Tech in 3 Minutes: Problems when running a Kubernetes cluster

February 1, 2024
Paavo Pauklin

Kubernetes makes deployment easier, but with all the tools, once you get a bit deeper, like running a Kubernetes cluster, you easily end up with a new set of problems. So what are the common problems you are likely to encounter and the best tips for avoiding them?

In this video, Paavo Pauklin interviews Maciej Rostanski, a top cloud expert, on problems when running a Kubernetes cluster and what executives need to know about it.

You’ll learn:

•    What are the common problem and challenges running a Kubernetes cluster?

•    How easy or difficult it is to manage your cluster?

•    How much experience do you need to have in your team?

•    Are the tools well integrated and easy, or not?

•    What about the data plane?

•    Should you use managed services or do it yourself?

Watch the episode on YouTube and remember to like & subscribe.

Video subtitles

Paavo: "Hey everybody, I'm Paavo Pauklin from Netcorp and welcome to listen to our miniseries about talks with it experts. Today we're going to talk again about Kubernetes, but from another angle. And I have again my good colleague Maciej Rostanski with me. Hey Maciej! Maciej is a seasoned cloud architect and DevOps engineer, one of the best that I've ever worked with. So he can really say and the big question for today is that what can be the problems when you run a Kubernetes cluster?"

Maciej: "That's a good question. So when you decide you will run your applications within the Kubernetes platform, then you are a developer of any software, any application, you need to ask yourself a couple of things and those things involve first, is the traffic that my application is going to use and going to serve the web traffic? Is it HTTP, HTTPs, GRPC, or is it some kind of another traffic, is it some kind of streaming? And Kubernetes has great methods, great objects and great tools for distributing the web traffic, but it sometimes struggles. And the configuration of handling a traffic that is not web traffic is some kind of difficult. So you can expect difficulties there. And it's not very well described problem. You can find less solutions than a typical web service for Kubernetes. The second thing you can expect is having problem with administering Kubernetes platform, because this is a somewhat complicated set of tools really, rather than a singular code, singular application. And the set of tools needs experienced people to run it. And the problem is that you can expect multiple problems when upgrading, updating, changing some kind of components. The Kubernetes is a vast number of tools cooperating together and you need to be able to upgrade, manage, implement or troubleshoot any of them. That's the reason why there is such popularity between managed services of Kubernetes within the cloud platforms. Myself, I am a huge fan of managed Kubernetes services, because whenever I'm deploying a cluster on AWS and Google Cloud or even some smaller platform, I always look for the possibility to have a managed service. And I would say 80% of problems like updating certificates, like administering masters, taking care of ETCD server. If we are going into the technical detail, those are operations that will be very difficult for unexperienced administrators of a Kubernetes platform. And most of those problems are taken away if we are using a managed service for Kubernetes."

Paavo: "So Kubernetes is a great tool, but it has some of its downsides. But as I can see there's also some workarounds via the managed services."

Maciej: "Yeah I would say that one thing that needs to be added when you are managing Kubernetes clusters, the first thing you manage is the service itself so you can think of it as a control plane of a Kubernetes. And the second thing you manage, and you always manage it for yourself, is a data plane for Kubernetes. So all those nodes that the applications run on and this is something that needs to be administered, needs to be also updated, upgraded and taken care of. And the way you do it will impose costs, will imposed time and will need and will require qualified people to do that. So these are the things you need to worry about when thinking about running Kubernetes cluster."

Paavo: "And we all know good people don't grow on trees, especially these days, unfortunately. But okay thank you. It was a very good overview of the possible problems with Kubernetes. If anybody needs help with Kubernetes please feel free to reach out to us. Thank you Maciej."

Maciej: "Thank you. Bye."

If you have any further questions or need help, contact

Software Development Services

Meet the authors

Paavo Pauklin
Executive Board Member
+372 6 555 022
Joseph Carson
Ethical Hacker, Cybersecurity Advisor
+372 6 555 022

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