What business value can Kubernetes Engine provide?

June 7th, 2023 by Michał Kułaczkowski
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According to the 2022 report, 70% of the 1,296 IT executives surveyed by Red Hat said their companies have already adopted Kubernetes. Some of the leading firms using Kubernetes include Google, IBM, Medium.com, OpenAI, Robinhood, Slack, Spotify, Pinterest, and Airbnb. This interest in the technology coming from the most successful companies is the best proof of its value. However, if you have not had the opportunity to deploy Kubernetes in your organization, this article will provide you with crucial details on the technology.

What is the difference between Kubernetes and Kubernetes Engine?

First of all, it is important to clarify the difference between Kubernetes and Kubernetes Engine, which are different concepts despite their connection.

What is Kubernetes?

Whenever you come across the term "K8s," you should know that it refers to Kubernetes, an open-source container orchestration platform used as part of a software production environment.

The main goal of Kubernetes is to automate several workflows related to containerized applications in a cluster of nodes. Application deployment, scaling, and management are some of the key areas that can be automated with Kubernetes.

To make it possible, Kubernetes offers automation for the scheduling and management of containers, including their placement, health monitoring, and scaling. One of the Kubernetes business benefits is the communication between containers using internal DNS-based discovery, which is essential for effective traffic distribution.

In addition, Kubernetes can efficiently adjust the number of containers running, taking into account their resource utilization.

Another powerful feature of Kubernetes is its support for continuous deployment through seamless rolling application updates and managing rollback, which means no downtime for the system each time containers are updated.

Finally, Kubernetes business value is the fact this solution takes ultimate care of containers' health and automatically replaces failed containers with healthy ones.

What is Kubernetes Engine?

Although Kubernetes Engine works closely with Kubernetes, it is a private cloud solution from Google, also known as GKE. The purpose of Kubernetes Engine is to provide users with an abstracted and simplified application deployment and management solution that does not require extensive knowledge of the underlying infrastructure.

With Kubernetes Engine, developers can more easily create and manage clusters, as GKE cloud services include cluster setup, management, and node provisioning. At the same time, it improves cluster scaling and workload distribution. In addition, Kubernetes Engine automates version upgrades.

Kubernetes Engine can also be seamlessly integrated with multiple cloud platforms and services offered by Google, including Cloud Load Balancing, Cloud Storage, Stackdriver Logging, and others.

Another feature of GKE key for the production environment and software deployment and development is the high level of security offered by Google's Kubernetes environment solution. GKE has built-in security features such as identity and access management, encryption, and cluster isolation. In addition, GKE allows developers to modify the infrastructure to increase the level of security by integrating the solution with state-of-the-art Google Cloud security services.

What is the difference between DevOps and Kubernetes?

Now that you have learned how to distinguish Kubernetes from Kubernetes Engine, you may still be wondering about the comparison of Kubernetes vs DevOps.

In fact, it is not so easy to compare DevOps with Kubernetes as they are two completely different things. As you now know, Kubernetes is a tool. DevOps, on the other hand, can be understood as an approach or methodology. DevOps practices are based on communication and collaboration between development and operations specialists. Additionally, automation is a key component of DevOps.

DevOps is a broader concept than Kubernetes, which focuses on container orchestration. While this may be part of the tasks supported by the DevOps approach, the methodology is applicable to a broader range of processes.

There are certain similarities between DevOps and Kubernetes when it comes to automation. Code integration, testing and deployment, and infrastructure monitoring and provisioning are just some of the DevOps pipelines that can be automated. At the same time, collaboration, which is an essential part of the DevOps methodology, does not have as much importance for Kubernetes.

Is Kubernetes a DevOps tool? Yes, on the list of solutions commonly used by DevOps, Kubernetes occupies a top spot.

What are the benefits of Kubernetes Engine for software deployment and development?

Kubernetes Engine leverages the capabilities that Kubernetes creates and makes them more accessible to developers. It provides a fully managed environment that complements the original Kubernetes offerings and extends the business benefits of the original platform.

The most important fact about the benefits for DevOps that Kubernetes Engine offers is that it abstracts away the complex public cloud infrastructure, allowing developers to make the most of Kubernetes' original features while Google takes care of all the underlying architecture. With GKE, enterprise DevOps specialists no longer have to worry about the operational processes associated with Kubernetes.

GKE is also a solution that further improves the scalability of Kubernetes clusters, which is very helpful in handling traffic spikes without interruptions.

Moreover, Kubernetes Engine can be used for rolling updates and automatically performing security patches.

On top of that, Kubernetes Engine is a powerful solution that provides real-time insights into cluster health and performance. Tracking metrics with GKE gives users a deep understanding of the behavior of their infrastructure and applications.

How much does Kubernetes Engine cost?

As mentioned earlier, the Kubernetes environment itself is open-source, which makes it a free enterprise DevOps solution. However, if you want to optimize your work by adopting best practices of DevOps with Kubernetes, GKE can make your work much more effective. However, this proprietary solution comes at a cost.

It is impossible to give a specific price for Kubernetes Engine without taking into account the environment configurations and other factors that determine the cost of using this tool. Four main features have a major impact on the final price of your tool.

First of all, these are compute instances or worker nodes in the cluster. The number of these instances, their types, as well as how long they are used will affect the fee you have to pay for Kubernetes Engine.

Another variable that affects the final price of Kubernetes Engine is the amount of persistent disk space used to store data in the cluster. The use of network resources, including routes, load balancing, and traffic, can also affect the cost of GKE.

Finally, choosing additional services from Google to enhance or modify infrastructure features can increase the final cost, but you must pay for them separately from the GKE base fee.

Google Cloud Pricing Calculator will help you estimate the cost of using this solution.

Why are companies adopting Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is a robust container orchestration platform, which in itself is a sufficient reason to use this solution to effectively manage containerized applications. Moreover, it is a tool that supports horizontal scaling with automated workload distribution for optimized resource utilization.

Kubernetes can be used to automate not only container management but also application development, testing, and deployment. Kubernetes' integration with Continuous Integration and Deployment (CI/CD) pipelines is another key reason why enterprises choose it.

In addition, Kubernetes can automatically monitor the health of containers and applications and even replace failed instances without supervision. As a result, Kubernetes provides extra stability for applications.

The powerful automation increases resource optimization and significantly reduces infrastructure costs, which in turn contributes to cost efficiency.

Many companies prefer working with Kubernetes because they can deploy applications developed with Kubernetes in various infrastructures that are not limited to cloud architecture.

Meanwhile, the vast adoption of Kubernetes also makes it a desirable solution for many companies. On the one hand, Kubernetes is now an industry standard. This means that its adoption by companies ensures alignment with best practices. On the other hand, Kubernetes has a wide and thriving community of users and contributors who are constantly enhancing the functionality of this solution and sharing educational resources.

What is the business use of Kubernetes?

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, many leading IT companies have already adopted Kubernetes. Here are other popular uses of Kubernetes for business applications.

E-commerce and retail companies often rely on Kubernetes because this solution is particularly effective for managing traffic and ensuring scalability. The need to manage intense traffic and ensure data security and regulatory compliance makes Kubernetes attractive to many organizations.

Kubernetes can also be used as a platform for large-scale deployment of advanced devices based on the Internet of Things (IoT). Other common business uses of Kubernetes include the gaming industry, travel, and hospitality, as well as media and entertainment.

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