In the current fast-moving software landscape, advancements in operational technologies have fostered the dramatic reduction of cloud application release cycles. Traditionally, cloud-based application releases used to reflect a time schedule, but it has become increasingly common to see applications and services continuously delivered and deployed to users throughout the day. The explosive growth of cloud platforms, containers, and micro services-oriented architectures as well as the expectations in new features and fast bug fixes, have contributed significantly to this progress. It has increasingly linked the mutual relationship between developers and end-users with modifications and requirements being seamlessly addressed.
The accelerated development is often done by packing applications into containers and with the use of systems that automate their deployment and orchestration, like Docker Swarm, Marathon, and Kubernetes. These open-source platforms are presently sufficient enough for large-scale production deployments, that allow service buyers to launch and scale applications themselves, seamlessly managing hundreds of running containers.
Kubernetes is a robust and extensible open-source platform for running, scaling, and deploying containerized applications and services. It’s a platform created to control the scheduling and coordinating of a container on a cluster and support the workloads to ensure they run reliably. Kubernetes allows the users to determine the way applications run, and how an application interacts with other applications. Kubernetes is a tool that enables us to manage our cloud infrastructure and the complexities of having to manage a virtual machine. So that we can focus on developing and scaling our application. Kubernetes implements an agile and secure platform to manage and scale containers with a simple, easy interface.
The Kubernetes container orchestration system was born and initially designed at Google by several engineers who architected and developed Google’s internal cluster manager Borg. Released in July 2015 v1.0, Kubernetes has been increasingly developed and rolled out in large production deployments by enterprises such as Bloomberg, Uber and eBay.
In March 2018, Kubernetes became the first project to graduate from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, indicating that it has become mature and stable enough to handle large-scale production deployments. Kubernetes also benefits from a thriving open-source community, which actively develops new features and provides constant feedback and bug reporting across a variety of deployments and use cases. In addition to Kubernetes features, this growing developer community continuously builds tools for cloud service models that simplify the process of setting up, configuring, and managing Kubernetes clusters.
Before we even dive into the depths of building applications using containers and Kubernetes, let us understand what a Cloud-Native Application really is!
Cloud-native is a method to build and run applications that utilize the benefits of cloud delivery and Cloud service models. When companies build and operate applications using a cloud-native architecture, they produce innovative concepts to market faster and react quickly to customer demands.
More significant is the capability to offer on-demand access to computing power along with advanced data and cloud application services for developers. Cloud-native development brings together the above-mentioned concepts of continuous delivery, DevOps, containers and microservices.
Cloud-native applications proceed to surge in demand as their agility for software developers & accessibility for users is becoming increasingly mainstream. Cloud-native apps typically consist of many microservices that are normally packaged in containers and are maintained and deployed by the orchestration software. There are several orchestrators in the market but Kubernetes dominates the rest due to its flexibility and coordination for continuous deployment.
However, demand and coordination come at an expense of more vulnerable security due to the multiple paths that are unintentionally open to malicious threats. Kubernetes, containers and third-party applications pose notable security concerns for DevOps and DevSecOps experts because they do not have security standards tempered into the CI/CD pipeline. They can suffer vulnerability in the initial stages of development due to their exposure and reliance on multiple third-party platforms and development tools. Also, any change to an application or microservice is very much expected to be propagated into the upcoming versions. When a state of vulnerability or threat is identified in a running container, DevSecOps must be able to safely replace it with a non-compromised version along with integrating information into the CI/CD pipeline to defend future builds.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings have evolved, causing software architecture and development models to satisfy modern infrastructure paradigms. Cloud service providers must conceptualize the evolution and cloud applications must be designed to manage crashes and variations in this commodity computing infrastructure.
Streamlining application endpoints that exhibit metric data to developers, as well as containing applications in more modest, self-contained modules, has become the new standard in improving resilient cloud-based applications. Designing applications that will be immediately and interminably deployed into cloud environments has commenced the development of new software methodologies like “Cloud Native” and “Twelve-Factor.” These high-level frameworks address common challenges in running scalable applications on cloud platforms and offer services to guide cloud app developers in the design of efficient applications. Such frameworks are built on modern platforms like Kubernetes, micro services-oriented architectures, continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD), and automated orchestration.
