The catalyst for Kubernetes – com! professional

Oliver Weise, Principal Software Engineer at the IT service provider Consol, shows which four steps companies have to take on the way to a DevOps culture and the conversion of their IT infrastructure to a container model.

Anyone who wants to bring their IT infrastructure into the container age cannot avoid the orchestration platform Kubernetes (K8s for short). However, their use means a break with the classic, primarily manual work model that developers (Devs) and IT operations (Operations) are used to: With K8s, manual software deployments and application starts and stops are a thing of the past. Kubernetes not only promotes automation, it even pushes it in some places. The introduction of the platform also means an unusually code-heavy way of working for IT operations. When working with Kubernetes, users have to initially develop and roll out many work steps as code. The biggest shift, however, comes from the changing responsibilities of departments driven by the DevOps operating model recommended when moving to Kubernetes. IT service provider Consol has defined a four-step plan for this.

1. Impart basic knowledge and get feedback
Especially at the beginning, employees from the IT department often have resentment towards the DevOps model and the associated technologies. Therefore, companies should explain the concepts behind it. Training courses and open spaces are suitable for imparting this basic knowledge, in the context of which developers and IT operations can discuss the core aspects of DevOps, containers and automation in detail with experts. The principle of unchangeable infrastructures, in which components are never updated but are instead newly built and exchanged, is not commonplace even for IT professionals. In this phase, management must actively seek feedback and look out for particularly interested employees from the IT department. The latter will play a crucial role in the following steps.

2. Start a pilot project
The best argument for the new way of working and the introduction of the new technology is a successful pilot project. To do this, those responsible should put together a team of ops and devs who have previously had an interest in modern platforms such as Kubernetes. Ideally, these employees are already familiar with the basic idea of ​​DevOps through the initiatives of the first step and have had initial experience with containers and Kubernetes. They then work closely together to try out the new concepts and evaluate how compatible they are with the existing culture in the company. In essence, this means that Ops is essentially concerned with building the platform, while Dev sets up and is responsible for a complete release process on this platform. With benevolence and the will to succeed, devs and ops deal with initial conflicts and expand their wealth of experience for later projects.

3. Set up your own Center of Excellence
After a successful pilot project, the establishment of a so-called “Center of Excellence” has proven itself, which serves as a central point for further planning. The goal of the panel of experts should be the conception of a platform based on Kubernetes, whose resources and processes can be used by other projects. To do this, members must get an overview of the expected use cases and define the way in which devs and ops should work together in the future. Part of these considerations is, among other things, how independently developers should operate their services.

4. Establish DevOps engineers
The final step is to strengthen the interface between Dev and Ops. To this end, companies train dedicated DevOps engineers from the Center of Excellence’s pool of employees or hire experienced specialists. The specialists manage the Kubernetes platform in DevOps teams and provide team members with advice and support to optimize collaboration. Companies should make sure that they train or hire enough DevOps engineers according to their project volume.

Source: com! professional by

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