates every container in a pod) at the core. This means every minute detail, including the specific applications or workloads that must be run in addition to images and resources used.

When it comes to defining the work of the master nodes and the worker nodes, both play a significant role in running the applications. Master nodes are rightly called the brains of the cluster and programme all activities, such as deciding which pod will run on which node, upholding an application’s preferred state, augmenting applications and presenting new updates. The master nodes are responsible for deciding specific nodes’ suitability for specific tasks and allocates tasks to complete work.

On the other hand, worker nodes (many of which can exist in one cluster) can be termed as the spine of your applications. These worker nodes are managed by Kubernetes’ control plane. An administrator or a DevOps team instructs the Kubernetes control plane, which then makes decisions about scheduling, identifying and responding to cluster events. Depending on requirements, the number of worker nodes can be increased to enhance the capacity of clusters.

Kubernetes' modern applications: New open-source era gives you a winning edge

Kubernetes provides enterprise-ready containerised answers in a precisely encrypted deployment template that offers portability, easy licensing and consolidated billing. In a shift from traditional to modern practices, Kubernetes applications have ensured automation at every step, from deployment to development processes.

Kubernetes permits clients to deploy applications that are beneficial for business growth. Furthermore, the applications are designed to scale up in a manner that results in value addition and is suitable for the underlying infrastructure. These apps can deal with your business’s challenges and provide solutions that go a long way in improving efficiency and agility, reducing cost and discovering more opportunities in the market.

Using a contemporary approach, Google-built Kubernetes applications provide fresh, easy and relevant solutions to enhance the customer experience. Kubernetes applications are DevOps-ready and can be integrated with day-to-day operational tasks and deployment workflows.

An important aspect of Kubernetes’ modern applications is that they are verified by Google and can be installed in Anthos in the cloud and on-premises in Kubernetes’ own clusters. In essence, this means that when these applications are deployed on Anthos, you get an identical view throughout your ecosystem that paves the way for easy management and continual experience.

With Kubernetes, you get ample opportunity to innovate with containerised applications varying from developer tools, analytics, security and big data. The list of industries where these applications can be used is vast. It includes retail, consumer packaged goods, manufacturing, healthcare, energy, automotive and supply chain.

Safeguarding these Kubernetes’ applications has become significant. They have been listed on GCP Marketplace and are tested and scrutinised for security vulnerabilities.


Docker and Kubernetes: An IT ecosystem with complementary features

Docker is a toolkit used commercially to facilitate developers in building, deploying and managing containers promptly and with increased security. Similarly, Kubernetes is a movable, open-source platform that handles containerised operations.

The basic difference between the two is that Docker runs on a single node while Kubernetes runs across a cluster.

However, the two are complementary and work together. Docker can be used to create and run containers, enabling the preservation and sharing of images; thus a Docker that is built on a Kubernetes cluster can be easily run. At the same time, Kubernetes is not a complete solution.

Docker helps developers arrange the applications in tiny, isolated containers which then run across the IT ecosystem. When the application runs on a single node, it can run anywhere; however, when demand increases, Kubernetes can provide orchestration for Docker containers. From scheduling automated deployment of the containers to load balancing and self-healing, Kubernetes ensures availability across the IT ecosystem.


Why Kubernetes?

There are multiple reasons to choose Kubernetes over any other contemporary container orchestration platform. Here are a few advantages:


Portable and flexible

Kubernetes can work with any runtime and with varied infrastructure, including private cloud, public cloud and on-premises servers, provided the host operating system has the required Linux and Windows version.


Cost effective for IT infrastructure

When the scale of your business is large, Kubernetes helps reduce your IT infrastructure costs as it packages apps together to ensure optimal usage of cloud and hardware investments. K8s has improved scalability and availability that decreases its use of human resources, who are then freed up to perform other tasks. Scaling up and scaling back applications depending on need optimises infrastructure utilisation.


Multi-cloud competence

Kubernetes’ multi-cloud competence makes it a top-ranking facilitator. It can host workloads running on one cloud and on multiple clouds. Most importantly, it can scale its environment from one cloud to another to reach the desired state of performance.


Efficient and prompt marketing

Kubernetes’ microservices approach is elemental in allocating different tasks to smaller teams, improving agility as well as focus and so completing tasks in a shorter span. The IT teams manage large applications across multiple containers and handle/maintain them on an incredibly detailed level.


Open source

As a community-led project, Kubernetes has many big corporate sponsors but is not owned by any one company, only overseen by CNCF which gives it an opportunity for manifold expansion. This means innovation comes more easily to Kubernetes compared with orchestrators that are close-sourced.


Established and reliable

Not only has Kubernetes reduced cloud complexity, but it offers the most reliable solutions to developers. Kubernetes also has the advantage of having a large ecosystem of corresponding software projects and tools which can be made readily available to developers and IT engineers.

HPE Ezmeral Container Platform and Kubernetes

There is a lot of talk about containers and Kubernetes in the IT world today. Kubernetes is a great way to orchestrate applications that have been containerised. The architecture of Kubernetes supports massive scale and it is robust and secure. As explained in the Kubernetes.io documentation, Kubernetes approaches security using the 4Cs of Cloud Native Security: Cloud, Clusters, Containers and Code.

Although a powerful and well-accepted standard method for orchestrating containerised workloads, most users of Kubernetes will describe it as a “steep learning curve” and not exactly “user friendly”.

HPE Ezmeral Container Platform is a software-defined management control plane that allows users to easily organise compute and storage resources located anywhere and to quickly create Kubernetes clusters on those resources. Multiple versions of Kubernetes can be running at the same time under the HPE Ezmeral Container Platform management. Much of the complexity and configuration details are simplified and presented as API commands or a user can interact with the container platform using the graphical web user interface (web UI). This is like the experience you would have using a public cloud interface.

The difference is that once you are using HPE Ezmeral Container Platform you have total control of where your data is being stored, where your server (host) resources are coming from, and how everything is accessed and secured. With HPE Ezmeral Container Platform, you also have the option to import clusters built on any public cloud platform and manage them alongside your local or on-premises clusters or clusters built on resources at the edge.