Some of the best cloud-based hosted Kubernetes to deploy and manage application containers.

Kubernetes is trending more than ever. And, why not – every organization is looking to containerize the application and take advantages of the great Kubernetes.

Little introduction

Kubernetes is an open-source, initially developed by Google for automatic deployment and managing the containerized applications. It is different than Docker.

Docker helps to build application containers, and Kubernetes group them for easy management. So, if you have multiple containers, then you need something to manage and discover them – that’s where Kubernetes helps. Some of the outs of the box features are:

  • Scale up or down with command, console or automatically
  • Detached credential configuration management
  • Self-recovery
  • Manage the workload and batch execution
  • Progressive application deployment

If you are a newbie, then you may want to check this Docker and Kubernetes guide on Udemy.

And, now let’s discuss the ways of using Kubernetes.

Technically, you can either install, administer, and manage yourself or go for a managed solution. Doing everything in-house may be expensive and challenging to find the right skills for production management. If you are not prepared for that, you can leverage the following managed solutions.

Kubernetes Engine

A production-ready solution by Google Cloud. Take advantage of Google’s experience of running Gmail and YouTube for more than a decade.

Kubernetes Engine offer all-in-one solutions to deploy, update, manage, and monitor your applications. Not just the container apps, but you can also run the database, attach storage to the cluster. With the auto-scaling features, you don’t have to manually increase the infrastructure capacity to handle the upcoming application traffics. You can configure to scale up when demand rises or scale down based on the usage. So, pay for what you use.

You can run Kubernetes behind a load balancer with anycast IP for better performance and secure them with network policies. Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) is also available on-premises, and the great thing is you can move your applications across cloud and on-premises. Its great flexibility, isn’t it?

Still in Beta but GKE supports GPU to offer better processing power to run machine learning and other heavy workloads.

DigitalOcean

DigitalOcean (DO) is not just popular cloud hosting for developers, but recently they launched the managed Kubernetes platform and gained good popularity.

You read it right, in minutes. I tried creating a cluster, and it was ready in less than 10 minutes.

And it’s affordable. You can get it started from as low as $10 per month. Let’s talk about some of the features.

  • Run and scale all types of applications – integrate GitLab, web applications, API, backend-services, etc.
  • Configuration guide – its relatively new technology, and you may not be aware of configuring them, so their getting started wizard would be useful guidance.

  • Full API support – run Serverless frameworks, service mesh, integrate CI/CI, in-depth insights, etc.
  • Port application from DO to anywhere Kubernetes is support. Great for a multi-cloud strategy.

DO is a great cost-effective choice to run your applications on the cloud Kubernetes cluster.

Platform9

An enterprise-ready Kubernetes as a service – Platform9 works on your favorite public cloud platform, on-premises, and VMware. Its complete SaaS solution so you can focus on your application instead of continuous monitoring, infrastructure upgrade, and managing them.

Platform9 offers high-availability across multiple public cloud availability zones so you can operate a truly global application without downtime, even if you lose one availability zone. They got an easy to use dashboard to manage multiple clusters and their services.

Play around on their Sandbox to see how it works and how you can benefit from their solutions.

OpenShift

OpenShift by Red Hat supports a large number of container images, applications, frameworks, middleware, database. You can run cloud-native or traditional applications on a single platform.

You can test drive their container platform for free.

Amazon EKS

The list won’t be complete without including Amazon Elastic Container Service (EKS) for Kubernetes. Used by some of the reputed companies like Verizon, FICO, GoDaddy, Skyscanner, Pearson, Intuit – you can’t go wrong.

EKS runs Kubernetes on multiple AWS availability zones for high-availability, and AWS manages complete infrastructure.

If you already use AWS for something else, then EKS would be a great choice to integrate with CloudTrail, IAM, Cloud Map, App Mesh, ELB, etc.

Some of the great EKS features are:

  • Manage through web UI or CLI
  • Optimized AMI with NVIDIA drivers for advanced computational power
  • Run a cluster behind AWS load balancer

AWS EKS pricing is pay as you use, and you can get it started from as low as $0.20 per hour.

Azure

These pioneer platform like Azure, AWS, GCP has a significant advantage – integration. If you are already on their platform, then it makes a lot of sense to extend your application integration with their offering solution. Microsoft offers Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), which is fully managed like others listed above.

Azure offers multiple ways to provision a cluster – web console, command line, Azure resource manager, Terraform. You can take advantage of Azure traffic manager to route the application requests to the nearest data centers for a fast response.

IBM Cloud

IBM Cloud Kubernetes service is a certified KS8 provider and offers all the standard features to deploy an application in the Kubernetes cluster. You will take advantage of over 170 IBM Cloud services to modernize and build Blockchain, IoT, API, microservices, machine learning, analytics, etc. applications.

You can get it started with their trial to experience the IBM Cloud platform.

Alibaba Cloud

Alibaba Cloud would be an excellent choice for a business in China. Below is a typical continuous delivery solution illustration for automatic DevOps, a consistent environment, and constant feedback.

You can get it started in FREE with Alibaba Cloud to creating a Kubernetes cluster.

Conclusion

Most of the above listed hosted Kubernetes platform offer trial, so play around and see what works best for your application requirements. And, if you are curious to learn and manage it by yourself, then check out this hands-on course.

Once your applications are containerized, then don’t forget to monitor them with Kubernetes open-source tools.