What is Container Orchestration? What are Its Benefits?
If you are working with Docker, you may need container orchestration software to manage all your applications and microservices. Container orchestration tool Kubernetes comes with multiple clusters, and those clusters are responsible for hosting application development packages. To manage applications and microservices, developers need a tool that can automate and monitor the process. Container orchestration serves the same purpose by simplifying the process of managing and scheduling each and every container on the Kubernetes cluster. Container orchestration is applicable on Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, Red Hat OpenShift, and other similar open-source platforms. If you want to deploy applications using Kubernetes, you should be familiar with the definitions and benefits of Container Orchestration. This post will help you with most of the information you need to know about container orchestration.
What are Containers and what are they used For?
It is important to know how containers work before diving into container orchestration. Containers are the backbone of web applications. Containers allow you to build and manage packages of software so that when you move it from place to place, its quality is not compromised. Containers are typically isolated from the operating system they were built on or are meant to run on. An application container contains the application codes and other data that an operating system needs to run the software. Using application containers simplifies the process of developing software properly because they offer the following benefits:
Containers are portable: Application containers are portable because they were designed in a way that helps them run on any operating system or virtual environment. Therefore, developers can easily move these applications from one environment to another without losing the data. Developers don’t have to rewrite the same code to execute the application in another environment. Even though the operating system can differ, the Container will work.
Application development: Using containers can speed up the development and deployment time of software because containers often create updates and install them on their own. The microservices and other small parts of the applications can also be updated individually without having to deploy the whole application all over again.
Optimizing resources: Application containers are lightweight. So, they don’t consume many system resources, and you can also run multiple containers at the same time on the same machine without losing their efficiency.
Since containers in Kubernetes and Docker do all these things, they require a proper orchestration technique. However, in order to learn how to orchestrate Containers, you need a deeper understanding of it.
What is Container Orchestration?
Container orchestration refers to the process of managing all the content within the containers effectively and efficiently without losing any data. Additionally, orchestration refers to using Kubernetes to manage and monitor the containers’ lifecycles in dynamically changing environments. Containers are packed with a wide range of workloads that need proper management in order to run freely across different environments. Container orchestration handles the deployment of applications, scaling up and down of application data, networking, load balancing, etc.
You can run multiple containers at the same time but managing them will be a hectic task because they contain a lot of data. Containers are especially hard to manage when they are handling so many microservices at once. Even these microservices run their own containers, and those containers can be operated by other containers. This is especially applicable when you are building a large-scale system where you have translated a containerized application into operating multiple containers at the same time.
The orchestration would, however, be impossible if you attempted to do it manually. The complexity of operating the containers is reduced when you are using the container orchestration method. Moreover, orchestration makes operating containers fast and easy. Let’s take a look at the benefits of using container orchestration for your Kubernetes containers.
What Does Container Orchestration do in Kubernetes?
In Kubernetes, developers can easily build containerized applications and services. And they can also scale, schedule, and monitor these containers using orchestration. Building containerized applications are possible on other platforms such as Apache Meos, Docker Swarm, etc. But in Kubernetes, you can access many tools such as pods, clusters, kubelet, control panes, etc. Here are the reasons why you might need container orchestration for your Kubernetes containers.
- You can configure and schedule containers
- Provision and deploy containers
- Access containers more easily
- Managing the configurations of the containers according to the need of different virtual environments
- To scale containers so that they can balance the applications and their workloads across different infrastructures.
- Container orchestration also monitors the health of the containers
- It also makes sure that the interaction between multiple containers is secure and protected.
Container orchestration works in multiple ways in Kubernetes to complete these tasks.
What is the way Container Orchestration Operates?
Developers manage containers with the help of container orchestration tools. As an example, these tools have a framework that helps you scale up and down containers as well as microservices within containers. Container orchestration is used for Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, and Apache Mesos. Kubernetes uses the YAML or JSON file to define the configuration of software. The YAML or JSON file will perceive the container orchestration utensil, where to find container images, where to save logs, and how to establish a network. The orchestration engine controls the container’s life process in accordance with the specification provided in the JSON or YAML file.
There are even Kubernetes patterns that you can use to manage the configuration of the configuration files. The Kubernetes patterns will also help you monitor the lifecycle, scale of container-based applications, and more. Basically, you can use container orchestration on any environment that operates containers, and that can also include cloud environments.
If you run container orchestration in Docker, the tools included will be Docker Machine, Docker Swarm, and Docker Compose.
If you run orchestration in Kubernetes, the tools will include automatic deployment and replication of containers, scaling of container clusters, load-balancing of containers, rescheduling of containers, controlling network ports outside of the containers.
Now, it’s worth noting the differences between Docker container orchestration and Kubernetes container orchestration.
What is the difference between Docker Container Orchestration vs Kubernetes Container Orchestration?
The container orchestration engine in Docker is recognized as Docker Swarm that helps developers package applications and run them as containers. In Docker, orchestration finds container images, disposes of a container on a computer or server, and performs several configurations.
On the other hand, orchestration in Kubernetes helps to cluster the containers through the orchestration engine. In Kubernetes, there is a declarative management system that makes the deployment of containerized applications easier. And Kubernetes is an open-sourced container management system. Therefore, you can control it in any environment.
The benefits of container orchestration tools are quite convincing. Here are their benefits in a nutshell:
- Orchestration tools simplify the installation method and reduce dependency errors of Kubernetes containers.
- They can help you scale applications with simple commands, and the scaling process only works according to the codes, which won’t harm your software package.
- Does not risk the security of your web application but it isolates the applications by classifying data inside distinct containers from each software.
Container orchestration also supports multiple cloud platforms that are a part of the IT strategy. It uses multiple cloud services from multiple cloud service providers, and they can be private or public cloud systems. Applications are run by these cloud platforms, which also facilitate container orchestration. Multi-cloud orchestration is the process of operating containers in multiple cloud virtual environments rather than running them in a single cloud.
There can be different reasons why IT sectors choose multi-cloud strategies. It can be to optimize the cost of infrastructure, making the orchestration flexible and the containers portable, improve the scalability, and more. Multi-cloud environments and containers are beneficial for each other because containers are portable, and you can run them on cloud platforms effectively.
There is enterprise container orchestration that is preferred by developers. Real production apps extend the use of multiple containers, and those containers are deployable across multiple server hosts. Red Hat® and OpenShift are used for such enterprise container orchestration systems.
Both Red Hat® OpenShift comes with a number of technologies that help make Kubernetes more suitable for enterprises. The OpenShift Platform and Red Hat® provide a full range of services for Kubernetes containers, which include registries, networking, automation, services, and security. And all these technologies make Kubernetes strong and simple to use.
By using RedHat, developers can develop, host and deploy containerized applications. Developers can easily maintain their containerized apps thanks to their scalability, orchestration, and control.
The way container orchestration works is easy to understand, and so are its benefits. You can check out our other articles for more information about the same. You can also leave a comment below.