Source: Google Cloud
Every CTO, project manager, admin, and stakeholder are looking for ways to shift applications from a cost center to an innovative services profit center. If your organization is moving towards DevOps, you need to simplify web application development and deployment using containerized applications. But as your applications grow into the hundreds with thousands of potential services, you’re looking at Kubernetes to manage all those potential containers.
While orchestration systems like Kubernetes can handle thousands of containers across hybrid and multi-cloud environments with different providers, they’re challenging to manage at scale. To understand what makes Kubernetes so complex, we’ll look at the top DevOps challenges of Kubernetes projects.
1. Configuring a Load Balancer
The first challenge with deploying Kubernetes concerns your most important aim, to get a working application live on the internet. Yes, you can deploy your application using Kubernetes CLI (kubectl), but if you wanted to automate the process, you must configure a load balancer.
If you’re an admin, you must configure the load balancer manually on each pod hosting containers unless you’re running your application on Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
Your main alternative would be to expose the service (check out one of our earlier blogs to see what we mean by ‘service’) to a port on your host machine (such as a virtual machine/VM). But you can run into the risk of port conflicts and difficulty scaling clusters.
2. Managing Resource Constraints
A major benefit of containerized applications is the ability to use computing power efficiently, especially by directly accessing the RAM or CPU instead of spinning up a new VM. But to use that capability, you need to know how to configure Kubernetes to request resources on each pod.
If you skip this step, you’ll put your application at risk of crashing because its containers failed to source enough memory or processing power. That will leave you with downtime and, potentially, dissatisfied end-users/customers and a loss of revenue. That could be disastrous for:
- Banks and financial services institutions where customers cannot access different account and banking services
- Healthcare technology startups and application providers that deliver web applications to healthcare delivery organizations with thousands of patients.
- Retailers with thousands of customers unable to access web apps, carts for checkout, product pricing catalogs, accounts, etc.
3. Logging and Monitoring
In Kubernetes, a centralized logging and monitoring system is critical since containerized applications at scale can mean hundreds of services connected to countless databases. You’re now dealing with exponentially more issues at a high-level, such as dozens (or hundreds) of services, each connected to its own database.
However, you’re also dealing with new logistics or workload challenges. As an example, with many services in play, you can’t just log into a server to view log files each time to troubleshoot an issue. It’s not workable to do it the old way because you’re now dealing with many servers and data sources. You don’t have that kind of time, so you need to simplify it.
To achieve this, you’ll need to consider external tools such as Kafka for logging and Graylog for indexing when you have thousands of events happening each day. Again, you’ll need to configure them to work with your Kubernetes cluster and nodes.
One benefit of Kubernetes is that it easily recovers from crashing. If pod crash for any reason, Kubernetes will automatically restart them. This capability is great for end-users that will need uninterrupted access to enterprise applications or customers with customer facing application services. But if you’re an admin, you still need to monitor these issues and, ideally, prevent them in the future.
You can investigate open-source tools, such as Prometheus (among others) to get real-time monitoring of your Kubernetes nodes. But as with a lot of Kubernetes, this requires a lot of additional configuration and testing work.
Kubernetes Challenges for Large Groups
The challenges we discussed above can apply to any web application development /DevOps team, be it within small or large organizations. However, from a business standpoint, large organizations may find the following challenges in terms of controlling cost and generating ROI across Kubernetes multi-cloud environments.
The challenge with securing Kubernetes is that it’s complex and easily vulnerable to hackers. According to TechBeacon, “it’s easy for attackers to identify Kubernetes clusters since they usually listen on a range of well-defined and somewhat distinctive ports.” The etcd tool uses port 2379/TCP, which is easy to find.
When moving from a legacy monolithic application to a containerized cloud native microservices architecture, even large organizations find security a major challenge.
Source: The New Stack
After all, each Kubernetes API (which enables you to use its tools) acts as a “front door”, so to speak, into your Kubernetes cluster.
For example, in 2018, Tesla suffered a breach through its Kubernetes administrative console; the hackers used Tesla’s cloud resources on Amazon Web Services for mining cryptocurrency.
See How to Deploy Kubernetes Correctly the First Time:
- The Difference Between Docker and Kubernetes
- The 7 Benefits of Kubernetes That Will Lower Your Costs & Time to Market
- Getting Started with Google Kubernetes Engine
- The Complete Guide to What is Kubernetes
The lesson here is that you can’t treat Kubernetes multicloud architectures, containerized applications, or cloud native microservices architectures in the same way as your legacy application and environment. To secure your new assets, you will need to identify the new vulnerabilities and close them accordingly. Don’t take the past for granted. Most of the deployment and security challenges with Kubernetes are more common among large organizations.
Source: The New Stack
It doesn’t matter if you’re a start-up or an enterprise giant, the keys to a successful transition to Kubernetes are planning and having enough developer resources for correct configuration.
For most organizations that means having a managed Kubernetes services partner like Techolution. To find out how Techolution can help you successfully and cost effectively implement Kubernetes, containers, and microservices across hybrid and multicloud environments that deliver business ROI, visit our Cloud Modernization Page.
Slash your time-to-market and Kubernetes deployment costs by configuring it right the first time. Contact us today to get started (and skip Day 2 operational struggles).