Kubernetes Day-2 Operations, Part I

Kubernetes is the de facto standard for container clustering and orchestration. Its adoption is booming in cloud-native, on-premises, edge cloud applications; and in test, staging and production environments.

The CNFC 2019 survey suggests a dramatic increase in the use of Kubernetes in production, with 78% of respondents using Kubernetes in 2019 compared to just 58% in 2018.

Kubernetes acceptance is also at an all-time high, with the survey indicating that 58% of respondents rate the container orchestration platform already in production.

As Kubernetes evolves as a technology, becomes more widely adopted by users, and becomes more accepted within the developer community, it also experiences some complexities as it matures.

As the survey report states, “While cultural challenges with the development team remained the top challenge, security (40%) and complexity (38%) remained at the top of the list. it has been an open source project for a large community for almost half a decade, even today Kubernetes gives the impression that it is designed for everyone but developers.

For starters, anyone with help can set up a Kubernetes cluster and get started with the software implementation, but running its day-to-day operations isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Indeed, it’s on day 2 of going live that you realize that Kubernetes operations are synonymous with challenges.

As the application stack and underlying software architecture matures with a constant onslaught of code on the CI/CD pipeline, the environment tends to induce layers of complexities and with them a number zero-day vulnerabilities.

As it comes with the culture of IT administration, developers feel compelled to figure out those bugs when things go wrong in the sea of ​​countless complexities or release patches for that security vulnerability before it is found. on a security bulletin or in the hand of a digital one. intruder.

No developer appreciates the amount of manual work that Kubernetes management imposes on them. As everything tends to be coded these days: infrastructure, production environment, testing, application security, developers have no choice but to intervene.

If we’re talking about Kubernetes, it’s too bare bones to begin with: developers need to understand absolutely anything that invites a series of redundant manual steps or, conversely, missteps.

When delivering Kubernetes to different industries and different users as a service, they need to address the following management challenges

1: Manifest Management

Kubernetes management revolves a lot around creating YAML manifests and configuration files. YAML is already complex and Kubernetes makes advanced use of it. Maybe after working with YAML you still don’t know how to work with text blobs.

Have you ever created an “array in an array hash” structure?

Managing manifests in Kubernetes involves you on another level, except you have to manually create an endless number of configuration files and YAML or JSON manifests for each Docker container to fix the account syntax and all attributes.

In the end, you have a huge mesh of small YAML files related to environment resources to reverse. Sometimes they grow at unprecedented volume, making managing them at a manual scale impossible. Automation is a must in this situation.

2: Application lifecycle management

Containerization and all the tools around it allow developers to release new versions of software weekly, monthly, or daily by the hour, minute, or in real time.

Too many commits to the repository from multiple sources can break the codebase and trigger an unexpected user response. Uninterrupted application lifecycle management requires containerization and DevOps automation tools like CI and CD to work together.

A continuous integration tool like Jenkins or CircleCI can automate this. Manually integrating CI with each Docker container to deploy it can take forever. On the other hand, developers tend to rely on Canary and Blue-Green strategies for a controlled delivery process.

Kubernetes expects multiple deployments for each container and switches between these deployments by scaling up or down each container in the blue/green deployment. Deploying Canary requires developers to manually review and analyze application statistics and manually change the weight of each stage based on those statistics. These processes, while resolving important deployment-related issues, require a lot of manual, time-consuming, and human-error-prone configuration changes on the part of the developer at deployment and rollback time.

3: Volume management

Kubernetes has the concept of volumes (storage) for working with persistent data. A volume can be attested to AWS Elastic Block Store (EBS), Azure Disk, GCE Persistent Disk, etc.

Volume management in Kubernetes requires developers to configure the storage class, persistent volume requests, and persistent volumes for each Docker container.

Additionally, binding a persistent volume with claims depends on the allocated size and storage class. Each cloud provider has its own persistent storage structure and expects the developer to learn it. Each Docker container can be designed with multiple persistent volumes. Large numbers of containers add complexities, which makes management time-consuming in many cases (eg large volumes).

If a developer has misconfigured a persistent volume claim, persistent volume, or storage class, the volume will fail to attach to the container and will remain in limbo.

CloudPlex: Kubernetes is the simple way CloudPlex lets you build, debug, and deploy Kubernetes applications with minimal effort and without the blood, sweat, and tears that come with manually using Kubernetes.

If we talk about manifest management, CloudPlex offers an intuitive drag-and-drop visual interface to save you from manually creating YAML manifests and configuration files. This makes it easier to manage YAML files.

CloudPlex builds on your existing cloud-managed solutions for Kubernetes to improve the experience and make Kubernetes accessible and developer-friendly.

CloudPlex makes designing, developing, testing, and running Kubernetes applications quick and easy.

With CloudPlex, you no longer need to write manifest files or search for valid parameters and supported values. You can configure services using a visual interface, in a single view.

The interface validates and generates all necessary manifest and configuration files. It can be downloaded and used on any K8s cluster.

CloudPlex automates application updating and supports all the major CI tools you can think of: Jenkins, CircleCI, Bitbucket, etc. All you need to do is integrate a webhook into your CI pipeline. With CloudPlex, all you have to do is copy/paste the code.

Deploying Blue/Green, Canary, and Highlander version upgrades is super easy with Cloudplex. You can visually design multi-stage deployment pipelines and deployment strategies. CloudPlex manages all configuration files.

For volume management, CloudPlex configures storage class, persistent volume, persistent volume request, and their associations. All you need to do is provide basic information about the size of the volume and the identity of the container to associate with.

Additionally, CloudPlex provides a uniform interface for all public clouds, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.

While Kubernetes is a huge relief to the enterprise stuck in endless chaos around container management, it has added tasks to the to-do lists of busy developers running from one deadline to another.

CloudPlex’s all-in-one Visual Kubernetes application platform addresses these challenges developers face and lightens their day-to-day tasks.

Assad Faizi

Founding CEO

CloudPlex.io, Inc.

[email protected]

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