SCC. Kubernetes: Orchestration Close to Decentralization
In the previous series’ instalments, we’ve learned how virtualization decouples resources from hardware, and containers decouple application working environments from a virtual machine OS. Together they enable developers to iterate faster through changes without having to deal with hardware, resources, and operations management. For example, you can have a backup version of an app in a separate container and redirect users to it if something goes wrong during a new feature release.
Wouldn’t it be more convenient if a developer had some sort of tool to automate the process of container management? If one breaks, just instantly switch to another with zero downtime without the users noticing that sth is off. That’s where the Kubernetes service comes in. An open-source solution, it is, by definition, a “container orchestration tool,” meaning it simplifies container management, adds powerful automation, and makes it more flexible. Let’s see some more tangible examples.
Last time we discussed how mismanaging containers launched on a single machine could lead to an outage for multiple seemingly independent services or compromise their security if the hacker exploits one of the apps and gains access to the whole system. Solving such issues and setting up the right environment, services, and containers themselves is called “development & operations’’ or DevOps for short. Without specialised tools like Kubernetes, it would be a nightmare: engineers would have to do everything manually, the number of errors would mount, and the hustle of running them right would mitigate all the benefits of containers. (It’s not the only solution, Docker Swarm serves the same purpose, yet it somehow became an industry standard like Xerox).
What exactly Kubernetes helps to do:
- Add security protection: protect traffic between containers and the rest of the web, set up secured storages, and mitigate the risks of a system-wide breach in case one of the services is compromised. However, it’s far from a silver bullet and only offers full-scale protection.
- Networking: imagine there are several apps that need to talk to each other (exchange data) regularly, but one of the apps gets rebooted in another container. How would you ensure that all the others still know where to find it and the data does not get lost? An orchestration layer (Kubernetes) is instrumental in establishing connections between applications. Also, it helps to balance the load between multiple instances of the same app if there are a lot of users.
- Scaling: limiting the number of resources a container can use to protect the whole system from one app eating up all the available resources, hindering the performance of others. Yet, if there’s a lot of demand, we need to scale the app so it can serve all its users. Kubernetes helps to reconfigure containers with scaled-up resources on demand, depending on the dynamic nature of the load (so when the busy hours are over, it would downscale to save some resources).
- Automating mundane repeating tasks such as deployment, re-launch, scheduled releases, and shutdowns.
Also, having a service that knows everything about the containers you’re currently running adds another layer of transparency. For example, you could use the data to optimise your resources, find out which apps are more demanding or popular among their users, etc. This, however, created another potential security threat.
See how it all comes together? By building up several layers of sophisticated software (from virtualization to containers and their orchestration), we can turn physically separated hardware into an environment where independent nodes run applications, are fail-safe, and secure to the point. Decentralization takes it from here. Why drag developers through all the hustle of setting up the environment and managing it when we can make it a part of a decentralized platform with improved scalability, interoperability, and security?
Super Protocol aims to provide a platform that would make developers’ lives easier by removing all the pain of DevOpsing in a decentralized environment (which is by a magnitude harder than in a public cloud).
Try it for yourself. Testnet is live!