IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service

Kubernetes, Greek for helmsman and also known as “k8s” or “kube,” is a container-orchestration platform used to schedule and automate the deployment, management and scaling of containerized applications. It rivals VMs for delivering platform as a service that addresses many infrastructure- and operations-related tasks and issues around cloud-native development.

Watch video: Kubernetes explained (10:59) IBM Media Center Video Icon

A container is an executable software unit in which application code is packaged — together with libraries and dependencies — so it can run anywhere on the desktop, traditional IT or in the cloud. Containers exploit a form of OS virtualization that lets applications share the OS by isolating processes and controlling access to CPU, memory and processes.

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As containers proliferated, operations teams needed to schedule and automate container deployment, networking, scalability and availability. Kubernetes became the most widely adopted for its functionality, its ecosystem of open source-supporting tools and its portability across leading cloud providers, some of which offer fully managed Kubernetes services.

Watch video: Container orchestration explained (08:59) IBM Media Center Video Icon

Clusters comprise nodes. Each node represents 1 compute host. Worker nodes in a cluster deploy, run and manage containerized apps. Pods share compute resources and network and are key to scaling. If a container in a pod gets too much traffic, Kubernetes replicates the pod. Deployments control the creation and state of the containerized app and keep it running.

Watch video: Kubernetes deployments (03:55) IBM Media Center Video Icon

As the number of containers in a cluster grows, the possible connection paths between them grow exponentially, making configuration and management complex. Istio on IBM Cloud, an open source service mesh layer for Kubernetes clusters, adds a sidecar container to each Kubernetes cluster. A sidecar configures, monitors and manages interactions between other containers.

Watch video: Istio service mesh explained (05:07) IBM Media Center Video Icon

Knative, an open source platform, sits on top of Kubernetes and provides two vital benefits for cloud-native development. It’s an easy access method to serverless computing and a way to build a container once and run it as a software service or serverless function. Knative transparently handles things like generating configuration files and writing CI/CD scripts.

Watch the video: What is Knative? (07:59) IBM Media Center Video Icon

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