Why is Standardization of App Deployment essential for Multi-cloud Kubernetes?

There are several challenges to multi-cloud deployments with scalability and governance being the most seen industry-agnostic challenge. Where GitOps tools help is in automating your continuous deployments while Tekton not only does that but also helps in standardizing your CI/CD processes.

Why is Standardization of App Deployment essential for Multi-cloud Kubernetes?

Ozone at Kubecon + CLoudNativeCon:

Our team at Ozone Cloud Inc went LIVE from our physical booth at Kubecon in L.A! A recording of the session is available here: https://vimeo.com/639855876. The session focused mainly on how Ozone leverages the capabilities of Tekton to offer a standardized approach  to hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. We also announced the addition of a new feature: ML based deployment verifications and possibilities of incorporating blockchain based deployments for dApps by this time next year.

As an extension of the session, here's an insightful read that explores Tekton in relation with other GitOps tools that was picked up by publications like The Container Journal.

Introduction

Cloud adoption has grown exponentially over the years but it comes with overheads in terms of costs, security, and application availability. As each cloud vendor has its policies, cost structures, and provisioning workflows, they are akin to the proverbial ‘basket’, where you do not put all your eggs (read apps) in just one!

This is one of the reasons why companies prefer multi-clouds today, an architecture where AWS is the preferred choice for scaling and Azure for the legal compliance specific to regions, or on-prem Openshift for data security. Simply put digital enterprise applications work efficiently across multi-clouds to ensure better availability, security, and compliance. As per the CNCF Survey 2020, multi-cloud usage was a new option in 2020 and emerged with 26%

Thus, with the massive shift in the consumption of multi-cloud, most enterprises now find continuous deployment (CD) extremely complex while handling multiple pipelines, working with many DevOps tools, or coping up to multiple standards of cloud deployment.

While DevOps teams have solved the CI pipeline using open source tools and plugins, CD still seems to be broken for Kubernetes. DevOps or application architects find it challenging to orchestrate application delivery across clouds because the current DevOps tools are not designed for scaling modern apps on Kubernetes infrastructure.

Challenges

With microservices, the number of change requests and pipelines exponentially increases which require multiple deployments a day to deliver value to the customers. To increase the frequency of deployments, DevOps leaders would need to be mindful of security, scaling, performance, rollbacks, cloud costs, and burnouts.

Industries like BFSI, Telecom, and Healthcare, who are modernizing their infrastructure using multi-cloud strategy are facing the following challenges while migrating from legacy to cloud-native platforms:

  • Fragmented Security: Secret Management within CI/CD is not straightforward as many organizations still store credentials in code repositories. These secrets should not be exposed or compromised into the CI/CD pipelines across clouds.
  • Lack of Standardization: Development teams waste over ~40% of their time in either coding or fixing manual deployment scripts for every cloud provider.
  • Inadequate Visibility: There is no single source of truth when it comes to analyzing deployment metrics and logs which accounts for a lack of transparency.
  • Hard to Scale: As traditional DevOps tools don’t leverage Kubernetes to their fullest potential, capacities for the CI/CD tools need to be planned in advance before scaling.
  • Lack of Governance: With traditional CI/CD tools, audit trails become a major challenge, so does enforcement of standards across teams, and segregation of resources like repositories, registries, and clusters.
  • Compliance Challenges: Local laws force enterprises to host certain apps or databases in a local region, which slows down time to market


As per CNCF Survey 2020, the most popular reason behind any skepticism to containers is complexity and cultural change. This could also be one of the major reasons why early adopters use containers in their non-production environments but find it difficult to use containers in production. The perceived complexity of container deployments could also be because the companies lack skills in Kubernetes and are unsure whether the migration would work as expected.

An exciting road ahead to increase Kubernetes adoption!

With the Kubernetes ecosystem growing, Gartner has predicted the emergence of the new-age DevOps platforms (Value Stream Delivery Platform - VSDP) and frameworks that aim to drive efficient application delivery, thus helping teams to deliver value instead of dealing with too many DevOps tool-chains.

On one hand, we have traditional GitOps tools for CD, and on the other hand, we have new-age CI/CD frameworks like Tekton that are helping increase Kubernetes adoption by the DevOps community.

Most of the current CD tools focus on continuous deployment for cloud-native platforms and are oriented around GitOps. They usually sync your Kubernetes clusters as per your application configurations in your repository (similar principle the following Infrastructure as Code). Few of these tools also help you visualize your Kubernetes deployment.

Many developers are happy with current CD tools which offer basic deployment automation. However, do bear in mind that since a few of them are agentless, all your server codes and secrets are in the repository which is not ideal and definitely not secure. Apart from that, these CD tools ensure security, observability, and traceability through declarative deployments.

Tekton, built and donated by Google, is the most comprehensive framework for CI/CD incubated by the Continuous Delivery Foundation. It re-defines how pipelines are defined and executed on a cluster: as shared and customizable building blocks. With shared custom resources that include tasks and pipeline runs, multiple teams can re-use these Tekton entities while working with multiple microservices.

Tekton has managed to simplify CI and CD pipelines that were a bottleneck to many DevOps teams. However, though Tekton has a steep learning curve, given time and maturity, it would be a de-facto approach to working with Kubernetes.

While the GitOps CD tools are brilliant in the way they function and automate the deployment of applications to specified target environments, they are still very narrow in their functions. If you are looking at optimizing only continuous deployments, you will find that most developers are completely satisfied with these CD tools. However, with Tekton, you get to modernize the CI/CD Pipelines. It can simplify both CI and CD, by standardizing deployments. Kubernetes being cloud-native, it doesn’t matter where you deploy the clusters and with modern cloud-native solutions, teams need not bother with under-the-hood workings of scripts and integrations.

With Tekton pipelines, you can templatize and re-use them across Kubernetes workloads, thus reducing your dependencies, turn-around times, and uncertainties.

Another popular school of thought is using Tekton along with GitOps CD tools for configuring your CI/CD processes on Kubernetes. You could use Tekton pipelines to build your applications and use CD tools to deploy applications using GitOps. Here’s how the overlap would look:

Tekton has the potential to become a de-facto CI/CD framework.

There are several challenges to multi-cloud deployments with scalability and governance being the most seen industry-agnostic challenge. Where GitOps tools help is in automating your continuous deployments while Tekton not only does that but also helps in standardizing your CI/CD processes.

With Tekton, you get to define custom CI/CD standards as per your use cases and share them with the team. Considering also the fact that Tekton pipelines are reusable and built with Kubernetes-native objects, it enables you to tackle scaling and standardization requirements easily and makes a strong case for itself when compared with several GitOps CD tools.

Summary

With more organizations embracing multi-cloud, deployments are getting more complicated and Kubernetes adoption is seeing a substantial uptick. There is a need to standardize and automate Kubernetes deployments.

Also, from an organizational point of view, CI/CD must be simple and efficient. Businesses can deliver value faster using an end-to-end CI/CD framework that can orchestrate the entire application lifecycle from Build to Deployment.

This is why Ozone has leveraged Tekton to build an end-to-end application delivery platform, specifically for shipping modern apps at speed. With native build and governance capabilities out-of-the-box, Ozone takes the capabilities of Tekton, several leagues ahead with one clear objective: To help DevOps focus on delivering value to the customers. From offering intuitive UIs and integrating with almost every popular Cloud provider in the market, to building upon Tekton to standardize Continuous Delivery, Ozone empowers DevOps to ship value and not just apps.

Book a Demo today to learn more on how Ozone can help accelerate your DevOps Transformation journey!