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Container provisioning and management have been a strain on DevOps and software engineers. Organizations are leveraging Kubernetes to improve and streamline their operations. But, what is it, and how does it work?

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes, also known as K8s, is an open-source container orchestration platform for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. It can be used on-premises, hybrid, or public cloud infrastructures. This provides a robust framework for orchestrating containers, allowing developers to focus on building and shipping applications, rather than worrying about the underlying infrastructure.

Starting as a Google open-sourced project, Kubernetes’ primary focus is optimization. It automates many DevOps manual processes and simplifies the work of software developers. This includes automatically restarting failed containers, removing unresponsive containers, and continuously checking container health.

Kubernetes Benefits

Kubernetes offers a wide range of benefits to improve application deployment and management. Let’s delve into a few key benefits:

Scalability and Flexibility
Kubernetes allows applications to scale seamlessly based on demand. It can automatically scale the number of application instances up or down, ensuring optimal performance and resource utilization.

Portability and Vendor Neutrality
Kubernetes provides a vendor-agnostic platform, allowing applications to run consistently across various cloud providers and on-premises environments. This portability eliminates vendor lock-in, giving businesses the freedom to choose the best infrastructure for their needs.

Enhanced Resource Utilization
Through efficient load balancing and resource allocation, Kubernetes optimizes the utilization of underlying hardware resources. It ensures that applications run without contention, enhancing overall system performance.

High Availability and Fault Tolerance
K8s enables the deployment of applications across multiple nodes, ensuring high availability. If a node fails, the system automatically redirects traffic and workloads to healthy nodes, maintaining uninterrupted service—a fundamental requirement for mission-critical applications.

Common Kubernetes Terms

Before we fully grasp the workings of Kubernetes, it is imperative to familiarize ourselves with a few fundamental terms. These terms serve as building blocks for a comprehensive understanding of the subject at hand. Let us delve into them before proceeding further.

  • Cluster is the foundation of Kubernetes. Containerized applications run on top of clusters. It is a set of machines on which your applications are managed and run.
  • Nodes are the physical or virtual machines in a Kubernetes cluster.
  • Pods are scheduled onto nodes, where the containers within them run. This is the smallest deployable unit in Kubernetes, hosting one or more containers.
  • Master Node oversees the entire cluster. It communicates with nodes, making decisions about where to run applications based on resource availability, constraints, and other policies.
  • Controllers continuously monitor the cluster’s state. They work to ensure that the desired state (specified by users) matches the actual state.
  • Services enable a stable endpoint to access a set of Pods, facilitating load balancing and network abstraction.
  • Volume is a directory or table of contents that has all accessible data for containers in a given pod. It provides a process for connecting containers and pods to https://cribl.io/glossary/kubernetes/long-term storage elsewhere.
  • Ingress is an API object that manages external HTTP(S) traffic routing to services within the cluster. It enables rule-based and path-based access to different services.

How does Kubernetes work?

At its core, Kubernetes operates by managing clusters of nodes by providing a framework to run distributed systems. Here’s a simplified overview of how it works with some tips:

  1. Set up your Cluster by choosing and installing a Kubernetes distribution.
  2. Interact with and manage your cluster by creating YAML files for applications or monitoring cluster health with tools like Prometheus and Grafana.
  3. Ensure high availability and fault tolerance by implementing Pod Disruption Budgets, node affinity, and anti-affinity rules.
  4. Don’t forget to document best practices! Build network policies, role-based access control (RBAC), and Pod Security Policies.
  5. Always have a backup and disaster recovery plan. You never know when a failure could occur.
  6. Stay on top of updates and never stop learning.
Top 4 Most Common Kubernetes Challenges
While Kubernetes offers a multitude of benefits, its adoption comes with challenges. Some of the most common challenges are:
Want to learn more?
Watch our webinar to learn how to Install and Configure a Cribl Stream Master Instance on a Kubernetes Cluster


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