Underestimated: How to get AKS Day 2 Ops ready.
Underestimated: How to get AKS Day 2 Ops ready.

Underestimated: How to get AKS Day 2 Ops ready.

It’s often underestimated – there is a lot!

It’s often underestimated – there is a lot more to managed Kubernetes services than meets the eye. A common misconception is that services such as Microsoft’s Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) provide an enterprise-grade, security-hardened, Day 2 operations-ready platform at the click of a button. 

The reality is that while a fully-managed Kubernetes service allows you to quickly get up and running with Kubernetes on Day 1, it’s NOT (out-of-the-box) ready for enterprise-grade Day 2 operations.

The Journey from Day 1 to Day 2 Operations

For many, once the system is up, the all-important phase of configuring the service to align with the organisation’s unique processes, scenarios, and technology ecosystem is often overlooked. The real challenge begins after the initial deployment, where significant configuration, optimisation, and integration efforts are required to ensure the system meets enterprise standards.

Shared Responsibility Model in Managed Kubernetes Services

A shared responsibility model in managed Kubernetes services, like AKS, is similar to the one you might be familiar with in the cloud. This model delineates the responsibilities between the cloud provider (Microsoft) and the user.

Microsoft’s Shared Responsibility in the Cloud

Understanding shared responsibility is crucial for ensuring your Kubernetes environment is secure and well-managed. Microsoft’s documentation on shared responsibility in the cloud provides a foundational understanding of this model, which is equally applicable to AKS.

Microsoft AKS – Shared responsibility model

We’ve created the following diagram to depict the AKS shared responsibility model. While AKS provides the tools to get you started, a significant portion of responsibility still lies with you. This includes configuration, security hardening, scaling, optimisation, observability, and monitoring of the container applications and the clusters themselves.

While Microsoft makes upgrades and security patches available, many manual actions are still required. The element of user initiation, security hardening, scaling, optimisation, observability and monitoring of the container applications and the clusters themselves is still firmly your responsibility, and not Microsoft’s.

However, don’t get disheartened, with automation and following best practice guidelines, you too can have an enterprise-grade Kubernetes service that is security-hardened, scalable and ready for Day 2 operations -freeing your teams to continue the drive for data and customer driven innovation.

Microsoft AKS Best Practice Guide

Our Principal Consultants have put together a 23 page best-practice checklist, leveraging our hands-on customer experience, to assist IT and DevOps professionals in creating an enterprise-grade Kubernetes environment in Microsoft AKS. The checklist provides guidance across key critical requirements and best practices in the following areas:

  • Infrastructure as Code: Automate the provisioning and management of your AKS infrastructure.
  • Cluster Provisioning: Best practices for setting up and configuring your Kubernetes clusters.
  • Service Mesh: Implement service mesh for enhanced security, observability, and traffic management.
  • Cluster Networking: Configure robust networking for your clusters.
  • Cluster Autoscaling: Ensure your clusters can scale to meet demand efficiently.
  • Cluster Security: Implement security measures to protect your clusters and applications.
  • Cluster Storage: Best practices for managing storage in your Kubernetes environment.
  • Application Workloads: Optimise the deployment and management of your application workloads.
  • Deployments: Strategies for effective and reliable application deployments.
  • Monitoring & Observability: Set up monitoring and observability to maintain visibility into your system’s performance and health.
  • Day 2 Operations: Prepare for the ongoing management and optimisation of your Kubernetes environment.

By following this guide, you can transform your AKS deployment into a robust, enterprise-ready platform, equipped to handle the demands of modern applications and services.

Playtime Solutions AKS Best Practice Guideline eBookDownload the 23 page AKS Best Practice Guide

Click here to download the checklist or contact us for more information and assistance in running a fully optimised, secured and automated Microsoft AKS platform.

Peter St Clair

Peter St Clair

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