Kubernetes - Navigating Open Source Software
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Aron Wagner
Posted: May 2, 2023, 12:44 PM

At its inception, the internet was designed to be free and fair for everybody. It was meant to help communicate the best of our ideas and technologies to the world's farthest corners. Open-source technology is one way of upholding these values in the current climate of Big Tech dominance over the internet.

Open-source software projects like Kubernetes help businesses make their tech stacks more flexible and scalable for production in competitive consumer markets. Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration system for automating software deployment, scaling, and management. To understand how Kubernetes can streamline open-source development, we need to understand the basics of containerized applications and how they have revolutionized software development.

What Are Containerized Applications?

Many modern development technologies, like cloud computing, are based on a technique called virtualization. Virtualization involves creating a virtual environment that imitates a computer's or server's physical functions, allowing multiple operating systems and applications to run simultaneously on a single physical machine. This technology enables the sharing of computing resources, improves hardware utilization, and enhances the flexibility and scalability of IT infrastructure.

Containerization is an improvement in virtualization. It can be considered a finer version of virtualization, where each small code packet comes with its own computing resources, memory, and execution instructions. Instead of running entire virtual machines, users can simply run small code packets on their computers to perform a specific task. This makes containerized applications incredibly flexible, scalable, and resource-efficient since only the services required are active at any given time.

Why Containerized Applications Are The Gold Standard

Kubernetes-based containerized applications have several functional benefits that make them ideal for development in fast-paced professional environments. Here are a few benefits that make Kubernetes the gold standard for modern open-source development.

Better Abstraction

Kubernetes provides a layer of abstraction above the infrastructure, while traditional virtualization provides a layer of abstraction above the hardware. In Kubernetes, containers are the deployment unit, while virtual machines are the deployment unit in traditional virtualisation. This difference in abstraction allows Kubernetes to run more efficiently while utilizing fewer resources.

Increased Resource Efficiency

Another key difference between Kubernetes and traditional virtualization is their overhead. Traditional virtualization typically requires more resources and overhead than Kubernetes. Virtual machines require a full operating system, while containers share the host operating system. Containers are isolated but share the same kernel and other system resources, making them more efficient and lightweight.

Increased scalability

Scalability is another area where Kubernetes excels. Kubernetes is designed to be highly scalable and can manage thousands of containers across a cluster of nodes. Traditional virtualization, on the other hand, is typically limited to a smaller number of virtual machines per host. This makes Kubernetes a better choice for managing large-scale applications that require rapid scaling and deployment.

Platform Agnostic

Kubernetes provides a consistent platform for deploying applications across different environments, while traditional virtualization is more tied to specific hardware and hypervisors. This makes Kubernetes a better choice for applications across different environments and infrastructures.

Better Automation

Kubernetes has several exclusive features to help developers automate every development process step, from infrastructure management to deployment. The platform offers efficient automation tools for:

  • Infrastructure management: Kubernetes offers built-in support for a technique called declarative configuration. Once developers define the desired state of their applications, Kubernetes manages the underlying infrastructure to ensure that the application always runs as intended.
  • Deployment: Kubernetes supports canary deployments, rolling updates, and automated scaling, all of which help to smoothen the deployment process.
  • System tracking: ****Kubernetes includes built-in tools for monitoring resource usage, application performance, and system health. This allows DevOps teams to identify and resolve issues before they impact users.
  • Troubleshooting: ****Kubernetes is capable of handling basic program-based troubleshooting without any intervention. For example, if a container fails, Kubernetes will automatically restart it or start a new one to replace it.

Best Practices For Developing With Kubernetes

Kubernetes has become the de facto standard for containerized development in recent years. As a new developer or development manager, there are a few best practices you can follow to ensure a smooth transition to Kubernetes.

Leverage Kubernetes APIs

Kubernetes provides a rich set of APIs that you can use to interact with the platform programmatically. By leveraging these APIs, you can automate various aspects of your Kubernetes workflows, such as deployment, scaling, and monitoring, to customize your Kubernetes setup to meet your specific needs.

Use Helm For Package Management

Helm is a package manager for Kubernetes that simplifies the process of deploying and managing applications on the platform. With Helm, you can define charts that encapsulate all the dependencies and configurations needed to deploy an application on Kubernetes. This approach makes it easier to manage application dependencies and enables you to deploy applications consistently across multiple Kubernetes clusters.

Use Version Control For Configuration Files

Kubernetes configuration files can become complex and difficult to manage as your application grows. To simplify this process, you must use version control for your configuration files. That allows you to track changes to your configuration files, revert to previous versions if needed, and collaborate with your team more effectively.

Ensure Portability

To leverage Kubernetes's in-built portability, you must avoid using platform-specific features and test your applications on multiple Kubernetes clusters. The goal should be to deploy applications on any Kubernetes cluster, regardless of the underlying infrastructure.

Enforce Reliable Security Measures

Kubernetes provides various security features such as network policies, RBAC, and secrets management that you can use to secure your applications. It's also important to follow security best practices such as using strong passwords, limiting access to sensitive resources, and regularly updating your Kubernetes software. Enforcing reliable security measures is especially important for open-source applications because of their easily accessible nature.

Navigating Kubernetes With American Cloud

At American Cloud, we believe every business should be able to harness the power of cutting-edge technology like Kubernetes. Our Kubernetes Service (ACKS) is a fully-managed Kubernetes solution that automates upgrades, rollbacks, and security integrations for seamless operations. ACKS empowers businesses to build resilient and highly available clusters within a native Kubernetes environment. It comes with an affordable pricing structure, expert support, and guidance to help new development teams learn to get the best out of Kubernetes.

Visit American Cloud to learn more about how we help businesses explore the

revolutionary potential of containerized applications.