What is Kubernetes? Definition, Features, and How It Works

Published on 18 March 2024

What is Kubernetes, Definition, Functions and How it Works

Kubernetes has become a very popular technology for application and infrastructure management. With its ability to automate the deployment, provisioning, and management of container-based applications, Kubernetes has changed the way developers and administrators manage application infrastructure.  

Are you looking to learn more about Kubernetes? This article provides a complete discussion of Kubernetes, its components, how it works, benefits, and the right Kubernetes solution for modern application management. 

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration system for automating the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. The platform was first developed by Google and is currently managed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF).    

By using Kubernetes, users can schedule and run containers on physical or virtual servers. A container is an isolated environment for a single application, complete with resources, file system, and CPU. This ensures that the application can run without significant downtime in the event of a problem.  

Kubernetes Components

Kubernetes has two main components that allow it to function.  

1. Clusters

A group of physical servers or virtual private servers (VPS) running Kubernetes. They consist of master node and worker node servers.  

  • Master node: The main server that manages all operations in the cluster, with three main components: kube-apiserver, kube-controller-manager, and kube-scheduler 
  • Worker nodes: Non-master servers responsible for running two components, kubelet and kube-proxy 

2. Objects

Objects in Kubernetes represent the state of a cluster. There are four basic objects in a Kubernetes cluster.  

  • Pod: The smallest unit that supports the Dock imager  
  • Service: Used to route requests to multiple Pods using IP addresses 
  • Volume: Data storage for containers  
  • Namespace: Object used to separate resources or environments in the cluster 

How Kubernetes Works

Kubernetes works by using a control plane to manage a cluster of worker nodes. The control plane is the core or “brain” of Kubernetes, responsible for setting the desired state of the cluster, while the worker nodes are responsible for running container applications.  

Kubernetes Architecture Example Diagram

Example of Kubernetes’ architecture diagram, source: spacelift.io 

Kubernetes can be thought of as a foreman, managing a group of workers (containers) on a construction project (cluster). Just like a foreman’s job, Kubernetes is responsible for organizing the applications in the system to run on command. From taking instructions from users about the application they want to run, to determining where the containers should work (worker nodes), to making sure the containers run the applications correctly, to fixing problems when there are containers that aren’t working properly (fail). 

Benefits of Kubernetes

Kubernetes provides users with several significant benefits when managing distributed applications running in containers. Here is a summary of the key benefits of using Kubernetes  

Scalability

It makes it easy to scale up or down the number of running containers as needed. This helps improve operational efficiency and optimize costs.  

Efficiency

The platform helps make more efficient use of server resources, reducing waste and improving application performance.  

Portability

Kubernetes is so portable and flexible that it can run on any infrastructure, including on-premises data centers, public clouds, private clouds, or hybrid clouds.     

Security

It comes with a wide range of security features to protect applications from threats. This helps improve compliance and reduce security risks.  

Automation

Highly stable system automation that does not affect the performance of the operations team. In addition, containers save developer time by applying rapid iteration cycle techniques. 

Kubernetes Benefits

Kubernetes has the following seven excellent features to facilitate application development.     

1. Service Discovery

Automatically discover containers using DNS names or server IP addresses.  

2. Load Balancing

When traffic spikes, Kubernetes can distribute the load to keep the application running stably.  

3. Storage Orchestration

Users can mount the storage they want, such as local storage or cloud-based storage.     

4. Automated Rollout and Rollback

Utilizes YAML files for deployment, allowing users to describe the desired deployment in advance. In addition, rollback can be performed automatically if there are problems with the documented deployment.   

5. Automatic Bin Packing

Set specific CPU and RAM capacity for each container. By setting capacity limits, applications will not scramble for available resources, saving more resources.  

6. Self-healing

Inspect containers, restart failed containers, or replace unresponsive containers. Kubernetes does not direct traffic to containers until they are ready to receive requests.  

7. Secret and Configuration Management

Store sensitive data such as passwords, SSH keys, and authentication tokens in Kubernetes Secret. Users can create and update Secret without having to rebuild the container image in the configuration.   

