Kubernetes migration: 4 secrets to a smooth move

Kubernetes migration: 4 secrets to a smooth move

What do successful Kubernetes migration projects have in common? A clear strategy, a strong culture, and the proper resources to execute the plan. Check out this expert advice

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Kubernetes: best practices for migrating applications

3. Make sure your software delivery pipeline is ready for prime time

Having a solid  CI/CD pipeline already in place will help streamline your Kubernetes migration.

“With containerized applications, one of the advantages is the ability to have common, consistent deployment across multiple environments during the SDLC process,” Vempati says. “It will be extremely useful if continuous deployment is planned upfront and executed for migrating to Kubernetes.”

Kasten CEO Tolia concurs: “Make sure that the support technology stack is in place, particularly easy-to-use CI/CD pipelines, which will be critical to a successful transition.”

The core reason for this: A successful Kubernetes migration will mean that you’re now deploying and making changes faster and more frequently than you did in the past. A rigid delivery pipeline will probably start to crack. If you’re not already practicing CI/CD, this is an opportunity to start.

Kubernetes will stretch other parts of your SDLC process since you’ll now be able to deploy more quickly. With the iterations and velocity during an initial migration, embracing a more agile culture and investing in non-functional requirements like continuous delivery should happen organically, Vempati says.

Teams with a robust CI/CD pipeline already in place might be thinking: Well, duh. But that’s not every org or team. Vempati notes that some software groups eschew continuous delivery, for example, because they don’t see it as valuable to their application’s core capabilities.

“What must be understood is that it accelerates the migration process significantly,” Vempati says. “With a well-defined continuous deployment [pipeline] in place, the time taken for a complete migration can be significantly reduced.”

4. Consider a commercial or managed platform

Back to that fundamental question: Is Kubernetes right for your organization or application? The answer for many teams might well be “yes, but…”

“Maybe Kubernetes is right for you, but you don’t really have the skills to manage it all yourself,” Hass says. “Consider a Kubernetes managed service, ideally one that gives you portability among cloud providers. Finally, even if you do decide that operating on-prem Kubernetes is right for you, there’s no need to set the difficulty level to hardest. A commercial open source container platform integrates and tests both Kubernetes and other related tools – monitoring, CI/CD, security scanning, and so forth – so that you don’t have to.”

[ Read also: OpenShift and Kubernetes: What’s the difference? ]

This gets back to what Lachhman mentioned above about not trying to be a hero. Even superheroes have help sometimes.

“The goal of migrating to Kubernetes is most often to accelerate the development of applications and scale them and not necessarily to start setting up the cluster from scratch,” Vempati says. “The best approach to move faster to Kubernetes is to first pick a managed Kubernetes service on one of the public/private cloud platforms. This helps the developers and Ops teams to focus on the deployment of applications [while offloading a lot of the under-the-hood work].”

[ Kubernetes 101: An introduction to containers, Kubernetes, and OpenShift: Watch the on-demand Kubernetes 101 webinar.]

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