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Phase 3: Deploy

Implement process, CI/CD, empower developers and introduce some monitoring and observability

See Phase 4
Introduction

When you reach this stage, you and your team will have the basics covered. One app or service now runs in production, external dependencies are plumbed in properly, traffic is being routed to Kubernetes via a load balancer, and logging and metrics are accessible. You’ll also have autoscaling in place.

This stage in the Kubernetes maturity model is for you to undertake everything from implementing the build and deployment process, setting up CI/CD, empowering developers and introducing some limited monitoring and observability.

You’ll want to get comfortable in this stage with all your Kubernetes fundamentals. This is important so you can build on a solid foundation. You are nearly over the learning curve hump.

CI/CD

You will begin to institute structured build and deployment processes that exhibit the qualities of a cloud and container native CI/CD system. CI/CD will become a functional and tested workflow used to build and deploy.

You and your team can semi-reliably deliver code to working and production environments, can manage deployments via Git branches and tags, and can tell if build and deploy were successful or not.

The wider team understands the results of a deployment including what should change and where they can reach an endpoint. Finally, as your deployment process matures, CI/CD will help detect issues earlier in the deployment process.

Empowering Developers and Operators

Your developers should be empowered to deploy to Kubernetes. To make this possible, your team will develop a fundamental understanding of the workflow from source control management (scm) to deployment and have access to merge/tag commits in scm to trigger deployments. Developers need the ability to perform basic debugging of the CI/CD process and have kubectl access to Kubernetes resource definitions or Helm charts. 

At the same time, you’ll want operators, and possibly developers, to have access to the Kubernetes API ensuring they understand where workloads reside and how to view their state. This is an important part to ensuring they are able to debug simple errors or blockers they face within Kubernetes. 

To ensure Kubernetes is a success, spend time during this stage training and empowering all your developers and ops teams to be able to undertake these activities.

User Fundamentals

In this stage, your team will be able to operate the fundamentals of Kubernetes. That includes learning and performing Kubernetes operator fundamentals including:

  • Connecting an operator to the Kubernetes API
  • Understanding how to list and view resources
  • Performing basic actions (mechanical actions with limited understanding of how it works)
Limited Monitoring and Observability

You’ll need both operators and developers to incorporate monitoring and observability into their workloads. There are popular open source tools for this such as Prometheus and also tools from vendors like Datadog. During the fundamental stage, you will start to play with these tools, have limited monitoring and observability for your clusters. You’ll start to understand what aspects of your workloads and infrastructure you need to have insight into or need to keep tabs on.

Policy & Audit Tooling

As you reach the end of the fundamentals phase, you and your team will seek tools to help mature your Kubernetes environments. This will include exploring open source tooling to help with security, policy management, workload misconfigurations, resource requests and limits amongst others. You can also explore tools from software vendors that provide policy-driven solutions for Kubernetes

Challenges

During the fundamentals phase, you are likely to be challenged with:

  1. Teams may be slow or struggling with the new concepts and skills
  2. Things that used to work are not quite the same
  3. Without deep understanding yet, some problems seem unsolvable or frustrating
  4. You have so many questions and no one to ask

You will likely spend time asking if problems with Kubernetes are solvable, seeking help from the ecosystem or turning to Kubernetes experts for help.

Outcomes
  • You have built a solid foundation for your Kubernetes workloads
  • You are confident and ready to deploy Kubernetes across your organization
  • The business sees the value of Kubernetes

Discuss your Kubernetes Maturity with our team of K8S experts

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