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 advantage of the great Kubernetes.

Little introduction

Kubernetes is an open-source, initially developed by Google for automatic deployment and managing 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, 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, 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.

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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. It’s incredible flexibility, isn’t it?

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

OVHcloud

OVHcloud offers managed Kubernetes service for a startup to enterprise business. By using OVHcloud, you will save money and time from day one. The deployment, hosting, and updates are entirely free for master components in managed Kubernetes service. You only have to pay for storage and hosting resources for your containers and their persistent data.

You will deploy your cluster within minutes. You will also benefit from free masters that are operated and controlled by OVHcloud staff. OVHcloud provides CNCF certified cluster to get a very standard service, and you can benefit from most tutorials and public helm charts that are available to get started. Also, you have the same as day two operations, contrary to testing with minikube locally. You will benefit from the production cluster right as you start.

ovhcloud managed kubernetes service

OVHcloud says you focus on your containerized workload, and they will focus on Kubernetes and ensure its security. They will manage the worker nodes, bug fixes, and patches on the infrastructure. In addition, they will manage regular updates to make sure you have the latest features with upstream Kubernetes software. OVHCloud will also monitor and secure infrastructure 24X7.

OVHCloud’s managed Kubernetes service is future-proof because its cloud controllers can integrate with any future service providers.

Below are the core features which managed Kubernetes service offers:

  • Manage through easy-to-use control panel interface
  • Load balancer and pod autoscaling
  • Persistent volumes
  • Role-based access control
  • Auto-scaling of nodes in the cluster
  • Options to upgrade to the latest version of Kubernetes

The best way to experience the platform is by trying, so go ahead and see how it works to see if it satisfies your Kubernetes requirement.

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 – it’s a relatively new technology, and you may not be aware of configuring them, so their getting started wizard would be helpful 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 service – Platform9 works on your favorite public cloud platform, on-premises, and VMware. It completes the SaaS solution to 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 many container images, applications, frameworks, middleware, database. You can run cloud-native or traditional applications on a single platform.

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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, 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, 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 the 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.

Conclusion

Most of the above-listed managed Kubernetes platforms offer a 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.