Cloud-based platforms that offer a fully managed and scalable environment for deploying, managing, and scaling containerized applications using Kubernetes are known as managed Kubernetes services (Kubernetes-as-a-Service, or KaaS).
Kubernetes is a robust container orchestration platform, but it has a challenging learning curve and needs a lot of setup and management time. With managed Kubernetes services, the cloud provider manages the Kubernetes cluster’s ongoing maintenance, updates, scalability, and underlying infrastructure, networking, and security.
Kubernetes as a service (KaaS) provides organizations with a streamlined deployment procedure, dynamic scaling, high availability, robust security features, and cost-effectiveness. These services offer companies a quicker, more adaptable, and less expensive way to set up and run Kubernetes-based containerized applications without requiring much infrastructure expertise or resources.
Top KaaS providers:
1. Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)
Google Cloud’s GKE is a fully-managed KaaS platform for installing, overseeing, and scaling Kubernetes-based containerized applications. It provides a simple interface for setting up and administering clusters, integration with other Google Cloud services, and features like rolling updates, automatic scaling, and multi-cluster management, making it a popular option for businesses deploying containerized applications at scale.
- GKE offers a way for businesses to deploy and manage containerized applications without spending much money on infrastructure.
- GKE offers a seamless end-to-end experience for deploying and managing contemporary cloud applications by integrating with other Google Cloud services like Google Cloud Storage, Cloud SQL, and BigQuery.
- Tensor processing units (TPUs) and GPUs are supported as hardware accelerators for ML, GPGPU, HPC, and other workloads. Most features and automation abilities are present in it.
- Although GKE offers a cost-efficient method of setting up and managing containerized applications, it may still be more expensive than competing platforms for container orchestration, especially for small-scale deployments.
- Your server’s configuration cannot be changed. You must use either the Container OS or Ubuntu server types that they provide. Versions and kernel versions are not up to you to choose.
2. Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)
AWS’s Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) makes it easy to create, run, and grow containerized applications on AWS. In June 2018, Amazon released the Elastic Kubernetes Service, following the initial launch of its Elastic Container Service (EKS). The most popular Kubernetes as a service (KaaS) is probably this one.
- Amazon EKS integrates with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) and AWS security features, like Amazon VPC and AWS PrivateLink, to give your Kubernetes clusters and applications a secure and segregated environment.
- You can quickly scale your Kubernetes clusters according to the demands of your applications thanks to Amazon EKS. It also integrates with AWS Auto Scaling to automatically modify resources according to demand.
- It boasts an SLA (Service Level Agreement: bond for performance negotiated between the cloud services provider and the client) of 99.95%.
- Its release velocity is slow, and it’s not accessible in all AWS regions. EKS only supports Kubernetes version 1.22, even though version 1.24 is already available.
- You must manually install any necessary software, integrate EKS with other services, and update it; EKS does not automatically update.
3. Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)
Microsoft Azure’s Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is a fully managed container orchestration service that makes it easier to develop, scale, and manage containerized applications. It offers features like automated upgrades, self-healing, and integrated security and provides a fast and effective application development and deployment method. Azure manages the infrastructure to ensure availability, scalability, and dependability.
- AKS seamlessly integrates with other Azure services like Azure Active Directory, Azure Monitor, and Azure Virtual Network, making it simple to develop and oversee containerized applications within the Azure ecosystem.
- It supports agile development practices like dev-ops, continuous integration (CI), and continuous delivery/continuous deployment. Integration with Azure DevOps, ACR, Azure Active Directory, and Monitoring is used.
- Additionally, it has been the quickest to offer updated Kubernetes versions and the most proactive in releasing small patches.
- There are roadblocks because the Azure Terraform provider fully supports not all Azure APIs.
- In comparison to GKE and EKS, AKS is a recent invention. Numerous features are, therefore, still in the alpha or beta stages.
4. VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG)
VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) provides businesses with a reliable and secure solution to run containerized apps across various clouds and data centers. It offers a centralized control plane that enables users to manage clusters and apps from a single console, automated patching and upgrades, disaster recovery, and integrated security.
- Tanzu Kubernetes Grid enables businesses to deploy and manage Kubernetes clusters across various cloud providers and data centers, including AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. It also allows businesses to select the infrastructure that best meets their requirements, whether on-premises, in the cloud, or a combination of both.
- Tanzu Kubernetes Grid is built on top of VMware’s virtualization technology, enabling businesses to scale Kubernetes clusters quickly and efficiently to meet fluctuating demand.
- Tanzu Kubernetes Grid installation and maintenance can be difficult, particularly for companies unfamiliar with Kubernetes or container orchestration. Deployment and maintenance can also be costly, particularly for small businesses or organizations with limited IT resources.
- Integration: Tanzu Kubernetes Grid works well with other VMware products and services but might not be as compatible with third-party goods and services.
5. Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes Engine
Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes Engine is a powerful container application platform that fuses Red Hat OpenShift’s enterprise-grade capabilities with Kubernetes’ advantages. Developers and IT teams can deploy and manage containerized applications at scale more efficiently with OpenShift’s addition of security, manageability, and scalability layers. Organizations can maintain security and compliance requirements while speeding up application delivery, cutting infrastructure costs, and increasing developer productivity.