For example, Azure App Service is one of the Azure products, that is a fully managed Platform as a Service (PaaS). It provides all the tools and services needed to create reliable and scalable mission-critical Web Apps, Mobile Apps, API Apps, and Logic Apps in a single instance. One of its elements, Azure Web Apps is a thoroughly managed service that assists to develop and deploy enterprise-ready web applications. It implements robust abilities such as built-in development operations, continuous integration with GitHub and Visual Studio Online, adaptation and production support, as well as automated patching for Azure developers to promptly create web applications. Another service provided by Azure that aligns with what we are discussing is the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). AKS simplifies deploying a managed Kubernetes cluster in Azure by offloading much of the complexity and operational overhead to Azure. As a hosted Kubernetes service, Azure handles critical tasks for enterprises, like monitoring and maintenance.
Therefore, nowadays, with the implementation of such innovative platforms, Cloud-native apps can be built and deployed in a rapid cadence by even small, dedicated feature teams. This strategy presents organizations with greater coordination, flexibility, and adaptability across cloud environments.
If your company runs multiple applications, Containers are a great way to bundle and run these applications seamlessly. Therefore, in a production environment, companies will require to maintain containers that run applications and also ensure that there is never any downtime. For example, if a container stops working, another container needs to start working. But wouldn’t it be much easier if this function was controlled by a system?
That’s how Kubernetes comes to the rescue!
Kubernetes presents enterprises with a framework to run distributed systems resiliently. It handles the scaling and failover for every application, implements deployment guides, and much more. For example, Kubernetes can efficiently maintain a canary deployment for your system. Some of the other advantages of Kubernetes in Cloud app development are mentioned below.
Kubernetes in applications is smart enough to understand a container using the DNS name or using their IP address. Therefore, Kubernetes can detect if traffic to a particular container is large and therefore balance the load and equally divide the traffic so that the deployment is steady.
Several organizations are employing containers, simultaneously with automated container management. This is in fact the original and simplest strategy toward streamlining cloud-based application development and deployment practices. These containers present developers with a comfortable method to package code, with several valuable advantages when compared to virtual machines (VMs). Containers are smaller than VMs, quicker to launch and more comfortable for developers to build and deploy themselves. But more essentially, containers are extremely portable; they incorporate everything required to run the application code, assuring that they perform effectively in any environment.
Developers can specify the desired state of deployed containers using Kubernetes, and it can change the actual state to the desired state at a controlled rate. For example, a developer can automate Kubernetes to build new containers for deployment, therefore, exclude existing containers and adopt all their resources to the new container.
More efficiency can be obtained by merging the use of containers with Kubernetes to automate the deployment and management of containerized applications. This comprises container scheduling and service discovery, monitoring of container performance and availability, container scaling, load balancing and self-healing capabilities, as well as application maintenance, including automated rollout and rollback of updates.
A cloud-based app developer can provide Kubernetes with a cluster of nodes that it can use to run containerized tasks. The developer can show Kubernetes how much CPU and memory (RAM) each container needs. Therefore, Kubernetes can fit containers onto the system nodes to make the best use of a company’s resources.
Early experiences with cloud-native application delivery are useful learning experiences. These include using containers and Kubernetes, embracing microservices-based application design and development, managing distributed systems, and adopting new workflows that tie people and processes together. Mistakes are made, insights are gained and improvements are implemented. Especially for AI based solutions, such as Chatbot Development Services, developers can learn from customer interactions and make updates. Over time, these learnings are captured and a set of best practices are drawn up. These serve as guidelines to smooth the way for repeatable success. The process doesn’t end there, however, because new learnings are continually integrated and the entire system matures and evolves.
Kubernetes automatically resets containers that fail, identifies working containers, eliminates containers that do not acknowledge user-defined health reviews and will not promote them to clients until they are ready to serve. Secret and configuration management Kubernetes let enterprises accumulate and handle confidential data, such as passwords, auth tokens, and SSH keys. Hence, enterprises can deploy and update application configuration without rebuilding container images, and without exposing secrets in a stack configuration.
By fully exposing the Kubernetes Control Plane API, developers have complete control over workload deployment, scaling, and monitoring. Container images can be pulled directly from public and private registries like Docker Hub and Quay.io, granting teams complete flexibility in designing and implementing continuous integration and deployment pipelines. With this exposed API, programmers can also profit from the valuable ecosystem of third-party Kubernetes tools, adapt to the right cloud service models as well as manage cloud-native applications on Kubernetes. At ThinkPalm, we can help you build innovative cloud applications based on your business requirements. With cloud implementation, our cloud experts can help enhance platform efficiencies, improve operational adaptability and business scalability. Starting with cloud consultation, we can be your partner in creating cloud solutions from scratch, as well as facilitating cloud migration, web application development. and update your existing applications to cloud platforms. Get in touch with us today!