back to article Massive scale, tight security – what's not to love about Kubernetes 1.6? Well...

There aren't too many software frameworks that lend their name to industry events but Kubernetes, the open-source container manager, is one. The clumsily named Cloud Native + KubeCon in Berlin this week, however, is no ordinary conference. There are not too many conferences where visitors cramthe stands from 8am to 7pm, nor …

  1. andy 103

    Can someone explain Kubernetes in simple terms?

    It seems to be a buzz-name that's being banded about, but never explains what real world "problem" it actually addresses. The Kubernetes website is piss poor at explaining what it does, as are various other articles.

    There was an article about DevOps hype on here the other week, and it seems very much to fit into that category of bullshit people use when they want to pretend they're very clever or using something which fails to address any real life problem in a significant way.

    (No, this isn't a sarcastic post)

    1. Dan 10

      Re: Can someone explain Kubernetes in simple terms?

      As I understand it (and that's not very well), Kubernetes enables you to orchestrate container fleets.

      Example: My new web service will, rather than be an evil single monolith of code, be broken down into 4 microservices, relating to user account, products, checkout, order history. The typical capacity I want necessitates running 5 web servers. I need each microservice to be highly available, and not tied to the infrastructure. So, I host the microservices in containers (Docker, in this case), then deploy an instance of every one to each server. Suddenly, I've got 20 containers running (4 services x 5 hosts).

      Which containers are serving which microservices?

      If one (service or container) dies, what needs to happen for it to get regenerated?

      What happens when I update the code for one or more of the services?

      How do I easily scale the number of required containers, or instruct them to deploy to new hosts?

      etc etc

      Enter Kubernetes, which if we're being old-school is cluster management for those containers.

      *Watches someone else comment to shoot this down in flames...*

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can someone explain Kubernetes in simple terms?

      It's all about what platform are you going to run all your containers on. You have several choices, kubernetes, Docker Inc. Platform, or mesosphere, or CoreOS/tectonic or Joyent Triton.

      Kubernetes is 1.5 orders of magnitude more popular than any of these other platforms (measured in pull requests-- 500 pull requests vs 15).

      There is nothing that users really care about here, it just means Google thinks it won the container war.

      All of these approaches are single-vendor, and all are out on a limb, google has more people on their limb.

      1. slang800

        Re: Can someone explain Kubernetes in simple terms?

        > You have several choices, kubernetes, Docker Inc. Platform, or mesosphere, or CoreOS/tectonic or Joyent Triton.

        That's not quite right. CoreOS is an OS that works well with Kubernetes and Docker. Docker is a container system similar to rkt that's used by Kubernetes. Docker does have a system called Swarm that is like a simple version of Kubernetes, and CoreOS had Fleet, which is similar to Swarm (but uses systemd style units). Tectonic is just a system for managing Kubernetes. I don't have a clue what Triton is (never used it) but Mesos is a real competitor to Kubernetes.

        1. Dan 10

          Re: Can someone explain Kubernetes in simple terms?

          Off we go down the rabbit hole - reminds me of:

          https://circleci.com/blog/its-the-future/

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Can someone explain Kubernetes in simple terms?

          > Docker does have a system called Swarm that is like a simple version of Kubernetes

          Swarm should be the more complex under the hood, their mesh uses p2p gossip protocol to do all the fancy dynamic routing stuff, whereas K8s is static routing in comparison. Because Docker's offering is more complex and innovative, there is more risk in using it for your initiatives. To decide Swarm/Mesh is to be divergent from k8s, not merely using a simpler version.

    3. MotionCompensation

      Re: Can someone explain Kubernetes in simple terms?

      The real world problem it solves is "how can I run thousands of copies of various applications, spread over thousands of servers, without needing thousands of (grumpy and expensive) sysadmins to keep it all well oiled, happy and running?"

      So basically, it's automation of tasks (installations, upgrades, detecting crashes, rebooting, removing crashed copies, spreading the load across the physical servers etc etc), so large scale applications can run with tens of thousands of users only paying a few dollars a month each (and many paying nothing) for the service. Real world problems are often all about money.

  2. G Olson

    Moving up the stack

    Instead of shared multi-user systems you get shared multi-system users! Well, OK, not quite. The shared part of the computing system is moving from the compute environment to the infrastructure. The infrastructure hands out storage, network, and compute to mulitple compute nodes for your work. And you don't share your nodes with anyone else -- unless you really want to but I don't recommend it.

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