Prior to getting started, let us enhance our basic understanding of Cloud Hosting and what it has to do with our day-to-day life. In simple terms, Cloud Hosting refers to deploying your application, software, or website to a third-party service provider that effectively monitors and manages the setup, infrastructure, security, and maintenance. This methodology is gaining the attention and trust of hundreds of small and medium-scale organizations day by day and is playing a key role in predicting the future of Cloud Computing. The fact is evident that Cloud Hosting provides capital and operational savings to multiple organizations along with fast, reliable, scalable, secure, and scalable resources with a high degree of performance. All these advantages collectively make Cloud Hosting the best option to enable emerging enterprises to focus on their business goals rather than worrying about Information Technology setup and architecture. It has successfully transformed the way businesses and growing enterprises deploy and manage their applications on Cloud.
As the IT industry is continuously evolving and expanding, there are multiple tools and technologies entering the cloud hosting space that aim to enhance the efficiency and reliability of the hosting process. One such tool is Kubernetes, which is also the focus of this Blog. Various studies and surveys have been conducted and based on their results, it has been predicted that more than 75% of organizations will be using not less than two containerized applications by 2024. The high rate means that Kubernetes has received dispread acceptance as it enables SMEs and startups to gain access to the same advanced tools the largest corporations use through SaaS/PaaS/IaaS/CaaS plans. We will take a look at what is Kubernetes, what features it has to offer, and why organizations prefer it so much rather than any other tool or technology.
What is Kubernetes and why is it used for Cloud Hosting?
Kubernetes is an open-source system that enables us to automate deployment, scale, and manage containerized applications with ease. It was originally developed by Google and is now maintained and managed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). Kubernetes has gained such immense popularity in the past few years that most platforms have started providing Kubernetes as both a hosted and managed service. Kubernetes has thus become a crucial tool for various businesses looking for opportunities to harness the full potential of the cloud.
Which platforms provide Kubernetes as a Managed Service?
- Google’s Cloud Kubernetes Engine
- Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)
- Amazon’s Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (Amazon EKS)
- IBM’s Cloud Container Service
- Rackspace KAAS
Why is Kubernetes so Popular Among Cloud Hosting Providers?
Kubernetes provides multiple features and advantages that make it a perfect choice for Cloud Hosting. Some of the strong reasons for using Kubernetes are listed below.
Cost Effective and Budget Friendly
One of the main reasons for using Kubernetes for cloud hosting is that it is highly cost-effective and optimizes resources. Kubernetes uses containers that require fewer resources in terms of Memory, CPU Usage, and Storage. In addition to this, Kubernetes offers much more effective resource utilization as compared to hypervisors and Virtual Machines. Even if you want to opt for self-managed or managed Kubernetes providers, there are multiple budget-friendly options available out there in the market.
Some budget-friendly self-managed Hosting Providers are:
- Contabo – A German hosting company with dedicated and affordable VPS servers.
- Hetzner – Hetzner is also a German hosting company that offers affordable servers in all ranges.
- OVH Cloud – A French Cloud Hosting provider that provides a free managed Kubernetes setup and charges only for computing servers utilized.
Some managed Hosting Providers are:
If you have a completely nil budget but still want to gain some hands-on experience with Kubernetes then you can try the following options:
- Minikube: It allows you to run a single-node Kubernetes cluster on your local machine for the purpose of development and testing.
- MicroK8s: It is a lightweight Kubernetes distribution that is specially designed for easy installation and use by beginners.
- K3s: Just like MicroK8s, K3s is also a lightweight Kubernetes distribution that is designed to be easy to install and use.
- Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) free tier: GKE provides a free tier that allows you to run a small Kubernetes cluster with limited resources for free.
Since scalability is one of the most important and essential aspects of Cloud Hosting, Kubernetes plays a key role in serving the purpose. Kubernetes has the capability to successfully enable the scaling of containers to resolve performance bottlenecks and increase performance. It can proactively increase or decrease the number of nodes running on the closer based on resource requirements. Automated Scaling is an effective way to reduce cluster load during variable workload throughout the day. There are some primary autoscaling mechanisms in Kubernetes which are:
- Horizontal pod autoscaling (HPA)— It automatically scales pods across multiple nodes if they need more capacity or deletes pods if less capacity is required.
