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Kubernetes Applied to Azure

Microsoft Azure is an enormously popular cloud platform developed for large-scale businesses as well as SMEs. On the other hand, Kubernetes is a modern, open-source orchestration methodology used to deploy, manage and scale containerized applications within a production environment.

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) combines these powerful solutions to allow businesses to quickly and easily build fully-managed Kubernetes clusters.

This post will dive deep into the Azure Kubernetes Service, its features, and benefits.

What is Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)?

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is a faster way of using Kubernetes on Microsoft Azure. AKS fully manages your Kubernetes environment, allowing you to quickly and easily deploy containerized applications and manage them, even if you don’t have much container orchestration expertise.

AKS also automates provisioning, scaling, monitoring, and upgrading resources on-demand, with no application downtime. Thus, it enhances team productivity by aiding tedious ongoing maintenance and operations tasks. The most significant advantage AKS offers is that it allows you to create resources and infrastructure within your Azure Kubernetes Cluster instead of in a cloud.

AKS offers serverless Kubernetes to deliver seamless, well-integrated CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery) experience and top-notch security. It also promotes DevOps approach by unifying your development and operations teams on a single platform for faster development, scaling, and application deployment.

Benefits of using Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)

Azure Kubernetes Service continues to pose tough competition to Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) and Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE). It comes with many impressive features to build, manage, scale, and monitor Azure Kubernetes Clusters, which is why loads of Azure users are drawn towards it.

Here are some of the critical benefits AKS provides for Microsoft Azure users:

1. Optimal resource utilization

Fully managed AKS easily deploys and manages containerized applications with efficient provisioning and scaling of resources on-demand. There is no need for complex management of Kubernetes infrastructure.

2. Quick application building

Application developers invest a good amount of time in fixing bugs. AKS considerably decreases the application debugging time as it takes care of automated upgrades, patching, and self-healing to simplify container orchestration for enterprises significantly. Therefore, it also boosts developers’ productivity to focus on other tasks than fixing bugs.

3. Compliance and Security

Modern applications require top-notch security to prevent cyber-attacks. AKS offers excellent enterprise-grade security as it integrates with Azure AD (Active Directory) to provide on-demand access to the users. Such an approach reduces risks and threats involved with accessibility.

Furthermore, AKS complies with the regulatory standards of PCI DSS, HIPAA, ISO, and SOC (System and Organization Controls).

4. Faster CI and CD

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) offers automated building, scaling, monitoring, and upgrading applications, reducing the time for operations and maintenance tasks. This approach leads to faster CI (Continuous Integration) and CD (Continuous Deployment) of containerized applications. Plus, it also allows you to provide additional resources through Serverless Kubernetes in just a few seconds, without the need to manage Kubernetes infrastructure.

Best Features of Azure Kubernetes Service:

Azure Kubernetes Service is a fully-managed service that allows you to quickly run Kubernetes in Azure without the need to manage your Kubernetes clusters. AKS will take care of all the complex management of Kubernetes so that businesses can focus on containerized applications.

1. Speed up application development process

  • Quickly build, deploy, upgrade, debug and automatically containerize your complex Kubernetes applications.

  • Integrate a systematic CI/CD pipeline to the AKS infrastructure in just a few clicks; configure a canary development strategy, and automate daily operations tasks.

  • Identify issues before they affect the end-user and optimize the development pipeline by insightfully tracing your deployments.

  • Use Azure Portal to get deeper visibility into your Kubernetes environment with resources view, log aggregation, container health, and control-plane telemetry.

2. Boost operational efficiency

AKS automates provisioning, upgrading, monitoring, and scaling of complex Kubernetes clusters. Thus, it significantly reduces infrastructure maintenance tasks.

  • Provision Kubernetes clusters on-demand with Prometheus-based monitoring features.

  • With Azure Advisor, you can optimize all your Kubernetes deployments with custom, real-time suggestions, and expert advice.

  • Use Azure Spot to save costs and avail highly discounted capacity

  • Add additional computing resource with serverless Kubernetes within seconds

  • Use availability zones to get higher uptime and prevent applications from failures due to data centers.

3. Cluster Security

Azure Kubernetes Service is built upon a secure, enterprise-grade foundation to provide excellent security and governance to users.

  • Use Azure Policy to configure rules across CI/CD or deployment workflows dynamically. Deploy only approved content to the private content registry.

  • With Azure Policy, impose pod security context and set it up across multiple clusters. Track, approve, reconfigure and extract compliance reports within minutes.

  • Use Azure Directory to get granular control over-identification and accessibility to Kubernetes resources.

  • Azure Security Centre can automate threat detection and remediation tasks. Get top-notch security with automated patching, upgrades, hardened OS image, and many more features.

  • With Azure Private Link, you can limit Kubernetes API server access to the virtual network.

  • Enforce Kubernetes RBAC roles with Users/Groups feature in Azure AD

4. Run any workload, anywhere

AKS allows you to run any type of workload in your desired environment. You can shift your .NET applications to Windows Server containers, run micro-services apps at the edge, in the public cloud, or in hybrid environments, or you can modernize Java apps in Linux containers. AKS can do it all for you!

AKS Pricing

Azure Kubernetes Service is a free service for the management of your Kubernetes clusters. You only need to pay for the resources you use, such as network resources and cloud resources (VMs, storage, etc.).

Microsoft Azure features a Container Services calculator to evaluate the estimated cost of resources to be used.

Wrap Up

Kubernetes is one of the most popular, open-source platforms used today to manage containerized applications with optimal orchestration.

Azure Kubernetes Service is a cost-saving, powerful, and efficient container orchestration service that fully manages your Kubernetes clusters with automated provisioning, upgrading, scaling, and monitoring features. As customer demands rise, AKS nodes scale-out automatically to fulfill their needs.

If done right, AKS brings myriads of advantages for faster and easier management of your complex Kubernetes clusters.


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