Applications are increasingly built as discrete functional parts, each of which can be delivered as a container. That means for every application, there are more parts to manage. To handle this complexity at scale, teams need a policy-driven, automated solution that dictates how and where containers will run. Kubernetes is an open source, extensible container orchestrator designed to handle these challenges.
One of the most popular projects on Github1
1700+ individual and dozens of corporate contributors2
75% of enterprises cite complexity as a blocker to adopting Kubernetes3
If implemented and maintained correctly, Kubernetes offers everyone - from IT operations, developers, and business owners - great benefits:
Kubernetes can run on a local machine or across multiple clusters in widespread availability zones. It horizontally scales your cluster when you need it, and scales it back when you don’t.
Kubernetes runs on-premise in your own datacenter, in a public cloud, or a hybrid cloud configuration, deploying containers the same way, every time.
Operations values stability, while developers value speed. Kubernetes resolves this conflict, so businesses can focus on what everyone wants: innovation and growth.
Installing, deploying, and managing Kubernetes is easier said than done. 75% of users cite complexity of implementation and operations as the top blocker to using Kubernetes in production4. Enterprises need to consider security, multi-tenancy, and integration with existing investments when evaluating whether to use Kubernetes.
This offers numerous lifecycle management challenges:
IT must validate hosts with the right settings and Linux operating system during Kubernetes installation.
As Kubernetes is deployed, the right identity and security accesses must be supplied, along with integrations for storage, networking, and container registry solutions.
Once deployed, Kubernetes must be integrated with more solutions, including platform monitoring, security hardening, and logging solutions. Organizations with multiple teams must ensure resources are segmented correctly, and metering and chargeback solutions are properly configured.
When Kubernetes is fully operational, all layers of the stack - the Linux container host, Kubernetes itself, and the services running on top of Kubernetes - need constant patching and updates.
Though Kubernetes is a powerful project and offers businesses many advantages, some assembly is required, as it isn’t an out-of-the-box solution. In addition to requiring significant work to set roles, access controls, and multi-tenancy policies, Kubernetes on its own lacks:
On its own, Kubernetes is not tested or validated with middleware, database or performance monitoring solutions. Additional effort is needed to ensure Kubernetes works with specific editors, IDEs, and testing frameworks.
The Kubernetes project by itself does not include a CI/CD workflow or container build and update processes.
These technologies do not come pre-packaged with Kubernetes, though they are needed for running containers in production. Users must bring and integrate their own solutions.
Just as Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® is more than the Linux kernel, Red Hat OpenShift is more than Kubernetes. Each release of Red Hat OpenShift includes hundreds of defect, security, and performance fixes, validated and tested technology integrations, and enterprise lifecycle support.
Open source container orchestration
Community project behind Red Hat OpenShift
Enterprise Kubernetes application platform
Enterprise operating system
Validated storage plugins
Networking and validated plugins
Metering and chargeback
Automated image builds
CI/CD and devops workflows
Certified application services
Built-in operational management
Zero downtime patching and upgrades
Enterprise 24/7 support
9-year support lifestyle
Security response team
Red Hat is one of the leading contributors to Kubernetes3, and has built key features and components of the open source project. Through OpenShift, Red Hat has years of experience supporting customers running containers in production with Kubernetes.
We were very lucky to be joined early on by the very capable OpenShift team which lent significant engineering and real world enterprise expertise to the project. Without their perspective and contributions, I don’t think we would be standing here today5.