Remember the easy button, the one that used to appear in commercials for Staples? When business people needed ink cartridges, paper or anything else, they just hit the button, and the right solutions appeared instantly.
Of course, the easy button was just a metaphor. In the real world of enterprise, we can’t improve a business simply by pressing a button.
Or can we?
In an age where success belongs to whoever can build, test and release software the fastest, Kubernetes is moving the easy button from metaphor to reality. Though it’s been available for less than five years, the Kubernetes container orchestration system has become the dominant player in the deployment, scaling and management of applications. In 2019, the business case for Kubernetes practically writes itself.
Kubernetes was designed for deployment, and it is defined by superior automation. To appreciate what that level of automation makes possible, it’s useful to reflect on what life was like before Kubernetes.
Container and virtualization technologies were in use before Kubernetes came along, but managing them was a labor-intensive undertaking. Companies had to customize solutions for things like auto-scaling, failover, service discovery and load balancing. Building and maintaining these solutions was expensive and time-consuming.
Kubernetes has solved these problems in several key ways:
When you launch a new app or an update, Kubernetes eliminates downtime and keeps tabs on the containers during the rollout. If there’s a failure, Kubernetes automatically rolls the container back. It also allows for canary deployments in parallel with previous versions, thereby letting you test new deployments before scaling down and fully replacing the old ones.
Kubernetes manages the scaling process with elegance and efficiency. At the level of individual servers, it provides for horizontal infrastructure scaling, making it easy for servers to be added or removed. Through auto-scaling, you can automatically change the number of running containers as needed. And Kubernetes’ replication controller automatically manages the number of container pods in play, removing them or spinning up new ones as needed.
Kubernetes was designed to maximize the availability of both applications and infrastructure, a consideration that is key to successful container deployment. Kubernetes automatically monitors the health of nodes and containers, and it heals or auto-replaces any pod or container that crashes. Kubernetes also automates traffic routing and load balancing, ensuring that loads are shifted as needed in response to outages or sudden peaks in traffic.
Kubernetes automates enterprise to save time, money and human energy. Those considerations alone are enough to build the business case for Kubernetes. But that case goes from strong to overwhelming when we add in the benefits of automation to the customer. The digital age has trained your customers to anticipate products and services that respond in real time to ever-shifting needs. They’re looking for personalized innovations. A slowdown in your organization’s ability to answer those needs will be frustrating for you, but for your customers, it will be a deal-breaker.
That, ultimately, is the true business case for Kubernetes. Kubernetes automates to eliminate the traditional pain points in application development. It reduces the number of uncreative and unproductive hours that get spent on manual busywork. It focuses more of everyone’s time on the job of building real business value. And it allows you and your teams to end more days thinking, “That was easy.”
Learn how Pythian can help your organization realize the full potential of Kubernetes.
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