Like other container orchestration tools, Kubernetes helps manage the networking, scaling, scheduling and deployment of containers. It’s especially helpful in a scaled environment that needs to run thousands — or hundreds of thousands, or even billions — of containers. Teams that have integrated DevOps practices like continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) benefit because Kubernetes provides more agility in application development, giving developers the ability to run the same application in diverse environments and more easily implement microservices. These tools are also often what’s known as “declarative” — meaning you declare the parameters of your system’s behavior, and the tool makes it happen.
As a container orchestration tool, Kubernetes can be used for automating and managing tasks such as:
- Container deployment
- Container availability
- Resource allocation
- Health monitoring
- Load balancing
- Securing container interaction
- Adjustment of container size or location based on the host’s resources or health
The advantages of using Kubernetes are similar to those of using containers. Kubernetes is portable, so you can use it flexibly in hybrid, cloud, on-premises or multicloud ecosystems. If a container fails or nodes die, they can be automatically replaced or rescheduled due to the “self-healing” nature of Kubernetes. And perhaps most importantly, Kubernetes is scalable, able to run billions of containers (or far fewer), all based on your team’s needs. Kubernetes has an enthusiastic contributor community and there are plenty of Kubernetes-supported tools across the industry to help maximize its use.
Using Kubernetes may have some disadvantages. Although it allows teams to manage incredibly complex environments, it also introduces its own complexity for users unfamiliar with its development workflow. Containerized environments, including microservices, can also be challenging to monitor, secure and troubleshoot because they have many components.