Kubernetes is less than a decade old, but is already maturing into a wide-ranging and highly-adopted platform. In 2023, Forrester Research anticipates an acceleration in Kubernetes investment, by organizations in AL/ML, data management, IoT, 5G, edge, and blockchain, making it an excellent time for businesses to shift to the container orchestration technology.
Having originally been built by Google, the software is now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), which is keenly focused on publishing platform and service agnostic software, so as many developers as possible can access it.
As Kubernetes is open-source, it is relatively painless for businesses to shift from virtual machine workloads to containers, however, the technology is still rather complex and CNCF are considering adding more guidelines and policies for using it.
As the most popular container technology on the market today, all three of the big cloud computing firms offer Kubernetes services. Managing container deployments through a cloud service provider can have its upsides in reducing the complexity of container orchestration, and offering better scalability.
Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)
As the original developers of Kubernetes, Google Cloud is a well fleshed out option for customers. GKE’s Autopilot mode is a hands-off, fully managed Kubernetes platform that manages a businesses’ cluster’s underlying compute infrastructure (without needing to configure or monitor)—while still delivering a complete Kubernetes experience.
To that end, the service offers automatic provisioning and management of cluster infrastructure, alongside pod and cluster autoscaling up to 15,000 nodes, and a wide selection of prebuilt Kubernetes applications and templates available on the Google Cloud Marketplace.
GKE also offers container-native networking and security, which can restrict the cluster to a private or public endpoint that only certain addresses can reach. Automated tools for migration make the process of moving from virtual machines to containers easier.
Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS)
Microsoft AKS is the fastest way to deploy Kubernetes clusters on Azure, with automated services able to connect, prepare, and deploy, with access to more Kubernetes solutions and services on Azure Marketplace.
The service also offers Kubernetes extensions for Microsoft Studio and Visual Studio Code, alongside CI/CD pipelines through GitHub Actions to simplify runtime. Through a dashboard, customers can track failures with telemetry, log aggregation, and container health statistics.
Microsoft has honed in on security as a key advantage of its solution, with regulatory compliance controls, identity and access controls, and Microsoft Defender for Containers.
Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)
Amazon EKS is a managed service to run Kubernetes in the AWS cloud and on-premises data centers. In the cloud, Amazon EKS automatically manages the availability and scalability of the Kubernetes control plane nodes responsible for scheduling containers, managing application availability, storing cluster data, and other key tasks. With Amazon EKS, businesses can take advantage of all the performance, scale, reliability, and availability of AWS infrastructure, as well as integrations with AWS networking and security services. On-premises, EKS provides a consistent, fully-supported Kubernetes solution with integrated tooling and simple deployment to AWS Outposts, virtual machines, or bare metal servers.
Amazon EKS also focuses on trust and security in its marketing material with automatic security patches applied to a Kubernetes cluster, alongside leveraging built-in integrations to AWS services, such as EC2, VPC, IAM and EBS.
Amazon also provides automatic Kubernetes application scaling and resource provisioning, to reduce the costs of deployment while allowing businesses to scale at ease.