Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Book Review - Kubernetes Management Design Patterns

Another in my infrequent series of reviews for the British Computer Society; this time, it's Kubernetes Management Design Patterns by Deepak Vohtra : -

This book, Kubernetes Management Design Patterns, by Deepak Vohra, is a useful and very in-depth guide into the world of the Kubernetes container cluster management solution.

In part, it's written in the context of the open-source CoreOS operating system, but the content is relevant across a wide range of Linux operating systems, including Ubuntu. The author also takes pains to compare and contrast various container platforms, including Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform.

Whilst each chapter begins with a short problem statement, and then dives into the specific solution, I did find the book to be very focused upon the What and the How, rather than going deep on the Why. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it did mean that each chapter involves a lot of copy/paste typing of esoteric commands and scripts.

This is useful, but does mean that the content could become dated rather quickly, as new versions of Kubernetes, plus the dependencies and related platforms, evolve. Given the rapid pace of change in the container market, this is a relatively short-term reality.

Apart from that, my only other critique is that the book requires one to copy/paste and/or type a slew of commands, which has the potential to lead to mistakes and errors. Without a clear understanding of Why something is being done, there is the risk that the audience will fail to fully learn the valuable experiences that this book offers.

In addition, whilst the book makes reference to microservices, in the context of the author's other book on the subject, I feel that this is a serious omission, in terms of the Why of containers, management, orchestration, patterns, governance etc.

With the current focus upon microservices, 12-factor applications, serverless computing, Functions-as-a-Service etc., an opportunity to position Kubernetes at the heart of the debate has, in my view, been missed.

This book definitely adds to the lexicon of material in the arena of container management and orchestration, and should form part of an interested audience's collection. However, I'm not wholly convinced that it strictly adheres to it's title; that is to say, it focuses upon the detail of the subject, rather than the higher-level area of patterns, anti-patterns, good and bad practice etc.

To conclude, I do recommend this book to someone looking for a fairly detailed insight into Kubernetes etc. but would also advise potential readers to look for a more high-level, and perhaps business-oriented, perspective on the benefits and costs of a container management platform.

Given my reservations, I'd give this book 7 out of 10.

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