Scaling EdTech with Kubernetes

November 14, 2022

This is a worldwide popular fact that kubernetes is the most significant player in container management, and is driving significant improvement in IT infrastructure & for those that use it. Container orchestration is becoming the new best way to run a lot of workloads in the cloud. They fit really well for a lot of reasons particularly because microservices tend to play nicely & they are just very resource efficient so they are a great way to get started.

Digital transformation is driving the adoption of new application development. Cloud native container technology is the key enabler of this modern IT approach but what is a container and why is it so powerful to use? Containers are a solution for enterprises to get software to run reliably when moving from one computing environment to another. A container image consists of an entire runtime environment - an application plus everything needed to run it. This includes code runtime system, tools system, libraries settings all bundled into one lightweight standalone executable package. Multiple containers can be deployed on a single OS and share the same OS kernel by containerizing the application in its dependencies. Differences in OS and underlying infrastructure are abstracted away now so you can move your application easily from a developer’s laptop to a testing environment, from staging environment to a production environment or from a physical machine to a VM and a private or public cloud. Always believe that your application will work just right besides being readily portable as containers are superfast in terms of delivering solutions in this era of technology.

EdTech companies have just started to keep up with the sudden need for distanced and hybrid learning options as the need for social distancing is still the norm. In response to these challenges, organizations around the globe have turned to digital solutions to keep teachers and their students connected. 

From online platforms to video conferencing and remote proctoring applications, kubernetes have enabled millions to stay on the correct track to face all the challenges. To thrive in this new environment, leaders in the educational services sector need IT tools that encourage innovation and the workplace which they are achieving via kubernetes. 

Edtech start-ups are getting benefited with kubernetes as they are able to reduce their costs and improve efficiency of their applications. Container technology allows these organizations to reduce spend on hardware and computing resources. Rather than wasting money on cumbersome legacy infrastructure, leaders can use container-based systems to stay cloud-native and grow at scale. 

Why does an Edtech startup need to switch to kubernetes?

An Edtech usually migrates their application to kubernetes on the cloud in order to launch adaptive learning & career development application service. You can run a single instance of an application with a simple docker run command in this case to run a node.js based application using your only docker nodejs command but that’s just one instance of your application on one docker host. 

Kubernetes has become the benchmark for managing cloud-native applications, or containers. What makes K8s unique is its ability to virtualize operating systems, which permits application bundles to run seamlessly across public and private clouds. This innovative technology is particularly attractive for organizations in the education sector given its ability to promote institutional efficiency, educator connectivity, and student choice. 

Kubernetes provides academic institutions with a means of increasing productivity. Because of the disruptions caused by the pandemic, these organizations have needed to rethink how they hire and onboard employees. By running the applications used for these tasks on K8s and the hybrid cloud, managers can avoid authentication issues and give new employees segmented, online access to important training protocols and benefits information. 

A cloud-forward approach can also help these institutions to manage the admissions process. For example, an admissions system running on containers can be customized to digitally collect and sort application data, coordinate interviews, and streamline decision notification. On the backend, this gives admissions committees easy access to applicant documents and speeds up workflow. 

The hybrid cloud is also a boon for educators. In addition to creating a means of collaborating remotely, cloud-native applications provide teachers with a way of connecting with their students from any device or location. Whether they’re using a learning platform to facilitate hybrid instruction or virtual examination software to create, proctor, and grade an online quiz. They can concentrate on providing students with enriching experiences rather than worrying about issues like hardware compatibility. For students, these systems create exciting possibilities for learning. 

Container technology and K8s, for instance, open up new paths for delivering courses, accessing textbooks, and monitoring progress. This gives students and their families the flexibility to make the right, most cost-effective choices about when and where to pursue their education. For primary schools, secondary schools, and colleges alike, it provides a centralized means of extending educational support. By centralizing and simplifying container orchestration in a single interface, it facilitates the deployment of application clusters capable of keeping teachers teaching and students learning.

Challenges for an Edtech sector without Kubernetes:

Sample Case Study (A)

  • Suppose there is a JavaScript app which is built on any web/ app development platform, using any cloud based platform is offered to students as a PAAS  (Platform as a service).
  • But once it is launched, the user base can grow steadily at a rate of a certain percent in a month so the cloud platform’s bill will also increase simultaneously. 
  • As the company hires more developers to keep pace to have multiple services but couldn't have the developers quickly stage a version.
  • Tracing and monitoring becomes basically impossible.
  • Many of its customers are behind government firewalls and connect through Firebase, not actual servers, making troubleshooting even more difficult.

Solution:

Suppose the edtech app has moved  to Kubernetes-as-a-service  whose cluster is orchestrated by Kubernetes, monitored & managed by E2E Cloud.They didn't really consider any other open source infrastructure because the abstractions offered by E2E Cloud’s Kubernetes just jumped off the page to them.

Impact:

  • The new cloud native stack immediately improves the developer’s workflow, speeding up deployments.
  • Once the team starts porting its apps into Kubernetes, there can be an immediate impact.
  • Now they can deploy their exact same configuration in lots of different clusters in 30 seconds.
  • They have a full set up that's always running, and then any of their developers or designers can stage new versions with one command, including their recent changes.
  • They started getting a graph of the health of all of their Kubernetes nodes and pods immediately.
  • Now all of the services they run in Kubernetes are stateless which is basically running on their databases for them and manages backups.
  • Kubernetes lets them experiment with service configurations and stage them on a staging cluster all at once, and test different scenarios.

 

 

  • Sample Case Study (B)

Challenge

A global company in the educational sector holding a range of 75 million learners whose goal is to scale it two times more than the current. A key part of this growth is in digital learning experiences, and the company was having difficulty in scaling and adapting to its growing online audience. They needed an infrastructure platform that would be able to scale quickly and deliver products to market faster.

Solution

To transform their deployment strategies, they had to think beyond simply enabling automated provisioning. They were looking for a  platform that would allow developers to build, manage and deploy applications in a completely different way. Kubernetes orchestration was the optimal solution for their problem because of its flexibility, ease of management and the way it would improve engineers' productivity.

Impact

With the platform, there have been substantial improvements in productivity and speed of delivery. In some cases, they have gone from nine months to provision physical assets in a data center to just a few minutes and get a new idea in front of a customer.  He also estimated they have achieved a higher percentage of developer productivity savings. Outages could be the issue during the school period. Now, there are higher chances of improving customer’s SLA.

That goal of company would require a transformation of its existing infrastructure, which was in data centers. In some cases, it took nine months to provision physical assets. To increase the pace of online audience, it required an infrastructure platform that would be able to scale quickly and deliver business-oriented products to market faster. We had to think beyond simply enabling automated provisioning. They understood the need of their developers to build, manage & deploy efficiently.

With a good range of development groups and diverse brands varying in business and technical needs, the company embraced container technology so that each brand could experiment with building new types of content using their preferred technologies, and then deliver it using containers. Kubernetes orchestration has its own flexibility, ease of management and the way it would improve the engineers' productivity.

Eventually kubernetes is changing the environment of the edtech sector in a way to improvise the deployment workloads and developers are able to focus on relevant tasks instead of managing unnecessary error handling. A kubernetes-as-a-service is what they are looking for and a cloud provider can help them better in orchestrating everything. 

So, now you as an institution must be looking for Kubernetes-as-a-service from a Cloud Provider. E2E Cloud is here, Come and discuss with us. This will be a great opportunity for us to contribute to the world's education.

Want a detailed discussion, Connect with us: sales@e2enetworks.com

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