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Considering managed Kubernetes? 5 questions to ask

Kubernetes has become essential to cloud-native development because it's an excellent tool for managing containerized applications at scale. But implementing it on your own can be challenging.
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So you're looking into managed Kubernetes. Maybe you've gone the DIY Kubernetes route, but it's become difficult to manage. Or you're new to Kubernetes and want to understand your options. Kubernetes has become essential to cloud-native development because it's an excellent tool for managing containerized applications at scale. But implementing it can be a challenge.

[ Managed services vs. hosted services vs. cloud services: What's the difference? ]

That's because once you start using Kubernetes, it takes a lot of time and resources to integrate the right components to use in production. Especially in a DIY environment, you might spend more time integrating and continually managing tools from different vendors rather than working on the application itself. And if you have a small team with limited resources, managing Kubernetes can be complex when you have other priorities to meet customer demands.

Why consider managed Kubernetes?

When you're evaluating whether to go the managed Kubernetes route, here are some questions to ask:

  1. Does my team have the resources and expertise to design and implement Kubernetes with the necessary integrated tools and services?
  2. Are my deployments delayed, or can I streamline them by offloading Kubernetes management?
  3. How do I support security and compliance at scale without delays or operational risk?
  4. How do I manage my efforts in building cloud-native applications while managing or modernizing existing ones?
  5. Where is my time best spent: managing Kubernetes and ongoing integrations or focusing on application delivery?

The great thing about managed Kubernetes is it offloads a lot of operational work to run container deployments. It takes care of the deployment and management of clusters and allows you to automate things like upgrades, certificate management, and capacity scaling. Although there are varying levels of management in operations and support, it's a great way to simplify your Kubernetes deployment since the service helps you reduce operational costs and complexities. Managed Kubernetes can enable your team to spend less time managing lifecycles, scaling, and security patching and focus more on building new features, modernizing applications, and handling other core business needs.

[ Related reading: 5 things sysadmins should know about cloud service providers ]

Things to look for in a managed Kubernetes service

If you're interested in going the managed Kubernetes route, here are some things to look for.

1. Find a complete solution

It takes more than just Kubernetes to build cloud-native applications. Usually, you'll need cluster services like logging, monitoring, and networking and tools such as CI/CD pipelines, service mesh, and distributed tracing. Look for a solution that is ready to go right out of the box with the integrated tools and capabilities you need on top of Kubernetes. You don't want to spend time integrating these capabilities just to get started; that's why you're considering a managed service in the first place.

2. It should be scalable

Once you have the service going, you want to be able to develop applications that can scale with your business needs. Look into who manages what; what things are you responsible for versus the vendor? Does the vendor manage Day 1 (building and deploying managed clusters) and Day 2 operations (lifecycle management, monitoring, and patching)? What does the service-level agreement (SLA) look like?

[ Learning path: Getting started with Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS (ROSA)

3. Don't forget about security

Security starts early, and it's important to consider all aspects of the container lifecycle, from development to deployment and maintenance. Make sure the managed service addresses security and compliance concerns so that you can keep your containerized applications protected.

4. Hybrid cloud flexibility is key

If you're modernizing your applications and need the flexibility to have workloads across on-premises, public clouds, and private clouds, make sure the solution is compatible to use in a hybrid cloud environment. Even better would be a platform that gives you consistency in managing applications across a hybrid environment so that you have the same user experience no matter where you're deploying your applications.

Finding a managed Kubernetes service provider

When thinking about how to best approach Kubernetes and implement it in a production environment, there are many things to consider. If you're looking for a managed Kubernetes service in the public cloud, consider Red Hat's joint, first-party solutions with leading cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud. These solutions are backed by site reliability engineers (SREs) who automate the management of your clusters and are experts in the platform automating these tasks.

[ For more information on Red Hat's managed Kubernetes solution, visit What are Red Hat OpenShift cloud services? ]

Topics:   Kubernetes   Cloud  
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Anes Kim

Anes Kim is a product marketing manager for Red Hat OpenShift cloud services and has been at Red Hat since 2020. More about me

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