Kubernetes on AWS- Features and Tools for Managing Kubernetes Clusters
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Kubernetes is a widely used orchestration platform. Kubernetes is a popular containerization service and has encouraged the tech community to innovate. Further, it has also caused a disruption in cloud-native space where Kubernetes innovators are coming up with the newest path breaking ideas.
Today, containers are being used mostly by companies that have over a thousand employees and running their data centers. These firms also have another point in common, this being the fact that they all use Kubernetes in production.
Kubernetes on AWS
Kubernetes, a free-source software, allows you to deploy and scale containerized applications. Kubernetes helps to organize and run containers on clusters of instances computed using Amazon EC2. Additional processes for deployment, maintenance, and scaling are also present. Thus, by using Kubernetes, it is possible to run any containerized application, on-premises and within the cloud, using the same toolset.
AWS infrastructure makes it easy to run Kubernetes in the cloud with virtual machine infrastructure that is scalable and highly available. There are also community-backed service integrations present. Moreover, Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), a certified Kubernetes conformant to run Kubernetes on both AWS and on-premises and a managed service, is also used.
Kubernetes, an open-source project, can be used to run containerized applications anywhere without any changes in the operational tooling. Kubernetes is maintained by a large community of volunteers and, therefore, is continuously improving. Also, many different and independent open-source projects and vendors build and maintain innovative Kubernetes-compatible software that you can also use. This can help to extend your application architecture as well as strengthen it.
Kubernetes on AWS – Features
- Run applications at scale - Complex containerized applications can be defined and run across a cluster of servers using Kubernetes.
- Deploying Applications- You can easily move locally developed applications from on-premise machines to the cloud using available equivalent operational tools.
- Applications can be run anywhere- You can run the Kubernetes clusters both on AWS as well as on-premise machines simultaneously.
- It is easy to add new functionality- As there is a large community of Kubernetes developers it is easy to add new functionality. There are already many extensions, plugins, and integrations that can make life easy for Kubernetes users.
You can configure as well as manage all deployments by yourself when you decide to develop AWS on Kubernetes. This allows complete control and flexibility. To manage the implementation, you can use the AWS services that are available.
Alternate Tools for Managing Kubernetes Clusters
Kubernetes Operations, otherwise called Kops, is an open-source project that is used to create Kubernetes clusters easily and swiftly. It is thought to be the “kubectl” way of setting up clusters. Kops works to deploy highly available Kubernetes clusters on both AWS (it officially supports kOps) and Google (GCP) clouds.
EKS expands to Elastic Kubernetes Service and it is a managed service on offer by AWS. EKS provides a managed control plane for cluster deployment by taking the help of automatically provisioned instances.
This is an enterprise computing platform that allows you to deploy Kubernetes clusters in the cloud and on your premises. These clusters can be unified and operated to ensure consistency, manages the workload, and offers enterprise-grade security.
Heptio supports CloudFormation and uses kubeadm to deploy Kubernetes on AWS. Heptio is most suited for users who are already familiar with the CloudFormation AWS orchestration tool. Heptio supports multi-AZ.
Kismatic Enterprise Toolkit (KET)
This is a group of tools that has production-ready defaults capable of making an enterprise-level Kubernetes cluster. The objective is to help organizations to set up and manage their Kubernetes infrastructure as well as the clusters.
The kubeadm project works to form an easy cluster on AWS using Terraform. It is a basic tool for tests and proofs-of-concept. kubeadm does not support multi-AZ.
Other tools that can be used include OpenShift, Stackpoint, Tack (Pre-Terraform, Terraform, Post Terraform), and Tectonic.
Reasons to run Kubernetes on AWS
Though AWS is the most preferred solution for running cloud-native applications, it is not an easy job to set up and run Kubernetes on it. However, there are many advantages of running Kubernetes on AWS. The best reason is that you can take advantage of the many available services. Other reasons are:
- Using Kubernetes on AWS gives you complete control over your servers. However, it is not the same with other cloud providers.
- Kubernetes is an open-source end-to-end and also has several associated tools. This leads you to a well-supported community and, therefore, many more options.
- Kubernetes runs anywhere: machines, public/private cloud, and even on multiple public clouds if required.
- With Kubernetes, you can run a part of the cluster within a public cloud and sensitive workloads that can be arranged to spill over and run on a private cloud that exists on-premises (as an example).
How Kubernetes works on AWS
Kubernetes works by scheduling containers to run on a set of compute instances with support from the available compute resources. This helps to meet the resource needs of every container. Containers are run in logical groupings (pods). One or many containers can be scaled and run together as a pod.
Kubernetes control plane software controls the running of the pods. Its other functions include managing traffic routing and the worker nodes and the pods in the cluster. Kubernetes starts those pods that support the resource requirements of your cluster and they can also automatically restart the pods if they, or the instances they're running on, happen to fail. Each pod has an I.P. address and one DNS name. This is used by Kubernetes to attach the services as well as the external traffic.
Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)
This is a managed Kubernetes service that makes it easy for a user to run Kubernetes on AWS as well as on-premises. The user need not strive to put in, operate, or maintain the Kubernetes control plane or nodes.
Amazon EKS helps to automatically manage both the availability and scalability of the Kubernetes control plane nodes that are responsible for scheduling containers, managing the application’s availability, storing cluster data, and some other key tasks.
Amazon EKS allows you to run Kubernetes applications on both Amazon EC2 and AWS Fargate. Amazon EKS allows you to take advantage of all the performance, reliability, scale, and availability of AWS infrastructure, plus the integrations with AWS networking and security services that include application load balancers which help load distribution, AWS Identity and Access Management integration providing role-based access control (RBAC), and AWS VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) VPC support for pod networking.
- Amazon ECR for container image
- Elastic Load Balance for load distribution
- IAM for reliability
- Amazon VPC for solitude
All the existing plugins and toolkits from the Kubernetes community can be used when building applications to run on Amazon EKS. These will be fully compatible with applications running on any Kubernetes environment, whether on-premises data centers/public clouds. This means that any standard Kubernetes application can be migrated to Amazon EKS without any code modification.
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