Dealing with challenges when adopting Kubernetes

November 17, 2022 09:18
Photo: Reuters

Living and working in global societies means that in both our real locales and our virtual communities we exist in ever-expanding multicultural societies. More than ever, we are aware of different languages being spoken around us, and that our own native tongue is not always understood by those we need to communicate with. When we set out to learn a new language, the only way we become proficient is to converse, ideally in person, and even more ideally, in the country where that language is native.

Translate that into the rapid advancements in technology, and specifically in infrastructure platforms, and we can look at the growth of Kubernetes like a language that more and more people around us are speaking. The platform is fundamentally different from all earlier computing infrastructures and not everyone is going to need it in their lives, but for those that do, it is essential to immerse in it. Theoretical education of such a dynamic and fast-growing platform won’t be enough: the greatest challenge to enterprise businesses adopting Kubernetes is acquiring the level of proficiency that only hands-on immersion can achieve.

Cloud-native adoption is exploding around the world, especially in the United States and Europe, benefiting industries such as retail, higher education and banking. While still relatively new, Kubernetes is so effective that it has become the preferred architecture for the inevitable modernisation of enterprise technology. While in Japan and Singapore there is a priority on app modernisation, elsewhere in APJ the uptake of Kubernetes has so far been lagging. Migrating from on-site to the cloud, and then again into a containerised cloud infrastructure, and finding the best vendor to facilitate, is time-consuming and can distract from day-to-day operations.

But there are compelling, if not vital, reasons why huge organisations such as retailers Walmart and Adidas, financial institution Capital One, news outlet The New York Times, streaming platform Spotify and high-traffic consumer apps Tinder and Airbnb have integrated Kubernetes in their services.

If the entire APJ region is going to keep up with the rest of the world, moving across to Kubernetes is an inexorable part of business growth strategy, so it’s a good idea to start thinking about what the challenges will be along the likely timeframe for migration to this new architectural language.

There are multiple tools that can be utilised, but the first is mindset. Understanding why Kubernetes is on track to be the enterprise open-source platform of choice, and how its deployment, management and scalability offer freedom and flexibility in business, will benefit your enterprise is the first step to speaking its language, even with its amplified level of abstraction. Some research into successful case studies, including the mega businesses referenced above, goes a long way to understanding how a business can be transformed by re-engineering their architecture for the future rather than hanging on to the traditional, often clunky, workings of the past.

Having the financial wherewithal to redesign a business infrastructure is always going to be a challenge. But if the resulting ease of backend in the business can be proven to speed up frontline revenue, then that hurdle is quickly overcome. That then raises the matter of data protection as one of the most important factors to consider in such a conversion.

Kubernetes attracts adoption because of its scalability as a containerised infrastructure, and as an enterprise grows quickly its data also expands and both storage and security must be prioritised. In any business model, data management is fundamental to success and survival, as well as trust from all stakeholders in organisation – internal and external partners and customers. A solution for data handling that understands the cloud-native architectural pattern can work with all the moving parts of varying IPs and different cloud combinations.

It can also allow for rapid business expansion, so finding the best storage service provider is critical. Look for a comprehensively modern data protection system that is purpose-built for Kubernetes, offering easy-to-use, scalable and secure systems for backup/restore, disaster recovery and mobility. You need a system that has in-built automation to keep up with Kubernetes regular release updates so that your enterprise is never caught unaware, and a data partner that understands your business inside out and can be a true partner in protecting the fundamental asset that is your information from all vulnerabilities.

As the new language of the Kubernetes world becomes more prevalent to the point where it is likely to become the standard for open-source infrastructure, the question comes down to this: Do you want to join the conversation and communicate effectively in the world you’re in?

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Senior Global Technologist, Veeam