Kubernetes on-Premise vs in the Cloud

October 15, 2020 | by: Savigo Team

In today’s world, we are moving towards automation and simplicity. Your smartwatch sends you basic information about your health, you make your cup of coffee with just one press on the machine and self-driving cars like Tesla are getting more and more popular. Of course, this whole trend has not bypassed the IT world. Public Clouds are a perfect example of this, preparing your architecture never been easier, you do not have to think about hardware, network, and many other things. Your Cloud provider will maintain the architecture and make sure that is available all the time. That is why we see major companies moving their architecture to the Public Clouds such as AWS, Azure, or GPC. Clouds Providers not only delivers architecture but even complex Services like Elastic Kubernetes Service on AWS, which makes deploying Kubernetes Cluster as easy as typing one command. Isn’t it beautiful? As a Savigo team, we will share our thoughts on deploying Kubernetes Cluster on Premise vs in the Cloud.

Kubernetes On-Premise – Challenges

There is where the problems begin. Kubernetes is known for its complexity in implementation and operation. Running Kubernetes on-Premises basically means that you’re on your own with all of these difficulties – as opposed to using Kubernetes Service on AWSGPC, or Azure where your cloud provider of choice will hide all of these difficulties and take care of them behind the scenes
Well, I hope you already have your high availability server, or at least you are leasing it. On top of that, you will need a server management platform, such a Proxmox. It all takes a lot of work and knowledge and you aren’t even close to starting deploying the Kubernetes Cluster.
Choosing and configuring the suitable infrastructure for Kubernetes Cluster is another challenge that requires extensive knowledge. You have to plan how many master and worker nodes you will need, and what resources you will give each of them. Don’t forget that setting the right storage and network is also required. 
 On top of building, managing, and maintaining your own architecture, that public clouds generally take care of, deploying Kubernetes from scratch also requires core modifications, such as:
  •  Disabling SWAP memory since K8S can’t work with it.
  •  Configuring the network settings files, like netplan – if your VM choice is ubuntu 18.04
  •  Adding IP addresses and hostnames to /etc/hosts file so nodes can communicate with each other.
  •  Modifying the ssh access.

Infrastructure automation tools as Ansible or Terraform will surely help you with doing all of these tasks, but now you need to learn how to use them or find someone who does.

Last but not least, let’s not forget about all the amenities that we get on Public Clouds, but we don’t get them on-Premises, including load balancer, persistent volume provisioner(f.e. NFS, GlusterFS), storage class, auto-scaling, images registries, roll-back on faulty deployments, security and IAM and many more.

Kubernetes On-Premises – Benefits

You can wonder now why companies choose running Kubernetes on-Premises instead of easy implementation in the cloud.
Cloud services sometimes might not be cheap. The bigger traffic you will generate the bigger your invoice gonna be – in opposite to architecture on-premise where most of your expenses come to the hardware – that is why sometimes this is a better solution for small companies.

Some companies prefer or simply have to keep all of the sensitive data in their own Data Canters due to regulations and data privacy issues.

Kubernetes Cloud Solution

When it comes to cloud solutions, the most important thing on your behalf is choosing the right instance type – it’s not as easy as it sounds as there are tons of them. While some instances just don’t have enough resources, others may be too expensive. Once your instance type is chosen you can just create the cluster within few minutes using command lines such as eksctl on AWS.

You don’t need to be concerned about management, deploying and maintaining aspect because everything is figured out for you by the Cloud Provider, on the other hand, it means that you don’t really know how the fundament architecture is built. If you don’t care how it works then this is perfectly fine – but if you want to deeply understand and customize your cluster it is better to start with an on-premise solution.


In conclusion, running Kubernetes Cluster on-prem is quite challenging and requires comprehensive knowledge, but will give you a deep understanding of its whole architecture. On the other hand if you choose Public Cloud solution you can start deploying your apps on K8S in minutes, but it can also be quite expensive. Which solution is better? – The choice is yours

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