kubernetes orchestration
February 7, 2020

Kubernetes Orchestration: Overview, Tools, & Migration


Kubernetes is popular for container orchestration. But there's a lot you need to know to leverage it. In this blog, we break down Kubernetes orchestrations.

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What Is an Orchestration in Kubernetes?

Kubernetes orchestration allows you to automate the deployment, management, scaling, networking, and availability of container-based applications.

Containers are a modern way of packaging and distributing an application and its dependencies. Containers can run anywhere (development workstation, test environment, production) ideally without any changes. This new capability has brought with it a need.

You need to automate the execution of these containers across a number of hosts in order to:

  • Provide high availability.
  • Distribute the load on the application among many other considerations. 

This is where a Kubernetes orchestration comes in.

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What Is a Kubernetes Orchestration Responsible for?

Kubernetes orchestration provides an abstraction layer over a cluster of virtual or physical machines. This abstraction layer, called the Kubernetes cluster, is accessed through the Kubernetes API.

This allows for the automation of many tasks needed to run containers at scale. It simplifies the management of application-related resources like configuration files, storage, and credentials.

As companies move to a microservice-based architecture, Kubernetes is essential. Using Kubernetes can manage the complexity involved in tying these discrete pieces of functionality together.

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What Tools to Integrate For Kubernetes Orchestrations

Kubernetes is unique due to the large and growing ecosystem of supporting tools. Since Kubernetes is so versatile, it has become the defacto standard for container orchestration. 

Your Kubernetes orchestrations will also benefit from integrate additional open source technologies. 

Here are some of the common tools to integrate with Kubernetes.


GitHubhas Kubernetes as the number one project with 50,000 devs/commits. 


Docker Swarm has a much smaller community actively developing it. And ever since Docker announced support for Kubernetes, Kubernetes has been the clear orchestration tool of choice.

Docker Swarm has less complexity and features than Kubernetes. Docker Swarm is often used in non-production environments where developers want an easier path to container deployments at the prototyping or proof-of-concept stages of their development lifecycle. Here is a Docker vs. Kubernetes comparison. 


Helm is an application package registry used for Kubernetes. Helm “charts” allows for the deployment of a pre-configured software stack into Kubernetes using a single command.


Istio provides a service mesh. This infrastructure layer runs within Kubernetes. It allows microservice instances to communicate with each other.

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Challenges in Migrating to Kubernetes Orchestrations

Pre-Migration Challenges

You'll encounter some of the biggest challenges before migrating to Kubernetes orchestrations. Some of these challenges include:

Kubernetes comes with new abstractions and concepts. The learning curve is high. Ensuring that the teams acquire the necessary skills and learn the best practices needed to operate this complex technology can be a challenge for organizations.

Post-Migration Challenges

Some of the challenges that may be encountered once an organization has a Kubernetes cluster up and running include the following.


Ensuring the Kubernetes control plane remains healthy and available. The Kubernetes control plane consists of the core components needed to run Kubernetes. These components are distributed across the hosts the make up the Kubernetes cluster. Managing and maintain distributed components can introduce additional complexity.


The deployment of the many microservices that constitute an application introduces its own set of challenges. However, automation through a well-defined CI/CD pipeline can greatly reduce the exposure to the risks that these challenges bring. 


Tracing requests as they move across a distributed set of microservices introduces new challenges. However, a number of tools have been developed to address this issue, such as Istio.

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Advantages of Kubernetes Orchestrations

There are many advantages to Kubernetes orchestrations. Here are the top 5.

  • Cost-savings.
  • Efficiency.
  • Scalability.
  • Impressive community support.
  • Rich features.

Take Advantage of Kubernetes Orchestrations With OpenLogic

The potential migration difficulties can be easily aided from proper support and expertise to take full advantage of the benefits of Kubernetes orchestrations. The cost-savings and efficiency of Kubernetes far outweigh any of the potential challenges that come with migration. 

Once you have a fully operating Kubernetes orchestration and a robust support system, you’ll be saving time and money. And with the help of OpenLogic experts, you can get up and running even faster.

We can help you:

  • Migrate to Kubernetes.
  • Deploy a fully automated Kubernetes Production Cluster on any substrate of your choice with our Kubernetes Foundations Service.
  • Get ongoing enterprise support for Kubernetes.

Talk to a Kubernetes expert today to learn more about setting up and supporting Kubernetes orchestrations.

Talk to a Kubernetes Expert


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