February 1, 2023

What’s the connection between your body and your Kubernetes environment?

Amir Banet
CEO & Co-Founder

When you start understanding how Kubernetes works, you see it resembles the human body. Why? Because it’s a complex system composed of many components that must work together to help an application or body perform its tasks. If one of those components isn’t working properly, the entire system can be affected. So, our bodies require continuous monitoring and optimization to stay healthy. 

How is the human body like a Kubernetes environment?

  • Like the human body, K8s can automatically take action to ensure the application has the resources to function properly. For example, Cluster Autoscaler (CA) is kind of like the lungs; when more resources are needed, CA kicks in and provides more nodes to meet higher load demand, while the lungs kick into high gear to provide more oxygen to meet the body's needs. 
  • Like humans, a company’s adoption of K8s has growth and maturity cycles. In both cases, you start with a lot of crying and some drooling, but eventually, you get into the traditional crawl, walk, run evolution. You’ll surely stumble and fall many times along the way, but it's part of the learning curve that makes you stronger.
  • Like the human body, Kubernetes takes many years of research and hands-on experience to understand how all the systems work. Most people don’t really know how each organ, or K8s component, works in fine granularity. Expert doctors and well-seasoned DevOps, SRE, and Platform Engineering experts can be rare commodities, so it can take time to build up the skillsets of your teams to take on more complex projects. 
  • Like the human body, it's important to regularly measure and monitor all the aspects of your Kubernetes environment to ensure it’s healthy. This creates a lot of noise and requires dedicated machines and technology to capture and analyze health metrics to pinpoint anomalies that need to be addressed quickly. 

I could go on and on with more examples; however, one key similarity between the human body and Kubernetes has become a critical focus for DevOps, Platform Engineering, and SRE teams: Optimization. This means fine-tuning your Kubernetes environment to boost application performance, reduce costs, and ensure high levels of resilience. The efforts teams take to optimize Kubernetes are very similar to actions we take to keep our bodies physically fit.  

Keeping your Kubernetes environment physically fit 

You might start the year with a similar new years resolution (especially people around my age): lose a little weight while trying to get back some of those muscles you had when you were younger. A similar objective exists for many teams when it comes to their K8s environments. They want to trim the fat (cut wasted resources and reduce cloud costs) while improving their core strength, agility, and stability (improving performance and reliance).

Optimization helps get your Kubernetes environment in shape. It requires evaluating your Kubernetes environment diet, helping you understand where you have “over-served” too many resources, and reducing them in a way that will cut costs but still keep your applications healthy. Also, you will want to consider building in additional headroom to ensure system resilience, similar to eating a big breakfast to ensure you have enough energy to get through the day. 

Additionally, continuous optimization efforts should help your pinpoint areas where you can improve the strength of your environment. When services or workloads are under-provisioned, it can cause performance issues, typically when your application is experiencing peak load (similar to a muscle cramp during a jog). By identifying and eliminating these misconfigurations, you will quickly start to improve your applications’ performance and overall resilience–giving your K8s environment the sick-pack abs it always dreamed of. 

Focusing on both of these aspects is extremely important to your business metrics. Overspending on the cloud can quickly get out of control and kill your budget, while system latency and outages can directly affect your digital business revenues. It seems like a no-brainer, but there is one more thing you need to consider… 

Being physically fit is not a project; it is a lifestyle change 

We all know gaining a pound is much easier than losing one. Additionally, many of us have skipped a workout for one day and seen that extend for weeks at a time. Achieving and maintaining results requires dedication to living a healthier lifestyle. 

This is similar to optimizing your Kubernetes environment. As many companies focus on reducing cloud costs or improving overall application performance and resilience (or both), it’s essential not to take a reactive approach. Sure, this can bring you some short-term success, but without continual focus, it is very easy to end up right back where you started from or in even worse shape. Like your body, your Kubernetes environment is constantly maturing, so as you grow, getting your environment back into optimal shape will take more time, energy and resources. 

When it comes to optimizing your Kubernetes environment, it is important not to leave out the continuous part. This is key to maintaining the lifestyle change you need for your Kubernetes environment to flourish continually. But this is a challenging task, and leveraging technology can significantly influence your long-term success. 

This is where a solution like PerfectScale can help.  Our solution simplifies the continuous optimization process, helping your Kubernetes environment get and stay physically fit. It’s like a wearable watch that provides you the intelligence into the health of your body and notifies you when you need to take action to stay fit, strong, and resilient. This makes it easy for teams to keep their Kubernetes environment finely tuned. We give you the ability to take proactive actions that avoid performance and resilience issues, all while keeping your cloud bill as low as possible. And if your business relies on healthy applications to support the needs of its customers, we are a critical component of your toolkit. 

To get a free evaluation of the health of your Kubernetes environment, start a free 30-day trial of PerfectScale today. 

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