When Kubernetes is not the solution

Kubernetes is just the latest example of a powerful technology that can provide a solid solution in many instances. Although it may seem like all the cool kids are choosing Kubernetes-related technology, it’s not right for every application. When a technology has such a huge following that its use becomes a forgone conclusion, that’s when mistakes are made and projects get derailed. 

Most enterprises that are moving to cloud-based platforms will consider using containers and Kubernetes. Many enterprises using cloud already are also using Kubernetes. Kubernetes does provide many resources that make it easier to manage and scale distributed systems, including microservices. It’s also an orchestration system, meaning we can bind together processes and services to form larger, more holistic solutions.

As presented on the official Kubernetes documentation website, “Kubernetes provides you with a framework to run resilient distributed systems. It takes care of scaling and failover for your application, provides deployment patterns, and more.”

Automation and orchestration are frequent reasons to leverage Kubernetes. Keep in mind that automation and orchestration often get confused, and for good reason. Automation can help make a business process more efficient by reducing or removing human involvement with software or hardware that performs specific tasks. For example, automation can launch a process to reorder raw materials automatically when other processes notice that supplies are below a specific level. In short, a single task is automated.

Orchestration, in contrast, allows you to automate a workflow. Orchestration can keep track of sequence and activities, and can even invoke many single-task automations that are part of the workflow. Orchestration is a powerful Kubernetes tool that also allows you to invoke services such as database access across disparate systems.

What’s happening now is that many developers and architects choose Kubernetes to automate processes using the orchestration engine. That’s like hitting a thumbtack with a sledgehammer. You’ll end up spending way too many dollars on development and cloud resources to solve a simple, specific problem.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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