Best Practices For Optimizing Your Kubernetes Deployment

Kubernetes optimization is increasingly important as more companies adopt Kubernetes to be their container orchestration platform. Because Kubernetes resource administration is complex, manual optimization can take days to complete.

Thus, for any organization or developer that needs to optimize their deployment, one needs to know what optimization is, what it means, and how to achieve it.

Kubernetes Deployment

What is Kubernetes optimization?

Optimization is defined as “​​the process of making something as good or effective as possible,” according to Cambridge. In applying to Kubernetes, it means that we want our Kubernetes cloud-native/Kubernetes environment and all applications running in it, to be as good or effective as possible. While the term “good or effective” might mean different things to different companies, Kubernetes optimization is made up of two key components.

  • A web application’s reliability and performance. This means that the application’s response time and downtime are measured.
  • This is the cost of running the app. It is directly related to the use of compute resources in running the app.

Kubernetes optimization simply means that your application meets or exceeds business performance requirements (defined by SLAs/SLOs) at the lowest resource utilization and cost. This can be made more efficient through Kubernetes CPU limits, memory, and storage optimizations.

How Kubernetes optimization can play a role in cloud environment efficiency

Kubernetes adoption is increasing. Gartner predicts that 75 percent of organizations will be running containerized applications by this year, compared with only 30 percent in 2019. According to Portworx’s 2021 Kubernetes Adoption Study, these are the top three reasons organizations adopt it as their orchestration platform.

  • Accelerating deployment frequency (59% of respondents)
  • Automation is increasing (54%)
  • Reduce IT costs (46%)

All of these benefits bring immense business value. Organizations have been slow in standardizing Kubernetes because of the perceived difficulty with optimization. Respondents were asked about the most important concerns with the use of orchestration. Security was, unsurprisingly, the top response. All three of the top responses are related to optimization or resource allocation.

Benefits of Kubernetes optimization

Kubernetes optimization should be a top priority for businesses for several reasons.

  • Cost savings. Cloud costs are a growing part of overall business operations. This year, IT buyers will begin spending more on cloud costs than on-premises infrastructure, according to IDC. Kubernetes optimization makes it imperative and offers significant cost savings.
  • User satisfaction. It is about consistently meeting or exceeding SLAs. The result: fewer abandoned sites and frustrated users.
  • Effective resource utilization. While cost savings are significant, it is worth considering the other benefits of efficient resource utilization. Compute resources can be redirected for other purposes, especially for companies that are located on-premises and use private clouds.
  • Environmental responsibility Kubernetes efficiency leads to a reduction in the use of resources, which results in lower carbon emissions from data centers. While environmental responsibility is a worthy trait, consumers also value it. In the recent 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer, both businesses and consumers are found to be actively advocating for brands based on their beliefs and values.

Best practices in optimizing your containerized applications

Utilize add-ons. Many businesses are still new to the process and struggling to manage production workloads. Organizations that don’t know how to optimize Kubernetes through the use of additional technologies can find themselves in a difficult position.

Plugins/or add-ons can be essential as they increase the functionality of containerized apps. This allows organizations to easily support, scale, and manage their applications making them “production-grade.” There is a wide variety of tools that integrate with Kubernetes to improve the efficiency and functionality of containers and clusters. Businesses can take advantage of these.

Integrate security from the get-go. Security is another critical aspect of Kubernetes deployments, although it is often overlooked by developers after they have a working application. Security should be built into the application from the beginning and maintained by developers. As Kubernetes does not deploy with security by default, it will require teams to monitor security vulnerabilities in infrastructure and applications and to patch them.

Secure work environments can only be achieved by using robust security measures, which include ingress and egress control, encryption and secret management, role-based access controls, etc. Having delays in deployment or overspending can cause agility and speed to be lost. Teams also tend to play catch-up and fix problems later.

DevOps teams have better control over the software they run in production. This allows operations to focus on core infrastructure. Engineers have better control over the security and configuration of their applications by adopting this ownership model. This allows teams to collaborate more effectively and will thus improve security.

If team roles are defined clearly and enforced, it becomes a routine that ensures security is not an afterthought. Infrastructure and development teams are better equipped to triage and diagnose security issues according to best practices when they have access to self-service tools.

Use policies to enhance best practices. Kubernetes governance is essential for ensuring efficiency, transparency, accountability, and cost control. You will need strong governance and guardrails to ensure that you have a clear understanding of their clusters and can be controlled and monitored. Organizations lose security and money without them.

Kubernetes policy enforcement is essential to ensure consistency and avoid configuration problems. Businesses can meet compliance and security requirements quickly if this enforcement is done in the CI/CD pipeline. Continuous scanning against custom and standard policy guardrails reduces the risk associated with Kubernetes. Thus, ensure that your clusters are in line with industry standards.

Achieving Kubernetes optimization

Optimization is often perceived as difficult and time-consuming. Most organizations consider the time spent on anything but developing new and differentiated capabilities to be time wasted. Manual optimization methods can take days to weeks due to the complex Kubernetes resource management. Engineers who want to create business value and work with cool technology will find nothing more frustrating.

The container management market is valued at approximately $300 million today and is expected to surpass $1 billion by 2025. Vendors have the ability to support developers and operations teams by providing management capabilities such as security visibility, orchestration, and resource management. Applications can now be set up to maximize security, reliability, and scale. Kubernetes’ full potential can be realized if we concentrate on development and delivery and make the most of the management solutions available.

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