Could Kubernetes Benefit Your Containerization Strategy?

Discover if Kubernetes could benefit your organization. Learn its advantages, challenges, and how Trility can guide you through an implementation.

Claire Damon
March 21, 2024
Cargo ship navigating through the water with containers on board

There is a lot of excitement and momentum around containerization and using Kubernetes for cloud adoption. While it can be a really big boost to organizations, there are some things to remember as you begin or continue leveraging Kubernetes to ensure a successful and valuable implementation.

Kubernetes, known as K8s, has become the preferred solution for numerous developers. It’s an open-source system for orchestrating containers and streamlining the automation of application scaling, management, and deployment. Google initially developed Kubernetes, and it is now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation

Adopting Kubernetes often requires changes in the roles and responsibilities across multiple departments within the IT organization, accompanied by an organization-wide adoption to navigate the learning curve effectively. It is a big decision with wide-reaching implications.

When is Kubernetes the right tool?

It's important to carefully evaluate your organization's specific needs and circumstances to determine if Kubernetes is the right tool for your infrastructure (Figure 1).

Significant elasticity

Kubernetes is ideally suited for organizations that require significant elasticity in their infrastructure. It excels in enterprise organizations where the need to create or remove entire environments is frequent and where there is a demand for temporary, ephemeral environments for diverse testing scenarios. 

Rapid deployment

It also benefits organizations that rapidly develop and deploy new applications or services and require dynamic scaling to handle fluctuating demand levels, such as online retailers during holiday sales or streaming platforms during peak viewing hours, benefit greatly from Kubernetes' ability to adjust resource allocation based on workload metrics automatically. 

Cloud portability

Lastly, Kubernetes could be the right tool for enterprises that want cloud portability, as you can pick up entire environments and drop them into different cloud providers with more flexibility than you would have using other container orchestration tools. 

However, if your organization or team is smaller and you are leveraging various DevOps practices, Kubernetes might be overly complex and not the right fit. Likewise, if the organization's traffic is consistently stable, with little fluctuation, the dynamic scaling capabilities of Kubernetes may not be fully utilized. A more straightforward orchestration solution might be more suitable in these cases, as Kubernetes can require significant time and resources to set up and manage.

What are the benefits of Kubernetes?

From companies that need to support varying levels of demand to ones that want to avoid cloud vendor lock-in, Kubernetes can provide benefits in multiple use cases. 

Reduce Cloud Expenses

Self-managing infrastructure helps optimize costs by only using resources when needed. For instance, during periods of low demand, the system can scale down or reduce resources to save on operational expenses. This elasticity in resource allocation ensures that the business is not over-provisioning or under-utilizing resources. 

Learn other ways to Lower Your Total Cost of Ownership with DevOps practices

Scale Up or Out Automatically

Kubernetes reduces cloud expenses and labor costs when set up appropriately due to its self-scaling capabilities. A valuable strategy for any business with varying demand levels includes addressing vertical and horizontal scaling. Containerization allows the cloud infrastructure to adjust dynamically to the changing demands of the workload. 

A graphic showing horizontal vs. vertical scaling

Figure 2: A Kubernetes solution can automatically scale out or up based on predefined rules or triggers. Horizontal scaling adds additional instances or nodes to a system to accommodate spikes in traffic, whereas vertical scaling increases the computing power, memory, or performance of one single node. 

Horizontal scaling

Business Value: It effectively handles sudden, short-term spikes in demand to improve performance and capacity. 

How it Works: It adds more instances or nodes to a system in a distributed manner to handle increased load, allowing a business to distribute the workload across multiple instances.

Vertical scaling

Business Value: Because it requires downtime while rebooting a machine or virtual machine, vertical scaling is often used for specific instances and may not be necessary for containerization solutions. 

How it Works: The data lives on a single node, so scaling is achieved by distributing the load among the machine’s CPU and RAM resources.

Figure 3: Before containerization services, a person had to monitor the workload and make adjustments. In the example above, Kubernetes automatically spins up the resources using predefined rules and triggers based on business needs. 

Figure 3: Before containerization services, a person had to monitor the workload and make adjustments. In the example above, Kubernetes automatically spins up the resources using predefined rules and triggers based on business needs. 

“Kubernetes is good at watching traffic and accommodating how you want to handle it – the system is adept at automatically adjusting its scale based on predefined rules or triggers,” shared Cory Carlton, Trility’s Kubernetes expert. “This automation ensures that the infrastructure can handle fluctuations in demand without manual intervention.”

Achieve Speed & Enhanced Performance

Kubernetes enables better testing, faster deployment, and auto-scaling capabilities that enhance the overall performance and agility of the system. It excels at orchestrating containers, enabling teams to deploy, scale, and manage containerized applications efficiently and consistently. 

Containers have a small and efficient footprint, allowing them to start and stop quickly and provide cost savings. 

Containers also provide a level of isolation between applications, ensuring that different services or components do not interfere with each other. This isolation helps prevent resource contention and conflicts, improving the performance and reliability of individual services.

Cloud Portability

Businesses using Kubernetes have more flexibility and negotiating power regarding cloud providers. When leveraging a solid containerization strategy, Kubernetes makes deploying to several cloud providers easy and excels at container orchestration. It also mitigates vendor lock-in. 

What are the pitfalls of Kubernetes?

While Kubernetes offers numerous advantages, it also presents challenges and pitfalls that organizations should consider.

Organizational Change

Adopting Kubernetes often requires a change in the organization's culture, processes, and workflows. This transition can be challenging, especially for organizations with entrenched practices and methodologies.

Shift in Mindset for Compute Delivery & Operations 

Kubernetes introduces a new computing and operations paradigm and may require a fundamental shift in mindset. Organizations may have to rethink their infrastructure provisioning, deployment, and management approach – often a significant departure from traditional methods. 

Adopting New Skill Sets 

Learning Curve

Adopting Kubernetes often requires teams to acquire new skill sets and knowledge, particularly in the areas of containerization, orchestration, and microservices architecture. The learning curve can require a significant investment in time and resources for organizations that are unfamiliar with these technologies.

Complex Setup 

Setting up Kubernetes correctly, from development environments to production operations, can be complex and time-consuming. Organizations must ensure they have the expertise and resources to effectively and securely implement and manage Kubernetes.

Template Architecture

Teams can create and manage Kubernetes with templates, such as Helm Charts. These templates require a deep understanding of Kubernetes' architecture and best practices. This complexity makes it challenging for teams to create and maintain reliable, scalable, and secure templates without help or experience.

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Overcome the pitfalls with Trility

Embarking on a journey with Kubernetes is challenging, but it doesn't have to be a solitary endeavor. Our team of Kubernetes experts is well-versed in the intricacies of Kubernetes tools, templates, and operations, ensuring your organization's smooth and successful journey.

With Trility’s integrated approach, you can confidently navigate the complexities of Kubernetes to reap the benefits of a simplified cloud strategy. 

Our Kubernetes Experience

Read how our cloud engineers helped clients overcome the pitfalls and build innovative and scalable solutions with Kubernetes.

Don't let the challenges of Kubernetes hold you back. Our Client Partners welcome a conversation to help you understand the viability.