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What is Kubernetes?

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Published:May 5, 2020
Last Modified:July 20, 2022

If you happen to live under a rock and missed the news, Kubernetes is taking over.

Kubernetes has quickly become the industry de facto standard for scaling containers on the cloud. According to a recent Cloud Native Computing Foundation survey, 40% of enterprise companies (with 5,000 or more employees) are already running Kubernetes in production.

Another study found that, of respondents using container orchestration, 90% use Kubernetes. In a crowded field, Kubernetes has emerged as the new industry standard.

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is an open-source platform for managing containerized workloads and services. The project was originally created by Google, who was later joined by the Linux Foundation to create the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). CNCF now manages Kubernetes.

Kubernetes defines a set of building blocks which provide the mechanisms that deploy, maintain, and scale applications based on CPU, memory, or other defined metrics.

The platform also boasts key multi-cloud features to increase portability. In addition, many companies are now building paid solutions on top of Kubernetes, which has spawned a whole new ecosystem of IT management software.

Key Benefits of Container Orchestration

There are numerous benefits to using container orchestration to automate parts of your development operations (DevOps), including:


Containers can work side-by-side with your existing infrastructure, other containers, and serverless processes. With Kubernetes, you can start small and scale big without throwing out any of your work.

You also get out-of-the-box support for autoscaling to meet any demand and the ability to deploy your infrastructure across multiple regions and availability zones.


Kubernetes also increases the portability of your systems. You can move from one cloud provider to another without having to rebuild all of your meticulously crafted infrastructure. Having this option avoids being locked into a single cloud hosting provider.


Cloud host outages are rare, but they do happen. If you don't want to have an interruption to your services, or are in an industry that cannot have downtime, look at Kubernetes. You can host your infrastructure across two or three cloud hosts, so you do not have a single point of failure.

Additionally, many organizations have large private clouds and the feasibility of shifting to the public cloud is a multi-year process. Kubernetes allows organizations to make this transition seamlessly and in phase by deploying a hybrid-cloud architecture.

Kubernetes can scale across multiple cloud vendors or multiple private clouds.

Why the Rapid Adoption Now?

Scaling containers is a time-consuming task to say the least. Managing sophisticated infrastructure can take up hundreds of engineering hours, particularly for complex multi-cloud or hybrid cloud systems. Kubernetes provides a standardized interface for building and scaling container orchestration, saving organizations thousands in hosting costs and DevOps hours.

Recently, we have seen a rise in the number of Kubernetes deployments on bare metal servers, as opposed to deploying on a virtual machine. Deploying on bare metal opens the door for new use cases, such as computer vision and data science, further fueling its rapid adoption.

Enterprise Case Studies for Kubernetes

Given the coronavirus and the shift to remote work, certain software companies have seen a massive spike in usage. For example, video conferencing solution 8x8 experienced 350 times their normal traffic without needing to scale their engineering team thanks to Kubernetes.

In other cases, we see that Kubernetes provides a boost in productivity to engineering teams, who can focus more on feature development than infrastructure. Cathay Pacific, a Hong Kong-based airline, uses Kubernetes in a hybrid-cloud environment.

The result was a massive jump in efficiency: "The airline can now do 200 deployments per day, compared to one per week, and move applications without needing to rewrite them" (source).


If you are a growing mid-market company or enterprise company, you need to be leveraging Kubernetes. Without if, you are burning through money and falling behind the pack.

Kubernetes offers many advanced use cases like quick cloud migration and multi-cloud management built in. These features better position your organization for the future and give you optionality that is valuable to have.

Did we mention Kubernetes is open source and free? Our resident engineering guru Todd Budzinski raves about the value of Kubernetes. So it's simple – be cool like Todd. Use Kube.

Get your free Kubernetes consultation today. Contact the Tragic team to learn how containers and container management can save you time, money, and help your apps scale.

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