Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) offers an open-source, fully managed environment to automatically deploy, manage, and scale your containerized applications with the help of Google infrastructure. This environment comprises multiple CE (Compute Engine) instances that together form a container cluster. 

In short, the containers that make up an application are grouped into logical units for easy locating and management. Kubernetes employs best practices to run your production workloads.

Key Benefits of GKE Environment for Production

Cluster Orchestration

GKE clusters are based upon Kubernetes open-source cluster management system. It provides an environment where you can seamlessly interact with your container cluster.

With Kubernetes flexible resources and commands, you can execute automated deployment and management of your applications, set policies, carry out administrative tasks, and closely monitor your deployed workload.

GKE offers automated management, scaling, monitoring, rolling updates, and much more.

GKE on Google Cloud

As you run a GKE cluster, you will be able to reap the following benefits from Google Cloud’s advanced cluster management system:

  • Load balancing for multiple machines (specifically CE instances)
  • Node pools within a cluster to allocate subsets of nodes for advanced flexibility.
  • Automate scaling of node instances within your cluster
  • Automated upgrades for node software of your cluster
  • Node auto-repair to consistently retain the health and availability of node instances.
  • Logging and Monitoring services with Cloud Monitoring for enhanced visibility into your cluster. It offers application, infrastructure, and Kubernetes-specific views to see how it’s working.
  • High-availability control plane for easy management of regional and multi-zonal clusters

Auto-repair, auto-upgrade, and release channels of GKE significantly eliminate your operational overhead.

Secure By Default

Kubernetes speeds up the process of app development without compromising with the security aspect. It fully supports serverless, stateful, and application accelerators, allowing you to develop a wide range of apps. 

With Kubernetes-native CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery) tools, you can speed up and secure every stage of your build-and-deploy pipeline.

GKE executes data encryption along with vulnerability scanning of container images for secure connections. Besides, Kubernetes is HIPAA and PCI DSS compliant and is further backed by a team of more than 750 security experts.

Stable Release Channels

Streamline your operational workloads with secure, rapid, and stable release channels. You can choose the channel that best suits your business requirements. 

Different release channels offer different rhythm of node upgrades and support levels to resonate with the channel’s nature.

Google SREs

GKE clusters and infrastructure is fully managed by Google SREs (Site Reliability Engineers). Google SREs constantly monitor your container application cluster to keep track of its computing, storage, and networking resources. They make sure your cluster is up-to-date and available. 

Commercial Kubernetes applications

Leverage enterprise-ready containerized solutions from Google Cloud Marketplace. It contains prebuilt deployment templates with simple licensing, portability, and unified billing. You won’t just see container images, but Google-built, commercial applications here that are enterprise-ready, thereby significantly increasing developer productivity. 

Cluster and pod auto-scaling

With Kubernetes, you can auto-scale horizontal pods based on custom metrics or their CPU usage and auto-scale clusters according to per-node-pool basis. 

Moreover, you can even auto-scale vertical pods, as it consistently monitors CPU and memory usage of pods and dynamically changes the memory and CPU requests as per the needs. 

Depending on workload requirements, GKE will automatically scale the node pool and clusters throughout multiple node pools.

Container Isolation

GKE Sandbox acts as a second layer of defense between containerized workloads on Kubernetes for exceptional network and workload security. Kubernetes-native clusters follow Kubernetes Network Policy to limit and block traffic as per pod-level firewall rules. 

GKE is able to secure private clusters by restricting them to a public or private endpoint and only allowing access to specific addresses. 

Planet Scale

Similar capabilities like Google allow Kubernetes to run and scale myriads of containers a week, without increasing your Ops team.

Run anywhere and Never Outgrow

GKE is an open-source, certified platform that you can run anywhere- be it on-premises, public cloud, hybrid, or multi-cloud infrastructure. Such flexibility allows you to move workloads between clouds you want.

Besides, no matter how complex your need is, Kubernetes will scale up or down with you for consistent delivery of applications. Regardless, whether you run a global business or test them locally.

Automated rollouts and rollbacks

GKE gradually rolls out upgrades or changes to your applications and also simultaneously monitors its health to make sure the changes don’t kill your CE instances.

If a problem arises, Kubernetes is able to roll back the change as well.

Load balancing and service discovery

There’s no need to modify your application in order to use a new, unknown service discovery tool. Google Kubernetes Engine assigns unique IP addresses to Pods and a single DNS name for a cluster of Pods for easy load-balancing.

Global Load Balancing

GKE’s Global Load Balancing technology lets you distribute incoming requests across node pools throughout multiple regions. This way, you can deliver efficient performance, throughput, and maximum availability at a low cost.

Identity and Access Management

Kubernetes allows you to control access within a cluster using your Google account and role permissions.

Hybrid Networking

Use Google Cloud VPN to reserve a range of IP addresses for your cluster. This way, your cluster IP addresses can coexist with your private network IP addresses, creating a hybrid network.

Built-in Dashboard

Kubernetes features Cloud Console containing insightful dashboards to manage your project’s cluster and its resources. As per the needs, you can view, manage, analyze, and delete resources across the clusters. 

Preemptible Virtual Machines

Kubernetes allows you to create low-cost, temporary instances that run fault-tolerant workloads and batch jobs. These preemptible VMs are just as capable and high-performing as regular VMs, and they also promote cost savings. 

Support for Persistent Disks

Kubernetes lets you create persistent disks- a high-performance, robust block storage for container VMs. These can be in the SSD or HDD formats, where you can store data redundantly to flexibly resize it without any hurdles and automatic encryption. You can even take a snapshot of an existing persistent disk to create new persistent disks from it. 

Support for Local SSD

GKE offers support for always-encrypted local SSD storage. Local block storage is physically integrated with the server hosting VMs for high IOPS (Input/Output Operations per second) with low latency.

Wrap Up:

Google Kubernetes Engine provides a reliable, secure environment where you can automate deployment, scaling, and management of Kubernetes-native applications. 

GKE is widely gaining popularity globally as it continues to eliminate the need to install and manage your own clusters. It is not only easy to use and run but also considerably increases developer productivity.

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