Kubernetes: definition, utilities, business

Kubernetes training

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Efficiently deploy the IT solution with the most powerful IT tool used by more and more specialists, Kubernetes. Our Data Lead course trains in data engineering and devotes part of its programme to this technology. But why is it necessary to deploy applications? What is Kubernetes technology and what does it do? Find out everything about the use of this tool in this article.

The digital revolution that has been underway for some years in most sectors of activity now makes the use of applications to achieve the business objectives of any company almost unavoidable. It can be a solution designed to identify and satisfy customer needs or rather an application designed to optimise the internal functioning of the structure.

In the process of making the application available to potential users, however, not everything stops with the design of the IT solution. It is also important to ensure that it is deployed efficiently. Kubernetes is a very powerful technology that is being used by more and more specialists. What is Kubernetes? What is its use? For which data professionals is it primarily intended? How can I learn to use it?

What is Kubernetes?

The brainchild of Craig McLuckie, Joe Beda and Brendan Burns, all engineers at Google, this IT tool developed in 2014 refers to a cloud-native system for managing containerised services and workloads. It is an open source ecosystem managed by the Cloud Native Computive Corporation that provides deployment automation, scaling and operation of application containers on server clusters.

Considered by some IT specialists as a true "cloud operating system", it optimises the security of containers by facilitating the creation of application services as well as the scaling and integrity management of containers in a cluster. In other words, the platform enables smoother and more structured development, test or production environments when deploying applications and automates operational tasks. It is then possible to maximise the IT and human resources required for the execution of applications.

Kubernetes definition
The Kubernetes IT tool

Why deploy applications?

Today, mobile applications are an integral part of the essential tools available to customers to facilitate their access to the company's valuable offerings. In addition, specialised applications are designed to optimise collaboration between workers in the same company. The role of deployment is to make the application available in the best possible conditions for the various users. It must ensure that changes (updates) can be made quickly and easily at any time to meet the company's business objectives.

As the issues of the structure evolve, there is a need to adopt deployment technologies that offer excellent flexibility to developers and users. Many customers are demanding application updates to improve their user experience. Technical teams need to be better equipped to deliver service updates as quickly as possible or risk a significant drop in leads and customers. The latter could quickly switch to another service that gives them greater satisfaction.

On the other hand, poor deployment resulting in bugs or unavailability of the application usually leads to very high repair costs, especially when the production stage is over. When the application is already in the hands of the end users, malfunctions that cannot be quickly corrected can result in significant revenue losses. For all these reasons, reliable technologies such as Kubernetes must be prioritised in the enterprise to avoid human error and ensure traceability of operations in meeting business needs.

An example to better understand

A developer works on a laptop with a specific environment configuration. His application development is therefore based on all the libraries and files specific to this environment. In most cases, each employee or user also has a development/production/usage environment with specific properties (computer with another operating system, tablets, smartphones, etc.). It is important for the developer to make sure that his application will work perfectly in each of these environments once the deployment is done.

This will avoid the need to integrate patches later on or even a complete/partial rewrite of the solution. Instead of installing a new operating system version, which will quickly become tedious as it may need to be done for a multitude of systems, it is better to use the Kubernetes containerisation system. The orchestration and management of container images through this platform makes it safe and easy to move RPM packages and application dependencies. Automating the deployment also makes the operation faster.

An example of using Kubernetes

Why use Kubernetes?

The main purpose of the containerisation orchestration/management features and tools offered by this platform is to enable the professionals concerned to make the most of the architecture and properties of containers. Regardless of the number or complexity of containers, Kubernetes offers appropriate and efficient solutions for application development. A container is a process isolated from the system with all execution files in a single image. Due to its ease of use and portability, it is an essential part of most IT security systems. Continuous integration, excellent separation of development and operations, application-centric management, and portability between the distribution system and the cloud are all advantages that militate in favour of using containers via Kubernetes.

