Healthcare Technology Featured Article

January 24, 2024

Basic Concepts in Cloud Native and Kubernetes

The Growing Importance of Cloud Native and Kubernetes in Healthcare

In recent years, the healthcare industry has undergone a digital transformation. There's an increasing reliance on technology and data to deliver medical services and improve patient outcomes. In this context, cloud-native technology and Kubernetes have emerged as pivotal tools for healthcare providers.

Cloud-native technologies provide a new way to build and run applications that can leverage the full potential of the cloud computing model. Kubernetes, in contrast, is an open-source platform for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. In the healthcare industry, Kubernetes and cloud-native technologies are used to enhance the delivery of medical services, improve the patient experience, and optimize the use of resources.

The use of these technologies is not a mere trend. It represents a significant shift in how healthcare services are delivered and managed. With the growing volume of patient data and the increasing demand for digital health services, healthcare providers are finding that traditional IT infrastructure and software development practices are no longer sufficient. They need a more flexible, scalable, and resilient system that can meet these challenges - and that's where cloud-native and Kubernetes come in.

Use Cases of Cloud Native and Kubernetes in Healthcare

Patient Data Management

Managing patient data is one of the most critical functions in healthcare. It involves collecting, storing, and analyzing a vast amount of information, ranging from electronic health records to lab results and medical images. Cloud-native technologies and Kubernetes provide a solution to manage this data effectively.

In a cloud-native environment, data is stored in a distributed manner across multiple servers in the cloud. This approach has several advantages. First, it provides a high level of scalability. As the amount of data grows, additional storage can be added seamlessly. Second, it ensures data availability. Even if a server fails, the data is still available from other servers.

Kubernetes adds another layer of capabilities to this setup. It automates the deployment and scaling of applications that handle patient data. For instance, if there's a sudden surge in data volume, Kubernetes can automatically deploy additional instances of an application to handle the load.

Healthcare Application Scalability

Scalability is a critical requirement for healthcare applications. These applications need to handle a varying amount of workload, depending on factors like the number of patients being served, the time of day, or the occurrence of a public health crisis. Cloud-native and Kubernetes offer a solution to achieve this scalability.

In a cloud-native architecture, applications are built as a collection of small, independent services, also known as microservices. Each microservice can be scaled independently, based on its workload. This makes the overall application highly adaptable to changes in demand.

Kubernetes further enhances this scalability. It monitors the workload of each microservice and automatically scales them up or down as needed. This ensures that each service always has just the right amount of resources to handle its workload efficiently.

Ensuring High Availability of Critical Healthcare Systems

Ensuring the high availability of critical healthcare systems is another area where cloud-native and Kubernetes shine. These systems include electronic health record systems, diagnostic imaging systems, and telemedicine platforms, to name a few. Any downtime in these systems can have severe consequences, including disruption of patient care and financial losses.

Cloud-native technologies provide a solution to this challenge. In a cloud-native environment, applications are distributed across multiple servers in the cloud. This means, if one server fails, the application can continue running on other servers. This ensures a high level of availability.

Kubernetes provides an additional layer of availability assurance. It continuously monitors the health of applications and automatically restarts any application that fails. This ensures that critical healthcare systems are always up and running.

Fundamental Concepts of Cloud Native


Microservices is a key concept in cloud-native architecture. In a microservices architecture, an application is broken down into a collection of small, independent services. Each service is responsible for a specific function and communicates with other services through APIs.

Microservices have several advantages. They allow for independent development and deployment of each service. This means you can update or scale a service without affecting the rest of the application. Microservices also promote a high level of fault isolation. If a service fails, it doesn't bring down the entire application.


Containers are another fundamental concept of cloud-native. A container is a lightweight, standalone package that includes everything needed to run a piece of software, including the code, runtime, system tools, libraries, and settings.

Containers provide several benefits. They ensure consistency across different environments. This means, a software that runs in a container will work the same way, regardless of where the container is deployed. Containers also provide a high level of isolation. Each container runs in its own environment, separate from other containers. This reduces the risk of conflicts between different pieces of software.

Dynamic Orchestration

Dynamic orchestration is a concept that ties together microservices and containers in a cloud-native environment. Orchestration involves managing the lifecycle of containers, including their deployment, scaling, networking, and availability.

This is where Kubernetes comes into play. Kubernetes is a powerful orchestration platform. It can manage a large number of containers, ensuring they have the right resources and are running properly. Kubernetes can also handle the communication between different microservices, ensuring they work together efficiently.

Key Kubernetes Concepts

Kubernetes is the de-facto standard for container orchestration, and probably the world’s most popular cloud native framework. Here are some basic concepts to make yourself familiar with Kubernetes.


In Kubernetes, a Pod is the smallest and simplest unit that you can create and manage. It is a group of one or more containers, with shared storage and network resources, and a specification for how to run the containers. Pods are the building blocks of Kubernetes, and understanding them is key to understanding how Kubernetes works.


A Service in Kubernetes is an abstraction that defines a logical set of Pods and a policy by which to access them. Services enable decoupling of application dependencies, making the applications easier to scale and manage. They are a critical concept in Kubernetes, and understanding them provides a deeper understanding of how Kubernetes enables scalable and resilient applications.


An Operator in Kubernetes is a method of packaging, deploying, and managing a Kubernetes application. Operators extend the Kubernetes API, adding new custom resources to manage applications and their components. They encapsulate the domain knowledge of the specific application they manage, automating its lifecycle management.


A Deployment in Kubernetes provides declarative updates for Pods and ReplicaSets. It allows you to describe the desired state of your application, and Kubernetes will manage the state to match the desired state. Deployments are a powerful concept in Kubernetes, allowing for easy scaling, rolling updates, and rollback of applications.


Namespaces in Kubernetes are a way to divide cluster resources between multiple users or teams. They provide a scope for names, allowing you to organize resources in a way that makes sense for your organization. Understanding Namespaces is crucial for managing resources effectively in Kubernetes.

Cloud Native and Kubernetes are revolutionizing the healthcare industry. They are providing the tools for managing and scaling health applications, managing patient data, and ensuring the high availability of critical healthcare systems. As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, so does the need for robust, scalable, and reliable IT infrastructure. Cloud Native and Kubernetes are meeting these needs, making them increasingly important in the healthcare industry.

Author Bio: Gilad David Maayan

Gilad David Maayan is a technology writer who has worked with over 150 technology companies including SAP, Imperva, Samsung NEXT, NetApp and Check Point, producing technical and thought leadership content that elucidates technical solutions for developers and IT leadership. Today he heads Agile SEO, the leading marketing agency in the technology industry.


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