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Traefik Labs 2022 Predictions: The Next Frontier - Scaling Kubernetes Horizontally

vmblog predictions 2022 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2022.  Read them in this 14th annual series exclusive.

The Next Frontier: Scaling Kubernetes Horizontally

By Emile Vauge, CEO, Traefik Labs

As fast-growth organizations increasingly need to reach a global market, the need to deliver content and services on a global scale becomes paramount. The end result is that IT, development, and operations teams will rely heavily on distributed systems and applications to deliver better user experiences.

Distributed systems help reduce latency, improve application responsiveness, scale rapidly, and are extremely more resilient than legacy scale-up architectures. Despite these advantages distributed systems are challenging for development teams to deploy due to extreme complexity in networking across multi cluster, hybrid and multi cloud environments.

As the number of enterprise applications continues to grow, multi-cluster orchestration is inevitably the next frontier for engineers to tackle. But with hundreds of vendors and platforms available for managing a cloud native ecosystem (such as Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, Rancher, etc.), mastering multi-cluster networking is critical to every enterprise's success.

Moving deeper into 2022, multi-clustering will become much more focused on scaling Kubernetes horizontally and here's why:

  • Scalability: Developers need to employ extra clusters, instead of just shifting everything to bigger clusters, making visibility and day-to-day management unwieldy and ineffective.
  • Resiliency: In a multi-cluster system, independent clusters do not impact one another, if one piece fails, the whole system won't go down.
  • Accessibility: Having more geographical distribution across clusters means less latency and leads to better application performance.
  • Ease of Maintenance: Multiple smaller clusters are easier to manage than single large clusters. 
  • Ability to Enable Multi/Hybrid Cloud: Scaling Kubernetes in this way can help avoid vendor lock-in, save money, allow for seamless failover, thus granting development teams greater flexibility than ever before.

So how can development teams horizontally scale their Kubernetes?

  • Federation: Federated cloud technologies coordinate the configuration of two or more geographically separate computing clouds, making complex multi-cluster use cases easier for engineering teams to address.
  • Connectivity: Maintaining multiple clusters, and having them work together can be a major challenge, however, having the right tools to handle interconnections between clusters (everything from load balancing to managing cross-cluster updates) will be key as the developer world continues to progress.
  • Security: Security challenges are compounded in complex, distributed IT environments but can be resolved when cloud-native security tools and processes are adopted. For example, the recent Log4j vulnerability opened many people's eyes to the need for a dedicated development team at the forefront of vulnerabilities like this to minimize the negative impact.
  • Observability: The ability to see the big picture will be of the utmost importance for software development teams working to scale Kubernetes horizontally. As you scale the number of clusters deployed, observability and contextual alerting become critical for catching errors quickly and keep apps running as intended.

What This Means for 2022 and Beyond

It's clear that development and engineering teams need to manage their entire network across multiple environments from on-premise servers to public clouds all the way out to the edge. Moving into 2022 organizations should prioritize multi-cluster Kubernetes adoption and implement the right set of tools that are not only intuitive to users, but provide the best level of security against vulnerabilities.

Tools like Traefik Proxy, a reverse proxy and load balancer that makes deploying microservices simpler, can be a great place to get started. Teams responsible for multi-cluster orchestration will reap the benefits in federation, connectivity, security and observability for years to come. 



Emile Vauge 

Emile Vauge is the founder and CEO of Traefik Labs, the leading cloud-native networking company used by the world's largest online enterprises including eBay, Condé Nast, and Nasa. Emile is also the creator of Traefik, one of Docker Hub's top-ten projects with more than 2 billion downloads. Prior to Traefik Labs, Emile spent more than 10 years building applications for web-scale and large enterprise organizations where his first-hand experience with Cloud-Native networking challenges inspired him to create Traefik.

Published Wednesday, February 02, 2022 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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