Leveraging Managed Kubernetes to Improve Your Operations

Gilad David Maayan

Leveraging Managed Kubernetes

Kubernetes simplifies container orchestration, but sometimes companies are struggling with Kubernetes adoption. Many organizations do not have the required expertise to configure and manage Kubernetes by themselves. Managed Kubernetes is a good solution to this dilemma if you don’t want to miss out on the benefits of containerized applications.

What Is Managed Kubernetes?

Third-party managed Kubernetes services take over the responsibility for some or all of the work required for successful Kubernetes operations and management. The term managed Kubernetes services can refer to anything, from full hosting and operations to dedicated support.

What Is Managed Kubernetes?

Managed solutions take care and guide you through the significant manual configuration required by Kubernetes features like self-recovery, progressive application deployment, workload management and batch execution, and scalability.

Managed solutions provide the necessary tools to automate routine processes like Scaling, updates, monitoring and load-balancing. Managed Kubernetes services with a hosting platform can also manage all of the configuration and maintenance needed for your infrastructure.

The Need for Managed Kubernetes Services

The list below reviews some of the challenges that companies face, and explains how these challenges are solved by managed Kubernetes services.

Shortage in skilled professionals

Enterprises expect to run Kubernetes workloads seamlessly on any cloud platform and in an agile way. Enterprises also expect to get a standard and a shared platform that can be useful in multi-cloud implementation, while keeping On-Premises data centers in place. You need staff with the right Kubernetes skills that provide that level of output.

The most complicated challenge of Kubernetes implementations is the day two operations of upgrades and patches. Only experienced experts know how to perform backup, recovery, patches and upgrades to most Kubernetes components.

More obstacles can come up when inexperienced professionals perform operations or define a specific state from the dashboard. The Kubernetes dashboard enables you to declare configurations, set up instructions, and set up the desired pod state. If any error occurs during these processes, a skilled engineer would understand the problem and the location of the error.

Becoming knowledgeable on more than Kubernetes

Organizations need to deploy many other solutions besides Kubernetes like distributed data stores. Combining and managing all these services can further increase the challenge of experienced professionals. Your engineers need to be experts in everything you are going to deliver as part of an end-to-end service.

Managing multiple containers

Maintaining proper visibility into your critical cloud-native infrastructure becomes more difficult when you deploy multiple containers. The lack of visibility makes it difficult to discover zero-day vulnerabilities, which containers are running as privileged, and other factors. Eventually,  the microservices design pattern that powers containerized applications can create security blind spots and increases your attack surface. 

DevOps

Kubernetes solves many container management challenges and provides many benefits for devops teams. However, the management and implementation of DevOps aspects like automation with Kubernetes can be challenging. For example, you can deploy an application with kubectl, but for automation, you must also configure the load balancer.  

Kubernetes can also deploy container clusters by efficiently utilizing computing power. But, admins have to manually configure the computing resources for each container hosting pod to achieve this efficiency.

Why Use a Managed Kubernetes Service?

Managed Kubernetes services provide advantages for business and technical aspects of your project.

Save Time on Operations

Developers sometimes need to do operational work to make sure the cluster is up to date, healthy, and secure. A large part of that work includes new hosts deployment, node lifecycle management, and hosts updates. The latter is critical in ensuring hosts run the most current operating system patches and container runtime versions.

The problem is that setting up Kubernetes infrastructure monitoring is notoriously difficult. Troubleshooting issues is even a more complex process. As a result, developers and infrastructure specialists waste a lot of time on troubleshooting and monitoring instead of developing new features.

Managed Kubernetes services help you release new products faster and move your business forward by taking the management and monitoring tasks away from developers.

Simplify Open Source Processes

The Continuous Integration, and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipeline usually includes many tools and frameworks besides Kubernetes, like Jenkins and Ansible. These tools enable you to perform operations like monitoring metrics, logging, tracing and dashboards, integrate with databases, configure pub/sub message queueing systems, and more.

The problem is that the IT department needs to set up all these CI/CD tools before a developer can start using the ecosystem, a task that takes too much time. Hiring external consultants only partially solves this issue because the IT team will still be responsible for any future work. 

Managed Kubernetes solution enables organizations to start working with an ecosystem of open source tools, like Kubernetes. In addition, these services take the responsibility of setting up the CI/CD pipeline for developers.

Choosing a Managed Kubernetes Solution

There are many different managed solutions out there. Consider the following aspects before choosing the right solution for your project.

  • Deployment time—Kubernetes Control Plane deployment should be a piece of cake for managed services. The service should be able to quickly plug into your environments.
  • Troubleshooting and monitoring—the service should surface and resolve any issues automatically. For issues where manual intervention is required, alerts should go out to the customer.
  • Integration support—the platform of your choice should work with any cloud provider. In addition, the platform should support deployments in hybrid environments because you might frequently change your configuration. The platform should also integrate with or fully replace any existing tools or services you are using.
  • Delegate patching—the provider can take charge of responsibilities like fixes, security, and upgrades, and security patches. In this case, the provider manages and operates all operations, including nodes, using the control panel. 
  • User friendly—the platform should offer a user-friendly interface where you can verify operations and make customizations. 

Conclusion

There are many tools that can help you manage the process of Kubernetes adoption. These tools simplify some routine tasks, give you more control over Kubernetes configuration, and provide some support for the Kubernetes management process. However, a fully managed platform solution is what you’re looking for if you want to take advantage of all Kubernetes benefits with a hands-off approach.

By Gilad David Maayan

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