The container orchestration technology Kubernetes has become the dominant solution for cloud infrastructure and as such, it is maturing at an unrivaled pace. Many companies have already adopted Kubernetes or are in the process of it. However simple Kubernetes adoption is not enough, but you need a broader diffusion of Kubernetes in your organization.

Some early adopters show what next steps are needed for this deeper adoption of Kubernetes: An internal Kubernetes platform.

SpotifyDatadog (page 25), and Box are just some publicly available examples of companies that have built such platform for their engineering teams.

What is an internal Kubernetes platform

An internal Kubernetes platform is a platform that allows engineers to get a direct access to a Kubernetes environment on-demand for company-internal use.

From an engineer’s perspective, the platform must provide self-service namespaces or another Kubernetes environment on-demand. It also needs to be easy to use even for engineers that are not experienced in working with Kubernetes. And finally, an internal Kubernetes platform must provide the engineers a real Kubernetes access, which means that it is possible for them to interact with Kubernetes and use Kubernetes-native components and resources. For this, it is not sufficient to just use a Platform-as-a-Service system that runs on top of Kubernetes or provide a Kubernetes test environment behind a CI/CD pipeline.

From an administrator perspective, an internal Kubernetes platform needs to be centrally controllable, so that the admins can oversee the whole system because with a company-wide roll-out the usage of it will be much higher than with some first adoption experiments. It is thus also necessary that the platform allows to manage and limit the users efficiently, so that the total cost of running the internal Kubernetes platform does not get out of hand.

A good internal Kubernetes platform combines all of these features in a single solution that supports all stakeholders in their further Kubernetes adoption.

Why should you have an internal Kubernetes platform

With the increasing amount of applications running on top of Kubernetes, it is also necessary that the adoption of Kubernetes spreads within organizations, so that developers can directly interact with the technology underlying their applications. Only if this requirement is fulfilled, the Kubernetes advantages of faster development cycles and enhanced application stability can be realized.

As can be seen in the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2020, developers are ready for this next step as Kubernetes is a highly “wanted” and “loved” technology, i.e. developers want to work with it and the ones already doing so like it.

The first step to enable engineers to work with Kubernetes is to provide them access to it with individual Kubernetes work environments. And this is exactly what an internal Kubernetes platform does, which is why it is so fundamental in a successful further adoption.

#cloud-native #devops #kubernetes #kubernetes-cluster #containers

Building an Internal Kubernetes Platform
1.25 GEEK