Why Kubernetes may not be right for your next project

Kubernetes is a amazing platform to run your scalable workloads. It’s widespread adoption throughout the industry is undeniably justified. 

However, there are certain instances where Kubernetes may not be the right choice for you. Let’s go through some of them.

tldr; here’s a quick list of reasons:

  • Cost of running a Kubernetes cluster
  • Kubernetes is hard; sort of
  • Management overhead
  • The Kubernetes release cycle

Cost of running a Kuberneter cluster

This is true from a business perspective. Sometimes your application doesn’t need to scale up. 

Maybe you’re running a small internal application for your team? Or your customers are curated and their numbers don’t fluctuate?

In this instance it may be hard for you to justify the cost of managing and running a Kubernetes cluster.  

Running Kubernetes properly in the cloud requires deploying a few Worker Instances, Master nodes, load balancers etc. This can quickly shoot the costs up if you’re not careful.  

Now let’s compare the alternative, we could run the same workload in a single Instance at a fraction of the cost. We would obviously lose the ability to scale up and maintain high availability but given our circumstances, our application doesn’t need to flex very much.

Kubernetes is hard; sort of

While Kubernetes is a fantastic technology, adopting Kubernetes will require uplifting your existing team which will delay your time to market. 

This may negatively impact your ability to launch your products in time and hence impact the business’s bottom-line.

If Kubernetes is the best choice for your product, a recommended path forward is to leverage external consultants until your team is fully uplifted and ready to support the cluster themselves.


Management overhead

In addition to core components, Kubernetes has other dependencies like Ingress Controllers, Cert managers etc. These components need to be managed and maintained. 

If you’re just running a simple application with predictable workload and non critical availability requirements, there are better options then a Kubernetes cluster as a platform. 

The Kubernetes release cycle

Kubernetes is rapidly evolving and that’s a great thing. If you have a cluster running your workload, you may be in for a quarterly upgrade cycle. 

Continuous patching and upgrades are critical for stability and security of the Kubernetes cluster. If you’re running stable workloads, that may not change rapidly, we might be better off with some alternatives.

Checkout docs on Kubernetes release cycle here.

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