- Vertical pod autoscaling (VPA)— This automatically increases the resource requirements of a pod, ensuring it is scheduled to a node with more resources available.
- Cluster Autoscaler— It automatically scales up or down the cluster by adding nodes or terminating nodes when no pods are being run on them.
Managed by Cloud Providers
As discussed earlier most Cloud Hosting Providers such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, etc. deploy Kubernetes for Cloud Hosting. This enables you to choose the best service providers as per your requirements and the packages being offered. You always have the option of switching from one service provider to another as integrations and migrations are managed seamlessly by Kubernetes. This gives you a sense of relaxation and places your mind at ease knowing the availability of multiple service providers. Recent studies have shown that Cloud hosting providers who offer Kubernetes have started competing with their rivals with the aim to provide better services at a lower price without compromising the user experience. The strong capability to integrate with multiple cloud providers facilitates an easy transition between providers, with little to no redesign required for your application or hosting process. Kubernetes also makes apps a lot more portable, so IT can move them more easily between different clouds and internal environments.
Another important aspect of Cloud Hosting is maximum availability by ensuring minimum downtime. Kubernetes successfully ensures maximum uptime with state-of-the-art features like self-healing and Load Balancing. This means during the failure of any container node, Kubernetes automatically replaces the faulty node with a new one that enhances efficiency and reduces downtime significantly. Features such as Load Balancing effectively distribute loads evenly across all nodes which not only prevents bottlenecks but also enhances user experience.
During the Application Development lifecycle, the software is developed and deployed continuously to test its efficiency and effectiveness. Many developers and programmers prefer Kubernetes as it streamlines the Application Deployment process by eliminating irregularities and complexities. Its feature Rolling Updates enables zero downtime deployments that ensure continuous service availability even during updates.
Easy Integration with DevOps
As we all know DevOps is the practice of combining development and operations to ensure Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment. Kubernetes promotes a DevOps culture by fostering effective collaboration between development and operations teams. Continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines can be easily integrated with Kubernetes, enabling automated testing and seamless application delivery that further boosts development cycles and improves software quality
During cloud hosting, it is practically impossible to encounter failures. Either your hardware can fail or networks can become unstable leading to disruptions and downtime. Kubernetes is loaded with effective self-healing mechanisms that help applications recover from these failures automatically. This ensures that applications are robust and can tolerate failures helps reduce downtime and the need for manual intervention. Kubernetes also supports rolling updates, allowing applications to be updated without downtime by replacing new pods with the old ones.
One of the major challenges that enterprises and users encounter during Cloud Hosting is to make their applications secure and less vulnerable to cyber threats. With the increase in cyber-attacks, a lot of focus and attention is given to security to prevent unauthorized access to data or applications. Kubernetes offers multiple security features such as:
- Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)Pod Isolation
- Secrets Management
- Security Contexts
- Network Policies
Effective Monitoring and Observation
One of the most crucial aspects of deploying applications on Kubernetes is maintaining the health and performance of cloud-hosted applications. Kubernetes provides the scope for integrations with popular monitoring and observability tools such as Prometheus, Grafana, and Jaeger that can enable you to track the performance and monitor it continuously.
As we have read above Kubernetes has become the most preferred choice for cloud hosting due to its capabilities such as portability, scalability, self-healing, resource efficiency, service discovery, ecosystem, DevOps integration, security features, monitoring, and more. Its ability to abstract the underlying infrastructure, coupled with its robust management and orchestration capabilities, empowers organizations to build and operate cloud-hosted applications with confidence.
As the Cloud Hosting landscape is evolving continuously, Kubernetes is most likely to remain at the top, enabling businesses to harness its full potential. In addition to that, the industry experts are pretty confident that their Kubernetes-based approach has a niche in the market and the fast-growing enthusiasm confirms their belief.