Traditional software architecture involved a single server or group of servers presenting a technology stack to users through an established and acceptable protocol like HTTP, FTP, and ssh. The servers live in a physical and often centralized location running on single-use towers or virtual servers. This is a model that worked well for decades but required multiple teams of specialists to keep the servers connected and software available.
The globalization of IT and constraints of geography and budgets has pushed the paradigm beyond the capabilities of centralized server clusters. Not all projects are the same, not all clients are the same, and not all clouds are the same. However, modern IT requirements demand utilization, resiliency, scalability, self-healing recovery, and rapid deployment of new and improved product code. Though physically and technologically possible with traditional PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS offerings, the orchestration of multiple modern cloud-native applications collectively supporting a global user base can be significantly cost-prohibitive for most organizations.
And so enters Kubernetes (K8S) containerization, which empowers teams to create environments and technology clients need without the limiting factors of budgets and team sizes. Smaller teams can create K8S clusters with isolated dependencies and functionality while maintaining control over microservice contracts and code performance. When deploying code within a cluster, integration becomes a question of interface contracts rather than actual code cohesiveness. Different tech stacks and multi-cloud deployments can enhance a software solution rather than create technical debt and dysfunctional teams.
K8S permits design patterns, such as sidecar Ambassador, and Adapter Containers, based on holistic application benefit and function rather than specific technologies or cloud environments. Sidecar is a pattern where the containers add functionality to the principle or core software through micro or nano services. Examples include authentication, content delivery networks, image manipulation, and security hardening. Ambassador containers proxy connections to external systems like Google APIs, video streaming, or shipping services while Adapter containers modify responses to fit the requested client’s expected format, alleviating the need for constant modification of core systems to handle API updates or changes. Because K8S is a cloud-native and open source solution, organizations can harness the power of automated customization and deployment to respond to demand for multi-directional scaling and multi-device interfacing. Development teams can focus on software performance rather than hosting, interface, or monolithic integration.
Finally, for teams with legacy systems currently in use, K8S cluster architectures allow for hybrid solutions. Scaling becomes a question of necessity in response to change rather than a prerequisite to deployment. The hybrid capabilities of K8S are not limited to a physical location and integrate security as well. Teams can plan for encryption where it is required and scale the encryption within a cluster. Because of its design, K8S permits teams and organizations to develop and release modern software solutions on traditional software budgets.