A recent report on cloud-native development by Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) reveals that over the past 12 months, the adoption rate of Kubernetes has increased by 67%.
As more organizations are moving from monolithic applications to cloud-native microservices, Kubernetes has become the go-to solution for containerization.
Known for its unparalleled capabilities to automate management, deployment, and maintenance of container orchestration, Kubernetes has grown to become one of the most well-contributed open-source platforms with over 2.8 million contributions, including investments by the likes of Google, Red Hat, and VMWare.
It is quite evitable that Kubernetes is growing to become an inevitable part of the entire IT industry, and 85% of global IT leaders have vouched for the fact. But what makes the tool such a popular solution worldwide? And why should your organization invest in it?
Why should Organizations Adopt Kubernetes?
Kubernetes (or K8s) is a containerization and orchestration tool, which is incredibly efficient in automating and optimizing available computing resources while taking care of application deployment and scaling. Besides that, the tool is also capable of automatically repairing and restarting the containers if and when they fail; thus, completing the entire application lifecycle all by itself without needing any human intervention.
Kubernetes achieves its capabilities through elaborate engineering designs. Each Kubernetes deployment uses at least one cluster, equipped with multiple nodes, host pods, and a control panel to manage all the internal components. While such an extensive architecture for an application deployment may appear excessive, the seamless benefits of high availability and fault tolerance with tons of functional abilities overweigh the cons of high cluster maintenance expense, especially if the application is of enterprise scale.
Having said that, Kubernetes with all its celestial capabilities is not without its share of challenges. What are the common challenges that adopting companies are likely to face, and how can they overcome them? Let us focus on that.
3 Common Challenges with Kubernetes Implementation
According to this published report by the Digital Innovation Benchmark, organizations find three major areas where Kubernetes create the most roadblocks, namely security, complexity, and performance. Let us discuss each one of them:
When it comes to installation and deployment, Kubernetes is not a user-friendly tool to work with. For a start, it is not compatible with the traditional networking approaches. This can raise major complexities for development and operational teams looking to scale KB deployment to the next level. Additionally, it is equally challenging to engineer interoperability between different cloud-native apps, which can eventually pose problems in production, QA operations, and staging.
The complex KB architecture and massive data volumes can also create scaling challenges for organizations. To grow the scale of your operations, you need to manually configure the containers’ orchestration, which isn’t easy.
Adding to this, Kubernetes consumes a lot of resources when deploying an application. This translates into a high-cost factor for small enterprises, thus making Kubernetes a potential “misfit” for organizations looking to invest in a containerization & orchestration tool.
Thanks to its complex architecture, it is challenging for enterprises to secure every KB component. Deploying multiple containers at the same time needs to be closely monitored without overlooking extreme security vulnerabilities.
For example, consider the case of unauthorized user access to the computing resources. With Kubernetes consuming resources on containers, you can easily miss the threat when hackers use them for their high-maintenance processes, like cryptocurrency mining.
Besides security-related vulnerabilities, a Kubernetes environment also makes it difficult to identify and resolve the areas affected by the security vulnerabilities. All in all, configuring the KB toolkit for security purposes is not an easy task. Any organization with limited resources can easily get overwhelmed by all the potential security threats.
3. Performance Optimization
Besides security and deployment challenges, the Kubernetes tool also poses challenges related to optimizing performance. On its part, Kubernetes is immensely capable of automating multiple tasks, including workload and storage management using containers. However, it cannot do that on its own and needs third-party integration.
A Kubernetes solution does not have any in-built tools that can help your operations teams monitor and optimize their container workload. The tool does not report any performance issues (using timely alerts) nor facilitates the easy collection of monitoring logs. This can be a point of frustration for the operational team trying to figure out performance delays.
Apart from that, Kubernetes’ complex architecture doesn’t simplify integration with third-party tools.
How can any business enterprise overcome these challenges and leverage their investment into the Kubernetes tool? Let us explore the possibilities.
Overcome Kubernetes Challenges with Best Practices
Despite its multiple challenges, the Kubernetes tools add to the operational efficiency in any DevOps environment. For instance, Kubernetes enables product development teams to implement the CI/CD model. By eliminating manual interventions from the production to the deployment stage, the Kubernetes tool allows organizations to release their enterprise-scale tech solutions incrementally, thus helping them achieve business agility.
Business enterprises can overcome Kubernetes-related challenges using the following best practices from the earliest stages of adoption:
- Ensure security by embedding the toolkit with modules like SELinux and AppArmor. Functional teams should look to use separate containers for the front and backend components to facilitate the identification and resolution of security threats. Besides that, you need to make the authentication process mandatory (with RABC) to secure the administration console from potential infiltrations.
- To optimize performance, organizations must invest in a separate staging environment, where they can set accurate benchmarks for the application behavior. This can be achieved using a smaller and separate version of the production cluster that works even for smaller applications. By adopting a modular approach to separate front and backend containers, the DevOps team can now easily monitor and optimize the application performance.
As a popular container orchestration technology in the market, the growing business adoption of Kubernetes shows how companies across business domains are looking to leverage its range of capabilities. However, the complex infrastructure of the Kubernetes tool along with security and performance challenges can be major challenges for enterprises.
Having said that, organizations can easily meet these implementation challenges using best practices and by partnering with technology specialists.
As a technology design company with expertise in Kubernetes containerization and automation, Benison Technologies has partnered with over 30 enterprises with their application development solutions.
Looking for an efficient Kubernetes solution? We can help you. Contact us for a free consultation from our experts!