Azure Kubernetes Service vs Everything Else

Not many things scare me in this world. One of the things that does is setting up and managing an on-premises Kubernetes cluster. In all of my time working with clients and helping them set up Kubernetes clusters, Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) has been, hands down, the most efficient, straightforward, and richest experience. There are so many extensions that the AKS team has created and goodies that are handed to you out of the box that it just simply doesn't make sense to not go with AKS – anything else is simply a waste of money. Sure... you can create a cluster on-prem for a cheaper price. Or you can create one on IaaS for cheaper. But there are hidden costs in cluster management, hardware management, downtime, security, etc... By the way, AKS throws in and abstracts away your master nodes for free.  That's worth at least a few hundred bucks per month in hardware costs alone.

If you are on the fence about it, try creating a cluster in with Azure Kubernetes Service and getting a simple website up and running in the cluster that is externally accessible. To do some comparisons, try doing the same thing with:

  • Amazon's Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS).
  • Google's Kubernetes Engine (GKE).
  • A cluster that you provision on IaaS in your preferred cloud provider.
  • An on-premesis cluster that you provision from scratch.

Or let me save you some time.  The on-prem cluster will prove to be an incredible waste of time for the return. The IaaS cluster will be very slightly better, but you will still be missing out on all the benefits that come with a managed cluster such as automated infrastructure provisioning. With EKS and GKE, you will find lacking documentation, iffy performance in some areas, and fewer tools in the ecosystem that these services create around your managed cluster.

Going through this workshop ( is a great way to familiarize yourself with some of what AKS gives you out of the box and how fast it is to be up and running with a full system deployed to your cluster.

If you have questions or would like to chat about opportunities, I am available via email at [email protected]