These capabilities make Kubernetes a powerful framework for developers and administrators to more effectively implement DevOps, cloud, and DevSecOps practices, accelerating the development and delivery of high-quality applications.   

To simplify the implementation of Kubernetes in your business applications, CDT recommends a combination of three trusted Kubernetes solutions: NGINX Kubernetes from F5, Dynatrace Kubernetes Monitoring, and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service. 

Also read: Tips and How to Create Modern Applications for Your Business 

Kubernetes Solutions from CDT: Dynatrace, AWS, and F5

NGINX Kubernetes from F5

F5’s NGINX Kubernetes solution is a managed platform that integrates NGINX and Kubernetes technologies, helping organizations manage and run modern applications more efficiently.  

F5 NGINX Kubernetes helps reduce downtime and simplify troubleshooting by providing more than 200 real-time and historical metrics and dashboards to detect issues before they impact customers.  

Key components of the solution include  

  • Security: Protect applications from attacks with features such as WAF, DDoS protection, bot mitigation, RBAC, and data encryption. 
  • Observability: Complete visibility into applications and infrastructure through centralized dashboards, real-time monitoring, log analysis, and deployment tracking  
  • API Gateway: A single point of secure access, control, monitoring, and scalability for your APIs  
  • Load Balancing: Manage traffic distribution, provide redundancy, improve performance, and support multiple load balancing protocols 

With F5’s NGINX Kubernetes solution, organizations can leverage the latest technology to improve the security, performance, and observability of their applications in a Kubernetes environment. 

Dynatrace Kubernetes Monitoring

Dynatrace Kubernetes Monitoring is a full-stack observability solution that helps users comprehensively monitor and manage Kubernetes applications and infrastructure. The solution provides a range of benefits, including complete visibility, artificial intelligence-based anomaly detection, root cause analysis, and correlation between metrics, events, and logs.  

Key features of Dynatrace Kubernetes Monitoring include 

  • Integration with Over 650 Tools: Allows users to view data from multiple sources in a unified view. This provides a more complete picture of the overall health and performance of the application and infrastructure 
  • Fast, Secure and Cost-Effective Scalability: Designed to easily scale on demand, it can handle large and complex Kubernetes environments. In addition, Dynatrace uses an efficient and cost-effective architecture. 

Dynatrace Kubernetes Monitoring allows users to easily monitor, analyze and optimize their Kubernetes environment to improve the performance, security and availability of their applications. 

Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service

Amazon EKS, or Elastic Kubernetes Service, is a managed service that simplifies the process of running the Kubernetes platform in the AWS cloud or on-premises. In the cloud, Amazon EKS automatically manages the availability and scalability of core Kubernetes components, such as the control plane, which is responsible for scheduling containers, managing application availability, storing cluster data, and other tasks.  

With Amazon EKS, users can take advantage of all the performance, scalability, reliability, and availability of the AWS infrastructure, as well as integration with their network and security services. Meanwhile, on-premises, EKS provides a consistent and fully supported Kubernetes solution with integrated appliances and easy deployment to AWS outposts, virtual machines, or bare metal servers.  

Key features of Amazon EKS include  

  • Deployment in hybrid Environments: Provides the flexibility to run Kubernetes in multiple environments, including the AWS cloud and on-premises 
  • Machine Learning Workflow Model: Integrates with other AWS services, including Amazon SageMaker, allowing users to easily build, train, deploy, and scale ML models 
  • Build and Run Web Applications: Kubernetes is the ideal platform for running modern distributed and microservices-based web applications, providing the flexibility and scalability required for such environments 

Get the Best Kubernetes Solutions Only at CDT

Accelerate your application development and deployment with Kubernetes solutions from F5 NGINX Kubernetes, Dynatrace Kubernetes Monitoring, and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS).  

As an authorized partner of F5, Dynatrace, and AWS, Central Data Technology (CDT) is ready to help you quickly and efficiently manage your applications in Kubernetes. Backed by a professional, experienced, and certified IT team, CDT can help you with consulting, deployment, management, and after-sales support to eliminate trial and error.    

Contact us through this link to get the best help in optimizing your Kubernetes environment.  

Author: Wilsa Azmalia Putri      

Content Writer CTI Group 

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