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What is Kubernetes? How Does It Work?

What is Kubernetes? How Does It Work?

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In this article

In this article


Is an open-source orchestration platform that follows the principle of Containerization that enables the usage of elastic web server components for cloud-based applications. Web and Mobile applications can be deployed using Kubernetes. Container Orchestration can be defined as maintaining the elastic framework for web servers in an automated way for the applications moved to production. The operations team can create system resources that can be automatically started if web traffic increases for any application during peak time and can remove server resources during application downtime. For SaaS applications, scalability is provided to support millions of users simultaneously. Let’s have a look at the below stages that led to the origin of Kubernetes.

Traditional Deployment:

Earlier, enterprises used to run developed enterprise or web apps on single-tenant computer servers. There used to be no chance of specifying limits for resource usage in the installed server and because of this, there were problems for resource allocation. For instance, if many apps are deployed on the same server there may be cases where a single application is used to consume many of the available resources, and this leads to low performance of other applications. The preferred solution for this might be to deploy different enterprise apps on a different server. But due to this, there may be a chance of resource underutilization and this leads to more infrastructure setup costs and maintenance costs.

Virtualized deployment:

 Considering above mentioned limitations, Virtualization was formulated. This allows users to run many Virtual Machines (VMs) on a host CPU. This allows enterprise or web apps installed to be remote among VMs and provides the feature of app security as the information can’t be transferred between different applications.
As guest Operating System (OS) would have its own kernel, set of libraries, and dependencies, these VM’s would utilize a large part of system resources. Applications installed on VMs are tied to the underlying hardware, moving a VM to another machine requires new configurations, new applications bugs, and reinstallation of the entire environment. VM’s can also be slow to boot.

Container deployment:

 Containers are alike VMs, but they share the common Operating System (OS) among the applications. Hence containers are considered lightweight. As containers are disassociated from the system hardware, they can be used across different cloud environments and Operating Systems.

Containerization is a better way to package and run applications. In a Production environment, Kubernetes provides us with a framework that handles Containers by implementing Scalability and Deployment patterns whether it can be restarting the container or adding more resources. Containers are currently in-demand due to their extra features such as Agile application development and deployment, CI-CD, Loosely coupled Micro-services, Resource isolation, etc.,

How Kubernetes Work:

Kubernetes also referred to as K8S originated from the code that Google used to manage its scalable data centers with the “Borg” platform. AWS introduced Elastic Web Server frameworks to the public with the launch of the EC2 platform. Kubernetes allows companies to organize containers like EC2 but using open-source code. Google, AWS, Azure, and the other major public cloud hosts all offer Kubernetes support for cloud web server orchestration. Customers can use Kubernetes for complete data center outsourcing, web/mobile applications, SaaS support, cloud web hosting, or high-performance computing.

In a Production environment, the developer/admin has to direct the containers that deploy the enterprise applications and assure no downtime during the course of the deployment. For example, if a container goes down, another container needs to be started. This would be easier if it is handled by any other system or technology.

That’s how we can use Kubernetes to solve the above issue. The framework is provided by Kubernetes for users to run distributed systems at a stretch. It manages scalability and availability for apps deployed, providing many deployment patterns, and many additional features. For instance, Kubernetes can take care of canary deployment for the deployed containerized apps.

A Container Orchestration system is a procedure to manage the lifecycle of apps that are placed in a Container across an environment. It’s a type of framework that allows the feature of automating the deployment and scaling of many containers as required. Many containers executing the same app are formed as groups. These same containers function as replicas in addition to serving load balancing for end user requests. A container orchestrator, then, supervises these groups, assuring that they are functioning in the desired manner. This system is basically an administrator responsible for handling a set of applications deployed via containers. Orchestrator does the required functionality if the container needs a restart or more resources.

Features of Kubernetes:

  • Service discovery and load balancing: Kubernetes gives information about the container having the Domain Name System(DNS) or IP address. If container traffic is high, this framework provides the ability for load balancing and network traffic distribution to achieve stable deployment.
  • Storage orchestration: This framework authorizes users to automatically organize a system for data storage of their own choice, like local storage, private or public cloud provider, and more.
  • Rollouts and Rollbacks Automation: The desired state of the container which is deployed using Kubernetes can be specified by the user and it is changed to that state at a manageable rate. Such as process automation can be made for creating new containers which are used for deploying web apps or enterprise apps, removing unused containers, and transferring resources being used to the newly created containers.
  • Automatic bin packing: Kubernetes provides users with a node cluster that is used to execute images that are placed in containers. Users can specify the number of CPUs and quantity of memory (RAM) needed for different containers. It can allow containers onto user specified nodes for effective utilization of resources.
  • Self-healing:Containers that are failed can be restarted by Kubernetes and they also can be replaced, even it stops the container that didn't act in response to user-defined health check and doesn't show these to users till containers are streamlined to operate.
  • Secret and configuration management: Kubernetes allows users to store and process sensitive data, such as passwords, security tokens, and Secure Shell keys. Users can directly deploy applications even though the changes are made at the configuration level. This doesn’t require restarting the whole container.  


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Kubernetes is a great tool for orchestrating applications that are containerized. It helps to automate the higher complex task of dynamically scaling an application in real time. The problem with K8s is that it’s a complex system itself; this is a disadvantage when things are not working fine within the system as expected.

Monitoring both Kubernetes technology and the application environments being orchestrated is essential to assure all is working as it should be and the users of the application are receiving a prompt and error free service. The monitoring solution must provide a unified view of both the Kubernetes cluster and the applications it’s containerized. It must be able to continuously transform to the evolving environment as workloads are scheduled across multiple nodes. It must be able to absorb vast quantities of data: time series, events, logs, and request traces, then summarize it into actionable information.

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