taikun.cloud

Taikun Logo

How to seamlessly adopt Kubernetes in your Platform Engineering workflow

Table of Contents

“Kubernetes is emerging as the operating system of the cloud.” Dynatrace 2023 survey report

In fact, there is a clear preference for Kubernetes-based ecosystems in cloud setups. This is evident from the fact that today, more organizations are adopting Kubernetes for auxiliary workloads. 

The CNCF ecosystem provides a safety net to the developers that the projects will be supported in the medium to long term. The wide compatibility and adoption of these products across different industries make sure that these products mature for different use cases. 

Kubernetes is at the core of this ecosystem. Its compatibility with the plethora of popular tools for different use cases makes it incredibly powerful in every cloud-native deployment. 

Kubernetes in Platform Engineering

The goal of a successful platform is to provide developers with a self-service front-end abstracting complex infrastructure. The development team must be able to get the infrastructure needed for their applications without worrying about the intricacies of how to build one. 

The platform engineering team must architect and build the platform in such a way that it avoids incompatibilities and inefficiencies while enabling the hundreds of tools used in a software development cycle. 

Kubernetes and its set of compatible tools help build this Internal Developer Platform (IDP) effortlessly.

In the last few blogs, we looked into how the Kubernetes ecosystem enables the quick creation and deployment of a robust platform. We also learnt the best ways to architect a robust platform with Kubernetes.

In this article, we will look at the broader trends in platform engineering when it comes to Kubernetes and how you can keep yourself up-to-date with the new changes. Let’s dive into it.

Kubernetes-based Platform Engineering trends

The hardest part of the goal of building a perfect Internal Developer Platform (IDP) is that it has to satisfy the requirements of every developer while bringing in enough standardization in the workflow to avoid incompatibilities and keep uniformity in implementation.

We do not want the k8 deployments to work in silos and have their own specific implementation dependencies. Such a system can quickly go out of hand and a maintenance nightmare.

This is where Kubernetes management and orchestration tools like Taikun can help immensely. Taikun CloudWorks abstracts the complexities of Kubernetes setup and provides much-needed capabilities that we expect from a robust platform.

For example, apart from the standard infrastructure self-service feature, the platform should have automated build and deployment capability. There must be a way to limit resource utilization and have separate billing capabilities for different development projects. And if possible, the K8 management tool must have an intuitive interface for monitoring and observability capabilities.

Taikun Cloudworks has all the above capabilities and much more. You can explore the tool for free here.

With the CNCF ecosystem and a Kubernetes management tool, you can not only speed up the deployment of an efficient IDP but also have active monitoring and management capabilities in a cloud-native platform.

Selling Kubernetes as the platform technology to your leadership 

Now it is one thing for Kubernetes and Platform Engineering to make sense from a technology perspective. It is another to sell it to the leadership. So, let us help you give you a leadership perspective on why Kubernetes-based platforms are your best bet for streamlining software development in your organization.

Here are our 5 reasons why:

  1. Reduced Operational Overhead

Operations in a company is a support function. They help software development teams to build faster and most efficient applications. By creating a self-service platform that developers can use, it frees up the time of the platform engineering team. 

This enables platform engineers to focus on bringing even more efficiencies in the software development cycle. This reduces the overall operational costs.

  1. Faster time to market

With lower downtimes and incompatibility issues, the development team can focus on application development and lesser time trying to get supporting infrastructure. This directly impacts the time to market. 

  1. Secure pipelines

According to a 2023 RedHat report, 67% of companies reported delaying or slowing down deployment due to security concerns in their K8 deployments. Such security and compliance incidents have adverse impacts, including revenue loss and fines. 

With security and compliance layers standardized in the Internal Developer Platforms, the security risks are minimized. Compliance becomes easier to implement. 

It becomes even easier if you use a Platform orchestration tool like Taikun. Taikun has integrated security measures that can apply across multi-tenant infrastructure. 

  1. Reliable application deployment

Platforms based on the Kubernetes ecosystem will rarely have compatibility issues. This means more effective CI/CD pipelines and hence more reliable application deployments. 

