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Kubernetes has become the de facto container orchestration platform. However, actual Kubernetes cluster setup and configuration is a complex and time-consuming process requiring specialist knowledge.
While there are tools to simplify this configuration, self-management of the entire Kubernetes environment can be a massive undertaking. Managed Kubernetes service offerings can reduce most of the configuration and management complexity. Here we will discuss the advantages of using a managed Kubernetes offering.
What is a Managed Kubernetes Service?
Before looking at the advantages, we need to understand what a managed Kubernetes service is. It simply entails utilizing a Kubernetes service offered by a service provider. Popular services include Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service, Azure Kubernetes Server, Google Kubernetes Engine, etc. They allow users to quickly provision a production-ready Kubernetes cluster with a few clicks without any infrastructure provisioning or configuration requirements. Thus, they automatically eliminate errors like Kubernetes node not ready due to hardware misconfigurations.
The service provider will manage the actual provisioning and configuration of the cluster according to the specifications provided by the user. Additionally, the service provider collects the day-to-day maintenance of all the underlying resources. It allows users to focus on utilizing the cluster without maintenance overheads.
Managed vs. Self-Managed
One should also consider the self-managed option when talking about a managed cluster. While self-managed offerings come with more configuration and maintenance complexity, they offer you complete control over the entire environment at an infrastructure level. However, in most use cases, the advantages of managed options far outweigh the additional power you gain with a self-managed option. Unless for specific use cases like running Kubernetes on on-prem environments or facilitating custom architectures, a managed Kubernetes service can promote any other use case.
Why Select a Managed Kubernetes Service?
Now we have an idea about managed Kubernetes services. So let’s drill down all the advantages of this driven service approach.
Simplified Cluster Deployments
Clusters can be configured in minutes by providing the required configuration options, as there is no need to configure any infrastructure resources manually. The service provider will manage all the necessary provisioning and configurations. Service offerings like AWS Fargate allow users to have a fully serverless Kubernetes experience with the right-sized on-demand compute capacity provisioned for containers.
No Infrastructure Maintenance Requirements
Maintenance is one of the ongoing requirements of a development cycle. The care of the cluster resources is the complete responsibility of the service provider In a managed option. They even enable carrying out Kubernetes updates with a few clicks.
Higher Availability and Increased Security
The high availability of control planes offered by these services, leveraging multi-zonal and multi-regional configurations, organically leads to the increased availability of the cluster. The guaranteed security provided by the platform itself and fully managed resources ensure that the group is secure by default. It also ensures that the collection is continually updated with quick patches to any vulnerabilities in the platform and the nodes.
Availability of Unlimited Resources
Cloud service providers offer most managed services. Thus, users have access to all the available resources and benefits of the service provider with unlimited scalability. Moreover, it allows easy expansion of these managed clusters to the maximum recommended capacity. The service provider can also provide any external resources your containers require, leading to better integration between the collection and external resources.
Managed services come under the pay-as-you-go model, which applies to Kubernetes servers. Users can provide only the minimum required resources and quickly scale up and down depending on the workload. When it is combined with cost-saving measures like reserved instances, compute savings plans, and serverless offerings like Fargate, they can be used to reduce the overall cluster expenditure further. Due to the reduced management overhead, there is less need for specialized personnel to manage the cluster.
Integration with IRC
The rapid pace of modern software development has changed how users approach infrastructure management. Furthermore, Infrastructure as Code has become the preferred method to manage continuous infrastructure changes at scale. As a part of a more comprehensive cloud service, managed K8s offerings enable users to utilize IaC tools to manage the cluster from provisioning to modifications, all through IaC tools.
Facilitate Multi-Cloud Environments
Managed service offerings provide the simplest way to offer Kubernetes clusters with large-scale applications utilizing multi-cloud configurations across different service providers. Service offerings like Google Anthos and Azure Arch allow centralized management of these clusters across various providers. These services can even extend to on-premise deployments, further simplifying the management of multi-cloud clusters.
Managed Kubernetes clusters provide a more straightforward method to provision and use Kubernetes. It reduces the barrier to entry for Kubernetes and lessens most of the management responsibilities attached to managing a Kubernetes cluster. When coupled with all the advantages mentioned above, managed offerings have become the ideal choice for most Kubernetes needs.