As remote work becomes common, the world of Kubernetes is growing rapidly for its ability to improve release cycle time, reduce downtimes and bugs in production, and increase DevOps efficiency for microservices architecture. While businesses place more interest in customer experience, it has become evident that developer experience is equally important in improving efficiency and time-to-market. Development environments provide a safe place for developers to test anything without worrying about impacting the end users or breaking an app in production.
The main goal of every development team is to code and ship features faster. Earlier developers had an unstable testing environment as everything was done locally. But with local IDEs, this was a problem. What worked for one might not work for another developer. However, with remote developer environments like Kubernetes, things have started to get better as everyone shares the same development environment. It makes testing more realistic.
Benefits of using Kubernetes as a developer environment
Developer experience is all about ensuring the developer has a comfortable environment to handle workflows and processes. To that end, the size of the organization plays an important role. In a small organization, tight budgets play a role in deciding the development environment as the budget is reallocated to manage resources and run Kubernetes locally. On the other hand, a large organization cannot have a local environment and resort to a remote development environment or a combination of local and remote to utilize the resources better.
Here are some of the main benefits of using Kubernetes.
1. Better containerization
With Kubernetes, it has become easy to test or see an application on how it works without necessarily utilizing all resources. This open-source tool allows developers to create a workflow or a space to quickly make a code change and test its impact before shipping it into production.
2. Stable environment for large-scale development
The developer is restricted by the laptop’s power in the local development environment, especially while multi-tasking. Trying to run large-scale applications can make the system unstable, especially while running a large developer environment. Kubernetes solves this problem for developers by creating a stable testing environment.
3. Reduced process cycle
When there is a code change locally, the developer must containerize that application, push it to a registry such as Docker Hub, and then deploy it into the remote Kubernetes cluster. When development environments run remotely, they can test against more realistic resources that are part of the cloud-native application or the database, thus reducing the process cycle.
4. Best of the local and remote environment
Kubernetes allows developers to enjoy the best of both worlds. The environment allows developers to see the impact of the code changes as quickly as possible and shift faster to the end users. On the other hand, if something is wrong with the first iteration, developers can quickly make the second iteration instead of spending five to ten minutes on each iteration and additional time containerizing the application after each change.
5. Minimal dependency on the Ops team
The time taken to get permission or access to deploy new code changes or test other services or an environment affects the development cycle. Instead of waiting for the Ops team to approve, Kubernetes reduces back-and-forth time and removes empty patterns within the organization.
Role of Telepresence in developer experience
Telepresence is widely popular for its ability to downsize the process cycle. With Telepresence, developers can connect their local development environment to a remote Kubernetes cluster with the services that need the update and publish it without pushing the application to a hosting service such as GitHub. This improves collaboration and saves time. Developers can interact and make changes in real-time using the preview URL. This development method is also secure as only people who are added to the link can view the changes, thus retaining the integrity of the code changes.
The biggest advantage of using Telepresence is that there is no need for additional resources for testing. Businesses can reduce the number of resources working on testing. All that is needed is a system where the local service runs, and the developer can plug in their laptop remotely to make changes to the cluster. There are two options – global intercept and personal intercept.
Security and Telepresence
When several developers collaborate to build new apps simultaneously, the main concern for Ops and the SecOps teams is that everyone remains concerned without breaking anything in production while keeping things secure end-to-end. Telepresence understands this need and offers role-based Access Control. With this feature, only certain developers can create intercepts or interact with remote Kubernetes clusters directly from their laptops. There are also integrations with hosting servers restricted to those who are logged in or have access to the hosting account. Another security measure from Telepresence is restricted URL viewing – only those logging in can access the URL to ensure no negative impact on the testing.
Telepresence for Kubernetes
As a CNCF sandbox tool, Telepresence is open-source that allows developers to run a single service locally while connecting to a remote Kubernetes cluster. As the tool does not require a build process cycle, the developer can connect the local development environment to the remote Kubernetes cluster from anywhere and start editing. Telepresence allows developers to virtually make changes instantly to their local and remote Kubernetes environment.
This blog is based on my interview with Edidiong Asikpo, Senior Developer Advocate at Ambassador Labs. You can watch the entire interview here:
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