What is Kubernetes: A Complete Guide | Intellipaat

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What is Kubernetes
Updated on 05th Aug, 23 4.3 K Views

Kubernetes, commonly referred to as K8s, is an open-source container orchestration platform designed to simplify and streamline the management of containerized applications. Developed by Google and now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), Kubernetes automates various tasks related to deploying, scaling, and managing applications in a distributed computing environment.  In this blog, we’ll look at Kubernetes and why it’s become the go-to tool for developers looking to build and deploy cloud native applications.

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What is Kubernetes?

The container orchestration platform Kubernetes automates the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Developers can package a program and all its dependencies into a single, portable unit that can be run anywhere using containers, a lightweight type of virtualization. AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, other public cloud providers, and on-premises data centers can all deploy and manage containers using Kubernetes’ uniform API.

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Why use Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is a desirable alternative for deploying and managing containerized applications because it offers the following advantages:

  • Scalability: Kubernetes enables businesses to scale up their application up or down fast in response to demand, ensuring that they have adequate resources to deal with traffic surges and aren’t paying for resources that aren’t being used, also.
  • Resilience: Kubernetes has features already built to handle failures, such as automatic container restarts and node replacement.
  • Portability: Kubernetes simplifies moving applications between cloud providers or on-premises data centers by offering a standard API for deploying and managing containers across various environments.
  • Automation: Kubernetes automates various container deployment and management operations, including load balancing, service discovery, and rolling updates.

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What is a Kubernetes Cluster?

What is a Kubernetes Cluster

A collection of nodes running containerized apps under Kubernetes management is known as a cluster. The nodes can be physically present or virtual computers linked to a network. For managing and deploying containers, each node collaborates with the master node using a container runtime, such as Docker.

The master node is in charge of maintaining the cluster’s desired state, including the configuration of the cluster and the desired state of the applications executing on the nodes. To ensure the desired state is reached, the master node interacts with the cluster’s nodes.

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Kubernetes Architecture

Kubernetes Architecture

Kubernetes’ modular architecture, which comprises several interconnected components, provides a platform for deploying and managing containerized applications.

The following are the main components of the Kubernetes architecture:

  • Master node: The master node keeps the cluster in the appropriate condition by coordinating with the other nodes and managing the cluster’s state. The scheduler, controller manager, and API server are some of the parts that make up the master node.
  • API server: The API server is the front end of the Kubernetes control plane. Clients can communicate with the Kubernetes system thanks to the exposed Kubernetes API.
  • Etcd: The state of the Kubernetes cluster, including the desired state of the applications and the cluster’s configuration, is stored in etcd, a distributed key-value store.
  • Controller manager: The controller manager is in charge of making sure the cluster reaches the desired condition. Numerous controllers are included, such as the replication controller, which ensures that the appropriate number of pod replicas are always active.
  • Scheduler: The scheduler schedules a pod’s execution on a cluster node according to resource limits and other factors.
  • Nodes: The Kubernetes cluster’s worker machines are known as nodes. They run containerized programs to ensure the desired condition is reached and communicate with the master node. Each node is equipped with a kubelet, which maintains the node’s state and interacts with the master node and container runtime, such as Docker.
  • Pods: In Kubernetes, pods are the minor deployable units. A pod comprises one or more containers sharing the same network namespace and storage volumes. The scheduler plans when pods should execute on cluster nodes.

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How Kubernetes works?

How Kubernetes works

Kubernetes manages the resources required to achieve the desired state for the apps operating on the cluster after defining the desired state for those applications.

Here’s how Kubernetes works:

  • Define the desired state: You specify the intended configuration of your application by producing a Kubernetes manifest file, which describes the desired state of your application. The manifest file typically contains details on the container image to use, the number of replicas to run, the networking and storage requirements, and any environment variables or command-line arguments that need to be set.
  • Submit the manifest file: The Kubernetes API server, which serves as the system’s main control plane, receives the manifest file after you’ve specified the intended state. The API server keeps the desired state in a distributed key-value store called etcd.
  • Control plane components: Kubernetes contains several control plane elements that cooperate to ensure the cluster operates correctly, including the controller manager, etcd, and the API server.
  • Scheduler: The Kubernetes scheduler monitors for new pods, the smallest deployable units, and distributes them to nodes, the cluster’s worker computers, based on the available resources and other scheduling considerations.
  • Kubelet: Managing the containers and pods operating on each node in the cluster is done by a component known as the kubelet. To ensure the operating pods are in the desired state, the kubelet communicates with the API server.
  • Container runtime: Kubernetes can handle the containers operating on the nodes using a variety of container runtimes, including Docker or Container.
  • Networking: Kubernetes offers a networking concept that enables communication between containers on various nodes. Combining load balancing and network address translation also allows exposing services running in the cluster to external users.
  • Updates and scaling: Kubernetes offers strong update and scaling methods that allow you to update an application without the downtime and scale it up or down following demand.