- OpenShift Kubernetes Engine is an open-source platform with a sizable developer and contributor community that supports and aids in the platform’s growth. Red Hat additionally provides business clients with enterprise-level consulting, training, and support services. To suit your particular requirements, OpenShift Kubernetes Engine is simple to modify. It is compatible with various cloud service providers, container runtimes, and operating systems.
- OKE can operate on any cloud infrastructure, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, giving businesses flexibility and options. It provides multiple security levels and full-stack automation from deployment to scaling and management, just like its rivals.
- Although Red Hat offers enterprise-level support and extra features for a fee, OpenShift Kubernetes Engine is available as an open-source platform. Due to this, it might not be as affordable for startups or people on a tight budget. OpenShift Kubernetes Engine needs a sizable amount of memory and processing power to function appropriately. For companies with few resources, this may result in higher costs.
6. Alibaba Cloud Container Service for Kubernetes
Alibaba Cloud Container Service for Kubernetes (ACK) is a managed container service that provides an enterprise-level solution for running and managing Kubernetes clusters. It is developed on Alibaba Cloud’s infrastructure and supports a range of open-source tools and technologies, making it a flexible and adaptable solution for businesses of all sizes.
- Alibaba Cloud Container Service for Kubernetes (ACK) offers a user-friendly, adaptable environment for setting up, running, and scaling containerized applications. Kubernetes clusters can be easily deployed and managed with ACK, which offers a simple user interface. Because of this, it’s a good choice for users who might have little Kubernetes experience. Moreover, it enables hybrid cloud situations, making the switch from on-premises to cloud-based solutions simple.
- Not all Kubernetes versions are compatible with Container Service for Kubernetes: Organizations may need to upgrade their current Kubernetes clusters to use the service because Alibaba Cloud Container Service for Kubernetes is only compatible with the most recent versions of Kubernetes.
- Limited integration with other Alibaba Cloud services: Due to the limited interaction between Alibaba Cloud Container Service for Kubernetes and other Alibaba Cloud services like OSS and ECS, businesses may need to deploy additional services to utilize the platform fully.
7. IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service
IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service provides a highly available and scalable environment for deploying, managing, and scaling containerized applications. It provides a secure, dependable, and adaptable platform for running containerized workloads. It has cutting-edge features such as high-availability multi-zone clusters, integrated Istio for traffic management, and automated security updates. It integrates with other IBM Cloud offerings, making creating and maintaining a complete cloud environment simple.
- Integration: The IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service integrates seamlessly with other IBM Cloud services, including IBM Cloud Object Storage and IBM Cloud Monitoring, making creating and maintaining a complete cloud infrastructure simple.
- Advanced features: The service provides advanced features, including automated security upgrades, integrated Istio for traffic management, and multi-zone clusters for high availability.
- The user interface of IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service could be improved, and more features could be added to make it more user-friendly and more competitive with Amazon AWS, which is superior.
- The biggest drawback of IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service is that it can be quite expensive compared to other Kubernetes as a service (KaaS).
DigitalOcean Kubernetes (DOKS) is a Kubernetes as a service (KaaS)offered by DigitalOcean, a cloud computing platform. It provides essential features such as load balancers and object storage and is a good choice for small businesses and developers. It also offers high availability and automatic failover features to ensure applications remain accessible despite infrastructure failures.
- Integration: DigitalOcean services like databases, object storage, load balancers, and load balancing are tightly integrated with DOKS. In-depth cloud environments are simple to create and manage.
- DOKS provides the majority of the fundamental Kubernetes features. Still, some of the more advanced features or customization options provided by other Kubernetes as a service providers might be missing. This might make the service less flexible for some users.
- The size of Kubernetes clusters that can be built and managed with DOKS may be limited, given that DigitalOcean is a smaller cloud provider than some of the major players. Moreover, although DigitalOcean offers DOKS customers 24/7 support, the quality of that support might be less than it is for other managed Kubernetes services.
Platform9 is a Kubernetes as a service (KaaS) that makes deploying, scaling, and managing containerized applications easier. It offers a single control plane for clusters and a unified cloud experience across various clouds, making managing and maintaining clusters easier. Platform9 also offers Automated Day 2 Operations and KuberNETes-native features.
- In contrast to others with less automation or too much where you may get vendor locked, it is extremely easy to deploy, manage, monitor, and automate with built-in WebUI tools and others like Argo CD and Ansible. Free Tier or Platform9 provides Enterprise Users with a Free Testing/Canary Environment.
- The online interface is incredibly simple to use and has wonderful data visualization.
- Limited Support for Multiple Clouds: Platform9 only supports Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS), leaving out other well-known cloud service providers like Google Cloud Platform.
- Limited Support and Documentation: Platform9 has limited support and documentation resources, making troubleshooting and fixing problems challenging.
While subscribing to managed K8s is a call that must be made based on resource availability and requirements, there can be no such prerequisites for having a DevOps platform that can automate CI/CD end-to-end, including deploying workloads across multiple managed K8s clusters. Try Ozone to know how it seamlessly integrates within your ecosystem to automate CI/CD end-to-end.