5 Best Practices for Using Kubernetes in Your Organization
Check out the 5 best practices for using Kubernetes in your organization for monitoring & alerting & benefit from this open-source platform
Kubernetes is an open-source platform for automating the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. It provides a way to manage the scaling and availability of containers across multiple hosts, and it can be used to orchestrate the deployment and management of containerized applications in a distributed environment. Check out the 5 best practices for using Kubernetes in your organization for monitoring & alerting.
Kubernetes offers the following benefits for organizations:
- Improved efficiency: Automates repetitive tasks and simplifies application management.
- Increased scalability: Supports scaling of resources and applications.
- Enhanced reliability: Provides automatic failover and self-healing capabilities.
- Better resource utilization: Optimizes resource usage, reducing costs.
- Faster application deployment: Accelerates development, testing and deployment of applications.
- Ease of integration: Supports multiple platforms and can integrate with various tools and technologies.
- Improved collaboration: Supports multi-team and multi-application environments.
- Better observability: Offers comprehensive monitoring, logging and debugging capabilities.
8 Challenges of Using Kubernetes in Your Organization
While Kubernetes can be useful, it is not always straightforward to incorporate it into your organization’s workflows. Here are some of the potential challenges when adopting Kubernetes:
- Complexity: The steep learning curve and complex architecture can be challenging to set up and manage.
- Resource requirements: It has high resource consumption and infrastructure requirements.
- Integration challenges: Integrating with existing infrastructure and tools can be complex.
- Security risks: The platform requires secure configuration and management to prevent security breaches.
- Compatibility issues: Kubernetes may not be compatible with all types of applications and workloads. So it might require adjusting or replacing your existing systems and services.
- Upgrade difficulties: Upgrading your software can be challenging and disruptive to ongoing operations.
- Skills shortage: A lack of skilled personnel can pose a challenge to the effective use of Kubernetes. You might need to hire or train developers.
- Networking challenges: Networking configurations can be complex and may require specialized skills.
Best Practices for Using Kubernetes in Your Organization
Here are a few best practices that can help your organization overcome the challenges above. Ensure an easier transition from traditional software deployment models to Kubernetes. As a result, here are the best practices for using Kubernetes in your organization for monitoring & alerting.
Namespaces help organize clusters and create logical divisions between functions or domains. After setting up your namespaces, you can start defining policies and access rules for each namespace. It is a useful method for reducing the risk of large-scale failure and simplifying container management.
You can further minimize risks by implementing the principle of least privilege. To ensure users get only the permissions needed to perform specific functions. For example, you can strengthen security by ensuring developers have access only to the namespaces relevant to their job. The goal is to prevent threat actors from gaining excessive privileges after compromising a user account.
Use a Git-Based Workflow Best Practices Using Kubernetes
You can set up a git-based workflow to work with your CI/CD pipeline as a single source of truth for your Kubernetes deployment. It enables you to automate the deployment process and ensure the system automatically reflects your repo.
This practice is commonly present as part of GitOps. A framework that helps organize and support workflows in a developer-friendly way. For example, if issues arise during a system operation. A Git-based workflow makes it simpler to roll back to the previous version or redeploy.
Using Kubernetes Dashboard
Kubernetes provides a web-based user interface (called Dashboard) that lets you deploy containerized applications to a Kubernetes cluster, troubleshoot containerized applications, and manage cluster resources. It provides an overview of all applications running on a cluster and information about the state of Kubernetes resources and errors.
Kubernetes Dashboard enables you to create or modify individual Kubernetes resources, such as Deployments, DaemonSets, and Jobs. You can use it to scale a Deployment, restart a pod, deploy a new application using a deploy wizard, or initiate a rolling update.
Organize Your Cluster with Labels Best Practices Using Kubernetes
Kubernetes objects help you maintain an abstraction layer around individual clusters and their states, but as the infrastructure grows so does the number of objects, making it more difficult to manage them. Kubernetes lets you organize clusters with labels by attaching key-value pairs to various Kubernetes objects. As a result, here are the best practices for using Kubernetes in your organization for monitoring & alerting.
