Everyone is eager to shift left these days. And Kubernetes is a significant aspect of this move. Enterprises recognize this and are quick to go all-in with the container orchestration platform. But soon after adopting Kubernetes, organizations come to realize that technical debt and constant maintenance tend to outweigh the value. This means that Kubernetes ends up hogging all the attention meant for running cloud-native infrastructure efficiently.
Nearly a decade has passed since the wildly successful open-source project was introduced and it’s just as exasperating to work with today. It almost feels like we rushed into the digitization movement without learning much about the tools and technology required for hybrid cloud ecosystems, edge computing, etc.
In this article, we look at a brief understanding of Kubernetes and round up a few startups aimed at making Kubernetes less complex.
Kubernetes has quickly become the defacto open-source container orchestrator. It helps run multiple containerized workloads efficiently in production environments. With a significantly high adoption rate, Kubernetes has greatly benefited the cloud native ecosystem as a whole.
4 startups focussed on reducing Kubernetes complexity
Although Kubernetes simplifies things that were more complex to do before and required more steps, it does have a lot of opportunities where things can go wrong. Amidst this backdrop, a lot of startups are focussing their attention on simplifying Kubernetes.
Kubernetes has quite a few native challenges – probably the biggest being security – owing to its complexity. The open-source security platform AMRO focuses on the technology required to provide developer security for Kubernetes containers from configuration to runtime. AMRO’s patented technology scans clusters, nodes, and API servers for misconfiguration and drifts and provides quick remediation. It has the ability to scan all your Kubernetes and IaC elements in a unified place and prioritize threats. AMRO’s technology is easy to use and has built-in queries and customized RBAC investigation tools.
Since a lot of users use Kubernetes to run hybrid cloud environments, connectivity between the clusters becomes the focus. With the idea of achieving micro-segmentation, clusters are defined by specific parameters. Then, a consistent identity source is created through which individual certificates can be assigned. Permissions can then be granted based on this identity. This enables AMRO to manage communication and ensure security,
Cycle is a developer-friendly container orchestration system that focuses on enabling developers to get back to focusing on code by simplifying Kubernetes adoption. It is a unified layer, consisting of two main components, that eliminates the maintenance of infrastructure. The first component, core, includes APIs and more whereas the second component, compute is found on user infrastructure and helps manage containers, load balancing, etc. Cycle can be used by startups and large enterprises alike if their focus is on growth without increased cost or complexity.
One of the key attractions of Cycle is the alternative approach it provides for multi-cloud scalability and automatic updates.
- Multi-cloud scalability: Cycle allows a vendor-agnostic approach without any lock-ins when it comes to container orchestration. It makes it easy to move container instances from one to another with a couple of clicks in the portal without having to carry out any commands.
- Automatic update: Cycle provides automatic updates every 10 to 14 days, thus ensuring operational efficiency and system security.
Cycle focuses on providing a great experience when it comes to rapid deployments, automatic updates, and multi-vendor portability. But this comes at the expense of not having or having less control over aspects that aren’t as crucial, such as networking, updates, etc. Standardizing fundamental infrastructure is key to Cycle’s goal to simplify deployments across various vendors.
Komodor is a Kubernetes-native troubleshooting and monitoring tool. It has the ability to monitor an organization’s entire Kubernetes stack by keeping an eye on the health of each element. Komodor can identify vulnerabilities and provide the context required to remediate them. It enables you to track every deployment, code change, configuration, etc., thus providing 360-degree visibility. Komodor offers seamless integration with a multitude of third-party software with appropriate cost optimization.
Ondat is a container-native storage solution for Kubernetes. It is a cost-effective solution that allows users to declare their storage requirements and helps address Kubernetes day two challenges. The software-defined tool accumulates all the available storage into a pool and enables you to efficiently use available capacity. Ondat powers Kubernetes persistent storage to allow organizations to run stateful applications with storage services and scales with the need of the application. It also acts as an intermediary between application and storage resources to ensure data is available even when a node goes offline. Ondat helps connect Kubernetes to storage as well as preserve its scalability and portability.
Internal developer portals (IDP)
When it comes to Kubernetes’ visibility, both Kubernetes-native CD solutions and Kubernetes-specific tools have their shortcomings. The former provides a complex experience with an overwhelming amount of unnecessary information while the latter requires some understanding and experience with Kubernetes to be used efficiently. These tools were designed with DevOps.
Platform engineering, on the other hand, is designed with self-service capabilities that prioritize developer experience. IDP is a fundamental aspect of platform engineering. This is where developers can find self-service abilities via a product-like interface. Inside the developer portal is the software catalog where Kubernetes data is visualized for developers. The right amount of Kubernetes data is shown to developers, thus not overwhelming them and allowing productivity. The developer portal provides custom tools required to abstract and modify data according to developer experience.
Despite being around for a little over 5 years, Kubernetes still manages to confuse many developers. Its magnitude and complexity are such that the complexities soon begin outweighing the benefits. This is why many startups as well as bigger organizations have devoted their time, energy, and resources to trying to make Kubernetes easier to use and integrate with. The list provided above is obviously non-exhaustive and is only meant to serve as a starting point to delve deeper into the world of simplifying Kubernetes.