Kubernetes is a software layer that sits between your applications and the underlying hardware and lets you run and manage your applications without worrying about what hardware it’s running on.
It uses “software containers”, which are based on the same fundamental idea as shipping containers. Shipping containers make it easy to package goods and move them around in a standard way that fits on any truck, train or ship. Similarly, software containers let you create a package with your application code and everything you need to run it, including the operating system. You can then "ship" that container to any laptop, server, virtual machine or cloud provider that can run containers.
What does that mean for your business? You can:
- react faster to business opportunities, whether you’re launching a new product or improving an existing business process. It’s easier and faster to create, update and deploy code, and you can be sure applications won’t break when you move them into production.
- be confident your applications are “always on”. Kubernetes self-heals, automatically moving applications to keep them running even if the underlying infrastructure fails.
- handle even the busiest times without your systems slowing down or timing out. Kubernetes automatically scales to match server resources to your workload.
- avoid vendor lock-in. Kubernetes is open source and runs in any cloud or data centre, so you’re free to move your applications to another cloud provider or even back on-premises.
- cut your costs. As well as saving the DevOps in your IT team time by automating many routine operational tasks, Kubernetes typically lets you run more applications with fewer resources than with traditional virtual machines. Niantic—the company behind games such as Pokemon GO, with millions of users—cut its infrastructure costs to one-fifth of the gaming industry average, while being able to rapidly scale new games, by moving to containers on Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
With all those benefits, it’s no wonder more than half of Fortune 100 companies are already using Kubernetes in some form. Google itself has been using Kubernetes and its predecessors for more than a decade to run billion-user applications like Gmail and YouTube. Many other organisations are taking advantage of Kubernetes through Google Cloud’s Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution, Google Container Engine (GKE).To find out more about what Kubernetes could do for your business, read about the role it can play in modernising your IT or come and talk to the Kubernetes experts in our GCP team.