Examine some of the ways that enterprises might divide and assign responsibiity to teams in the managment of clusters.

While researching how enterprises adopt Kubernetes, we can outline a common scenario; implementing a Kubernetes cluster in a company often starts as a proof of concept. Either developers decide they want to try something new, or the CTO does his research and decides to give it a try as it sounds promising. Typically, there is no roadmap, no real plan for the future steps, no decision to go for production.

First Steps with A Kubernetes Cluster in An Enterprise

And then it is a huge success – a Kubernetes cluster makes managing deployments easier, it’s simple to use for developers, cheaper than the previously used platform and it just works for everyone. The security team creates the firewall rules, approves the configuration of the network overlay and load balancers. Operators create their CI/CD pipelines for the cluster deployments, backups, and daily tasks. Developers rewrite configuration parsing and communication to fully utilize the ConfigMaps, Secrets and cluster internal routing and DNS. In no time you are one click from scrapping the existing infrastructure and moving everything to the Kubernetes.

This might be the point when you start thinking about providing support for your cluster and the applications in it. It may be an internal development team using your Kubernetes cluster, or PaaS for external teams. In all cases, you need a way to triage all support cases and decide which team or a person is responsible for which part of the cluster management. Let’s first split this into two scenarios.

A Kubernetes Cluster per Team

If the decision is to give a full cluster or clusters for a team, there is no resource sharing, so there is less to worry about. Still, someone has to draw the line and say where a cluster operators’ responsibility ends, and the developers have to take it.

The easiest way would be to give the full admin access to the cluster, some volumes for persistent data and a set of LBs (or even one LB for ingress), and delegate the management to the development team. Such a solution would not be possible in most cases, as it requires a lot of experience from the development team to properly manage the cluster and make sure it is stable. Also, this is not always optimal from the resources perspective to create a cluster for even a small team.

The other problem is that when a team has to manage the whole cluster, the actual way it works can greatly diverge. Some teams decide to use Nginx ingress and some Traefik. End of the day, it is much easier to monitor and manage the uniform clusters.

#cloud #kubernetes #cluster #cloud-native #cluster management

Whose Cluster Is It Anyway?
1.05 GEEK