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Phase 3: Build Confidence

Build confidence in your core competency to regularly deploy and ship features with success.

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Introduction

As your Kubernetes environment matures, you will have laid a solid foundation. Now as you reach phase three in the maturity model, it is time to build confidence. In phase two, you got your Kubernetes infrastructure up and running. Phase three is where you start to understand the nuances of Kubernetes.

It’s important to remember that building confidence will take time as you repeat tasks and experience similar scenarios.

New Understanding Every Day

Imagine you’ve just learned how to ride a bike. You may be okay to ride in a straight line. As you build your confidence, you’ll start to turn, ride over bumps, even ride without holding the handle bars. In phase two, you learned how to ride the bike, now in phase three you are learning new tips and tricks everyday as you understand nuances through experience.

You will be very comfortable in some areas, but lack confidence in others. For example, as you get more familiar with liveness and readiness probes, you’ll understand how slight configuration changes can alter your workload’s behavior. You’ll be better equipped to make changes to have a positive impact. Another example is you may have security policies in place, but cannot ensure all your clusters have the configuration required to comply.

In this stage, as you understand these nuances, you will start to train others on your team. This will help to build your confidence even more.

As you build confidence, your curiosity will grow around what you’ve experienced to date and how you can make improvements. You will experiment and not panic if something breaks in your Kubernetes cluster.

Competency

Your core competency around selecting and implementing third party tools to enhance the Kubernetes experience will grow. You will look into tools that can help improve your security (Trivy, Polaris, Kubesec), set correct resource utilization (Goldilocks) or help with upgrades (Nova) amongst many others.

You’ll also have competency around non-standard activities you are performing and defaults that you’ve changed and customized.

Troubleshooting

You’ll also become more confident in troubleshooting. Perhaps you have an application that crashes every time you deploy and you don’t know why. You’ll start to look at configuration and look into resources. Previously you knew the concept, but you didn’t understand the impact it had on your application. Now you see that you weren’t giving the application enough resources for it to start. 

You now have a cycle of troubleshooting which is repeatable so changes can be done quickly and iterated on until they work.

Challenges

During this phase, you are likely to be challenged with: 

  1. Worries over single point of failures and troubleshooting
  2. Team practices not unified
  3. Regrets over decisions made
  4. Missing functionality
  5. Disappointing performance

Building confidence in your Kubernetes cluster is all about experience. However, many teams lack the time required to learn on the job. This is where training, professional and managed services, audits and configuration validation can help. 

Outcomes
  • You’ve built confidence in your Kubernetes cluster through experience and with help from Kubernetes expert training, professional and managed services, audits and configuration validation.
  • You are experimenting with Kubernetes because you’ve implemented standards around Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and configuration
  • You are starting to monitor and understand your service challenges
  • You can confidently select add-ons, but run into challenges on deploying and managing all of the tools

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