Is Kubernetes Setting You Up to Scale or Fail?

11 November 2021 by Tennis Smith

The cloud providers have got you covered in ensuring the technical scalability of their Kubernetes offerings. Amazon’s EKS, Azure’s AKS and Google’s GKE are all tested to ensure they can handle your applications' growth requirements so that they don't fail. 

But what about the scalability of your organization? If your user base grows by tenfold, can you administer it as well as you could before? What happens when you have users on three continents that need 24x7 support?

The fastest way to fail

As you start to see more success, the instinct might be to add more administrators and hope they can keep ahead of the spiraling requirements. But no matter how many people you throw at the problem, you eventually become stuck in a process bottleneck. 

The turnaround time gets longer. The number of people needed to fulfill requirements gets larger. Consistency starts to become a big problem. Checklists and procedures will end up being duplicated. Let’s face it, as hard they might try, no two administrators will create the same thing in the same way. 

It’s around this stage that mistakes begin to happen. Your natural reaction would be to try and combat these mistakes by adding more and more processes, like requiring multiple levels of approval before allowing any change. All this does is contribute to yet more delay. 

And before you know it, you’re here: Total operational paralysis.

Automating the pain away

The answer to scaling your business effectively with Kubernetes is to automate. Use your new collection of cloud administrators to create automation instead of doing things manually.  

If you rely on manual processes, then creating a new cluster is a substantial undertaking. It may require the user to open a new ticket, have that ticket routed to the correct group, then get management approval, then finally someone will manually create the new cluster. It is a time consuming process even with managed solutions like AKS, EKS and GKE. 

On the other hand, if Kubernetes cluster creation is automated then the policies and procedures for standing up a new cluster have already been defined. The user simply requests a new cluster and automation takes care of it. Since the policies involved are all pre-configured, it’s no longer necessary to have the manual process. 

But growing your own automation in-house has its own challenges. Administrators aren’t always programmers, so it may not be possible to write what you need. You’ll then have to maintain what you’ve written, which is a hefty, long-term commitment.

Automation made easy

Appvia Wayfinder offers this functionality off the shelf,  saving you the hassle of writing it. Sitting as an abstraction layer above the cloud providers,   it allows administrators to predefine policies, so resources are created with a uniform set of capabilities. In other words, resource allocation is user-driven instead of process-driven. And users can stand up their own cluster, without any administrative involvement, because the permissions and policies are already defined.

Now, the user can stand up their own cluster without any administrative involvement. That’s because all the permissions and policies are already defined. In this way, Wayfinder can help you realize the promise of scaling your business processes in the cloud.

Wayfinder automation gives you the following features:

  • Multi-Cloud Native Technology allows Wayfinder to work across all managed Kubernetes platforms (EKS/AKS/GKE) from a single pane of glass.
  • Self-Service allows users to dynamically provision Kubernetes clusters (and cloud accounts) from a button press.  
  • Day 2 Automation eliminates the skills gap by eliminating the repetitive and labor intensive work of maintaining Kubernetes clusters over time. 
  • Extensible Automation allows Wayfinder to integrate with your existing systems and workflows without presenting unnecessary human gates to productivity. 
  • Secure Automation ensures that all operations that Wayfinder makes in your cloud account are done with the minimum required permissions and with ephemeral credentials.  
  • Cost Awareness functionality bridges the gap between IT Finance/Accounting and the Users/Operators that actually generate the cost.  It provides an estimate of the infrastructure costs incurred by operational changes.

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About the author

Picture of Tennis Smith

Tennis Smith

Technical Marketing Architect

Tennis has spent over 40 years in the business. Starting from a stint in the US Air Force he has worked in various capacities ranging from equipment installation, software QA, application development and DevOps. During his 30 years in Silicon Valley, he worked at numerous companies including Apple, Cisco, and Visa International. On the personal side, he has been married for 25 years, is an enthusiastic martial artist, and spends entirely too much money on his cats.

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