Google Kubernetes Engine
Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) is a managed environment for deploying, managing and scaling containerized applications using the Google Cloud Platform infrastructure. The environment that Google Kubernetes Engine provides consists of multiple machines, specifically Google Compute Engine instances, which are grouped together to form a cluster. Google Kubernetes Engine draws on the same reliable infrastructure and design principles that run popular Google services and provides the same benefits like automatic management, monitoring and liveness probes for application containers, automatic scaling, rolling updates, and more.
Why should I use Kubernetes?
Before managing applications with Kubernetes and GKE, you should know how containers work and what advantages they provide. If you were to build an online retail application with user sign-in, inventory management, billing and shipping, you could break up your application into smaller modules called microservices. These are isolated and elastic, for high-availability and scalability.
Containers provided the environment to deploy microservices. You can run them on the same or even different machines, start and stop them quickly, but you can't specify how many machines or containers to keep running. What to do if containers fail? How to connect a container to other containers and enable persistent storage? For these aspects, you need a container orchestration system like Kubernetes.
Kubernetes is an open source orchestrator for a container environment. It provides the ability to define how many machines to use, how many containers to deploy, how to scale them, where the persistent disks reside, and how to deploy a group of containers as a single unit.
Since Kubernetes is already open source, what's the need for GKE?
- Leverage CI/CD tools in GCP to help you build and serve application containers
- Use Google Cloud Build to build container images from various source code repositories
- Use Google Container Registry to store and serve your container images
- Load balancing for Google Compute Engine instances
- Node pools to designate subsets of nodes within a cluster for additional flexibility
- Automatic scaling of your cluster's node instance count
- Automatic upgrades for your cluster's node software
- Node auto-repair to maintain node health and availability
- Logging and monitoring with Operations (formerly Stackdriver) for visibility into your cluster
How does GKE work?
A cluster is the foundation of GKE. The Kubernetes objects that represent containerized applications all run within the cluster. A cluster consists of at least one cluster master and multiple worker machines called nodes, which are the worker machines that run containerized applications and other workloads. The worker machines are Google Compute Engine (GCE) instances that GKE creates on your behalf when you create a cluster.
These master and node machines run the Kubernetes cluster orchestration system. The cluster master runs the Kubernetes control plane processes, including the Kubernetes API server, scheduler, and core resource controllers. The API server process is the hub for all communication for the cluster. All internal cluster processes (such as the cluster nodes, system and components, application controllers) all act as clients of the API server; the API server is the single "source of truth" for the entire cluster.
What are some criticisms of GKE?
On a more technical note, some complain that the configurability of GKE is limited, including limited control on authentication, authorization or admission control. It's expected that future versions of GKE will give users more control, such as via
It's now possible to do container-native load balancing for GKE-based applications. Previously, load balancers worked at the granularity of VMs. These VMs then used IPTable rules to route workloads to the right pods. This was suboptimal and resulted in traffic hops between nodes. With Network Endpoint Groups (NEGs), load balancing can now be done based on the availability and health of pods rather than nodes.
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- Official Website
- Official Documentation
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