Introduction to Kubernetes

Google started containers back in the early 2000s. They needed a system that would manage containerized workloads and would be capable of running production workloads at scale. They developed a system they called ‘Borges‘, which was replaced by a later system dubbed ‘Omega’. Google’s dedication to the development of containers resulted in Google releasing the Kubernetes project in 2014 to the open-source community.

Kubernetes is an open-source platform for managing containerized workloads and services. It automates deploying, running and scaling the operation of containers on physical or virtual machines.

What are containers?

Containers are the virtualization of operating-system-level resources. For example, take the files in /usr, /etc, /bin and marry that with the application files and you essentially have a container.

This is a bit different from the way we traditionally virtualize. Most of our virtualization is hardware centric.  

We take a piece of hardware then install a hypervisor and operating system. We install the application on that operating system and we call it a VM.

This traditional way comes with disadvantages. For one, VMs are heavy. VMs require a lot of resources; to move them around, to bring them back to life, and to create new ones. The application team and the development of their applications generally rely on the underlying infrastructure. So if the infrastructure wasn’t capable of supporting the application, it would result in delaying application updates.

VMs simply are not agile enough for todays application centric world.

Containers, however, support this agility. This application agility is often known as continuous integration and continuous development (CI/CD) workflow. Containers are light weight and independent of one another. Containers are easy to create and easy to destroy. Also, because they are independent of the underlying infrastructure and from the host filesystem, they are portable across clouds and OS distributions.

What does Kubernetes mean? K8s?
The name Kubernetes originates from Greek, meaning helmsman or pilot. K8s is an abbreviation derived by replacing the 8 letters “ubernete” with “8”.

What are some Kubernetes derivatives?



Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) | Cisco HX

IT is constantly being asked to deliver value on infrastructure, reduce operational cost, and meet application demand all with a constrained budget. Legacy infrastructure doesn’t keep pace with the agile operations of development teams or their applications. The threat of the infrastructure shifting to a pure Cloud model is on every CXO mind.

It’s time for a new infrastructure, one that doesn’t require a large upfront capital expense, avoids vendor lock-in and keeps pace with modern business. This is what Hyperconverged infrastructure solves.

So what is Hyperconverged infrastructure?

Hyperconverged infrastructure integrates storage, compute, storage networking and virtualization into one solution while providing a single point of management and the flexibility to scale on-demand. It aims to replace expensive legacy datacenter infrastructure.

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Cisco HyperFlex Solution

Cisco HyperFlex is a complete HCI solution. HX leverages intelligent software to combine datacenter hardware using locally attached storage (SSDs or HDD). Each server also known as a node is powered by an Intel-x86 chip. The HX software runs on each node and “clusters” operating resources to enable a distributed architecture.

A small virtual machine known as the data platform controller sits and runs on every node in the cluster. The CDP is responsible for unifying the data plane and the management plane for the cluster. The CDP is key to the distributed architecture mentioned above.

Several HX hardware platforms are available for varying workloads.

You can get a list of them here HX-Series

Why do I care?

  1. Cost

The adoption of Cloud computing has accelerated innovation. The 3-5 year guess work and cost that goes into infrastructure sizing is no longer a thing. We simple innovate too fast. Reduce your upfront cost and guess work by investing in HX, replace legacy infrastructure and keep pace with innovation.

  1. Scalability

Avoid the fork-lift approach, adopt the lift-n-shift approach. Future planning with HX will allow you to transition to a hybrid-cloud infrastructure when the time is right. You will be thanking yourself later. This avoids the fork-lift approach associated with legacy infrastructure when you need to expand storage or replace it all together.

In summary, if you are not adopting a pure Cloud infrastructure you need to be adopting HCI to close the gap between traditional networks and the Cloud. As a biproduct, you will reduce cost, keep pace with innovation, and meet the demands of modern business.