Kubernetes Best Practices Everyone Should Know

Tips for A Successful Kubernetes Experience

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Steven Lerner

kubernetes best practices

Kubernetes has taken the industry by storm. What began as an obscure open source project developed by Google has now transformed into a significant tool within container orchestration.

This technology allows developers to automate the practice of developing, scaling, and managing containerized applications across the enterprise. Adoption of Kubernetes has varied across the board, with some IT leaders jumping on board and others who haven’t leveraged this solution yet.

How big is interest in Kubernetes? In 2016, only 500 people attended KubeCon, a conference dedicated to Kubernetes. In 2018, the number jumped to over 8,000.

To help you on your containerization journey, we’ve developed a list of some Kubernetes best practices. The list includes everything from namespaces to clusters and more.

1. Keep An Eye On Security And Governance

Before embarking on a journey with Kubernetes, security and governance need to be addressed. The market is filled with different solutions aimed at protecting either the container, application or the infrastructure. These solutions restrict access in order to keep out unauthorized users. There are also some Kubernetes best practices for security, such as splitting sensitive workloads and creating security boundaries. Meanwhile, the entire Kubernetes infrastructure needs to be compatible with all auditing and compliance tools, especially in highly-regulated industries. By following these steps, organizations can ensure that all Kubernetes deployments are secure.

2. Tread Lightly When Running Multiple Processes In A Container

Is it possible to run multiple processes in a single container? Yes, but most experts agree that the best course of action is to avoid this. A general rule is to isolate each service per container. The reason for this is because each container is managed based on whether the process is healthy. If multiple processes are running inside a single container, then it would be difficult to tell if it’s suitable. One way around this issue is to connect containers by using defined networks. In scenarios where you have to run multiple processes in a container, there are some options, but they aren’t easy. Users can leverage everything from wrapper scripts to pods in order to make the process work.

3. Configuring External Load Balancers

Load balancing can be an interesting part of Kubernetes. Essentially, when a new process is established, it is recommended that an external cloud network load balance is also automatically established. This helps with sending traffic to the correct port with cluster nodes. Load balancer configurations can be stored virtually anywhere within Kubernetes. A growing trend in the Kubernetes community is to configure the external load balancers straight from Kubernetes.

4. Incorporating Ingress

Accessing Kubernetes services outside of a cluster can also be complicated. That’s why, in addition to using load balancers, another possible strategy in Kubernetes involves Ingress. By using Ingress, users are able to access applications and all services without going inside Kubernetes. This usually includes a single external URL that is configured through different services. Think of Ingress as a series of rules that dictates the way that applications in a Kubernetes cluster are accessed on the outside. In order to make it accessible from the outside, it is common to publish it as a nodeport.

5. Kubernetes Best Practices For Namespaces

In order to divide clusters by multiple users, enterprises are relying on namespaces. This is especially important in organizations where there are multiple users or teams working on a single Kubernetes project. Namespaces can be a useful aspect of the Kubernetes experience, if they are leveraged correctly. In some scenarios, namespaces can be used to breakup a cluster and to cap potential resources drained in the cluster. For security purposes, it can be used to simplify the process of applying security control by deploying workloads within different namespaces.

6. Cluster Policy Considerations

Nodes are the backbone of Kubernetes, with a single cluster containing many different nodes that run unique services. Although there are many different uses of clusters, it is imperative that cluster network policies are leveraged. With this sound security policy, an enterprise can dictate which users are able to access the applications in the cluster or prohibit traffic from other clusters. There are also other policies that restrict which workloads are allowed to run in a cluster.