What is Kubernetes (K8s)?

Containers can simplify the use of software. Everything that users need for an application is in the container. For this reason, we will explain to you exactly what Kubernetes (K8s) is and how container management works.

Kubernetes (K8s) was released in the first version in 2015. Many developers, including Google employees, jointly developed the container management. By connecting to Google, Kubernetes has its good reputation, but now the tool is also compatible with other cloud platforms.

The original goal of Kubernetes was to manage clusters internally at Google using the Borg and Omega systems. However, the developers decided against an internal solution and provided an open source version.

Thus, Kubernetes is now used for container management. Through containers, the software runs in an individual, virtual environment. All information for the application is located in the container and remains reliable there. This has the advantage that instances can also run side by side.

The problem is that containers cannot be managed manually very easily and uncomplicatedly. This is exactly what Kubernetes (K8s) supports – a tool that can easily cope with a large number of containers.

How does Kubernetes work?

As mentioned earlier, Kubernetes is a container management tool. This means that containers cannot be created with Kubernetes, but can only be managed. Automation plays a crucial role in its use in order to make it particularly easy for users to test and maintain their applications.

The Kubernetes hierarchy is clearly divided:

  • Container: The containers contain the applications and software environments.
  • Pod: A pod collects all the containers that work together for an application.
  • Node: One or more pods can run on a node.
  • Cluster: Clusters are the last unit of the hierarchy. Here, nodes are combined into a cluster.

In addition to the four units listed, master and slaves also play a role in the architecture of Kubernetes. Slaves are the controlled parts of a system and are used as nodes. These are managed and controlled by the Kubernetes master.

For example, a master takes care of distributing the pods to nodes. As a result, the master has permanent control over the monitoring and can intervene if a node fails.

In practice, the principle applies: The actual state is always compared with a target state and adjusted if irregularities occur. As already mentioned, automation plays an important role, because these processes are also completely automatic. At the same time, administrators have access via the master, for example to differentiate containers.

What can Kubernetes be used for?

Kubernetes provides users with a tool that can be used to plan and run containers to clusters of physical or virtual machines step by step. Put more simply, Kubernetes creates an infrastructure in a production environment that is completely based on containers.

Kubernetes is similar to other application platforms that take care of automating tasks. The decisive difference, however, is that Kubernetes uses containers.

So that you can get a better picture of the tool, we will show you some application examples below:

  • Differentiate containers
  • The existing hardware can be used better
  • Automate application updates
  • Move containers to automate many work steps

What are the benefits of using Kubernetes?

In practice, the use of Kubernetes offers clear advantages for users. For example, the tool supports saving resources. Machines that are not needed, for example, do not simply continue to run. Kubernetes releases the resources and uses them for other tasks or switches them off completely. In both cases, costs are saved.

Another advantage of Kubernetes is that several platforms are linked together, but at the same time the overview is always kept. Because each of the containers is individually marked and users can track the status of each instance.

Automated updates are one of the most important advantages of Kubernetes. New versions are rolled out in such a way that there is no downtime at any time. In practice, this means that pods are not changed all at once, but one after the other. By the way, this principle applies both to the internal test version and to updates of new versions for end users.

Basically, many Kubernetes argue that failures are rare. If a pod fails in between or does not work as planned, the Kubernetes master immediately detects the failure and provides a replacement.

Conclusion: Practical help with container management

Kubernetes gives you the ability to manage large amounts of containers. At the same time, you can automate many work steps and thus ensure less downtime. Kubernetes – or K8s – is also referred to as a revolution in software development.

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