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How Microservices and Kubernetes Enable Business Agility

10 November, 2020

Technology

If there is one thing that businesses large and small have learned from the recent pandemic, it’s the importance of agility. Being able to shift in response to evolving realities within the marketplace is of critical importance to the long-term survival of your business.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to bring consistency to a complex IT ecosystem by utilizing Kubernetes and Microservices.

But first.

Let’s explain what these technologies are and what they do.

What are Microservices?

IBM defines Microservices as an architecture “approach in which a single application is composed of many loosely coupled and independently deployable smaller services.”

The advantage of organizing your applications with a Microservices approach is that the individual “services” that make up the larger application are easier to:

  • Maintain
  • Test
  • Deploy
  • Scale
  • Adapt
  • Secure

What is Kubernetes?

Microsoft defines Kubernetes as an “open-source orchestration software for deploying, managing, and scaling containers.”

For those without a technical background, it's important for us to explain what “containers” are as well.

“Containers” are isolated environments in which a business application and all its configurations and dependencies can run. By containerizing entire applications or microservices, developers can drive benefits such as a higher level of security, easier management of the applications, failure isolation, portability, and agility. Containerized applications allow for “plug and play” functionality.

How do Kubernetes and Microservices Work Together?

Kubernetes is the software used to deploy and manage all the containerized microservices within an IT environment. When you think about Kubernetes, think about the control center of a shipping yard at a major port like New York, Boston, or San Francisco. Each container that comes in on massive ships has to be offloaded, stored, and routed while an equal number of containers are being brought in, organized, and loaded onto ships bound for ports around the world. In the IT world, Kubernetes is the software that allows us to do similar functions with containerized applications and microservices.

That brings us to the focus of our article.

How Does Kubernetes and Microservices Boost Your Company’s Agility?

Companies that rely on technology to provide goods and services know how essential their applications are to their profitability. The other side of the coin is that the leaders of those businesses know that technology is always driving shifts in consumer expectations, competition, and the broader market. But as we’ve seen in 2020, it’s not just new technologies that can have a disruptive effect on your business and your bottom line.

To put things simply, moving your applications to containerized Microservices that are controlled by Kubernetes puts your company in a position to be flexible when you need to adapt to fluctuations in consumer expectations or other market forces.

Here are the ways that Microservices controlled by Kubernetes software drive agility.

  • Communication

Kubernetes standardizes how containerized applications “talk” to each other within your IT environment. This standardization of communication enables your internal organization or an outside IT consulting / software development firm like PRONIX to speed up the delivery of new functionality for your business when you need it.

  • Portability

As you scale your business or have need to move from one IT environment to another (switching from on-premise to cloud or from cloud to cloud), the portability of applications becomes an issue. Kubernetes, in combination with containerized Microservices, allows IT specialists to pick up and move your applications to the new location without huge amounts of lost time or downtime.

  • Ease of Management

Part of being agile is the economics of agility. Kubernetes and Microservices help keep your IT management costs in line while you are trying to align your business processes to emerging realities in the marketplace. In short, it’s easier and more cost-efficient to manage IT environments that are containerized and controlled by Kubernetes than older models of IT environment structure.

  • Environment Agnostic

In close relation to our earlier point regarding portability, Kubernetes allows you to drop your containerized microservices into nearly any environment. This gives you unparalleled flexibility.

  • Automation

Because Kubernetes standardizes communication between containers, integrating new processes, and automating workflow become simplified.

What Else Do You Need to Know About Kubernetes and Microservices?

As you may have guessed, using Kubernetes and Microservices isn’t a “do-it-yourself” project. Kubernetes is an open-source technology that is evolving continuously. It’s critical to have a development team like PRONIX on your side to guide you through your Kubernetes implementation as well as any changes you have to make to your environment as you pivot to maximize profitability within your organization.