When should you consider moving to Kubernetes?

In cases like these, many businesses turn to containers and tools like Kubernetes to help them manage their platform. Migrating to Kubernetes too early, however, can create new problems for a business.

Here’s when you should consider moving your platform to Kubernetes.

Basics of Kubernetes

Kubernetes is a container management and orchestration tool that provides businesses with high scalability and cloud-native computing. Containers are like specialised virtual machines. Compared to VMs, however, they take up less space and typically need fewer resources. With a container, rather than running on a full virtual machine, you’re working in a stripped-down version that includes just the dependencies your containerised service needs.

There are a few different container management tools. Kubernetes, the container orchestration tool developed by Google, is one of the most popular and is built to work with most cloud services and products.

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When You Should Make the Move

Migrating to Kubernetes works best if your company has already moved its platform to the cloud and has experience with containerisation, but is now beginning to have difficulties with scale or stability.

A switch to Kubernetes can also be the right move if your team is having trouble managing your platform because it is spread across different cloud services. While most services offer their own container management tools, using a different one with its command-line interface for each service can quickly become cumbersome. With Kubernetes, you can use the same device for every container, no matter the platform it’s on.

This can make container management easier and reduce training time if your platform relies on a few different cloud services.

Because Kubernetes containers can also be deployed like a VM template, they typically require little to no configuration across services. As a result, Kubernetes shouldn’t be any more complicated to set up than a cloud service’s proprietary container management tool.

Of course, it’s not always a good time to move your platform to Kubernetes. Before you make the move, you should take stock of your company’s culture and experience with containerisation.

If your business doesn’t have deep experience with containers and cloud-native computing, you may want to hold off on migration. You may want to proceed, however, if you’re facing difficulties with scaling and container management and don’t see another solution.

If your business hasn’t experimented at all with cloud computing and containerisation, it probably won’t be a good idea to migrate your platform to Kubernetes just yet.

Before migration, staff should have a deep understanding of the basics of Kubernetes and containers — especially networking. Team members should also be effectively fluent in related container concepts, like the basics of Docker images, as well as pods and nodes.

While popular, containerisation and container-orchestration tools are primarily used by businesses with large-scale, cloud-based platforms. Depending on their background, it may not be uncommon for your migration to be an employee’s first exposure to a container management tool.

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Your team should be able to plan how services will communicate with each other, how they will behave when together in the same environment, and how data will be stored and secured. Otherwise, your migration could create problems later on that can be difficult to solve due to the scale of your platform.

Timing Your Business’s Move to Kubernetes

Migrating to Kubernetes can be a powerful tool for businesses that are struggling to manage large-scale, cloud-based platforms. If your team already has significant experience working with containers and cloud services, you may already be prepared for the move.

However, it’s not always the right time to move to Kubernetes. Companies with less cloud and container experience should consider holding off on a migration — otherwise, they may risk implementation and networking issues down the line.

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews, is a tech journalist and writer.