How Kubernetes Enables Sustained Business Agility

In today’s digitally powered, customer-centric world, agility has become a critical element that organizations are undertaking transformations to increase the speed at which they create software, improve responsiveness to meet evolving customer needs and stay nimble to continuously adapt in our ever-changing world.

Agility is not a commodity; it can’t be bought or easily acquired. Creating agility that is sustainable for your organization requires an investment in building a culture that redefines the way your business operates, reshaping of existing processes and embracing modern technology to enable your business to continuously innovate. It’s the combination of these investments that will position organizations as disruptive market leaders and equip them to pave the future of their industry.

Along the journey to improve organizational agility, it is typical to embrace many new technologies from cloud providers, open source software and technology partners that you have invested in. With the vast number of technology options available today, it can be overwhelming and difficult to decipher what is ready, stable and most appropriate for your business.

When Inconsistency Becomes the Barrier

Moving to the public cloud is high on the priority list for many organizations for a variety of reasons. Cloud providers have ushered in an endless number of new technologies that can be deployed quickly, empowering them to develop new solutions and capabilities rapidly to deliver precisely what the customer desires.

In a large enterprise, the rapid deployment of new technology across a broad set of teams can multiply quickly, creating immediate value. But without careful balance and architectural alignment, many independent and tailored solutions are constructed and plumbed together by autonomous teams. This complexity is further compounded by the hybrid multi-cloud ecosystem organizations are dealing with as they work to integrate new public cloud capabilities into their existing on-premises environments.

Without careful planning, the level of unintentional inconsistency being created through the multitude of independent technology ecosystems will eventually become the barrier to sustaining the agility organizations have invested in creating.

Kubernetes Enables Agility Across the IT Ecosystem

Creating an environment of sustained agility requires organizations to bring a level of consistency to their complex technology ecosystems by empowering their creative teams of developers, platform operators and security professionals through a framework that unifies the variety of technology platforms spanning private cloud, public cloud, bare metal and edge-based computing environments.

Kubernetes has evolved significantly from its introduction to the open source world in 2014 as an intriguing container orchestrator created by Google to now being ingrained across all major public cloud providers and becoming the common protocol that unifies the variety of infrastructure required to enable the digital businesses of today.

There are three key elements that Kubernetes uniquely provides to organizations to improve their level of consistency as well as supporting future flexibility for extending the platform to service evolving workload needs:

Consistent API: Kubernetes delivers a common and conformant API that’s available across any infrastructure, providing a consistent interaction model for developers, security and operations supporting a hybrid multi-cloud ecosystem that’s efficient and sustainable at scale.

Declarative: Kubernetes embraces the declarative DevOps paradigm enabling a robust platform that is resilient to component level failures and delivers auto-pilot-like capabilities, dynamically taking corrective action for your applications based on the desired state defined in your manifest.

Extensible: Kubernetes has evolved to be highly extensible; with the operator framework it enables a consistent installation, configuration and lifecycle management model for software and platforms deployed to Kubernetes. Additionally, the open source community invested in Kubernetes continuously creates new tools and platforms to solve current and future business technology challenges. 


Cloud-Native Agility for a Spectrum of Workloads

The agility businesses need can no longer rely on operators to manually scale hardware, memory and CPU to meet increased volumes or new customer expectations. It’s imperative for workloads to dynamically flex to be resilient to failure as well as scale to ensure continuous availability and optimal performance for every customer interaction.

Kubernetes natively provides a rich set of capabilities to allow both traditional and modern workload types to scale dynamically, based on a consistent and declarative deployment model. This allows application developers and operators to define a profile for each workload that’s equipped to scale based on demand and recover automatically, ensuring the integrity of the application and guaranteeing the highest levels of performance and reliability.

With the Kubernetes API consistently being made available across any infrastructure, paired with its ability to bring security, compliance and architecture guardrails to life through software via admission controllers and open policy agent, organizations can ubiquitously enable critical controls in a frictionless manner empowering development teams to move quickly as well as safely.

The extensibility of Kubernetes combined with the thriving and innovative cloud-native community it’s at the core of has built a consistent foundation for infrastructure delivery, allowing a spectrum of application platforms to be crafted that can be enabled consistently in the cloud or within the walls of a data center. These new application platforms are the bridge that makes the intrinsic value Kubernetes delivers at the infrastructure level easy to work with and productive for developers whether they want a platform as a service experience, prefer a function-based or event-driven model for their workload needs or require a raw container to create custom software.

Extending Agility Beyond Cloud

As our world becomes increasingly more connected it’s critical to consider how business agility can be extended to capitalize on the opportunity to deploy applications and services closer to the customer. The arrival of 5G connectivity and edge-based computing paired with an ever-growing number of IoT devices will reshape the IT ecosystem, enabling organizations to reimagine customer interactions and deliver new capabilities without boundaries.

Kubernetes is evolving to extend its consistent API that many organizations are leveraging today within their data centers or public cloud environments to enable the same powerful set of capabilities for new distributed and hyper-connected computing environments.  This will enable organizations to extend their applications in a cohesive manner, building on the technology foundation Kubernetes has created.

With agility a necessity for business today, it’s essential to consider not only how your technology ecosystem will support your business agility today but also how your technology choices will provide sustained agility in the future.

Eric Drobisewski

Eric Drobisewski is Sr. Architect, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Technology Hosting Services. Eric has more than 20 years of enterprise IT experience spanning many technology verticals, including Telecom, Network, Mainframe, Midrange, Middleware, DB, and Cloud services. As a Senior Architect, he’s responsible for more than 40,000 systems across the globe in a highly virtualized environment with a goal of modernizing a significant portion of those workloads for public cloud platforms. Over the past several years, Eric’s focus has been on Liberty Mutual’s enterprise cloud strategy, strategic enablement, DevSecOps and Infrastructure as Code practices, and driving containerization as the company’s core compute fabric. Eric is keynote speaker, most recently having taken the stage at DockerCon 2018 in San Francisco, addressing an audience of 11,000, and his thought-leadership about Liberty Mutual’s digital transformation, DevSecOps journey, and containerization enablement and adoption has appeared in numerous business and technical publications.

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