Kubernetes Networking Trends to Watch Out for in 2022

All paths lead to Kubernetes and cloud solutions.

We’re witnessing an exponential increase in cloud-native technologies’ adoption. That’s leading Kubernetes to become the default standard for container orchestration. Gartner says Kubernetes’ current adoption of ~30% will continue to grow in 2022 and surpass 75%. Public cloud spending will also grow to $304.9 billion. This implies Kubernetes networking trends are going to remain a hot topic for 2022. 

The average person uses around 36 cloud-based services daily. This is also growing fast and that’s why you need to be aware of Kubernetes’ evolving journey. You’ll need to keep cloud networking strategies up-to-date to remain in the market.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the Kubernetes networking trends for 2022. First, let’s delve into the traditional networking infrastructure’s challenges.

The Challenges with Traditional IT Networking

Cloud computing enables convenient, on-demand access to almost limitless computing resources. That said, the list of challenges with traditional cloud networking is also increasing. Minor oversights, like misconfigured databases and unencrypted security credentials, can be fatal. This is because these oversights can expose your critical data to theft, extortion, or outages.

Cloud security remains the most critical concern in traditional cloud networking. That’s because cloud services are more vulnerable to security threats. Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks are a common security threat. You’ll want to use traffic isolation or multi-level permission-based access controls to stop them.

Another issue is managing consistency, which has become a challenge as you manage big data and different data formats. Consistency of data is a must for all users. This is why you want to target it, regardless of physical hardware, network connections, or transaction status. To do so, you’ll need to create adequate data structures, error correction, and effective protocols.

Resiliency and availability are also huge issues with applications (apps) and services on the cloud. Competition for resources and a dependence on network components can lead to failure routes. To achieve a good cloud strategy, you must plan for failure detection, logging, and resolution. In turn, you’ll be able to maintain better app and service availability.

These issues with traditional networking lead us to think more about Kubernetes networking and the important role it plays in app functioning. 

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Why Is Kubernetes Networking Important?

Kubernetes networking is essential for applications to seamlessly function. That’s because modern apps need real-time communication with other apps. They also comprise modular services, according to the microservices model. In turn, these services need to communicate with each other. 

Networking is undergoing massive change as IoT and Edge computing gain momentum. This, in turn, has a bearing on ​​Kubernetes networking, so you’ll want to follow the latest trends in cloud networking. Let’s consider the Kubernetes networking trends we expect to see in 2022.

Multi-cloud solutions are the way forward.

In this section, we’ll take a look at 4 important Kubernetes networking trends in 2022.

1. Multi-Cloud Environments Will Bring Greater Complexity

Moving applications from one cloud to a multi-cloud solution can be problematic. That’s because you need to ensure links aren’t broken during the roll-out process. Though this is a challenge, it also provides you with better productivity. 

Cloud vendors often restrict networking service use to their specific environment. This is why you need to find a way to delink networking from any specific cloud vendor. That way, even if the underlying networking implementation changes, everything still works. 

This brings us to networking protocols. These protocols define commonality irrespective of cloud solutions. You also want to make sure you consider them well and create robust and backtested protocols. 

2. Service Meshes: Still the Preferred Networking Option 

Service meshes are a dedicated infrastructure layer built into an application. They control service-to-service communication to make these more reliable, secure, and manageable. Currently, Istio and Linkerd are the leading tools available. Newer ones like Kuma are also innovating in the space, but are still waiting on adoption. 

In terms of models, the sidecar model service mesh, which is a few years old now, is going to stay relevant. That’s because it’s a great measure for network security. A sidecar is a proxy container supporting the project container. It manages inter-service communications, monitoring, and security. This allows tracking and maintenance for apps as a whole. 

It works by having all traffic flow through the sidecar proxy before reaching the destination service. Sidecars, then, analyze traffic, produce useful statistics, and help load balancing. Data encryption is also a key feature of these proxies.

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3. Kubernetes Network Security Is Becoming Policy-Based

Kubernetes network policies control traffic between pods and network points. They direct this traffic based on predefined rules. Instead of configuring networks, they use policies that define networking. 

In this declarative approach to managing networks, you don’t need to define every networking detail you need. Instead, you only state what you need to happen and allow tools to manage this specification. 

One example is Project Calico. It’s an open-source project that enables this way of working. Magalix (WeaveWorks recently acquired it) is another example. It serves as a proprietary commercial solution alternative. 

Image of a construction worker Lego figure sitting on top of a device connected to the internet by an ethernet cable and pointing to the cable.
All devices are connected now, like Lego.

​​​​Edge computing is transforming device data collection and management. You might’ve joined the many who prefer Kubernetes as their go-to solution to power tomorrow’s IoT and Edge apps.

That said, the networking part is still under development. Service mesh tools are for cloud-native applications. Yet they’re not lightweight, fast, and secure enough to operate in most Edge computing environments. Kubernetes has such lightweight implementations, like K3s and MicroK8s. These were purpose-built for IoT and Edge. In general, though, we should see networking catch up with similar variants. 

Final Thoughts

Kubernetes is growing rapidly and is the default container orchestrator in the marketplace. Kubernetes networking trends relating to building secure, stable, scalable applications with agility are increasingly becoming important. 

That’s why you need to consider how containers and networking may impact your organization. In general, a trend is only meaningful when it matters to you. Consider learning more about container orchestration with your organization in mind. You also want to define a plan, outlining the efforts you’ll need to take to change the status quo.

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FAQ

What is Kubernetes networking?

Kubernetes is an open-source platform managing application development containers in the cloud. This includes their creation, maintenance, analytics, and operation. Kubernetes also allows for fast project resource scaling to meet dynamic needs. You can use existing project containers as templates to speed up development.

Why is Kubernetes networking so important in a cloud environment?

Kubernetes helps build cloud-native microservices-based apps. It’s a portable, extensible, and rapidly growing ecosystem. Its modular nature also allows projects to leverage many different cloud solutions. It does this by using defined protocols and standards.

What is new with networking in a multi-cloud environment?

A multi-cloud environment connects many clouds securely over the internet. It allows two or more public clouds to work with many private clouds. This can give you the ability to scale solutions faster, leveraging more connections. This also reduces bottlenecks and enables better data security.

How is networking different for IoT and Edge systems?

Internet of Things (IoT) is a technology enabling devices to connect to others using the internet. This allows many networked devices, part of this solution, to communicate. It also allows for centralized data management or analytics from remote devices. One benefit of this technology is that you can add more devices to an existing solution. Communication also doesn’t have to be constant, and smart local processing is possible. 

What are some tools and services to maintain network security in Kubernetes?

You have many tools to manage and maintain your Kubernetes network security. These include; Kube-bench, Kube-hunter, Project Calico, Istio, KubeAudit, NeuVector, Audit2rbac, Illuminatio.

Resources 

The Future of Cloud Computing 

Read more about the cloud computing trends that’ll impact your organization. 

What’s Big in Cloud Native?

Learn about the biggest trends shaping cloud native.

Kubernetes and Security 

Check out how Kubernetes uses policy management for security.

Learn how Kubervirt and Gitops will become standards in 2022.

VM Blog: Automated Kubernetes Security 

Discover more about automated and continuous containers and Kubernetes security

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