It is becoming increasingly evident that Kubernetes is a long-term technology, and its popularity is only increasing. Initially, it was believed that only large companies would benefit from using Kubernetes. However, companies of all sizes can gain advantages from migrating their legacy workloads to K8s and implementing them early and frequently in new projects.
This article delves into the 9 key benefits of using Kubernetes and explains why your organization should make it a priority in 2022.
1. Kubernetes Automates Containerized Environments
Containerization is a rapidly growing trend in technology and offers many benefits. It involves packaging code with only the necessary operating system and dependencies to create a single executable, known as a container, that can run on various infrastructures. Containers are smaller, faster, and more portable than traditional virtual machines (VMs) because they do not require a full operating system and instead share the OS kernel. For companies using a microservices architecture, containers are the preferred choice. Kubernetes simplifies containerized environments by serving as the orchestration system, automating the operational tasks involved in running containerized workloads.
2. Scaling Up and Down
Autoscaling is a highly regarded and essential feature of Kubernetes. With Kubernetes, organizations can easily scale up and down based on actual demand. Kubernetes has three different autoscaling capabilities:
- Horizontal Pod Autoscaler (HPA), also known as scaling out, automatically increases the number of pods available depending on resource usage.
- Vertical Pod Autoscaler (VPA), also known as scaling up, can automatically adjust the CPU and memory for existing machines.
- Cluster Autoscaler can automatically increase the number of nodes when pods cannot scale further up to the maximum size of the node pool.
- Autoscaling is crucial for both user performance and cost efficiency. It enables efficient operation of workloads, which can lead to significant cost savings.
3. Strong Open Source Communities
Kubernetes was developed by Google and was donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) in 2014. Since its v1.0 release in 2015, the open-source community has actively contributed to the project, with over 100,000 commits made by over 3,000 contributors. CNCF has also seen significant growth. Today, it has 656 corporate members and has helped foster the development of many popular open-source communities. Each year, CNCF organizes Kubecon, the leading conference for the Kubernetes community. At Kubecon, attendees can attend expert sessions, network with other professionals, and engage with various sponsors. The active and engaged community has played a significant role in shaping Kubernetes and continues to drive innovation and improvements to the core platform.
4. Cost Efficiencies and Savings
One of the initial and most common reasons for migrating to Kubernetes is the cost savings and efficiencies it can provide. Organizations with varying demand and scalability challenges have experienced significant cost savings with Kubernetes. As previously mentioned, Kubernetes has auto-scaling capabilities that allow companies to adjust their real-time resources. When combined with a flexible cloud provider, Kubernetes can efficiently use only the necessary resources based on demand at a given time. For instance, if a video streaming company experiences a sudden increase in viewership at night, Kubernetes can scale up the number of pods and nodes to meet the demand and maintain user performance without wasting resources.
5. Ability to Run Anywhere
Kubernetes allows for almost any container runtime with various types of infrastructure. Whether running workloads on-premises or on a public cloud, you can use Kubernetes as long as the host operating system runs a recent version of Linux or Windows (typically 2016 or newer). For large organizations with complex and diverse infrastructure environments, Kubernetes can be used at scale across these environments, while other container orchestration systems usually have limited options.
6. Multi-Cloud Possibilities
Due to its portability, Kubernetes workloads can operate on a single cloud or be distributed across multiple clouds. Currently, most major cloud providers offer Kubernetes-specific services. For instance, Amazon Web Services has Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), Google Cloud Platform has Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), and Microsoft Azure has Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). Kubernetes enables all organizations to benefit from multi-cloud environments and avoid vendor lock-in.
7. Improve Developer Productivity
Kubernetes enables engineering teams to work more efficiently due to its declarative constructs. Scaling and deploying are made simpler with improved deployment methodologies. Additionally, teams can leverage GitOps with Kubernetes. Since 2017, GitOps has been widely adopted to manage Kubernetes clusters and deliver applications. Engineers can use familiar tools such as pull requests to streamline deployments and operational tasks. In the short and long term, Kubernetes helps engineers to work more efficiently.
8. Native Tooling Available
Kubernetes has a dedicated group of engineers working on building both open-source and third-party tools. Despite its many benefits, Kubernetes can have complexities and compatibility issues with legacy tooling. However, in 2022, many tools and companies will offer Kubernetes-specific features and support. The open-source community has developed popular tools such as Prometheus, widely used for metric collection and monitoring.
9. Increased Experience and Popularity
Kubernetes has seen a rapid increase in popularity, and the number of engineers with experience in it has also grown. A 2021 study by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) showed that Kubernetes engineers increased by 67% to 3.9 million from 2020 to 2021. The growing number of engineers with experience in Kubernetes is beneficial for businesses of all sizes. According to the same CNCF survey, 69% of respondents use Kubernetes in production, and 31% of backend engineers globally use Kubernetes. As engineering teams plan for the future, those building with Kubernetes may have a competitive advantage in attracting top talent or showing prospective candidates that the organization is prioritizing new technologies and efficiencies.
The Final Verdict
Kubernetes will continue to be the dominant container orchestration system. It is widely predicted that more businesses will adopt Kubernetes in the coming years. There are numerous advantages of using Kubernetes, many of which we have discussed in this article.
These include the ease of scaling up and down, improved productivity for engineering teams, and greater portability. The overall effect of these improvements will result in enhanced user experience and satisfaction within engineering departments.