This consistency in deployments across environments directly translates to lower downtimes and better predictability in delivery timelines.

  1. Cost optimization 

Kubernetes-based platforms can be incredibly good at optimizing infrastructure costs. Kubernetes’ auto-scaling feature scales up the resources in times of higher demand and scales back down when the load subsides.

So, if a development team is doing volume testing on their application, there is nothing special that the team has to do in terms of infrastructure. The platform team also can be at ease knowing that the built-in auto-scaling capabilities will address the higher load demand.

Best practices for efficient Kubernetes-based platforms

We covered a lot about architecting a Kubernetes-based platform and some tooling stuff. Here are some of best practices to follow:

  1. Have a product mindset

The core mindset we need while developing an Internal Developer Platform is to think of your platform as a product and the development teams as your customers. 

Identify the key issues you are solving for your customer and keep the initial version simple and bare minimum that addresses the core requirements of the development team well.

  1. Involve your development team

It is important to talk to your developers regularly and understand their requirements well before architecting a platform for them. Otherwise, you may end up developing a platform that developers are not using.

For example, if your development team uses on-prem cloud and public cloud for their deployments, your platform must serve APIs to service both kinds of environments. Similarly, if Terraform is one of the common skillsets in the development team – it makes sense to include Terraform as your platform IaC tool. 

  1. Create adequate documentation

If your platform has to be truly self-service, it must have documentation that helps developers understand how to use your platform. Inadequate documentation will result in developers not using many of the platform features that would have otherwise saved a lot of time. 

You could also use a platform orchestration tool like Taikun which has ready documentation made with developers in mind. 

  1. Do continuous improvement

Development of an Internal Developer Platform is not a one-time activity. Developer needs change. Platform team may identify big gaps in their implementation. Some tools may become obsolete for the development team. 

So, it is important that there is an active feedback and continuous improvement plan for the platform just as you would have for a product.

  1. Actively minimize downtimes

Create a list of all scenarios that could result in platform downtime. Take precautionary steps and create contingency plans for failures. Some of the common scenarios for failure are:

  1. Resource overuse

With hybrid cloud setups across different cloud providers and highly dynamic resource requirements, the platform must have some limits in allocating resources to a team or project. 

Kubernetes allows granular-levels of resource management as per your needs. Taikun dashboard has an intuitive way to set project-wise quotas in your platform.

  1. Security and Compliance risks

Many Kubernetes features like Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), Network Policies, and Secrets Management help establish control and enforce governance. This can actively mitigate risks and create consistency in compliance.

  1. Human errors 

Development teams may not have the same level of Kubernetes expertise as platform teams. Actively using reusable components through Helm charts, rolling automated updates, and canary deployments can help avoid disruptions due to human errors. 

Let us now look at how to take our learning forward from here. 

Further learning

There are many good resources to try and get better at developing Kubernetes-based platforms. 

We suggest you start with something less complex and more intuitive, like Taikun CloudWorks to get started. Taikun adds a layer of abstraction and helps you get started instantly without spending weeks understanding Kubernetes. 

You can see an overview of Taikun CloudWorks here:

While you are playing around with the powerful Taikun dashboard, you can start learning more about platform engineering from this book by Mauricio Salatino called “Platform Engineering on Kubernetes” published by O’Reilly.

Taikun – Platform Engineering made simple

We believe Platform engineering must be easy and painless. 

Your platform team should be able to create the kind of Internal Developer Platform that suits your organization’s needs. It should be done in minutes instead of days. 

That is why our product, Taikun CloudWorks, is one of the best tools for Kubernetes management. It abstracts most of the complicated aspects of K8 deployment and lets you experiment much faster.

Within a few minutes, you can get up and running with your first Internal Developer Platform on Kubernetes using our Taikun dashboard

You can sign up at Taikun.cloud for free and try your hand at platform engineering. 

If you have questions, schedule a quick demo with us, and we will help you quickly start your Platform Engineering journey with Kubernetes.

taikun-logo-icon

Explore Taikun CloudWorks in 2 Minutes!