Labels can help make it easier to manage Kubernetes objects. You can use labels to define and track metadata, such as a pod’s owner. You can also query labels and use selectors to manage objects in bulk. For example, by including a label that tracks the environment of each pod, you can query all testing objects using the following CLI command:
$kubectl get pods -l “environment=testing” –show-labels
Security Using RBAC and Firewall Best Practices Using Kubernetes
RBAC (Role-Based Access Control) and firewalls are important security mechanisms for Kubernetes clusters because they help control access to the cluster and its resources.
RBAC allows you to define roles and assign them to users and service accounts, giving them only the permissions they need to perform their tasks. This helps to limit the potential damage that can be caused by a compromised user or service account.
Firewalls, on the other hand, act as a barrier between your cluster and the outside world, helping to protect your cluster from external threats. They can be used to restrict traffic to and from the cluster, only allowing traffic from trusted sources.
Using RBAC and firewalls together can provide your cluster with an additional layer of security. For example, you could use RBAC to limit access to sensitive resources, and then use a firewall to restrict access to those resources to only authorized users. As a result, here are the best practices for using Kubernetes in your organization for monitoring & alerting.
Upgrade Your Kubernetes Version
Upgrading your Kubernetes version is important for several reasons:
- Security: Newer versions of Kubernetes often include security patches and enhancements to help protect your cluster from potential vulnerabilities. Upgrading to the latest version helps ensure that your cluster is as secure as possible.
- Performance: Newer versions of Kubernetes may include performance improvements and optimizations that can lead to better cluster performance. Upgrading to the latest version can help ensure that your cluster is running as efficiently as possible.
- New Features: Upgrading to the latest version of Kubernetes will give you access to new features and functionality. This can help you take advantage of new capabilities and improve the overall functionality of your cluster.
- Support: Kubernetes follows a deprecation policy. An old version of Kubernetes may reach end-of-life and will no longer be supported. Staying on a supported version ensures that you will have access to community support and resources.
It is important to note that upgrading Kubernetes can be a complex process and it is always recommended to test the upgrade process in a non-production environment before upgrading the production cluster. As a result, here are the best practices for using Kubernetes in your organization for monitoring & alerting.
Build Secure Container Images
A container image includes the instructions for building containers. You can build your own container image from scratch or build on top of an existing image pulled from a repository. There are various types of container image repositories, such as official trusted libraries like Docker Hub and other publicly available libraries.
However, even if you choose a trusted repository to build containers, you must scan the image to ensure you deploy secure containers. Ideally, you should scan images across the entire container build workflow to identify known vulnerabilities, outdated libraries, and misconfigurations, such as insecure permissions and ports.
You can implement image scanning using an admission controller. This Kubernetes-native functionality intercepts and processes requests made to the Kubernetes API before an object persists but after the request is authenticated and authorized. It involves using a custom webhook to scan images before deploying to the cluster. Next, the admission controller blocks any deployment that does not comply with the webhook configuration’s security policies.
Set Resource Requests and Limits
When deploying an application to a production cluster, it is critical to ensure it has sufficient resources. Otherwise, the deployment might fail. This issue is typically caused when resource requests and limits are not defined.
When there are no defined resource requests and limits, cluster pods are allowed to utilize more resources than needed. Once a pod consumes more memory or CPU on the node, the scheduler might not be able to deploy new pods. It might also cause the node to crash.
Resource requests let you specify the minimum amount of resources each container can use, and resource limits let you specify the maximum amount each container can use. Typically, CPU limits are defined in millicores and memory in megabytes for both requests and limits.
In conclusion, Kubernetes is a feature-rich container orchestration that offers many advantages for automating the deployment of modern, cloud native applications. It provides various built-in features, such as RBAC, namespaces resource requests and limits, labels, and a dashboard to monitor the state of the cluster and objects.
These built-in features are not enough to ensure optimal protection and performance. You should also layer in additional measures, such as automatic image scans, and consider implementing a Git-based workflow to make the process more efficient and developer-friendly. Ensure you implement all controls correctly and continuously monitor the cluster’s state.
Author Bio: Gilad David Maayan
Gilad David Maayan is a technology writer who has worked with over 150 technology companies including SAP, Imperva, Samsung NEXT, NetApp and Check Point, producing technical and thought leadership content that elucidates technical solutions for developers and IT leadership. Today he heads Agile SEO, the leading marketing agency in the technology industry.