Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration platform that enables the operation of an elastic web server framework for cloud applications. Kubernetes can support data center outsourcing to public cloud service providers or can be used for web hosting at scale. Website and mobile applications with complex custom code can deploy using Kubernetes on commodity hardware to lower the costs on web server provisioning with public cloud hosts and to optimize software development processes.
Kubernetes features the ability to automate web server provisioning according to the level of web traffic in production. Web server hardware can be located in different data centers, on different hardware, or through different hosting providers. Kubernetes scales up web servers according to the demand for the software applications, then degrades web server instances during downtimes. Kubernetes also has advanced load balancing capabilities for web traffic routing to web servers in operations.
Kubernetes evolved from the code that Google used to manage its data centers at scale with the “Borg” platform. AWS introduced elastic web server frameworks to the public with the launch of the EC2 platform. Kubernetes allows companies to orchestrate containers like EC2 but using open source code. Google, AWS, Azure, and the other major public cloud hosts all offer Kubernetes support for cloud web server orchestration. Customers can use Kubernetes for complete data center outsourcing, web/mobile applications, SaaS support, cloud web hosting, or high-performance computing.
Kubernetes (often abbreviated to "K8s") is part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which supports the development of shared networking standards in cloud data center management software. Docker is the most popular container virtualization standard used by Kubernetes. Docker offers integrated software lifecycle development tools for programming teams. RancherOS, CoreOS, and Alpine Linux are popular operating systems specifically designed for container usage. Container virtualization is different than VM or VPS tools using hypervisors and generally requires a smaller operating system footprint in production.
The main advantage of Kubernetes is the ability to operate an automated, elastic web server platform in production without the vendor lock-in to AWS with the EC2 service. Kubernetes runs on most public cloud hosting services and all of the major companies offer competitive pricing. Kubernetes enables the complete outsourcing of a corporate data center. Kubernetes can also be used to scale web and mobile applications in production to the highest levels of web traffic. Kubernetes allows any company to operate its software code at the same level of scalability as the largest companies in the world on competitive data center pricing for hardware resources.
Container orchestration is the management of individual web servers operating in containers through virtual partitions on data center hardware. Container orchestration is a means of maintaining the elastic framework for web servers in a data center on an automated basis in production. Administrators can establish resources that can be automatically started if web traffic increases over the capacity of a single server. For SaaS applications, this can scale to support millions of simultaneous users.
Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration platform. Docker is the main container virtualization standard used with Kubernetes. Other elastic web server orchestration systems are Docker Swarm, CoreOS Tectonic, and Mesosphere. Intel also has a competing container standard with Kata, and there are several Linux container versions. Docker has the largest share of the container virtualization marketplace for software products. Docker is a software development company that specializes in container virtualization, whereas Kubernetes is an open-source project supported by a community of coders that includes professional programmers from all of the major IT companies.