What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes Logo

The pioneering concept of orchestration in the world of IT has been there for a long time. The wildly popular Kubernetes solution is simply that, designed for containerized environments.

Google may have developed Kubernetes, and donated it to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, but this platform has seen widespread usage everywhere, including the AWS platform. So much so, that Amazon saw the turning tides and itself become a CNCF Platinum member.

Let’s take a look at this powerful little solution, and why its usage has picked up in the increasingly containerized world of today.

What is Kubernetes?

Before we get down to the details of what Kubernetes is, you have to be familiar with what containers actually are, as well as the Docker technology that allows for their creation. Simply put, in a world that is fast heading towards containerized IT environments, apps and data containers ought to be smartly composed to realize this new generation of software services.

There is a need of building powerful, application aware containers.

And since Docker containers are generally isolated at process level, and are portable enough to be easily repeatable, a single physical host usually hosts multiple containers. In other words, almost every IT environment is stuffed with a variety of Docker containers. And this spells trouble for administrators to effectively manage these containers.

An orchestration solution like Kubernetes helps with this sharp increase in the management complexity of containers. More so, since this is an open source project, and has a very big community behind it that constantly discusses improvements and new ideas.

Its initial version was actually made available in 2014, and in three short years, Kubernetes has taken over as the preferred choice of developers — ahead of similar products like Flocker, and even the company’s own Docker Compose tool that is designed to facilitate the running of a group of Docker containers.

Kubernetes has now become the most widely used container cluster manager, with many developers preferring it to other solutions for managing their containers on the Amazon cloud.

How does Kubernetes work?

Like most cluster management tools, Kubernetes works with a node-master architecture. All the nodes run an agent, which in this case is called Kubelet, while the master runs other components like the API and schedulers.

All the nods have Docker, and are managed from the master systems.

Kubelet is in charge of managing the Pods and the containers, with a pod being an abstraction that groups containers. The nods also run a network proxy and load balancer, which not only allows containers to have static end points that can be defined via services, but also makes it possible to communication in and out the clusters.

On the whole, Kubernetes offers really powerful orchestration of your containers on AWS, including remarkable options for scheduling, distributing workloads, and scaling.

As an AWS user, you have two excellent choices for container management on the Amazon cloud platform — one native, and the other open source with a raging community behind it that does some inspiring work to actively improve the solution.

Take a look at how the Amazon ECS services stacks up against Kubernetes in this comparison.

For More ECS information go here