Kubernetes for Startups: Advantages & Disadvantages


Today Kubernetes, or k8s, is the most popular orchestration and container management solution. According to the research, Kubernetes runs in half of the environments. Although widely used, it is not suitable for every business. It works best in large enterprises with complex applications rather than in small and medium-tech companies. This article outlines whether to adopt Kubernetes or not and what benefits this technology can bring to growing startups.

When should you use Kubernetes in your start-up?

Startups are about rapid growth. During the development process, they often have to learn quickly and make significant changes in strategy or architecture. In addition, startups face the challenge of adapting applications to achieve business goals with minimal additional cost. 

The startup lifecycle requires a software architecture that provides agility and scalability. Microservices allow organizations to be more agile in development, while Kubernetes provides easy scalability and rapid deployment.

Nevertheless, before introducing any technology, a company has to correlate its goals with the need to use this technology. What real benefits will it bring to the business? Speaking of Kubernetes, there are three main ones:

Workload scalability. The success of an application is highly dependent on performance and scalability. Kubernetes is exactly the kind of management system that allows an application and its infrastructure to scale as workloads grow or reduce as workloads decrease.

IT optimization. Kubernetes improves resource utilization; the auto-scaling capabilities minimize unused IT resources, make costs transparent, and improve the overall management efficiency.

Faster time-to-market. k8s reduce software development cycles and helps integrate new employees into the team, allowing them to work on a single piece of software. By dividing the overall process into individual tasks that are flexibly managed, you can significantly reduce development costs and simplify the process of monitoring execution.

Strong architecture. Kubernetes was created by experienced Google engineers and has a mature underlying architecture. 

Best community and support. k8s gained a large community of open-source developers, as well as support from global enterprises. The technology offers extensive features compared to other container management systems and supports a wide range of frameworks and programming languages. 

When shouldn’t you use Kubernetes in your start-up?

Although Kubernetes has some obvious advantages, many companies face challenges in its implementation. The biggest one is that company employees must have high-level expertise to ensure the efficient operation of the Kubernetes cluster. It is a multi-component, complex, relatively new, and, therefore, regularly changing system. This rapid development requires a lot of time and attention to stay up-to-date on new tools and practices from engineers who maintain it. 

Also, some companies do not understand how to prepare the infrastructure properly to avoid problems and errors: to ensure the necessary level of security in the interaction of its components, minimize the cost of resources, set up monitoring and application tracing, etc.

Kubernetes implementation takes time. Focusing on this task can slow down production and will distract you from the main goal – building a solid, working application. Therefore, in the early stages of development, k8s benefits are not relevant.

Consider implementing Kubernetes only when the application is up and running and you are ready to scale.

Thus, the complexity of Kubernetes can be a barrier to adoption for many startups. Kubernetes not only complicates the work of IT teams, but it is also rather expensive. Most startups do not need containerized application management – this is more about large developments of complex systems. 

If your projects can handle the complexity of the system with a monolithic architecture, this would be a better solution than using microservices.

Kubernetes in the Cloud (KaaS)

To simplify your task and get a reliable, scalable VMware-based virtual machine infrastructure compatible with Kubernetes, you can turn to cloud provider Cloud4Y. The cloud-based approach to container orchestration makes it easy and fast to deploy an automation platform, create and work in Kubernetes clusters, and conduct development in a productive and stable environment.

To deploy and manage clusters, Cloud4Y uses Container Service Extension (CSE), which supports major containerization technologies, including Docker. CSE enables working with Kubernetes in VMware Cloud Director through the creation of virtual machine templates and allows organizations to deploy complete clusters for containerized applications.

Cloud4Y makes working with Kubernetes in the cloud easier and more affordable. The solution requires no in-depth knowledge of VMware Cloud Director, you can simply automate application lifecycle management (from deployment to shutdown). The solution reduces Kubernetes installation time from days to 15 minutes.

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author: Daria Kravtsova
published: 04/22/2022
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