Cloud computing changed the world, then Kubernetes changed cloud computing.
Kubernetes, also known as K8s, has rapidly become the leading container orchestration tool used throughout the development world to create highly scalable and reliable applications.
K8s give developers and operators complete control over each component, empowering them to create always-available apps and make rolling updates without requiring downtime. And as their apps gain popularity, Kubernetes scales as configured so that every new user has an excellent experience.
Businesses and developers worldwide have embraced Kubernetes. A 2021 survey found that 96% of respondents indicated they use or are evaluating K8s. A separate survey found that 55% of IT professionals expect Kubernetes to reduce annual costs by 20% or more. Reducing costs and improving reliability is a powerful combination that isn’t often found in IT.
Yet, Kubernetes has also earned a reputation for having a steep learning curve and a complex setup process. While Kubernetes is certainly unique and will require learning new terms and concepts, it doesn’t have to be complex and out of reach. Keep reading to learn more about Kubernetes and how you can get started embracing it for your applications.
Kubernetes is a portable open-source container orchestration tool that manages and containerizes workloads or services. The platform's thriving open source community provides frequent updates and comprehensive support.
First developed by Google, it was released in 2014 as an open-source application and is now managed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Kubernetes is the result of Google’s 15 years of experience creating and optimizing production workloads at scale, a focus that helped it become the world’s search engine.
But why has Kubernetes gained so much popularity? Some of the powerful features of the platform that have propelled its rapid adoption include:
You can see why this transformative platform has attracted so much attention and why your business might want to start looking at Kubernetes for your apps and services.
We’ve used the term ‘orchestration tool’ a few times, but what does that mean?
Orchestration broadly means automatically configuring, coordinating, and managing services and applications. While similar to automation, which generally refers to a single task that replaces manual tasks, orchestration lets you automate entire workflows that require multiple steps, often throughout different systems.
An orchestration tool can enable IT teams to automatically deploy servers, allocate storage, manage networks, and several other essential tasks. These types of tools are used throughout IT.
Kubernetes is a specific type of orchestration tool focusing on containerization. The platform goes beyond standard virtual machines and provides powerful capabilities for developers and businesses.
Surprisingly, you won’t need to download and learn dozens of tools to get started with Kubernetes. Instead, you only need to learn a few:
Kubernetes has plenty of terms worth understanding before you start using the platform or diving deeper into what it can do. Of course, some of these terms are the same or similar to other tech terms, but it’s important to know what they mean in a Kubernetes context.
We’ve separated the terms into categories to make them more digestible.
All tech needs hardware to make it happen. The hardware components of Kubernetes include:
Kubernetes’ core innovation is at the software level, often known as compute. Let’s discuss important compute terms:
Networking is a vital part of Kubernetes that makes the entire platform operate and become publicly available. There are a lot of terms in this category, but you can get started by understanding a few of the most important ones:
To learn all the detailed network terms used by Kubernetes, read the official documentation for more information. However, the above terms will do the job of simply getting started.
How does Kubernetes handle storage? Two essential terms demonstrate its approach:
There are a few more terms you should know to help further understand how the entire platform is configured, including:
Now you’re ready to get started using Kubernetes to create always-available applications that automatically scale as necessary.
Imagine you want to put a simple Node.JS “Hello World” application on the Internet. Without Kubernetes, you’d make this application publicly available with a server instance (such as EC2 on AWS), install web servers, and configure the application accordingly.
But instead of going the old route, we’ll be looking at how we can achieve the same goal of a publicly available application with Kubernetes. Additionally, the official Kubernetes documentation provides an interactive tutorial and more details on each step, which we’ll link to if you wish to learn more and try it out yourself.
Kubectl is a command-line tool for managing Kubernetes, while Minikube allows you to create localized containers. Kubectl can be installed on Linux, macOS, or Windows with a simple curl command. Check out the official install guides for up-to-date instructions for each OS.
Minikube was designed to mimic the same conditions as working in a cloud environment, so practicing on your machine will be essentially the same as working on the cloud. However, you won’t have to worry about consuming cloud resources or interfering with a live application.
Just like kubectl, minikube runs on Linux, macOS, or Windows. You can also use a curl command for Linux and macOS. Visit the official documentation for current instructions and other installation methods.
You can create a development cluster by using minikube. The main difference between a development cluster and a standard cluster is that a dev cluster will exist on your local machine.
Begin by starting minikube in your terminal:
Next, make sure kubectl is working and your cluster is operational with a simple command to view the cluster information:
You can also see all available nodes by running:
kubectl get nodes
View more information and the interactive minikube tutorial at the Kubernetes Documentation.
You can deploy a containerized application to your new cluster using Docker's tutorial repository.
In the same terminal, use the kubectl run command to create a new container using Docker’s repository:
kubectl run kubernetes-bootcamp \
What is this?
Short explanation — it’s a simple NodeJS web server that serves simple text. The full source code is here:
This command will create a new deployment named ‘kubernetes-bootcamp’ and override the default port to make it 8080.
To view your deployed app, you can now run:
kubectl get pods
You’ll see all of your pods and a table indicating the desired state, current state, up-to-date, and available. In a real environment with a live app, you would see a long list with varying numbers of ready containers.
View more information and the interactive kubectl deployment tutorial at the Kubernetes Documentation.
Remember how a service makes apps available to external network connections? It’s time to make a service using a port-forward command to test and expose the pods that we deployed. Simply run:
kubectl port-forward pods/kubernetes-bootcamp 8080:8080
Open a new terminal window and run a curl command to your pod in action:
You’ll see the output of the pods that displays the information of the cluster you deployed.
View more information and the interactive Service tutorial at the Kubernetes Documentation. You can also go further and learn how to scale your application.
Now you know the right terms, tools, and technologies that make Kubernetes powerful for all applications and services. We went over a simple tutorial, but the process can become increasingly complex as you start making complex, live applications.
The beauty of Kubernetes is the platform is standardized and powerful to run on any infrastructure and supports many complex use-cases.
Lyrid makes the entire process significantly more straightforward and more manageable. Let’s dissect the above tutorial, but this time, through Lyrid’s multicloud Kubernetes platform:
You can see how you don’t have to install anything or use a terminal. With a few steps within our platform, you can quickly deploy a containerized application, make it publicly available, and even configure an active load balancer.
Ready to discover how Lyrid can help you get started with Kubernetes without the headache? Deploy for free or request a demo from our Kubernetes experts today.
Interested in learning more about Kubernetes? Check out our blogs!
Lyrid is a multi-cloud solution which makes cloud native developments automated and affordable. With Lyrid, development teams can innovate affordably, increase cloud vendor flexibility and test new ideas without disrupting existing processes.
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