Google Kubernetes Engine Autopilot


What is GKE Autopilot and how it enables you to focus on your software

Google continues delivering tools that make the life of developers easier. Modern applications require complex infrastructure that promises scalability as well as continuous development and deployment. To simplify the process of deploying complex infrastructure, Google released the Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE).

GKE is a managed platform for deploying, managing, and scaling containerized applications on Google Cloud infrastructure. The GKE setup comprises multiple Compute Engine instances grouped to form a cluster that you manage. Google saw that the process of configuring and managing GKE infrastructure can be difficult and introduced a way to bring in automation, enter GKE Autopilot. Now we have two modes of operation in GKE: 

  • Standard – this was the first mode, in which as described above, you manage the clusters yourself giving you the maximum flexibility in node configurations. 
  • Autopilot – in this new mode, GKE provisions, configures and manages the clusters, nodes, and node pools for you. Let’s see how this is beneficial to your software delivery process in more detail below. 

How GKE Autopilot enables you to focus on your software

GKE Autopilot is designed to reduce the operational cost of managing clusters. It optimizes clusters and guarantees impressive and consistent high performance. GKE Autopilot monitors the health of your nodes and automatically calculates the amount of computing capacity that your workloads require offering real-time scalability. GKE Autopilot is basically a serverless Kubernetes platform. Here are some of the advantages that GKE introduces by allowing you to focus on your software while Autopilot manages the infrastructure: 

  • GKE Autopilot handles the deployment configuration and optimization. For users who are just getting started with Kubernetes, you don’t have to worry about the learning curve. GKE Autopilot will provision a production-ready infrastructure based on your workloads and will manage and maintain the node infrastructure. You no longer have to worry about the resources to be allocated to the Compute Engine instances for your GKE clusters.
  • Guarantees Reliability and Availability. Since GKE Autopilot is fully managed by Google, you will benefit from the same Software Reliability Engineering practices Google is using internally. This means the lifecycle of your apps running on GKE is taken care of by Google. The option to modify configurations is locked – meaning the chances of your infrastructure failing due to unsupported configurations are zero. 
  • GKE Autopilot reduces your operational costs by ensuring that you only pay for the optimized resources you use. GKE Autopilot provisions and scales the underlying infrastructure based on the needs of your workload. This results in highly efficient resource optimization. GKE Autopilot helps you avoid the costs of paying for a Compute Engine instance, rather you only pay for the pods you use. In a nutshell, you pay only for the virtual CPU power, memory, and disk resources your workload actually consumes, billed per second. 

GKE Autopilot handles the health and security of your infrastructure. GKE already offers the best security your infrastructure will ever need. Autopilot builds on top of these and adds a monitoring layer which benefits the overall health of your application so you can focus on building your software and don’t have to worry about its security.

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