Getting Started with Kubernetes

This is part 2 in a 6-part series on containers, microservices, and container orchestration to help tech and business professionals of all levels understand and embrace this transformative technology and the best practices processes to maximize your investment in it.

Here is an outline:

  1. Intro: Why Containers and Microservices Matters to Business – Executive thought leadership perspective – Coming Soon!
  2. Getting started with Kubernetes – How to start with a POC, weave k8s into your existing CI/CD pipelines, build a new pipeline
  3. Intermediate level post – Ready to kick the tires? K8s, Ansible, Terraform media/entertainment enterprise case study
  4. Advanced tips and tricks – Take things further with “Tapping into Kubernetes Events“, “Posting Kubernetes Events to Slack“, and “Chatbots for Chatops set up on Gcloud w Container engine
  5. Scaling Docker and Kubernetes in production to thousands of nodes on Kubernetes in one of the largest consumer web properties – Coming Soon!

Start small with a POC

If you’re just getting started with Kubernetes, it’s a good idea to start small. Kubernetes was built for “web-scale”, but chances are you’re going to want to learn to walk before you run. To do that, you’re going to need a proof-of-concept that is small enough to allow your team to build their skills without unnecessary risk to the business but big enough to have real business impact. As a friend of mine puts it, “Small enough that no one will notice if you fail, but big enough that EVERYONE will notice when you succeed.”

But what does that look like? How do you build a POC that demonstrates Kubernetes’ capabilities without overcomplicating things?

Integration into Existing CI/CD Processes

When I started investigating Kubernetes, I was confronted with this exact question. I wasn’t sure what a “goldilocks-sized” POC should look like. Then I began to think about a Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery project I led several years ago and the similar scoping issues we faced. Then it hit me: Why not introduce Kubernetes to our existing CI and CD process? Why not leverage our existing CI tools to automate the creation of pods and services instead of our existing VM provisioning scripts?

Why not, indeed!

The video below is from one of our bi-weekly Tech Demos, where I describe and demonstrate the solution. The demo was run in Google Cloud/Google Container Engine, but could be adapted to work in any Kubernetes environment.

If you need a starting point for your Kubernetes evaluation, I’d encourage you to try leveraging it for your existing CI/CD process. Not only will it build your confidence in administering and using Kubernetes, but it will yield tangible results for your development teams.

Author: Joel Parks, Automation Architect, Solinea