DevOps and Cloud

Everything You Need to Know About Kubernetes Operator and SRE

Summary

Have you ever wondered how the SRE (Site Reliability Engineering) teams easily manage the system complexities and applications successfully? Well, the answer is Kubernetes Operators. In this blog, we’ll be describing the ‘what’ of Kubernetes Operators and ‘how’ much significant it is for the SRE?

Kubernetes was launched by Google in 2015 and since then it is a global phenomenon. Also known as ‘K8s’ or ‘Kube’, Kubernetes is an open-source, container orchestration that enables deployment automation, scaling, and management of containerized applications. It ‘containerizes’ complex applications and services into logical units for seamless management and effective discovery.

     Kubernetes Benefits 

  • Automates manual and redundant tasks
  • Scalability and modularity
  • Rich feature set and application support
  • Portability and Flexibility
  • Increased Developer Productivity
  • Multi-cloud capability
  • Time-savvy and Consistent

What is Kubernetes Operator and What Exactly They Do?

From scaling complex applications, upgrading app versions, to managing kernel modules in computational clusters, Kubernetes Operations do it all. Kubernetes Operator is an ‘application-specific controller’ that broadens the key functionalities of Kubernetes API. It is a process of packaging, deploying, and managing a Kubernetes application effectively. It also creates, configure, and manages complex applications and automates the complete software lifecycle.

Do You Know—?

Kubernetes Operators is “an automated Site Reliability Engineer for its application.”

Kubernetes Operator:

a) Extends Kubernetes Functionality

The operators enable developers to seamlessly extend their Kubernetes functionalities for specific software and used cases. In short, make them more manageable and accessible.

b) Completes Sophisticated Tasks Easily

Kubernetes Operator can finish complicated tasks easily, to achieve the required modifications in the final output of the app. It helps SREs to reconfigure the application settings quickly, scale apps based on usage, prompt failure handling, and fast set-up of monitoring infrastructures. It increases the overall efficiency and consistency of the engineers.

c) Systematizes Human Knowledge as ‘Code’

The other term of Kubernetes can be ‘Automation’ because it enables the automation of the entire IT infrastructure required for running ‘containerized’ apps. Kubernetes Operators takes all the information and knowledge about the app’s lifecycle (that DevOps team does manually) and organizes it in a manner that can be automated and accessed easily be the Kubernetes. This, however, shifts the entire human tasks to standard Kubernetes tooling. 

d) Manages Custom Resources and Applications

Based on specific applications, you can create and define custom resources with Kubernetes. If you have an app that generates new instances on every usage then you can define your custom resource to check the RAM and disk storage space for every new instance. In case of insufficient RAM or disk space, the Kubernetes Operations can control the application to achieve target custom resource so that it can reconfigure the settings to maintain the consistency of the entire process.

Kubernetes Operator and Site Reliability Engineering (SRE)

SRE is a software engineering approach toward streamlining IT operations. The technique is to use the software as tools for managing systems, solving problems, and automating redundant tasks. Kubernetes, however, is the modernized method to automate Linux container operations. It enables you to manage clusters running Linux containers smoothly across public, private, or hybrid clouds. If you are using Kubernetes Operators, you’ll discover that creating and implementing Kubernetes perfectly aligns with your desired SRE goals.

Operator Monitoring, Service-Level Indicators (SLIs), Service-Level Objectives (SLOs)

While creating a custom resource for your app, you first need to identify the application’s output signals that will be:

  • monitored by the resource;
  • targeting the operator which will drive the application forward.

This process is just like SLOs and SLIs creation. It will help you know what SLIs and SLOs are best suitable for the custom resource of your app.

As mentioned earlier you can always set a custom resource to monitor the RAM and disk space of your app's server so that it never gets overloaded. It will automatically spin up the new server instances at 5% remaining capacity (as an alert) so that your customer consistently receives better and halt-free services. Here, the SLI will monitor your disk space based on your availability whereas your SLO will alert you about achieving 100% availability to keep your customers satisfied and happy.

Automation and Deployment of SRE Application

Your SRE practices should involve the regular deployment of apps for every new instance of a service. Kubernetes developed the Prometheus Operator for effective and perfect monitoring. This Operator automatically deploys and manages new instances on any targeted clusters. Operators’ creation can save your time on each deployment and make it highly reliable & uniform.

Operators and Incident Management

The best part about operators is that they adjust themselves to tackle the failures. When the app’s custom resource differs from the desired output, the operator will start implementing changes until you reach the desired output. By combining the operators and automated runbooks, you can minimize the number of manual escalations and can resolve multiple incidents without human intervention.

Conclusion

When you migrate your services and operations to a container-based model, Kubernetes becomes significant for your DevOps practices. Thus, integrating Operators into your strategies becomes essential. Operators enable you to expand the Kubernetes with custom resources providing more flexibility and automation.

We, at Successive Technologies, offer Kubernetes managed services that ensure fully automated and scalable operations with 99.9% SLA on any environment i.e. data-centers, public clouds, or at the edge. We are a team of technical experts who creates enterprise-level Kubernetes solutions tailored to your business needs. Contact our experts to get started.


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