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What Enterprises Need to Know About Adopting Kubernetes in the Public Cloud

By Deepak Goel, CTO, D2iQ

In a relatively short amount of time, Kubernetes has evolved from an internal container orchestration tool at Google to one of the most widely adopted technologies across the globe. The pandemic-fueled race to the cloud has further accelerated the adoption of Kubernetes as a critical element of digital transformation strategies, which have sped up by an average of seven years, according to McKinsey. While rapid digital transformation can be beneficial, it can also be costly and inefficient without the foundational knowledge needed to successfully bring projects into production environments.

As a result, as many as 40% of cloud native deployments never make it into production, so today's enterprises are increasingly utilizing Kubernetes services to help build, deploy and manage containerized environments. In fact, 83% of enterprises report that they're running Kubernetes in production environments, and 64% of them are running Kubernetes on at least one public cloud, a number that is likely growing as the popularity of Kubernetes continues to increase.

Many organizations are now operating Kubernetes deployments in a public cloud to get workloads running quickly and reduce operational and resource requirements. However, large public clouds can come with tradeoffs, including lack of visibility into an organization's entire stack, limited or nonexistent governance and access controls, and complex application management. When combining a public cloud with an independent Kubernetes platform, organizations are well-positioned to enhance automation, control, flexibility and portability to deliver production applications at the speed and scale of the cloud. An independent Kubernetes platform often brings the production-ready services, security and management capabilities not available with standalone public cloud options. By pairing these expert services and support with a public cloud, enterprises can expect to receive four core benefits: 

Low barrier to entry

It's easy to get workloads up and running on a public cloud Kubernetes service without knowing much about Kubernetes initially. Kubernetes cluster deployment is automated by the cloud provider, eliminating the need to install open source tools or write complex automation. Cloud providers manage your Kubernetes cluster for you and bill projects with a simple pay-as-you-go model.

However, after getting started with workloads in a public cloud, organizations can hit roadblocks with application management. Most cloud solutions don't operate with a "one-size-fits-all" approach and, as a result, projects are often stalled before reaching day two operations. Enterprises need a trusted partner with expertise across logging, monitoring and tracing. This will decrease time spent writing additional automation and selecting tools, all while allowing operators to run clusters across multiple environments. Independent Kubernetes platforms coupled with a public cloud enable teams to work together to automate deployments consistently and effectively.

A broad catalog of cloud services

In addition to Kubernetes, enterprises will often choose to use cloud databases, developer tools, or other services for new application development needs. While desired service may even dictate which public cloud provider is selected, navigating and determining the best services for your deployment introduces added levels of complexity that can stall some Kubernetes projects before they even begin. Many cloud providers provide developers with self service access to a broad catalog so they can quickly start prototyping, building, and deploying new digital services. Experts that help enterprises start off on the right foot can accelerate new Kubernetes projects, while eliminating timely "let's try this" experiments.

Outsource operational tasks

Managing Day 2 operations is no easy feat and requires a lot of time and effort without the right technical expertise. With a public cloud Kubernetes service, you're able to outsource some of the time-intensive operational tasks. Fewer requirements for tedious, manual tasks means more time for teams to dedicate towards other important projects that directly impact the business' bottom line. There are limits to the operational tasks that can be automated by public cloud providers, so it's best to approach projects with a strategic partner that keeps your organization's specific goals top of mind. 

Management and support capabilities

Setting up a monitoring solution for Kubernetes can be notoriously difficult, and troubleshooting issues is even harder. This can result in a huge time sink for operators. Cloud Kubernetes services provide some level of lifecycle management and support for patching, updates, fixes, and node management, reducing the operational burden for your team.

Further, when partnered with an independent Kubernetes provider, teams can optimize observability and management for the ideal monitoring solution. As Kubernetes clusters grow, monitoring and management can become a huge issue that often gets further complicated in a public cloud. It can be difficult to know where clusters exist and how they're performing, but with centralized observability from an independent Kubernetes provider, operators can see all their data in one location with consistent management and insights.

While the world may be returning to some semblance of normal as COVID-19 vaccines roll out, the rapid digital transformation of the past year is not slowing down. Enterprises must embrace cloud native applications as the path towards the future. Pairing a combination of a public cloud and an independent Kubernetes platform helps organizations ensure ongoing success in day two production environments and stay on the right side of the innovation curve.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Deepak Goel 

Deepak Goel serves as Chief Technology Officer at D2iQ. In this role, Deepak leads the Technical Architecture Group that oversees architecture of all D2iQ products. Deepak joined D2iQ in 2016 to lead the effort to design, develop and build products on its Kubernetes platform, enabling day two operations in multi-cluster, multi-tenant Kubernetes environments.

Deepak brings over 10 years of experience in the computer industry across networking, distributed systems and security. Deepak has co-authored several research papers and holds a number of patents in computer networks, virtualization and multi-core systems.

Deepak holds a Masters of Science in Computer Science from The University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelors of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology.

Published Friday, August 20, 2021 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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