Despite its exploding popularity — and maybe because of it — Kubernetes has become complex and complicated. Because of the seemingly endless number of choices you have when deploying it, Kubernetes can be overwhelming to manage. And truthfully, most organizations don’t need that level of control. Fortunately, with so many IT departments adopting Kubernetes over the past few years, many tools have become available to help organizations manage and orchestrate their Kubernetes containers. Now there’s a new one: GKE Autopilot from Google.
What is GKE Autopilot?
Google says Autopilot is “a revolutionary mode of operations for managed Kubernetes that lets you focus on your software.” And as you focus on your software, Google says “GKE Autopilot manages the infrastructure.” GKE Autopilot runs in the Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), a tool many organizations already employ for their Kubernetes orchestrations. Google hopes GKE Autopilot will entice more businesses to embrace Kubernetes because it simplifies operations “by managing the cluster infrastructure, control plane, and nodes.”
Autopilot is a hands-off fully managed Kubernetes experience that allows you to focus more on your workloads and less on managing cluster infrastructure.
— Drew Bradstock, GKE group product manager
Making Kubernetes easier to optimize
Perhaps the strongest selling point for GKE Autopilot is that with Google doing the heavy lifting, it should make it easier for you to optimize Kubernetes for your needs. One of the biggest complaints IT departments have about Kubernetes is the sheer amount of tinkering and fiddling they have to do before it runs the way they want it to. Google says early-access users of Autopilot found they could “dramatically improve the performance, security, and resilience of their Kubernetes environments while reducing the overall operational load required for managing Autopilot clusters.”
Another advantage of Autopilot is it enhances security, mainly because it applies many best practices automatically. For example, Autopilot implements GKE hardening guidelines and blocks or disables many insecure features such as External IP Services or legacy authorization.
As for pricing, Google says you “pay only for the pods you use.” You can find more information on pricing here.
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