The Actual Cost to Deploy Kubernetes
What is Kubernetes?
Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration platform that automates the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Originally developed by Google, Kubernetes is now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.
Kubernetes provides a framework for managing containerized applications at scale, regardless of the underlying infrastructure. With Kubernetes, users can deploy and manage their applications in a highly-available, fault-tolerant, and scalable manner.
Some key features of Kubernetes include container orchestration, self-healing, scaling, service discovery and load balancing, and config management. Kubernetes automates the deployment, scaling, and management of containers across a cluster of hosts, detects and replaces failed containers, allows users to scale their applications based on demand, provides a built-in service discovery mechanism, and allows users to manage configuration files and environment variables for their applications.
Overall, Kubernetes is a powerful platform for managing containerized applications that provides a high level of automation and flexibility.
Is Kubernetes cost effective?
The cost-effectiveness of Kubernetes is influenced by several factors, including the size of your infrastructure, the complexity of your applications, and your IT budget.
Kubernetes can be cost-effective in several ways. Firstly, it can help optimize resource utilization by scheduling containers to run on the most appropriate nodes in your cluster. This can minimize the number of idle resources and improve overall efficiency. Secondly, Kubernetes automates many tasks related to deploying, scaling, and managing containerized applications, which can reduce the time and effort required by IT staff. This can lead to cost savings on staffing and operational expenses. Lastly, Kubernetes is designed to be cloud-native, which means that it is well-suited for running applications in cloud environments. Cloud infrastructure often allows for greater flexibility and cost-effectiveness compared to traditional on-premises infrastructure.
However, there are also potential cost considerations when using Kubernetes. These include the cost of hardware, networking, and storage resources required to run a Kubernetes cluster, as well as the cost of training and hiring skilled IT staff to manage the platform.
In summary, the cost-effectiveness of Kubernetes will depend on your specific use case and the resources available to your organization. It is important to carefully evaluate the potential costs and benefits of Kubernetes before making a decision to adopt the platform.
What is the cost to host Kubernetes in the cloud?
The cost to host Kubernetes in the cloud can vary widely depending on several factors such as the size and complexity of your infrastructure, the cloud provider you choose, and the specific services and features you require.
Here are some cost considerations to keep in mind when hosting Kubernetes in the cloud:
- Cloud provider costs: The cost of hosting Kubernetes in the cloud will depend on the pricing model of your chosen cloud provider. Some providers may charge per resource used (such as compute, storage, and network), while others may offer flat-rate pricing based on the number of nodes or clusters you are running.
- Kubernetes management costs: Many cloud providers offer managed Kubernetes services, which can simplify deployment and management of your cluster. However, these services may come at an additional cost.
- Infrastructure costs: Depending on the size and complexity of your Kubernetes cluster, you may need to allocate additional resources such as storage, load balancers, and networking components. The cost of these resources can vary based on your cloud provider and the specific services you require.
- Support and maintenance costs: Depending on your level of expertise and the complexity of your infrastructure, you may require additional support and maintenance services. These services may be offered by your cloud provider or by third-party vendors.
In general, the cost to host Kubernetes in the cloud can range from a few hundred dollars per month for small, simple deployments to tens of thousands of dollars per month for large, complex deployments with high availability and redundancy requirements.
What is the cost to host Kubernetes in the cloud?
The cost to host Kubernetes on-premise can vary widely depending on several factors such as the size and complexity of your infrastructure, the hardware and software you use, and the level of support and maintenance you require.Here are some cost considerations to keep in mind when hosting Kubernetes on-premise:
- Hardware costs: Hosting Kubernetes on-premise requires you to purchase and maintain the necessary hardware components such as servers, storage devices, and networking equipment. The cost of these components can vary based on their quality, performance, and capacity.
- Software costs: In addition to hardware, hosting Kubernetes on-premise also requires you to purchase and manage the necessary software components such as operating systems, Kubernetes distributions, and container runtimes. The cost of these components can vary based on their licensing models and support options.
- Infrastructure costs: Depending on the size and complexity of your Kubernetes cluster, you may need to allocate additional resources such as load balancers, firewalls, and networking components. The cost of these resources can vary based on their quality and performance.
- Support and maintenance costs: Hosting Kubernetes on-premise requires ongoing support and maintenance to ensure that your cluster is up-to-date, secure, and performing optimally. This may require additional staff, training, and resources.
