IT service management changed a few years ago with the introduction of containers. They helped usher in the concept that a data centre was no longer a place with computers, but that the data centre itself was the computer.
As enterprises turn towards increasing virtualisation and microservice architectures, containers are multiplying.
Google reportedly deploys 2 billion containers per week, far more than can be realistically manually managed and monitored. To meet the challenge, Google engineers developed a new technology, yet another step in the evolution of ITSM.
The technology is called Kubernetes (“Koo-buh-netties”). The name comes from the Greek name for a pilot, as of a ship, linking in with other meaning of containers as physical boxes that travel on ships.
Kubernetes does several straightforward and valuable things when it comes to making sure that IT containers and their microservices stay up and running, whether they are installed locally, remotely, in the cloud, or wherever.
It makes it easy for IT departments and other users to get their containers running, to define and launch copies of those containers for load balancing and resilience, and to have the confidence that the exact number of copies defined will continue to run, no matter what.
The components in Kubernetes, basically a master-slave arrangement between a master server and other servers, organise the deployment of the containers automatically.
As a user, you ask for a level of service, and Kubernetes provides it. You do not need to know where or on which machines your containers are running.
If one of the containers in a group of container clones goes down, Kubernetes sees it and automatically fires up another one just like it.
Installing Kubernetes will vary in complexity, according to what you want to do with it. However, as Kubernetes is free to use and available for single workstations (including Linux, Mac OS and Windows), it is relatively easy to begin using it on a trial basis.
ITSM migration to multiple nodes, bigger machines and production systems also follows on smoothly without needing to change the management interface or the commands used.