[Kubernetes, FinOps]

An Introduction to Kubernetes FinOps

FinOps is a cross domain discipline that represents a set of tools, best practices and processes aimed towards making software and infrastructure more cost effective. In this article we provide an introduction to Kubernetes Finops.

Hasham Haider

Hasham Haider

September 10, 2019

3 minute read

In recent years enterprise IT has been characterised by dissolving boundaries, decentralisation and convergence. Isolated teams that used to function independently in the days of legacy monolithic IT have come together into cross-functional teams with cross-domain knowledge and skills.

It started off with DevOps which brought together development and operations teams under one umbrella. These teams were responsible for both developing software as well as deploying, managing and operating it. SRE, a specific implementation of DevOps came out of Google's DevOps practices. SRE practitioners divide their time equally between development and operations activities.

This was a significant shift as it represented a departure from the traditional way of developing and managing enterprise software where developers were meant to code software and operations deployed and managed those applications in production.

As DevOps matured and brought tangible benefits to the software delivery workflow, more variations arose. First Networking and then security was added to the mix, baking in both into the software development cycle.

The primary idea behind all this convergence is agility, freedom and speed. Distributed DevOps teams that bring together practitioners with development, operations, security and networking skills tend to communicate more seamlessly and accelerate decision making. All of this leads to stable production environments and faster software delivery which in turn generates business value and adds to the bottom line.

FinOps

FinOps is the latest iteration of this convergence. It represents a set of tools, best practices and processes aimed towards making software and infrastructure more cost effective. It does this by understanding the costs of software and infraststructre and proactively identifying optimisation opportunities.

FinOps: A Cultural Shift

FinOps builds on the convergence and decentralisation trends in enterprise IT to better integrate finance, central IT and distributed teams. It represents a cultural shift which advocates better communication and feedback among finance, central IT and distributed developer teams.

One way to implement FinOps is by creating cross domain dedicated FinOps teams that bring together practitioners from all three siloed departments. These teams are in turn responsible for developing, deploying, managing and securing software as well as managing and optimising its costs and ensuring it generates business value.

FinOps: A Technological Shift

FinOps is as much a technological shift as a cultural one. To effectively manage and optimize costs stakeholders first need to be equipped with the tools required for cost visibility. Once teams have visibility into costs, they can then make informed decisions about cutting down on spend without impacting performance, uptime or reliability.

Functions of FinOps Teams

Cross functional FinOps teams in addition to coding and managing software are also responsible for managing and optimising its costs. These teams are also responsible for driving cost transparency by allocating costs to teams, applications and microservices as well showback and chargeback for departments, business units and teams. Other important functions are budgeting and forecasting which become easier with increased visibility into historical costs and infrastructure usage.

Kubernetes FinOps

The new cloud-native way of building applications prefers a containerised microservices application architecture deployed using an orchestrator like Kubernetes with the cloud as an underlying layer.

Most DevOps teams developing, deploying and operating cloud-native applications are increasingly working on the orchestration layer and regularly leverage Kubernetes primitives like containers, pods, services, nodes and clusters.

To effectively manage and optimize costs, FinOps teams need a new toolset that can provide cost and usage insights for this new technology stack.

Replex.io

Replex is a governance and cost management platform built specifically for the modern enterprise with decentralised teams leveraging Kubernetes and cloud-native technologies. Replex provides central IT and cross functional FinOps teams the cost insights and tools they need to make both software and infrastructure more cost effective, prevent outages and optimize resource efficiency.

Replex helps stakeholders from finance and central IT understand and analyse the resource consumption and costs of distributed teams leveraging Kubernetes. It also allows central IT to engage developers in managing costs, creating value and avoiding budget overruns without impacting performance or uptime.

On the orchestration layer, Replex continuously monitors resource usage and utilization, flags inefficiencies and provides proactive recommendations for improvements. These recommendations are provided for all Kubernetes primitives including clusters, nodes, pods and containers.

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Hasham Haider

Author

Hasham Haider

Fan of all things cloud, containers and micro-services!

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