Curious about the upsides and downsides of Kubernetes, also known as K8s? We don’t blame you, since this platform is expectedly to grow in popularity. Kubernetes is a platform for automating the deploying, managing, and scaling of containers in multiple clusters. We will explain its origin in a moment, but it has a huge backing at the moment, and its forks and distributions continue to appear. It provides a container orchestration system (COS) that automates application processes depending on individual containers and their microservices. Now, let’s dig into the advantages and disadvantages of Kubernetes.
Advantages of Kubernetes (K8s)
You now have a basic idea of the service. It would help if you knew the difference between containerization and virtualization before reading our list, however. We assume you do or have brushed up on that knowledge. Now, let’s dive into the pros of Kubernetes or K8s:
1. Kubernetes has a great future
A thing that gives Kubernetes credibility is that Google announced it back in 2014 as a FOSS (free and open-source service). In the consequent years, it became a staple in the virtual container orchestration field. Since then, the popularity of cloud technology, especially computing and storage, skyrocketed, making this service renowned. Thus, the service not only found a bigger user base but everything it needs to grow. Plus, updates keep its capabilities to handle any microservice architecture concerns efficiently, cost-effectively, and quickly.
2. It doesn’t have a serious independent competitor
One well-known fact is that Kubernetes doesn’t have an independent platform that would challenge its dominance. The fact it is backed by Google and now managed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) makes it the go-to service. Plus, alternative systems for container orchestrations such as Docker Swarm, Nomad, Rancher, OpenStack, Amazon ECS, and Red Hat OpenShift are more or less either based on, forks, or distributions of Kubernetes. Therefore, it serves most private and public cloud operation needs and is backed by Google, Cisco, AWS, Red Hat, Intel, and IBM, among others.
3. It provides self-healing abilities and has excellent application support
Kubernetes has self-healing abilities by default, although only for pods in containers. The providers of Kubernetes services can also implement provides self-healing layers to ensure that applications remain effective and reliable. Furthermore, the service can manage backups and fail-overs and offers can operate any operation that a container can operate.
4. Kubernetes lets developers utilize the entire cluster
The cloud containerization platform lets developers direct the deployment application patterns and can manage intricate distributed systems that benefit from containers. Its capabilities let it extract all connected computing sources, meaning developers can customize it to process workloads on the whole cluster rather than a specific server. It is also compact despite letting them create containers upon containers for each application using the abstraction layer over node clusters for hardware.
5. It delivers load balancing and monitoring
Kubernetes lets people in charge, administrators or authorized individuals, monitor, manage and operate several containers concurrently. Moreover, the service has zero or nominal performance overhead, boosting efficiency. One of the key benefits is the ability to build, run, and scale containerized applications. It also lets administrators manage workload by assigning a minimum and maximum available CPU and memory for each container and adjusting container size.
Plus, it can manage swift load-balancing and supports assigning individual IP addresses for each pod. To help the process, it also lets developers add one DNS (Domain Name System) for a pod set. Thanks to STORK (Storage Orchestrator Runtime for Kubernetes) from January 2018, it can monitor or operate applications without affecting their state. To sum up, Kubernetes handles almost everything, including fitting containers into nodes.
6. Kubernetes is adaptable, extensible, and cost-effective
Another desired feature of Kubernetes is its portability and cost-efficiency in terms of computing resources. Therefore, it can be moved and applied inside organizations or transferred to other systems. The aforementioned self-healing ensures failed containers are replaced promptly, mitigating system failure costs and emergency fixes. Finally, due to CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment), updates across all containers are handled automatically after the initial instructions.
Disadvantages of Kubernetes (K8s)
Without further ado, It’s time we dig into the cons of Kubernetes (K8s):
1. It has a steep learning curve
Starting to develop and operate Kubernetes containers requires training and a lot of practice. Therefore, it’s not ideal for beginners or developers making simple applications or developing locally. Organizations would need to find an expert to optimize K8s’ operations and train others, which can be difficult and costly.
2. Debugging, integration, and troubleshooting require expertise
Similarly to starting to develop, problem-solving, bug removal, and integration with new applications are troublesome. Thus, you require knowledgeable individuals to help train others or fix issues. Unlike some programming languages, there are no easy debug tools. Plus, the constant integration, expansion, and innovation make it hard to stay up-to-date.
3. Transition can be confusing and time-consuming
With the two downsides of Kubernetes above, you know that transitioning a company or an enterprise to Kubernetes may require a lot of work, time, and resources. Even with experts’ help, team members would need time to adjust to the new workflow. A silver lining is that they may be familiar with Kubernetes distributions and forks, making the transition a tad easier.
4. A threat to DevOps teams
Kubernetes automates containerized environments thanks to the so-called GitOps system it introduced. In short, all applications are deployed based on a git repository. That makes it easy to automate functions, e.g., cleaning databases, creating backups, sending emails, or cleaning the inbox. Unsurprisingly, there are many other, more tedious and difficult jobs for DevOps engineers. Automating them is great for the company’s efficiency and money, but some people will have to rethink their careers.
5. Not useful for small start-ups without scaling
Everything we mentioned mostly applies to projects or companies looking to scale one or more applications quickly, efficiently, and drastically. Investing in training, restructuring, expertise, application, updates, maintenance, and other things Kubernetes demands isn’t feasible for smaller applications that don’t want to scale. A lot of features will end up unused, including security measures, computer resources, cloud storage, and so forth.
6. Kubernetes requires planning ahead of time
The downside of Kubernetes (K8s) is that you must envision an application long before you begin developing it. That’s because containerized applications have a vastly different stricture compared to non-containerized ones. Thus, it may be too late and financially impracticable to rebuild applications to support it.