Regardless of the development, test or production environment, containers share the same operating principles. They share the same operating system kernel on which they run natively. Using fewer resources than a virtual machine, containers isolate the application processes from the rest of the system. As a result, they are faster than deployment pipelines based on environment replication. By efficiently addressing complex configurability and portability issues, these isolated processes improve application development. Adapting to any infrastructure(cloud, on-premises, hybrid), they allow for easy integration of evolutionary fixes as business needs arise.

Applications are lighter and run faster. Kubernetes simply breaks away from host-based application deployment and embraces containerised deployment for simplicity, fluidity and speed. Host-based deployment involves using native package management systems to install applications. One can then build immutable virtual machine images to perform rollouts and rollbacks. The big drawback is that these virtual machines are not portable. In fact, the configuration, executables and libraries of each machine are directly linked to the operating system of the development environment. In addition, they are relatively too heavy to effectively reduce slowness problems.

Thanks to its various integration modules, Kubernetes offers more transparency in the monitoring and management of application development. The cluster architecture itself manages the lifecycle of containers while ensuring their integrity over time. Thanks to its API, which allows custom declarations, it is also possible to be sure that applications run according to their deployment mode.

Where can this technology be useful?

Kubernetes should run on top of an operating system following the commands of a DevOps team. Primarily, it integrates with networking, telemetry, storage and security services to provide a more complete architecture. It is used to control containers by defining pods and nodes. Specifically, the tasks that the platform can perform are the following:

  • continuous integration
  • automating the deployment of an application
  • load balancing between pods
  • automatic discovery of services
  • the creation of application services on one or more containers
  • scheduling the execution of containers in a cluster
  • the actual management of clusters
  • orchestration of containers on a large number of hosts
  • hosting cloud-native applications
  • scaling of applications and associated resources
  • automation and application updates
  • declarative management of services for full alignment with business objectives
  • orchestration of the solution's storage
  • collecting metrics on the functioning of the application
  • automatic repair of the application when its integrity is compromised

Which jobs are facilitated by mastering this technology?

While software engineers and application developers are the main professionals concerned by the platform's tools, the data professions can also benefit from this technology. Data Scientists use it to analyse research and development data, verify models for online inference, develop workflows adapted to Machine Learning... Data Engineers take advantage of the unified orchestration offered by Kubernetes to optimise the management of structured or unstructured data pipelines. This technology facilitates the replication of data flows and code sharing between data engineers. The ease of iteration also allows data pipelines to be run on multiple virtual or physical servers.

Kubernetes is often used by Data Engineers

How to learn to use Kubernetes?

Because moving and manipulating data efficiently is the basis of most data jobs, it is important today to master this leading deployment technology when considering a career in data engineering or data science. It is possible to follow the Kubernetes bootcamp training offered by Jedha. This training is open to all profiles of actors who are passionate about application development and the management of data architectures. In addition to the management of data infrastructures thanks to Kubernetes, the application deployment training allows you to master a range of other useful skills: application scalability, standardisation of code environments, discovery of Spark and its Scala language, mastering ETL processes.

This comprehensive range of knowledge further strengthens the competitiveness of the learner on the labour market. The advantage of Jedha's Kubernetes training is that it fits perfectly into the schedule, as the modules can be taken part-time or full-time. Experienced instructors who have made DevOps skills their core business for several years are available to provide a better understanding of the concepts to be developed. The training in application deployment is recognised by the State and can be financed by the CPF account. Throughout the course and well afterwards, students can thrive in a rich community of IT experts to help them achieve their professional goals in good form.

Application deployment is greatly facilitated by Kubernetes. The functionalities and tools offered by this platform are very useful to software engineers, application developers, data scientists or data engineers in the accomplishment of their respective missions. To make the most of this open source resource, a training course provided by a serious and competent organisation is necessary for any professional.

Louana Lelong
Written by
Louana Lelong
Content & Event Manager