DevOps, Microservices, Kubernetes: A Cloud-Native Approach

22 Jun 2018 9:02am, by

DevOps practices run deep in modern application architectures. DevOps practices have helped create a space for developers and engineers to build new ways to optimize resources and scale-out application architectures through continuous delivery practices.

Cloud-native technologies use the efficiency of containers to make microservices architectures that are more useful and adaptive than composed or monolithic environments. Organizations are turning to DevOps principles as they build cloud-native, microservices-based applications. The combination of DevOps and cloud-native architectures is helping organizations meet their business objectives by fostering a streamlined, lean product development process that can adapt quickly to market changes.

DevOps Enables Cloud-Native Applications

Rob Scott
Rob Scott works out of his home in Chattanooga as a Site Reliability Engineer for ReactiveOps. He helps build and maintain highly scalable, Kubernetes-based infrastructure for multiple clients. He's been working with Kubernetes since 2016, contributing to the official documentation along the way. When he's not building world-class infrastructure, Rob likes spending time with his family, exploring the outdoors, and giving talks on all things Kubernetes.

Cloud-native applications are based on a set of loosely coupled components, or microservices, that run for the most part on containers, and are managed with orchestration engines such as Kubernetes. However, they are also beginning to run as a set of discrete functions in serverless architectures. Services or functions are defined by developer and engineering teams, then continuously built, rebuilt and improved by increasingly cross-functional teams. Operations are now less focused on the infrastructure and more on the applications that run light workloads. The combined effect is a shaping of automated processes that yield better efficiencies.

In fact, some would argue that an application isn’t truly cloud-native unless it has DevOps practices behind it, as cloud-native architectures are built for web-scale computing. DevOps professionals are required to build, deploy and manage a declarative infrastructure that is secure, resilient and high performing. Delivering these requirements just isn’t feasible with a traditional siloed approach.

In order to find success with DevOps, however, a business must be intentional in its decision to build a cloud-native application. The organizational transformation required to put DevOps into practice will happen only if a business team is willing to invest in DevOps practices — transformation comes with the alignment of the product team in the development of the application. Together, these teams create the environment needed to continually refine technical development into lean, streamlined workflows that reflect continuous delivery processes built on DevOps principles.

Transformation Needed for Cloud-Native DevOps

For organizations using container orchestration technologies, product direction is defined by developing a microservices architecture. This is possible only when the organization understands how DevOps and continuous development processes enable the creation of applications that end users truly find useful.

Therein lies the challenge: You must make sure your organization is prepared to transform the way all members of the product teamwork. Ultimately, DevOps is a story about why you want to do streamlined, lean product development in the first place — the same reason that you’re moving to a microservices architecture on top of Kubernetes.

Traditional DevOps patterns before containers required different processes and workflows. Container technologies are built with a DevOps perspective. The abstraction containers offer is having an effect on how we view DevOps, as traditional architecture development changes with the advent of microservices. It means following best practices for running containers on Kubernetes, and the extension of DevOps into GitOps and SecOps practices.

Follow this ongoing series for more on how DevOps practices and patterns have evolved for cloud-native architectures and the ways that Kubernetes is built to make DevOps easier for organizations to enact.

Feature image via Pixabay.

This post is part of a larger story we're telling about the Kubernetes ecosystem.

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