Top Practices for Containers, Kubernetes
Here are a few of the Kubernetes best practices that ensure its adoption truly advancing container deployment.
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Is your organization ready to move containerized workloads into production or yet struggling with these challenges? Adopting complex stateful workloads with many dependencies, deploying containerization tooling without well-framed DevOps practices, and becoming gripped into vendor lock-in faster may be a few of such challenges. Having the right DevOps team in place and finding out how Kubernetes integrates with your company’s technological infrastructure to undergo effective legacy application modernization should be the way out. As an organization, you should consider if you have the requisite roles and skillsets before adopting new technologies. You must decide on runtime and orchestration engines in technical terms while selecting containerization workloads with utmost care and attention.
With more than 70% of organizations running containerized applications in production, Kubernetes has emerged to be one of the most sought-after methods to organize containers. Here are a few of the Kubernetes best practices that ensure its adoption truly advancing container deployment.
Do You Follow These Practices in Your Container Platform Strategy?
1. Security and Governance
According to Gartner, security cannot be an afterthought. It would help if you embedded it within the DevOps process, better known as DevSecOps. Adopting DevSecOps implies instilling a security culture throughout the company while embracing security automation. Through image scanning, organizations can achieve DevSecOps within a continuous integration/continuous delivery pipeline, better known as CI/CD pipeline. You can also leverage open-source tools to audit Docker containers. The aim here is the automation of the threat discovery process. Besides, security leaders should follow Center for Internet Security (CIS) benchmarks. They need to assure proper access controls while protecting credentials and sensitive information using third-party encryption services.
2. Monitoring and Observability
Historically, the focus of monitoring tools has been on host-level metrics, like CPU utilization, input-output (I/O) per second, memory utilization, network bandwidth, and latency. These metrics lack granular detail at the service or container level. DevOps goes granular to one more level into the containers’ functional monitoring. Talking about Gartner’s “Best Practices for Running Containers and Kubernetes in Production” report, the focus should be on monitoring at a container granularity and across containers at a service level. This way, you monitor “apps” instead of just physical hosts. Besides, priority should be given to vendors and tools that provide deep integration with the selected Kubernetes distribution vendor. Favor is rendered to the tools with automated service discovery. These tools should perform rich application monitoring, perform distributed tracing, use analytics and/or machine learning, integrate with open-source instrumentation framework, and offer real-time action-oriented recommendations.
Gartner believes that organizations transitioning towards legacy application modernization should opt for storage solutions well-aligned with microservices architecture principles. These solutions should adhere to the needs of container-native data services, have distributed architectures, and show hardware-agnosticism. The storage solutions should be API-driven and support on-premises, public, and edge cloud deployments. Besides, you should vet the stability and performance of the storage product effectively, guaranteeing that it integrates with Kubernetes distribution and supports container storage interfaces (CSI) well. Stateful workloads on containers are trending today. Talking about application modernization services, in the case of microservices-oriented stateful applications, Infrastructure and Operations (I&O) leaders require a storage platform to maximize that workload’s agility, performance, and availability.
Networking solutions should be tightly integrated with the primitives and policy engine of Kubernetes. IT leaders’ responsibility is to achieve a high degree of network automation while providing developers with effective tools and enough flexibility. As an organization, auditing your Containers-as-a-Service (CaaS) or software-defined networking (SDN) tool is a must. You need to check if the tool supports load balancing across hosts in the cluster and Kubernetes networking. The Kubernetes distribution being selected should offer ingress controller support for load balancing across hosts in the cluster. Ensure that you train your network engineers on network automation tools and Linux networking to increase agility and bridge the gap in skills.
5. DevOps Toolchain Integration
Automation tools act like a king when it comes to accelerating the application delivery pipeline. To put it in better words, organizations should complement container orchestration with CI/CD pipeline, infrastructure-as-code (IaC) products, and code repositories for a highly automated and seamless application delivery pipeline. They should automate I&O tasks around infrastructure provisioning and management through infrastructure automation tools. Besides, use container-aware configuration management systems for the container image lifecycle management. As best practices to operationalize containers and Kubernetes, you should integrate the Kubernetes platform with CI/CD tools. This helps to automate container image building, testing, and deployment to production.
Development teams can define the runtime application environment through containers. This leads to less unpredictability between preproduction and production environments. Moreover, development teams can build and test applications in production-like environments. For this, they integrate DevOps toolchains with Kubernetes-based container orchestration tools. Consistency between varied environments improves production reliability and also leads to better collaboration between operations and development teams.
Is Your Container Platform Strategy in Place?
By 2025, over 85% of global organizations will run containerized applications in production. Having learned some of the best practices from Gartner for running Kubernetes and containers in production, it is time to make the most of containers and Kubernetes as you move towards legacy app modernization and cloud-native applications. Infrastructure and Operations leaders can easily enable and accelerate container deployment in a production environment by following these practices.
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