Why hire a Kubernetes partner (or Kubernetes services provider) to help with your Kubernetes infrastructure planning, implementation, deployment, and maintenance needs?
The advent of container technology and Kubernetes has driven a major transformation in how enterprises develop and manage software applications. The benefits of using Kubernetes are significant, including deployment consistency, automatic scaling, self-healing, and better security; however, these benefits come at a cost. The learning curve for Kubernetes is extremely steep, and it is all too common for organizations to start working to migrate their workloads to Kubernetes only to fail spectacularly due to insufficient internal expertise and a lack of knowledge around best practices and common pitfalls for Kubernetes implementation projects.
Hiring a consulting services partner to assist with your Kubernetes migration is the best way to mitigate the risks with such a significant organizational shift. In this article, we’ll discuss how expertise, experience, cost, capacity, and mentoring all factor into a decision to hire a Kubernetes consulting implementation partner. I’ll also give you my pitch on why XTIVIA is the right Kubernetes implementation partner for your project!
Why Hire A Kubernetes Consulting Partner: Expertise and Experience
One of the primary reasons to hire a Kubernetes partner to assist with your Kubernetes journey is to take advantage of a team of experts who have experience setting up and managing Kubernetes clusters. These experts have a deep understanding of the Kubernetes platform and have worked with it in many different environments, addressing diverse use cases. A Kubernetes partner will be able to easily assist with the following implementation details:
- Architecture: A Kubernetes partner can help you design an architecture for your cluster that is best suited for your specific needs, taking into account factors such as scalability, security, and performance.
- Cluster Installation and Configuration: A Kubernetes partner can help you with the installation and configuration of your cluster, including setting up the necessary components such as etcd, the Kubernetes API server, and the Kubernetes controller manager.
- Networking: A Kubernetes partner can help you set up the networking for your cluster, including configuring the overlay network, load balancers, and service discovery.
- Storage: A Kubernetes partner can help you set up storage for your cluster, including configuring persistent volumes, storage classes, and dynamic volume provisioning.
- Security: A Kubernetes partner can help you set up security for your cluster, including configuring role-based access control (RBAC), network policies, and secrets management.
- Monitoring: A Kubernetes partner can help you set up monitoring for your cluster, including configuring metrics collection, logging, and alerting.
- Automation: A Kubernetes partner can help you set up automation for your cluster, including configuring automatic scaling, rolling updates, and self-healing.
- Best practices: A Kubernetes partner can help you follow best practices and industry standards for setting up and managing a Kubernetes cluster.
All of these domains need to be carefully planned out for your Kubernetes implementation to be a success, and these are only the beginning!
Why Hire A Kubernetes Partner: Cost
Planning a Kubernetes rollout can have serious cost implications for your business, regardless of whether you’re going with a managed Kubernetes platform (such as AWS EKS or Azure Kubernetes Service) or self-hosting your environment. A Kubernetes consulting services partner can help you accurately estimate your monthly spend on the resources you need to run your workloads and can help identify potential “money sinks” in your architecture.
Why Hire A Kubernetes Partner: Capacity
One of the problems that we see so often when we’re working with a new customer who has an existing Kubernetes environment is that they have “one person” who knows how the environment works. Relying on one or two people to plan an entire migration to Kubernetes is a great way to set your organization up for big problems. Bringing on a partner to assist with your Kubernetes rollout will avoid this issue, as you’ll have a team of seasoned Kubernetes engineers assisting with every stage of your migration, from planning, implementation, deployment, and maintenance. This translates into reduced time and effort spent on each of these project phases, allowing you to get your infrastructure online faster and with less cost.
Even if your team has multiple resources who have Kubernetes experience, a migration project requires a large amount of effort to complete successfully. Having additional experienced Kubernetes engineers to assist with a migration project ensures that you will be able to maintain velocity and handle any unexpected issues that crop up during the project.
Another, more long-term benefit from engaging with a Kubernetes consulting partner is the ability to leverage the partner’s Kubernetes team for ad-hoc and ongoing maintenance tasks. Having peace of mind that you’ve always got a team of individuals ready to jump on any problems that you may run into provides peace of mind, and with managed service offerings, you can get that peace of mind at a fraction of the price of building your own Kubernetes team.
Why Hire A Kubernetes Partner: Mentoring
An often-ignored benefit of working with a Kubernetes consulting services provider is that it gives your team the opportunity to work alongside Kubernetes engineers with years of Kubernetes experience under their belts. Not only does this improve the overall outcome of the migration project from an implementation standpoint, it also provides critical knowledge-sharing and mentoring opportunities, allowing your entire team to jumpstart their own Kubernetes expertise.
