Kubernetes is a fanatic solution for any individual or team looking to create, manage and deploy applications with minimal fuss. However, as is the case with such a complex system, mistakes can naturally occur if you aren’t entirely au fait with the system and all its foibles. In order to avoid such pitfalls, it is vital to have a deep understanding of how to use the system and the most common mistakes that other users make so you can avoid them and reduce the issues of time and cost overrun (or other potentially more damaging issues). Whether you’re new to Kubernetes or a seasoned pro, these tips will help you optimize your workflow and avoid common errors that can cause headaches down the line.
1. Not Setting Up Proper Security Controls
As with any development space, security should be extremely high on your list of priorities. However, the unfortunate truth of the matter is that not enough developers, Kubernetes or otherwise, pay enough attention to this extremely serious matter. Perhaps the most common mistake users make when using this solution is not following the Kubernetes security best practices and setting up the correct security controls vital for keeping their work safe from outside (or inside) influences. This is a particularly heinous error, as Kubernetes has a robust set of procedures, particularly when it involves setting up authentication and authorization for new clusters.
Nonetheless, you can implement numerous security protocols and procedures that should increase secure operation. For instance, use network policies to control traffic between pods and services which can help prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data or resources within your cluster. These are just two examples of the actions you can and should take to protect your clusters from intrusion and keep your work safe. Nonetheless, there are many other possibilities for you to consider that are listed in the Kubernetes documentation (which may be a tad on the dry side of things but worth a read if you are serious about security).
2. Not Monitoring And Logging Kubernetes Components
Another especially grievous mistake that many novice users commit is failing to monitor and log their components correctly. Regardless of how tech-savvy you may be, Kubernetes can become increasingly complex the more company you add, making it especially vital to keep tabs on them. The lack of proper monitoring and logging can lead to a lot of problems, including:
- Poor or unexpected performance
- Security issues
Without monitoring the situation, these issues can rapidly spiral out of control and cause more than a headache for those in charge. In essence, without monitoring each component, you will never know if something is going wrong, and without the correct logging procedures in place, you won’t be in a position to identify the issue and come up with relevant solutions. In other words, always be monitoring and always be logging. These are pretty standard points for any organization, so you should take heed and ensure you put processes in place.
3. Failure To Set Resource Requests And Limits
Because Kubernetes relies on what is known as “containers” that are self-contained application environments, it also means that you must allocate a certain amount of resources to each container to ensure smooth operation. If you are unable to assign the correct amount to each environment, you will face significant challenges when it comes to keeping applications running as they should. While lack of resources is perhaps the issue that most worries developers, you must also avoid over-allocating resources, which could bloat your budget (more notable for larger organizations running multiple instances). Essentially, containers may consume more resources than they need without setting resource requests and limits, causing other containers or nodes to suffer from resource starvation. This can also result in higher costs for cloud resources due to over-provisioning.
4. Failing To Update The Container Images
A program and all of its required software components can be packaged into a single binary file called a container image. Container images are self-contained, executable software packages with strict requirements for their execution environment, but failing to keep them updated can result in all manner of problems ranging from your run-of-the-mill security vulnerabilities to severe performance issues that might cause the dreaded downtime or worse. In order to avoid this error, it is critical to design a strategy for regularly upgrading container images, such as setting up automatic procedures to monitor for updates and conducting upgrades as needed may be necessary. It is also critical to adequately verify your upgraded images before deploying them to production systems.
5. Ignoring Best Practices For Configuring Deployments
“Best practice ” is a phrase you will often hear regarding software environments primarily because things can go wrong very fast if not adhered to. When it comes to Kubernetes, deployments are where things tend to fall down if not correctly configured. Deployments are crucial to your application because they dictate how they will be scaled across your cluster. Suffice it to say incorrect configuration can cause the usual trifecta of instability, security issues, and poor performance. There are plenty of ways to configure your deployments, but as long as you set up appreciate resource limits as discussed earlier, and use rolling updates, you will be on the right track.
6. Using Multiple Namespaces In A Single Application
Aside from lackluster performance that hinders development and user experience, security is the most significant concern. Consequently, most Kubernetes users have the propensity to create too many namespaces in the pursuit of protection. However, creating too many can also have the unintended effect of causing confusion among your team. Possibly leading to avoidable errors. Keeping track of which resources belong to which namespace can be challenging when using multiple namespaces. Because of this, your application may crash or act unexpectedly due to misconfigured resources. Therefore, using namespaces frugally and only for their intended purpose is in your best interests.
7. Insufficient Communication Between Development And Operations Teams
Applications are often the primary focus of developers, whereas operations teams are in charge of managing the underlying infrastructure. This can cause inefficiency and poor communication when team members fail to grasp one another’s requirements and priorities. Therefore, it is crucial to set up open channels of communication between these teams in order to avoid a potential disaster. Holding regular meetings and conversations may help keep everyone on the same page and allow problems to be addressed as soon as they arise.
Kubernetes is a potent orchestration system that can often lead to issues during setup, management, or deployment. Nonetheless, with some insight into users’ most common errors, you can avoid them when possible. Furthermore, their documentation is always there to refer to for more in-depth answers should you ever find yourself struggling.
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