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Kubernetes is an open-source container-orchestration system for deployment, scaling, management, and automating computer applications. It’s about six years old and has become a growing rage in data engineering for the past two years.

It started as a Linux kernel process insolation construct that encloses cgroups from 2007 and namespaces from 2002. Containers became popular when LXC became available in 2008, and Google created its own internal Borg. Kubernetes was released in 2015 and rapidly grew to become the de facto container orchestration standard.

Let’s take a deep look into why Kubernetes became so popular in data engineering.

The Rise of Kubernetes

A container is a software package consisting of application code, system libraries, runtime, and other settings required to run an application. Containers have been an integral part of Linux since the 1980s. It only became relevant when Docker burst came into the scene with its variety of formats and tools for containers.

So much so that container adoption grew from 49% in 2018 to 57% in 2019. Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, and many more cloud providers started to launch containers. It allows running complex and critical enterprise applications and the increasing number of users have made it important for managing systems.

Kubernetes, when launched by Google and presently maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) can be deployed in various scenarios depending on the requirement.

Here are the requirements of Kubernetes in different areas:

  • In-house: Organizations can transform their data centers to the Kubernetes clusters to utilize all the resources available.
  • Hybrid: Kubernetes develop virtual machines on a cloud when on-premise servers are full to better share computing resources.
  • Cloud: Using Kubernetes, companies can create unlimited virtual machines.
  • Multi-cloud: Kubernetes help companies to prevent using vendor lock-in and reduce potential risk.

Kubernetes has become a standard for container management systems since it offers various benefits:

  • It allows easy container scaling across many servers in a cluster. The auto scaler service can replicate Kubernetes pods to different nodes, thus increasing resource utilization.
  • It comes with built-in encryption, vulnerability scanning, and many other features to improve its security.
  • Kubernetes provide high fault tolerance clustering, which adds to the stability and reliability of the project.
  • The software can be easily moved between different types of environments.
  • Using Kubernetes, developers maintain replica sets. There’s no requirement of replacing the entire application, making the project more flexible, and have the highest responsiveness and uptime.

Popular Application of Kubernetes Include :

Airbnb: The transition of a monolithic to a microservice design of Airbnb required the team to scale continuous delivery horizontally. It required 1,000 engineers of the company to add new services. Kubernetes helped Airbnb by supporting the engineers for simultaneously configuring and deploying 250 important services.

Pokemon Go: The popular video game saw over 500 million downloads with up to 20 million active users regularly. Pokemon Go’s parent company wasn’t expecting such a massive amount of traffic. The solution was offered in the form of a Google Container Engine powered by Kubernetes.

New York Times: The recent New York Times customer-facing application is run on Kubernetes. The media company’s transition from a ticket-based system from resource requirements to pushing updates independently was possible using Kubernetes.

Kubernetes and Open-source Community

Kubernetes boasts the largest open source communities with 75,000 stars on Github and contributes from numerous companies. It’s the only reason why it’s rated higher than its competitors like Docker Swarm and Apache Mesos.

The backing of CNCF gave unique benefits to Kubernetes. CNCF is part of one of the largest Linux foundations, with Microsoft, AWS, and Google as its members. Moreover, the Kubernetes community has grown massively within the last few years. Kubernetes has also become an integral part of RedHat, Platform 9, and CoreOS in their open-source project.

In the last few years, Kubernetes has released new updates every three months. Its new features help developers have more flexibility when running a wide range of workloads.

Kubernetes & Hybrid Cloud

With more companies adopting a hybrid cloud strategy, there’s a room for few problems like what technology to use, how to operate and manage resources, and application deployment.

Here’s why Kubernetes has proven to be ideal for hybrid cloud:

  • It offers consistency in both on-premise and public cloud.
  • It offers to automate scaling applications, leading to better utilization of underlying infrastructure.
  • It allows users to deploy applications based on their business requirements.
  • Developers can add additional clusters to their existing infrastructure if required. It reduces application downtime and enhances the overall performance.
  • Kubernetes automates the deployment of containerized workloads across the hybrid architectures, allowing businesses to deploy and run their containers on servers at different locations.

According to IBM, the importance of an organization’s cloud strategy is “understanding that customers need a unified and streamlined way to create modular application service, to transform and modernize legacy and to manage all services, no matter where those workloads reside.”

To achieve all that, all the services require to be cataloged, governed, and secured, that’s possible through a one-way approach to cloud computing. This is only possible if the strategy is based on open source, making Kubernetes the ideal pick for the requirement.

Kubernetes removes the management issues, while also taking away the cost of doing operations in large clusters of physical resources. More than 70% of the total cost and the remaining percent is tied up in maintenance. Technology like Kubernetes lets you use that 70% for innovation, making your end client happier, and your business happier, according to the IBM CEO Arvind Krishan in an interview.


Kubernetes fame is on a rapid rise with use cases in mission-critical sectors like traditional, finance, and EDtech enterprises. Experts believe Kubernetes will turn into a “universe control plane” to manage containers, virtual machines, and other modern applications.

You can enroll for online training to obtain certification today to grow your career in Kubernetes and Docker!