Container monitoring strategies and purpose-built container monitoring tools just may be the next hot topics swirling around the Kubernetes discussion forums this year. Over 77% of IT professionals expected to migrate 50% or more of their workloads to containers with Kubernetes by the end of last year. With the rise of container usage growing, having the ability to monitor the performance of your containerized workloads is critical. Containers that aren’t monitored can’t be managed, which can lead to blown cloud budgets, inefficient resource usage, and missed SLAs. Keep reading to learn what container monitoring is, the benefits of container monitoring, and how Pepperdata can help.

Want to watch this instead of read it? Check out our 15-minute video led by Field Engineer Adam Diaz about taming the beast that is Kubernetes with Pepperdata.

The Benefits of Kubernetes

Before we dive into container performance monitoring, let’s first cover why enterprises are adopting containers and Kubernetes at the break-neck speed they are.

  1. No more hardware. With Kubernetes, enterprises can say goodbye to forever worrying about needing more hardware. “Do we have enough hardware for today? What about if we have a spike in usage tomorrow?” Questions sound familiar? Companies are adopting Kubernetes to get away from having to ask those all-too-familiar questions day after day.
  2. Software-based (virtualized) system. Using a software-based system eliminates the need to manage infrastructure-level application dependencies.
  3. Increased ease of use for ITOps/DevOps. Containers and Kubernetes deliver a resilient, self-healing infrastructure as a service to developers and users. As such, developers are free to focus on deriving business value from data—instead of spending hours managing infrastructure resources.

With these benefits listed out, it’s not hard to understand the allure of migrating to containers with Kubernetes. However, without the proper monitoring and management of those containerized environments, new challenges will be introduced that’ll negate the benefits you sought out.

What is Container Monitoring?

Container monitoring is tracking the performance of containerized applications and microservices environments. By collecting metrics around the health and performance of containerized apps, one can ensure they’re running at their best. This monitoring can be done manually, but since containerized apps are different than the traditional applications most are familiar with, we recommend using a tool to ensure their optimal performance.

Why Do You Need Container Monitoring?

  1. Operationalizing containers at scale is complex. Much like Hadoop operations on clustered systems with distributed log files, working with containers at scale can be challenging. If you don’t have the expertise in-house, paired with the right tools to handle the job, your organization might not reap the benefits of containerized environments they had hoped for.
  2. Supporting diverse infrastructures complicates automation. Sometimes applications require unique infrastructures that must now fit into the new paradigm of a containerized environment.
  3. You might need to manage multiple required containers. You may end up with multiple clusters to manage across both physical and cloud environments, and these clusters may have slight differences in the actual Kubernetes version supported.

Without container monitoring to help overcome these challenges, an enterprise can blow their budget, miss SLAs, and/or spend endless hours troubleshooting errors.

How Do You Monitor Container Performance?

Monitoring container performance is best done with a tool tailor-made for the task. A tool that relies on real-time metrics to provide both observability into the performance of your containerized environments and automatic optimization of resources is key.

A Tool to Simplify Container Monitoring

There are a ton of tools out there that provide simple container monitoring. But simple monitoring just won’t cut it. That’s why it’s not uncommon for enterprises to rely on multiple tools to best manage their containers. However, there’s a better way.

The Pepperdata solution provides the observability and autonomous optimization enterprises need to reap the benefits of Kubernetes and containers in a single dashboard. We provide more than simple surface metrics and give you recommendations on how to best optimize performance. Let’s dive into how we do it.

Observability the Pepperdata Way

Pepperdata instruments every node with a PepAgent: the collector and transmitter of data to the Pepperdata dashboard. The Pepperdata solution runs Prometheus, then the PepAgent gathers metrics from Prometheus and Spark to provide to the Pepperdata backend. The PepAgent collects hundreds of metrics from applications and infrastructure resources—including CPU, RAM, disk I/O, and network usage—every five seconds. This rapid transmission and collection allow you to fully observe the performance of your applications and infrastructure.


How We Approach Autonomous Optimization

Our handy PepAgent reads data from Prometheus and pushes management changes via Kubernetes’s API server to the container. Spark and container metrics are then collected and uploaded back to Pepperdata. This enables the Pepperdata solution to then take the right steps towards automatically optimizing your resources, providing context-aware recommendations, and more to improve container performance.

If the promise of ditching hardware, using a software-based system, and lifting a load off your developers’ shoulders is why you moved to Kubernetes, we get it. However, container monitoring is key to getting real ROI out of your new investment. Companies can surpass their budget and miss SLAs without it. With a tool like Pepperdata, enterprises can monitor their container performance with ease and confidence.

To learn more about how our solution can help optimize your containerized applications and infrastructure, watch this video: A Simple Guide to Taming the Beast That is Kubernetes.

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