The dummies guide to Kubernetes ecosystem

27 Mar 2018

I will do a series a blog as I get my head wrapped around Kubernetes.

A recent proclamation in the technology trends is that Kubernetes has won the container wars. It implies that Kubernetes is the new operating system for the cloud.

What is Kubernetes (k8s)?

One of the key misconceptions is that k8s is an orchestration engine for docker containers. This is how I thought about it. That is true but it is much more.

Container orchestration is a key capability of the platform but there is much more. I think of k8s as the container orchestrator and the ecosystem services around it. Here are the key services that a company needs to think about as they bring in k8s:

  • Container scheduler, orchestration and runtime: the runtime are the services like network, filesystem that containers need to use to function; the scheduler schedules containers to run in a cluster; the orchestrator manages the SLA for the system.
  • API and management UI: every service in k8s is available through an API service and the management UX uses the API to provide the UX
  • Registry (docker registry): The service registry is where you look up docker containers that are provisioned by the runtime
  • Service discovery: all the services provided in k8s are discoverable through this service
  • Security and Governance policies: secret management, rbac, image protection and the overall resource policies fall here
  • Monitoring: if you have imagined a criss-cross of services, containers and messages flying around – you are right about it. A system like this needs a monitoring system.

So if you are bringing k8s in-house or evaluating a cloud solution, you need to think about the above categories of service and make sure that your provider is providing an acceptable service (for you) on each of the categories.

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