Kubernetes is an open-source container management system that is gaining traction among organizations large and small. It’s automated container orchestration improves reliability and reduces the time and resources attributed to daily operations. Transportation planners can look to Kubernetes for developing equity-based smart city technologies.
The U.S. Department of Commerce, through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), has been evaluating the merits of digital smart cities technologies to improve quality of life and expand economic prospects.
Their goal is to implement the fourth industrial revolution while achieving core community goals:
- Digital transformation cannot be achieved by widening the digital divide and leaving our most vulnerable citizens behind.
- Digital transformation that isn’t transparent and open for government hurts us more than it helps us.
- Digital transformation that does not provide the proper safeguards (digitally or physically) could disenfranchise consumers, thus derailing other opportunities to advance.
There are three core building blocks that smart communities need to implement digital transformation in true smart cities:
- A smart region must include a central open data platform.
- Each region must integrate diverse and innovative solutions from proven providers and startups.
- Each region must combine these technologies in the simplest user interface possible.
Kubernetes, also known as K8s, may offer the best approach to integrating these three core building blocks to achieve scalable digital transformation.
I’ve heard a lot about Kubernetes at industry events lately as both public and private organizations look to add better solutions to the digital transformation ecosystem while avoiding the creation of siloed applications.
In fact, my colleagues at GeoDecisions, a division of Gannett Fleming, are working in this space as well. According to GeoDecisions President Brendan Wesdock, MCP, GISP, “Kubernetes will solve many issues associated with diverse digital ecosystem development .”
Before we dive deeper into why Kubernetes can be a catalyst for smart cities, let’s consider some use cases.