While a large number of training classes are available to bring people up to speed on Kubernetes, both from an implementation and utilization perspective, those courses tend to be more general and not tailored to your specific use cases. The complexity of the Kubernetes platform makes it a very difficult subject to truly learn through instruction, and the details of your own implementation will dictate which Kubernetes features should be focused on for training. Having a group of certified Kubernetes experts working alongside you, there to help guide your decision-making process and help explain how specific features and functionality can be used to solve your business needs can really shorten the Kubernetes learning curve for your team.
Finally, one of the most important aspects of mentoring is knowing where to go to get additional information as your use of the Kubernetes platform expands. Having a group of skilled experts with years of working with the Kubernetes platform available for your team to ask questions of is an invaluable resource. The breadth and depth of knowledge that a true team of Kubernetes consultants has available will allow your team to avoid time-consuming and error-prone experimentation and self-learning and will pave your way to a successful Kubernetes adoption.
So, Why Hire XTIVIA As Your Kubernetes Partner?
Whenever we’re presented with the opportunity to pitch XTIVIA to a potential customer, we start with our most important asset first: our people. XTIVIA is remarkable in that our company is mainly composed of long-term employees; the XTIVIA leadership team and a majority of our consultants have been long-term employees, celebrating 5-year, 10-year, 15-year, 20-year, and even 25-year anniversaries!
A part of why we have such a stable team is because we hire exemplary talent that takes a great deal of pride in their work. We know that being consultants, we are trusted with our customers’ most critical business problems. While we’re not a small organization (with over 400 team members as of 2022), we’re not large enough to tolerate failed engagements. Each and every XTIVIA customer, no matter how large or small, is critical to us, and our focus is always on delivering the best possible outcome for each and every one.
Now, some of the other reasons to choose XTIVIA as your Kubernetes consulting partner:
- We are small enough to provide personalized delivery and large enough to take on your enterprise scale programs.
- We have a team of Certified Kubernetes Administrators and Certified Kubernetes Application Developers on staff ready to assist with your most complicated Kubernetes projects.
- Our Kubernetes Consultants have experience with all of the major Kubernetes distributions and platforms, including:
- In addition, our consulting team has deep experience with all of the major cloud providers as well as experience with on-premises hosted solutions.
- We provide you with strategic advice beyond the framework of a single project setting you up for long-term success. An example: it is critical to take into account organizational structure and patterns when designing your Kubernetes cluster and namespace architecture. A properly-designed Kubernetes topology is much easier to scale and secure than one that is built organically.
- We specialize in delivering successful Kubernetes engagements from large-scale project implementations to managed services where we assist with Kubernetes projects and/or ongoing management and maintenance. XTIVIA has been delivering successful Kubernetes projects for small and large customers for over 5 years.
- And when you zoom back out and look at the collective industry knowledge at XTIVIA, we have experience working with companies from a broad range of different industries. Some of these industries or verticals include E-commerce (B2B and B2C), Manufacturing, Technology, Legal, Professional Services, and Retail and we are constantly adding more all the time.
- Our project lifecycle follows an agile, iterative, scrum-based process with complete transparency. Every project has challenges, and we believe in illuminating and resolving risks and issues at the earliest.
- We continually challenge ourselves to improve our people, processes, and tools. A key mantra at XTIVIA is: “Keep getting better to avoid going the way of the dinosaur.” Our team is constantly pushing the envelope, learning and sharing our learning through our technical brown bags; whether that is covering the changes included in a new Kubernetes release, reviewing a new Kubernetes-oriented product or service, or delving into best practices around cloud architecture, development, or security. When you choose to work with XTIVIA, you don’t just get the expertise of the Kubernetes Consultants specifically assigned to your account, but the expertise and experience of our entire team.
- We don’t expect our people to know everything there is to know. One of our core principles is that we must embrace continual self-improvement. For us, the learning never really stops and “mastery” is a constantly moving goal. Our motto is “leave people better than you found them,” both for our team members and for our clients.
- We mentor and help grow our client’s team members. We don’t just teach the “what” and the “how”, but also the “why”. This fits in with the old adage “teach a person to fish and they’ll never go hungry”. As an example of following this adage, we produce detailed documentation for each one of our projects; examples include high-level architectural design documents, design notes that detail the pros, cons, and details of any design decisions that are made, and operational runbooks that cover standard operating processes.
So, at this point, you’re probably thinking, “This sounds GREAT, but can I really believe it?” I understand. Any pitch should be evaluated with a healthy dose of skepticism. Give us a chance!
Reach out for a no-pressure, no-obligation exploratory conversation with our Kubernetes experts, and decide for yourself whether you can trust us. We are certain that you will not regret it.