Applications are increasingly built as discrete functional parts which can be delivered as containers. That means for every application there are more parts to manage. To handle this complexity at scale teams need a policy-driven, automated solution that dictates how and where containers will run. Kubernetes is an open source, extensible container orchestrator designed to handle these challenges.
If implemented and maintained correctly, Kubernetes offers IT operations, developers, and business owners great benefits:
Kubernetes can run on a local machine or across multiple clusters in widespread availability zones. It horizontally scales your cluster when you need it, and scales it back when you don’t.
Kubernetes runs on-premise in your own datacenter, in a public cloud, or a hybrid cloud configuration, deploying containers the same way, every time.
Separation of concerns
Operations value stability, while developers value speed. Kubernetes resolves this conflict, so businesses can focus on what everyone wants: innovation and growth.
Installing, deploying, and managing Kubernetes is easier said than done. 75% of users cite complexity of implementation and operations as the top blocker to using Kubernetes in production. Enterprises need to consider security, multitenancy, and integration with existing investments when evaluating whether to use Kubernetes.
This offers numerous lifecycle management challenges:
IT must validate hosts with the right settings and LinuxⓇ operating system during Kubernetes installation.
As Kubernetes is deployed, the right identity and security access must be supplied, along with integrations for storage, networking, and container registry solutions.
Once deployed, Kubernetes must be integrated with more solutions, including platform monitoring, security hardening, and logging solutions. Organizations with multiple teams must ensure resources are segmented correctly, and metering and chargeback solutions are properly configured.
When Kubernetes is fully operational, all layers of the stack—the Linux container host, Kubernetes itself, and the services running on top of Kubernetes—need constant patching and updates.
Though Kubernetes is a powerful project and offers businesses many advantages, some assembly is required as it isn’t an out-of-the-box solution. In addition to requiring significant work to set roles, access controls, and multitenancy policies, Kubernetes also lacks:
Developer tooling and application services
Kubernetes does not include tested or validated middleware, database or performance monitoring solutions. Additional effort is needed to ensure Kubernetes works with specific editors, IDEs, and testing frameworks.
Kubernetes does not include a CI/CD workflow or container build and update processes.
Operating system, storage, and networking
These technologies do not come pre-packaged with Kubernetes, though they are needed for running containers in production. Users must bring and integrate their own solutions.
Red HatⓇ OpenShiftⓇ is more than just Kubernetes. Each release includes security, performance, and defect fixes, validated and tested integrations for third-party plugins, and enterprise lifecycle support. It runs anywhere Red Hat Enterprise Linux is supported, on-premise or in the public cloud, with push-button, cluster-wide updates from the operating system on up.
Red Hat is one of the leading contributors to Kubernetes, and has built key features and components of the open source project. Through Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat has years of experience supporting customers running containers in production with Kubernetes.