Many people think that the cloud is just someone else’s remote computer for hosting applications or websites. The truth is that cloud systems are not that simple. Cloud involves numerous computers that form clusters interconnected with a network. This is the simplest definition of cloud computing.
When you move to a cloud, you move all your data to a system where you have partial control but easy access with maximum security. A cloud system offers advantages and disadvantages. Using cloud computing means that you do not have to worry about maintaining and managing all security-related tasks, which is a relief. On the other hand, you might feel insecure and limited to what can do and access.
There are talks in the open-source world that point out the need for an open hybrid cloud system that enables you to create an infrastructure dedicated to you. Choosing your operation system and arranging your workflow will enhance the credibility of cloud systems. However, building your own hybrid cloud infrastructure is a very costly initiative. As an alternative, you can create an open hybrid cloud system by yourself by building a local cluster. This will allow you to learn how cloud computing works.
If you wish to create your personal cloud system, you need at least three computers. A good choice would be a Raspberry Pi single-board computer, or other SBCs, with the Linux OS and Kubernetes. Kubernetes will help you to manage your cloud system, orchestrate containerized apps and functions.
Apart from this system’s advantages, you will have many other questions, like how these tiny computers create your personal cloud computing system? And the most important question that we will cover today is why you need Kubernetes. This article will go over some benefits about why building a Raspberry Pi cluster with Kubernetes is a good investment in your homelab and your knowledge.
1. Experimenting and Learning New Skills
If you are considering a career as an IT expert and want to enhance your expertise, having a bare metal cloud server is extremely beneficial. Technologies like containers, Kubernetes, Serverless are changing the way we build and deliver software. It is also a fact, that Kubernetes is gaining popularity among enterprises because of how powerful it is for resilient infrastructure. By learning how Kubernetes and containers work, you prepare yourself for the future in your IT career.
In the early days, the cloud was either very expensive or even inaccessible for many developers, which was a hard time. Without accessibility, many IT experts were unable to study and work on the betterment of the technology. Imagine how difficult it would have been for people to maintain the cloud infrastructure and gain experience. Similarly, lack of access to open-source tools such as LXC, Docker, Podman, and Kubernetes made processes increasingly challenging. Nowadays, with all these tools, you can build your own cloud infrastructure literally on your desk. And Raspberry Pi and other ARM SoCs makes it very affordable.
2. Host containers
Containers have a significant impact on the IT industry and computing in general. The LCX toolset inspired popular technologies such as Docker, Flatpak, Podman, and Kubernetes. Containerization is a new abstraction model to run codes for different devices, operating systems, and programming languages.
When code gets compiled, the compilation goes according to the operating system, locally stored libraries, and within the whole host and everything stored on its hard drive. Meanwhile, containers are tiny runtime environments that execute binaries inside, with libraries linked inside the containers. This way, the binaries are isolated from the host system until you have granted access and permissions. Moreover, a container is temporary. You can create a new container and destroy it arbitrarily. You can learn how data deletion and respawning work in the environment. You may be surprised how easy it is to install the containerized application, and it may open new doors for you to learn more. For instance, you can run the Prometheus tool for monitoring, Grafana dashboard, and many other self-hosted apps for your home network, home automation and learning.
3. Build a webserver
Modern technology is advancing drastically. In the 80s, we couldn’t have comprehended how our worlds would interlink with technology to such a great extent. The biggest thing about the modern world is that we have access to the internet, where we can learn new things, share data, socialize, and perform other tasks and activities quickly.
Nowadays, you can launch your website in minutes. Kubernetes may be a little bit overkill to use for hosting your WordPress or Drupal website. On the other hand, this is a great way to learn how Kubernetes works and how to manage Kubernetes pods, think about website reliability, load balancing, and traffic management.
4. Build NAS for your home
If you are tinkering and love to gain insights into the latest technology and its functions, playing with your network is a good starting point. By adding a couple of nodes and Kubernetes to your network, you can run any number of services in it. You can get Network File System to backup and access your files from any computer or smartphone in your network. You can run containerized apps like Plex to watch movies, listen to music, and access photos stored on your private cloud system. Kubernetes cluster will help you create duplicate files, applications, and other media on different devices through a home server. You can easily maintain such systems with minimum power and storage capacity. Furthermore, all the devices are budget-friendly. So start using Kubernetes on your Raspberry pi on a local network and enjoy.
5. Web development
You will find Kubernetes to be beneficial if you are a developer and deliver applications. Kubernetes enables you to transform the workflow and make a robust application. While developing cloud-native apps, you are leveraging the best practices of microservices and containers. This also provides you advantages of distributed computing, databases and filesystem.
Kubernetes is one of the best open-source projects that help developers create resilient applications since 2015. If you are new to Kubernetes, you need to understand how it works. Apart from the above reasons to start using Kubernetes, installing and learning Kubernetes offers various benefits. You can improve your productivity in developing engineering workflows and reducing negative impacts. If you are an engineer who eager to develop advanced and modern technologies, Kubernetes is right for you. We can say that Kubernetes is the future of advanced and innovative solutions. You can create a scalable and reliable application.