Kubernetes helps manage containerized applications at scale by distributing application workloads across clusters. This system is used to deploy and manage cloud-native applications whether it’s on on-premise infrastructure or in the cloud. Kubernetes is used to turn a collection of physical or virtual servers into a platform that hosts containerized workloads and automatically manages large numbers of containerized applications. Simply put, Kubernetes makes building and running complex applications simpler. In this post, we address how Kubernetes can be used to run and manage applications on multiple cloud vendor platforms from a single place.
Being an open-source platform, Kubernetes is available on all major public clouds and can run on various premises. With Kubernetes, users are exposed to a variety of extensions. Consequently, K8s is widely popular because it:
- Supports a diverse range of workloads as there is no limit to the type of applications supported.
- Allows the storage of sensitive information without compromising security.
- Automatically can be used to mount a storage system, including local storage, public cloud storage, and more.
- It enables updating of systems that are distributed across multiple cloud vendors like AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and more.
Understanding Kubernetes clusters
A set of nodes that run containerized applications is called a Kubernetes cluster. Since they are not restricted to a specific operating system, they allow containers to run across multiple machines and environments, such as physical, virtual, cloud-based, and on-premise. For a Kubernetes cluster to be operational, there must be a minimum of one master node and one worker node. The clusters consist of one master node and multiple worker nodes, which can either be physical computers or virtual machines, depending on the Kubernetes cluster.
The master node is responsible for assigning tasks to worker nodes. Some examples of tasks include scheduling applications, maintaining a cluster’s state, and implementing updates. The worker nodes run these tasks. There are six Kubernetes cluster components: API server, scheduler, controller manager, Kubelet, Kube-proxy, and Etcd. While the master node runs the API server, scheduler, and controller manager, the worker nodes run the kubelet and Kube-proxy.
Typically, a single Kubernetes cluster can be used for a single developer or application as it is extremely flexible. However, if there is a need to coordinate delivery and management of multiple Kubernetes environments, multi-cluster must be used. Kubernetes multi clusters are useful to perform different tasks such as development, testing, production, and segregating the work of teams, projects, or application types. These clusters can be in any place — on the same physical host, on different hosts within the same data center, in different clouds in different countries, for a multi-cloud environment.
The connection between Kubernetes and multi-cloud platforms
One of the biggest advantages of using Kubernetes is that it allows users to run applications across multiple private or public cloud platforms without any geographical restrictions. Some of the best uses of Kubernetes for multi-cloud deployment include multi-site active-active configuration, cloud bursting, disaster recovery, backup, and archive. With Kubernetes multi-cloud, developers can enjoy various benefits, including better availability and disaster recovery, avoidance of public cloud lock-in, and reduced cost arbitrage. Using multi-cloud also ensures that the company is aligned with various regulations such as GDPR and Privacy Shield.
However, with these advantages comes its own challenges. While Kubernetes multi-cloud allows organizations to centralize their multi-cloud management, they are also extremely complex and often become difficult to monitor or manage. As every cloud environment has its own style of operation, dealing with multi-cloud Kubernetes means working with diverse APIs, security concerns, networking issues, and monitoring services.
To combat these issues in a multi-cloud Kubernetes environment, it is recommended to use the capabilities of Kubernetes, such as self-healing, storage orchestration, batch execution, and horizontal scaling, and to ensure that any tools used for management can run on any environment.
Mirantis solution for multi-cloud Kubernetes
Mirantis offers a simple solution to users looking for multi-cloud Kubernetes. The offering, Mirantis Container Cloud, comes with a single platform to simplify its container infrastructure management. Mirantis helps multi-cloud Kubernetes users simplify the process by abstracting the creation of clusters with only the mention of the provider. The solution can be used for deploying and scaling containerized applications securely from the data center to the edge. One of the biggest advantages of the solution is that it is built to run across various cloud partners, including AWS, VMware, Google Cloud, and other cloud providers, with the facility to move workloads at any time.
Mirantis Container Cloud is known for its zero-touch operations, single pane of glass to observe multi-cloud estate, full-stack management, self-service, and hardened certified Kubernetes. The solution gives users the freedom to deploy clusters anywhere on-demand without disruptions to experience, reducing operational overhead and allowing developers to be more productive. For some of the most regulated industries, Mirantis Container Cloud has remained the de facto choice as it helps improve developer productivity by reducing time spent on non-differentiated work and offers a user-friendly web interface and APIs. Evidently, the solution is used by several regulated industries for its level of compliance with DISA STIG and FIPS 140-2.
To understand the use of Mirantis Container Cloud, we look at a telecommunications operator headquartered in Japan. The organization with over 10,000 employees was looking to offer Kubernetes to enterprise customers interested in running cloud-native applications. The existing legacy VMware-based virtualization infrastructure required significant hypervisor resources, a lot of effort to operate and troubleshoot, and downtime from periodic version upgrades.
The operator deployed Mirantis Cloud Platform (MCP) for its dual Kubernetes and OpenStack integration. The implementation was a success as MCP helped increase infrastructure agility and choice, improved IT control and bare-metal resources, and created fast, automated orchestration of containerized applications across multiple clouds.
Using multi-cloud Kubernetes offers a range of benefits, including isolating tenants and workload types, improving resilience through distributed critical workloads across zones, and optimizing the placement of workloads. To ensure that the Kubernetes multi-cloud environment remains manageable and flexible, it is recommended to partner with a platform that simplifies infrastructure management, such as the one offered by Mirantis.
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