Refere to our Kubernetes Cheat Sheet blog to get a quick reference guide or summary that provides essential commands, configurations, and tips for working with Kubernetes. 

Features of Kubernetes

Kubernetes offers a comprehensive set of features that simplify the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications in a distributed environment. Here are some key features of Kubernetes:

  • Containerization- Kubernetes leverages containerization technology, such as Docker, to package applications and their dependencies into portable and isolated units called containers. Containers ensure consistency and reproducibility across different environments.
  • Automated Deployments- Kubernetes simplifies the deployment process by automating various tasks. It enables you to define your application’s desired state through declarative configurations and handles the necessary steps to keep it up and to run, including scheduling, scaling, and restarting containers.
  • Scalability and Load Balancing- Kubernetes allows you to scale your applications seamlessly based on demand. It provides automatic load balancing across containers, distributing traffic evenly to ensure efficient utilization of resources and optimal performance.
  • Service Discovery and Load Balancing- Kubernetes has built-in mechanisms for service discovery and load balancing. It assigns a unique IP address and DNS name to each service, making it easy for applications to discover and communicate with each other. It also distributes incoming requests among available service instances to balance the load.
  • Self Healing- Kubernetes constantly monitors the health of your applications and containers. If a container or node fails, Kubernetes automatically restarts or reschedules them to ensure high availability. It can also perform rolling updates to update application versions without downtime.
  • Resource Management- Kubernetes allows you to allocate resources, such as CPU and memory, to containers and applications based on their requirements. It ensures that resources are utilized efficiently and provides mechanisms for setting resource limits, quotas, and prioritization.
  • Health Checks and Logging- Kubernetes supports health checks to monitor the liveliness and readiness of containers and applications. It can perform readiness probes to determine when a container is ready to accept traffic. Additionally, Kubernetes integrates with various logging solutions, allowing you to collect and analyze logs from containers and nodes.

Explore further to grasp the differences between Kubernetes and Docker in our blog “Kubernetes vs Docker“.

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Benefits of Kubernetes

Kubernetes offers numerous benefits that make it a preferred choice for container orchestration. Here are some key benefits of Kubernetes, explained in a formal and learner-friendly manner:

  • High Availability- Kubernetes enhances the availability of your applications by automatically distributing containers across multiple nodes, preventing any single point of failure. If a container or node fails, Kubernetes automatically replaces it, ensuring your applications remain up and running.
  • Fault Tolerance- With Kubernetes, you can easily define and manage application health checks. Kubernetes continuously monitors the health of containers and automatically restarts or replaces any failing containers. This self-healing feature helps maintain system stability and reduces the impact of failures.
  • Flexibility- Kubernetes provides flexibility in choosing infrastructure and cloud providers. It allows you to deploy applications on various environments, including public, private, or hybrid clouds. This flexibility enables organizations to adopt a multi-cloud strategy or migrate applications seamlessly across different platforms.
  • Resource Efficiency- Kubernetes optimizes resource utilization by efficiently scheduling containers across nodes based on resource requirements and availability. It ensures that resources like CPU and memory are allocated appropriately, preventing underutilization or overprovisioning.
  • Service Discovery and Load Balancing- Kubernetes simplifies service discovery by assigning each service a unique IP address and DNS name. This enables applications to locate and communicate with services seamlessly. Additionally, Kubernetes automatically load balances incoming traffic across multiple instances of a service, ensuring even distribution and efficient resource utilization.
  • DevOps Enablement- Kubernetes promotes collaboration and streamlines the DevOps workflow. It provides developers with a consistent and standardized platform to build, package, and deploy applications, while operations teams can focus on managing the infrastructure. Kubernetes facilitates faster development cycles and promotes modern software engineering practices.

Want to know more about Kubernetes, checkout our Kubernetes Tutorial to amplify your knowledge and adapt the Kubernetes best practices with it.


Ultimately, Kubernetes is a ground-breaking technology that offers a strong and adaptable method of managing containerized applications. Businesses can easily automate various operations and simplify their application management to its scalable, resilient, and portable features.

Kubernetes deployment is simple and it enhances management of applications while lowering the possibility of human error by automating a large portion of the tasks associated with managing containers. Nowadays,  more business companies are integrating to manage containers effectively and reliably – Kubernetes is your go-to platform to run a simple distributed system or any small application.

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