In general, the cost to host Kubernetes on-premise can range from tens of thousands of dollars for small, simple deployments to hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars for large, complex deployments with high availability and redundancy requirements.
To get a better understanding of the costs associated with hosting Kubernetes on-premise, it's recommended to consult with a Kubernetes expert or a vendor who can help you determine your specific needs and estimate your costs accordingly.
What is the cost of labor to deploy Kubernetes?
The cost of labor to deploy Kubernetes can vary widely depending on several factors such as the size and complexity of your infrastructure, the level of expertise of your IT staff, and the deployment method you choose.
In general, the cost of labor to deploy Kubernetes can range from a few thousand dollars for small, simple deployments to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for large, complex deployments. Adding production-grade attributes to your Kubernetes cluster such as autoscaling, multi-region, security, logging, monitoring, observability, and other qualities can quickly increase the cost many times over and ultimately cost millions in development costs, whether it is done upfront with a large team or over a longer period of time with a small team.
What is the cost of labor to maintain Kubernetes each year?
After provisioning a Kubernetes cluster, there are several maintenance tasks that need to be performed to ensure its proper functioning and security. Here are some of the key maintenance tasks:
- Applying security patches and updates: Regularly updating Kubernetes components, add-ons, and plugins is critical to keep the cluster secure and to address vulnerabilities. This involves monitoring for new security patches and applying them as soon as possible.
- Monitoring and logging: Kubernetes requires constant monitoring and logging to ensure the availability and performance of applications running on the cluster. This includes monitoring resource usage, network traffic, and application performance.
- Backups and disaster recovery: Kubernetes data, including configurations, manifests, and persistent volumes, should be regularly backed up to ensure that they can be quickly restored in case of a disaster.
- Load balancing: Load balancing is essential to ensure that applications running on the Kubernetes cluster are distributed evenly across the nodes and that the cluster can handle increased traffic loads.
- Scaling: Kubernetes enables horizontal scaling of applications, which means that additional resources can be added to the cluster as needed. This requires ongoing monitoring and tuning to ensure that the cluster can handle increased traffic loads.
- Resource optimization: Kubernetes can optimize resource usage by allocating resources based on the needs of applications running on the cluster. This requires ongoing monitoring and tuning to ensure that the cluster is using resources efficiently.
- Upgrades and migrations: Kubernetes and its associated components should be regularly upgraded to take advantage of new features and to stay current with security patches. Upgrades and migrations should be carefully planned and tested to minimize downtime and to ensure that applications continue to function properly.
These are just some of the maintenance tasks that need to be performed on a Kubernetes cluster after provisioning. The specific tasks will depend on the size and complexity of your cluster and the applications running on it. It's important to have a comprehensive maintenance plan in place to ensure the ongoing health and security of the cluster.
While smaller clusters can be maintained by only one engineer, the typical salary for an experienced DevOps Engineer these days clocks in at around $200,000. Maintaining a larger or more complex cluster for a mid-market or enterprise company can require these same resources many times over. The typical number of DevOps engineers for mid-market is around 6 ($1,200,000) and enterprise is often over 100 ($20,000,000).
The cost of deploying Kubernetes can be broken down into a few different categories: cloud costs, software and licensing costs, on-premise costs such as hardware and network infrastructure, and labor for both initial deployment and ongoing maintenance. Since costs typically vary so much by size and complexity of the company/cluster, we’ve put this into a simple table for each:
*All pricing is annualized, table only includes cloud deployments as we can assume on-premise will be significantly more expensive when considering hardware purchases.
Innovations in the marketplace are making provisioning and maintenance of Kubernetes easier than ever before and driving down overall costs for Kubernetes adoption in organizations. As a market leader in No Code Kubernetes, harpoon.io helps individuals, companies, and organizations adopt Kubernetes using a drag and drop approach, provisioning Kubernetes environments in around 6 minutes with a button click and typically deploying even custom software configuration in under 10 minutes. The ease of use and the dynamic nature of the platform helps drive down costs associated with provisioning and maintenance by removing the need for specialized expertise.
The following is the cost comparison for using a platform like harpoon vs rolling your own, not including cloud costs which are the same either way:
If you're looking to jump into provisioning your own Kubernetes cluster today, try out harpoon for free or book a demo.