The rapid adoption of Tutor as a build and deployment solution for Open edX has also opened the door to using Kubernetes. But what is Kubernetes and what problem does it solve for an Open edX platform? Well, plenty! Read on to see what, why, and how you can begin leveraging this next-generation system management technology.
What are Kubernetes, anyway?
The name Kubernetes originates from Greek, meaning helmsman or pilot. K8s as an abbreviation results from counting the eight letters between the “K” and the “s”. Open-sourced in 2014, the Kubernetes project combines over 15 years of Google’s experience running production workloads at scale with best-of-breed ideas and practices from the community. But in hard concrete terms, what problems does it solve for an Open edX installation, and why would you want to use it?
“Kubernetes is a portable, extensible, open source platform for managing containerized workloads and services.”, so says the Kubernetes web site. Let’s unpack that statement in strict, Open edX terms, beginning with the part about, “containerized workloads and services“.
First of all, what containers? Where did they come from? What do containers have to do with Open edX software? Well, it turns out that Tutor converts the traditional monolithic Open edX platform into a collection of containers, and so if you’re installing with Tutor then that part has already been taken care of. Not only that, Tutor provides native support for Kubernetes, so you really don’t have to do much of anything other than decide that you want to deploy to a Kubernetes cluster.