More Kubernetes Concepts

This post continues looking at my process of learning more about Kubernetes. I’ve been working through the 50 days of Kubernetes (K8s). Now that I had a break from some travel, I went through a few videos in a short period of days. This post combines a few looks at Scenarios, storage, and stateful sets

Scenarios

This was a good look at how one of the founders see the Kubernetes being used. The initial idea was microservices, where many services each live in a container and communicate. Managing lots of containers, and lots of instances of each, is where Kubernetes excels.

The second scenario is the diurnal or cyclical scenario where a load goes up and down each day/night, week/weekend, etc. Having Kubernetes manage the increase and decrease of workload is valuable, and if you’re in the cloud, then you’re not investing heavily in hardware that is unused.

The third is with complex workflows, where one thing, then another, then another happens. I’m less sold here, but I do see that spin up/spin down, and having these workloads/processes in containers rather than on certain machines makes sense.

Lastly, AI/ML places where all parts of your flow can access the Kubernetes API and spin things up and down or move workloads to better hardware, like GPU/FPU concentrated systems, that can help keep things moving.

Good to see the different ways that this might be useful, though I was wondering if I’d see anything database related. I didn’t.

Volumes and Storage

The important thing for database workloads is storage. This is a constant question when I talk containers. What about the disks and storage and how does this work.

This is a basic video, just noting that volumes are objects in K8s. They are attached to pods, but can be mounted (or not) inside containers in the pod. There is temp storage (/emptydir, need to look this one up), but we can also abstract away other storage with Persistent Volume Claims. These are the aspirational storage requirements that the container/pod needs.

I’m not completely clear on these, and the explanation is a little light, so I’ll have to learn more later.

Stateful Applications

The last set of learning for this post. More relevant because SQL is a stateful application. Or so I thought.

This really looks at stateful sets in Kubernetes, which are the ways in which we want orderly copies in a replica set. This means hostnames and DNS entries in stateful sets are ordered, and 0 based indexed. If I have a host of SalesSQL with 3 sets, I’ll get

  • SalesSQL-0
  • SalesSQL-1
  • SalesSQL-2

Likewise, I may have salessql.mydomain.com, but I’ll also have the –0, –1, –2 DNS entries as well. The Kubernetes platform also will scale up and down from the end, adding or removing the next ordered element container.

There can also be volumes associated here, or not, as your stateful application may have the need to use the same volume (like a clustered SQL Server) or separate volumes, like AGs. In any case, it’s a light explanation that I need to know more of.

One thing I didn’t really like is that the data stores were associated as “cloud native storage applications”, not data stored or data platforms. Application developers I think sometimes forget there’s more to data than storage.

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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