Kubernetes is the defacto container orchestrator container within a cluster. Along with the automated deployment and scaling of containers, it provides healing by automatically restarting failed containers and rescheduling them when their hosts die. This capability improves the application’s availability and helps in minimizing downtime for your applications.
While it is a powerful tool for orchestrating complex applications and infrastructure, it also comes with its challenges and complexities. Managing Kubernetes clusters requires a lot of expertise and visibility into the performance, health and configuration of the system. That’s why many tools and platforms offer solutions for monitoring, troubleshooting and optimizing applications and infrastructure running on Kubernetes.
Kubernetes platforms are software solutions that integrate with Kubernetes and provide additional features and capabilities to enhance its functionality and usability. They can help you with tasks such as:
Deploying and updating applications on Kubernetes clusters
Monitoring and alerting on the status and performance of applications and clusters
Troubleshooting and resolving issues and incidents
Securing and protecting applications and clusters from threats and vulnerabilities
Scaling and optimizing applications and clusters to meet demand and reduce costs
Several benefits come along with using a platform to manage your Kubernetes clusters. One of the main benefits is that it reduces the risk of misconfiguring your clusters or applications. Some of the other benefits that accompany a great Kubernetes platform include:
Faster and easier application development and delivery
Higher availability and reliability of applications and clusters
Improved security and compliance of applications and clusters
Greater insight and control over applications and clusters
In this blog post, we will compare three popular Kubernetes platforms: Dynatrace, New Relic and Komodor. We will look at their features, capabilities and pricing, and see how they differ from each other.
Dynatrace is a fully integrated APM solution with deep AI capabilities and a strong focus on security. It offers real user tracking, AI automation for incident alerts, Kubernetes topology visualization, session replay and synthetic monitoring. It also provides options to run on a cloud-based, on-premise or hybrid cluster which lets you plug it into your existing infrastructure.
Dynatrace is a comprehensive solution that covers the entire stack of applications and infrastructure running on Kubernetes. It monitors not only the containers and pods but also the underlying nodes, hosts, networks, services and processes. It provides end-to-end visibility into the entire stack and its dependencies. It also uses artificial intelligence to automatically detect anomalies, correlate events, identify root causes and suggest solutions. It reduces the mean time to resolution (MTTR) and eliminates manual troubleshooting. Moreover, Dynatrace provides runtime application self-protection for containerized applications. It detects and blocks malicious attacks, such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting and remote code execution. It also monitors the vulnerability status of the containers and images.
However, Dynatrace also has some drawbacks that may limit its suitability for some use cases. One of them is its complex pricing model that depends on various factors such as the number of hosts, nodes, clusters, users, sessions, data ingestion, retention and, query, etc. This can be confusing and difficult to estimate.
Another one is its limited customization which does not allow much flexibility in terms of defining custom metrics, queries or visualizations. Dynatrace has a predefined set of metrics, dashboards and alerts that may not suit every use case. It also has a high resource consumption to run its agents and collectors on the hosts and nodes. This can affect the performance and availability of the applications and infrastructure, as well as increase your overall cloud cost.
New Relic is a powerful APM solution that uses user-set thresholds and correlation data to define and find faults or issues instead of an AI-based approach like Dynatrace. It provides in-depth application information, reliable monitoring, accurate alert mechanisms, transaction summaries and code detection. It also offers extensive plug-ins and cloud integrations. However, it only offers its service as a SaaS option and does not provide support for on-premise clusters.
New Relic is a flexible solution that supports open telemetry standards such as OpenTracing, OpenMetrics and OpenCensus. It allows customers to collect data from any source using any protocol or format. It also has a large number of plug-ins that extend its functionality and integrate with other tools and services. Customers can use plug-ins to monitor databases, cloud services, messaging systems, web servers etc. It provides insights into the performance, cost and usage of your cloud resources.
However, New Relic also has some limitations that may affect its effectiveness for some use cases. One of them is its lack of AI capabilities. It does not automate anomaly detection or root cause analysis. Rather, it relies on user-defined thresholds and rules to trigger alerts and notifications. This can result in false positives or negatives or missed issues. Another one is its lack of application security features such as vulnerability scanning.
Users would be required to use other tools or services to protect their applications from malicious attacks or exploits. It also lacks an on-premise option that does not allow users to run instances of New Relic on self-hosted infrastructure.
Komodor is a Kubernetes platform for humans that aims to simplify Kubernetes operations for developers. It offers easy navigation between services, jobs and cluster events, provides detailed information on the cluster nodes and their statuses, manages key K8s objects, makes it easier to browse and edit ConfigMaps and Secrets, browse and manage storage-related resources, checks for implementation of best practices for configurations, automated troubleshooting, Kubernetes concepts explained and out of the box alerting.
Komodor is a user-friendly and intuitive solution that allows developers to easily navigate and explore their Kubernetes clusters. It provides a graphical representation of the cluster topology, the status of the nodes and pods, the events and logs associated with each service or job etc. It also helps developers learn and understand Kubernetes concepts and best practices.
It provides explanations and tips for each k8s object, resource or configuration. It also provides links to relevant documentation and tutorials. Moreover, Komodor provides automated troubleshooting for common Kubernetes issues such as pod failures, resource limits, network errors etc. It analyzes the events and logs of the affected services or jobs and suggests possible solutions or actions.
However, Komodor also has some drawbacks that may hinder its adoption by some customers. One of its limitations is that it focuses mainly on Kubernetes operations and does not provide features such as application performance monitoring, synthetic monitoring, application security etc. Folks may need other tools or platforms to complement Komodor’s functionality. It also has limited integrations with other tools and services.
In this blog post, we have compared three popular Kubernetes platforms: Dynatrace, New Relic and Komodor. We have seen that each forum has its strengths and weaknesses and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every user's needs.
However, we have also seen that Komodor is a new and innovative platform that aims to simplify Kubernetes operations for developers. It provides a developer-friendly UI, and automated troubleshooting and also provides resources to learn about various Kubernetes components and failures. It is also free for up to 3 clusters.