In today’s volatile market climate, enterprise IT experts also value the fact that Kubernetes enables fast scaling of a network. This is imperative because rapid changes in demand for products or services can often be limited by finite compute resources from enterprise architecture that cannot scale quickly enough. This can equate to lost business, a poor customer experience, or even business failure.
Cloud Flexibility Finally Realized
Meanwhile, the inexorable move of business systems to the cloud goes on. In 2019, IFS conducted a study of 600 business decision makers from around the world to gauge cloud migration progress and strategies. When the data from this survey was compared to data from a similar IFS study in 2012, the research showed that the percentage of companies now relying on various forms of cloud enterprise software provisioning had almost doubled, while the percentage of companies with on-premise solutions was nearly cut in half.
But in a cloud-first environment, there are certain business requirements or scenarios that favor on-premise deployment or even the ability to move back and forth between public cloud, private cloud, and on-premise scenarios. In addition, an on-premise or private cloud application may need to seamlessly make use of compute resources in a public cloud to handle peak or “hockey stick” demand. Applications built with Kubernetes just make this easier.
Business Leaders Shape Their Deployment Methodology
Kubernetes can help orchestrate containerization in a multitude of environments. These include hosting software on a vendor’s cloud, self-hosting by a business, or even a hybrid environment where the core application stack is self-hosted, but several of the application services are accessed as cloud services run by the software vendor. The hybrid option allows businesses to offload some of the deployment complexity.
This means that functions that might be better held close, rather than placed in a public or even private cloud due to regulatory or practical considerations, can be run on-premise or wherever is most practical for the customer. The instance of software can be augmented by services from the software vendor ranging from reporting, optimization engines, cognitive services, and more. Courtesy of Kubernetes, different parts of the application can be run from separate servers on-premise, in a private cloud, or public cloud—all depending on what makes sense.
To ensure key security provisions are respected as things change, Kubernetes must be used in the software stack as a container orchestration tool. Why? Because one benefit of containerization is the ability to quickly move new software into production, enabling rapid change and digital transformation. But as every CIO will know, with every new deployment, security issues immediately raise their cyber heads. Which external device or system is authorized to access the software? Which users are enabled to view and interact with which data? Which roles in the organization have which access permissions? All these rules and policies must be enforced as the application changes. This degree of management is easier if security is addressed early in the software development process—which means there are security benefits if Kubernetes and containerization are delivered as part of a packaged software application.
The most advanced enterprise software applications will increasingly own the Kubernetes container orchestration process in ways that automatically respect the security and permissions reflected in the application as a whole. Enterprise applications will deliver the software services in the form of Docker containers, orchestrated by Kubernetes. This will provide the scaling benefits of having regional Kubernetes clusters serve multiple customers, and enable the software vendor to ensure that the application retains full separation and privacy of customers’ solutions through use of customer-specific Kubernetes namespaces, network separation, encryption, and database instances. Enterprise software vendors not intent on selling their own proprietary technology can make use of packaged Kubernetes environments such as Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service in their technology stack.
Kubernetes Gains Ground
With cloud-based enterprise software becoming the norm, set against a backdrop of businesses having to adapt their processes and operations in a highly volatile economic environment, Kubernetes-supported software deployments are a perfect fit. Those C-level executives responsible for business change and development should not ignore the power of Kubernetes and its ability to ensure their business has the digital foundation to adapt in a safe, secure, and efficient manner for years to come.