✍🏻 Industry use cases of Azure Kubernetes Service by WhiteSource
What is Azure Kubernetes Service?
Microsoft Azure is a world-renown cloud platform for SMBs to large-scale businesses, while Kubernetes is a modern-day approach that is rapidly becoming the regular methodology to manage cloud-native applications in a production environment. Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) has brought both solutions together that allow customers to create fully-managed Kubernetes clusters quickly and easily.
AKS is an open-source fully managed container orchestration service that became available in June 2018 and is available on the Microsoft Azure public cloud that can be used to deploy, scale, and manage Docker containers and container-based applications in a cluster environment.
Azure Kubernetes Service offers to provision, scaling, and upgrades resources as per requirement or demand without any downtime in the Kubernetes cluster and the best thing about AKS is that you don’t require deep knowledge and expertise in container orchestration to manage AKS.
AKS is certainly an ideal platform for developers to develop their modern applications using Kubernetes on the Azure architecture where Azure Container Instances are the pretty right choice to deploy containers on the public cloud. The Azure Container Instances help in reducing the stress on developers to deploy and run their applications on Kubernetes architecture.
How Kubernetes works
As applications grow to span multiple containers deployed across multiple servers, operating them becomes more complex. To manage this complexity, Kubernetes provides an open-source API that controls how and where those containers will run.
Kubernetes orchestrates clusters of virtual machines and schedules containers to run on those virtual machines based on their available compute resources and the resource requirements of each container. Containers are grouped into pods, the basic operational unit for Kubernetes, and those pods scale to your desired state.
Kubernetes also automatically manages service discovery, incorporates load balancing, tracks resource allocation, and scales based on computing utilization. And, it checks the health of individual resources and enables apps to self-heal by automatically restarting or replicating containers.
Why use Kubernetes?
Keeping containerized apps up and running can be complex because they often involve many containers deployed across different machines. Kubernetes provides a way to schedule and deploy those containers — plus scale them to your desired state and manage their lifecycles. Use Kubernetes to implement your container-based applications in a portable, scalable, and extensible way.
>Make workloads portable
Because container apps are separate from their infrastructure, they become portable when you run them on Kubernetes. Move them from local machines to production among on-premises, hybrid, and multiple cloud environments — all while maintaining consistency across environments.
>Scale containers easily
Define complex containerized applications and deploy them across a cluster of servers or even multiple clusters with Kubernetes. As Kubernetes scales applications according to your desired state, it automatically monitors and maintains container health.
>Build more extensible apps
A large open-source community of developers and companies actively builds extensions and plugins that add capabilities such as security, monitoring and management to Kubernetes. Plus, the Certified Kubernetes Conformance Program requires every Kubernetes version to support APIs that make it easier to use those community offerings.
Use Case Study With WhiteSource:
WhiteSource is a Microsoft partner and global leader in open-source component security and compliance management, also referred to as Software Composition Analysis. The company has more than 700 customers worldwide, including many of the Fortune 100. To increase the portability of its solution, WhiteSource moved to containerized development using Kubernetes, and it chose Microsoft Azure and Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) as its development and delivery platform. Using AKS, WhiteSource benefits from easy deployment, stellar support, and efficient management of Kubernetes clusters.
Azure Kubernetes Service provides all the functionality to give our customers exactly what they need … you can have a cluster up and running in a few minutes due to the intuitiveness of the product.
Uzi Yossef: Senior DevOps Engineer ,WhiteSource
Using open-source software has become a necessity — you simply can’t develop at today’s pace without it. WhiteSource research shows that 60 to 80 percent of the codebase in applications developed in 2018 is open source. The problem is that security information about open-source components is scattered across many sources with varied levels of credibility. According to a report from WhiteSource, vulnerabilities are developers’ top concerns when working with these components. WhiteSource helps mitigate those concerns about security with a comprehensive, end-to-end open-source management solution running in Microsoft Azure.
The right technology for product improvements
The high quality of WhiteSource’s cloud-based solution has led to rapid growth, and the company saw the need to change its application delivery mechanism to better support its customers’ needs. Containerized development with Kubernetes provided the answer. “With Kubernetes, we can easily distribute containers for faster deployments and rollbacks,” says Uzi Yossef, Senior DevOps Engineer at WhiteSource. “I can have my entire environment set up as a manifest file, which makes it straightforward to keep everything in one place and under source control. For our customers, using Kubernetes makes our product cloud-agnostic, so it can work with whatever cloud they have.”
After initially trying a different Kubernetes product, WhiteSource chose to deploy its solution in Azure using Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), which offered a wide range of advantages. “AKS is much easier to use than other Kubernetes offerings,” says Yossef. “We don’t have to do the manual integrations that are necessary with other products. AKS has the fast scalability we need and the ability to connect to the serverless container framework, so we’re moving more and more workloads to it.”
By using serverless computing within Azure, WhiteSource gains the advantages of running Kubernetes as a service without the overhead of building and maintaining its own managed cluster — Azure handles the provisioning, scaling, and management of resources. This is a key feature for WhiteSource, due to the sensitive nature of the information, its solution handles.
“We’re working with our customers’ application data, so it’s important that we can quickly scale out the necessary resources and then immediately delete them when execution is complete,” explains Yossef. “Azure Kubernetes Service provides all the functionality to give our customers exactly what they need, and more importantly, you can have a cluster up and running in a few minutes due to the intuitiveness of the product.
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