The Complete Guide to Build Cloud-Native Applications with Kubernetes, Serverless, and Managed Databases

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“By 2021, more than 50% of enterprises will run mission-critical, containerized cloud-native applications in production”.

Serverless architecture is trending now with its initial cloud-native market uptake amongst companies like Amazon, Netflix, IBM, and Microsoft which allows users to run native applications without provisioning, managing, or monitoring servers or infrastructure.

77% of companies who use container orchestrators choose Kubernetes

Kubernetes is the leading cloud orchestration tool for building cloud-native applications. It is used to manage containers, automate server deployment, load balancing, networking, and scalable cluster configuration in distributed applications.

Kubernetes is an open-source software project by Google Inc. that provides a container orchestration system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications.

Microservices with a Serverless Twist

We all know by now that Docker containers work very well to enable micro-services-based architecture. By running microservices in separate containers, they can all be deployed independently, if required. As containers are portable and can operate in isolation from one another, it is simpler to create a microservices architecture with containers and move them to another environment.

This is because containerization takes care of different micro-services having conflicting frameworks or libraries working in harmony without any problem. While doing so, one might land with a large number of microservices, one needs an orchestration tool (cluster manager) and Kubernetes is by far the most popular tool to effectively manage all the microservices.

As a fully managed service, server management and capacity planning are invisible to the developer. Serverless compute scales from nothing to handle thousands of concurrent functions/routines almost instantly (within seconds), to match any workload, and without requiring any scale configuration—it reacts to events and triggers in no time.

With serverless architecture, we only pay for the time our code is running, there is no need of managing servers or infrastructure and by utilizing fully managed services, we can focus solely on developing business logic and avoid administrative tasks. With serverless architecture, we can simply deploy our code and it runs with high availability.

As a container in the front-end, a serverless function could have the responsibility to respond to HTTP requests from various apps that could be stored on various services and accessible through APIs. The functions can also be written in various languages, such as Python, Ruby, Java, Node, etc.

Managed Databases

With managed databases, we get a globally available, highly available service that provides 99.95% uptime and is fully managed from our serverless applications. The managed database service runs a fully functional relational database. As a serverless developer, you only need to set up a free MySQL database, add a MySQL user, and set up the database.

All database events are handled, and you don’t have to worry about how to implement maintenance operations such as backup and recovery. Another great advantage of managed databases is that we don’t have to provide any of our own database servers, middleware, applications, operations, and administration staff, and still receive amazing availability and performance.

Kubernetes and The Cloud-Native Stack

Kubernetes is the most popular container orchestration system available in the market today. It helps you to deploy and manage distributed applications in containers. Kubernetes gives you a set of tools to automate the deployment, scaling, and management of applications.

With the help of Kubernetes, you can extend the benefits of containerization beyond the boundaries of the container. Kubernetes offers a flexible way of scaling a cluster using a set of utilities called co-schedule and roles to enable you to dynamically add, remove and change resource availability with ease. With Kubernetes, you can handle over a million requests a second across hundreds of nodes.

It is evident from the above that adoption of cloud-native technology by adopting DevOps methodology powered by Containerisation and Serverless technology, can rapidly enable enterprises to make the shift from infra-dependent, monolithic, slow, and expensive deployment strategy to a much agile, scalable (due to rapid scalability of Cloud), reliable (reliability of mega Cloud platforms) and significantly less expensive option. Overall, we can cover this transformation under the ambit of Application Modernization (although many more facets can be included).

Azure on Kubernetes

With Azure on Kubernetes services, deploy and manage your containerized apps easily and securely. Rapidly build and scale applications on serverless Kubernetes with enterprise grade security. Azure Kubernetes service (AKS) offers continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) experience to accelerate your development and processes on a single platform.

Key benefits of building cloud native applications with Azure on Kubernetes

Automate and FastTrack your containerized application development

Automatically containerize your workloads and assess, implement, debug and scale even the most complex Kubernetes applications. Accelerate time to market with the use of application modernization by Embee.

  • Integrate CI/CD pipeline to the AKS clusters.
  • Set up a canary deployment strategy.
  • Early and in-depth detection of failures to ensure minimum downtimes.
  • Pipeline optimization and automated routine tasks.
  • Kubernetes resource view to gain visibility into the environment.
  • Automatic configuration of AKS clusters.
  • Control-plane telemetry, log aggregation, and container health.

Accelerate your operational efficiency

Accelerate your operational efficiency with automated provisioning, repair, monitoring, and scaling. Reduce infrastructure maintenance costs and get your application running quickly.

  • Azure advisor for optimization of deployment of Kubernetes.
  • Real-time, personalized recommendations.
  • Easy provisioning of fully managed clusters
  • Prometheus-based monitoring capabilities.
  • Save costs by utilizing Azure spot.
  • Serverless Kubernetes to add compute capacity elastically quickly.
  • High data availability and minimum downtimes.

Enterprise-grade security across multiple clusters

Enforce guardrails at the time of deployments or integration of CI/CD workflows. Track, validate, reconfigure, and get compliance reports easily.

  • Deployment of only validated images to your personalized container registry.
  • Identity and access control with Azure Active Directory.
  • Enforce pod security across multiple clusters.
  • Achieve superior security with a hardened OS image and automated patching.
  • Automate threat detection and remediation.
  • Limit Kubernetes API server access with Azure private link.

Conclusion

Summarizing, it makes a lot of business sense to modernize the Apps and adopt Cloud native technology for rapid speed of deployment, significantly lower change failure rates and improve recovery rate with massive scalability and zero dependency on infrastructure and above all, all of it at a much lesser cost. Modernize applications, move .NET applications to Windows Server containers or run microservices with AKS, at the edge or in hybrid environment with Embee and Azure.

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