Challenges of Containerized App Portability in Kubernetes
Published Dec 07 2023 01:30 PM 1,531 Views
Microsoft

Introduction

As organizations embrace containerization and Kubernetes for their applications, the need for seamless portability across the Kubernetes ecosystem coupled with cloud object storage and local persistence has become a pressing concern.  In this blog post, we will dive into the core problem and dissect the complex challenges that customers face in achieving containerized app portability.

 

Challenges

Local Persistence and High Availability

  • Local persistence is crucial, but ensuring highly available Kubernetes volumes that can tolerate hardware failures presents a challenge.  Organizations need a robust solution to maintain continuous operation and data integrity.

Coordinating Consistency Across Apps

  • Coordinating data consistency across all edge applications sharing data is imperative.  Ensuring that data changes are propagated uniformly and reliably is a significant challenge in a distributed and dynamic Kubernetes environment.  Once cloud storage is involved in your data management strategy, consistency handling between edge data bound for cloud processing becomes even more challenging.

Data Upload at the Edge

  • A suite of containerized apps deployed at the edge needs to upload data to cloud storage, introducing challenges related to data transfer, synchronization, and efficient utilization of bandwidth.

Avoiding Cloud Storage API Coding for Every App

  • It is not feasible for every app in the suite to code directly to the Cloud Storage API.  Organizations need solutions that abstract this complexity, providing a unified interface for different applications without compromising on functionality.

Disconnect/Reconnect Logic

  • The need for disconnect/reconnect logic to handle network disconnections introduces an additional layer of complexity.  Applications must seamlessly adapt to network disruptions, ensuring uninterrupted operation and data flow.

Shared Filesystem Capability

  • Implementing shared filesystem capability on top of high availability volumes is essential.  Achieving this requires careful orchestration to avoid data inconsistencies and conflicts in a distributed environment.

 

Addressing the Challenges

Robust High-Availability Strategies

  • Implement robust strategies for local persistence and high availability within Kubernetes clusters, minimizing the impact of compute hardware failures and maintaining continuous operations.

Unified Filesystem Abstraction

  • Ensures consistency across applications without compromising on the benefits of distributed storage.

Edge-Focused Data Solutions

  • Explore solutions tailored for edge computing that efficiently manage data upload, synchronization, and bandwidth utilization, ensuring optimal performance in edge environments.

Smart Network Handling

  • Implement intelligent disconnect/reconnect logic that enables applications to handle network disruptions gracefully.  This ensures uninterrupted operation and minimizes the impact of transient network issues.
  • If you choose to cloud-enable your application, you must consider cloud unavailability.

Infrastructure Capability Differences between Kubernetes Environments

  • Application developers must be aware of the inherited advertised capabilities of differing cloud and edge environments which are often not homogenous.
  • Taking an application from Dev/Test environment to a different Production environment typically requires additional deployment customization.

 

Conclusion

In the landscape of containerized applications across Kubernetes, achieving portability across the ecosystem while leveraging cloud object storage and local persistence is a multifaceted challenge.  By understanding and addressing the specific challenges related to high availability, shared filesystems, data upload, and network handling, organizations can pave the way for a more efficient and resilient containerized app deployment.  As the industry continues to evolve, staying up to date on emerging solutions and best practices is essential for navigating the complexities of Kubernetes and ensuring a portable and robust application ecosystem.

 

Check back shortly for a follow-on blog post talking about how you can build deployments that address some of these challenges.

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‎Dec 07 2023 01:44 PM
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