What is Kubernetes in DevOps?

Description of the image

The world of software development and IT operations is evolving fleetly, and DevOps practices have become essential to managing this speed. Kubernetes is central to numerous DevOps workflows. It's an open-source platform initially developed by Google. Kubernetes is frequently shortened as K8s and has transformed how operations are released, gauged, and managed. Kubernetes has become a pillar of ultramodern DevOps practices. 

Evolution of DevOps

To completely understand the significance of Kubernetes in DevOps, it's essential to trace the evolution of DevOps and the role of containers. DevOps is an artistic and specialized movement aimed at decreasing the gap between development (Dev) and operations (Ops) teams. It promotes collaboration,  nonstop integration/  nonstop deployment (CI/ CD), and automation, which leads to brisk and more dependable software delivery. 

Role of Containers

Containers, popularized by Docker,  summarize operations and their dependencies into a standardized unit, ensuring consistency across different surroundings. This approach eliminates the" it works on my machine" problem, allowing developers to make and test operations in an isolated, reproducible environment. 

By packaging an operation along with all its libraries, configurations, and dependencies, holders ensure that the operation will run the same way, regardless of where it's stationed. This portability streamlines the development channel, making it easier to move operations from development to testing to product surroundings seamlessly.  

However, as organizations started adopting containers at scale, new challenges emerged. Managing many containers is straightforward, but orchestrating hundreds or thousands of containers across multiple servers requires sophisticated operation tools. Issues similar to service discovery,  cargo balancing, scaling, resource allocation, and maintaining asked countries of the system became increasingly complex. 

What is Kubernetes?

The Kubernetes is originally derived from the Greek word “helmsman” or “pilot.” It is designed to automate applications' release, scaling, and management. It provides a unified platform for running distributed systems efficiently.

Key Features of Kubernetes 

Automated Release and Scaling

Kubernetes automates the release of containers across multiple nodes in a cluster. It also monitors the cluster's state and automatically scales operations predicted on demand,  icing optimal resource application. 


Kubernetes continually monitors the health of nodes; it automatically restarts or replaces failed factors to maintain the operation's asked state. 

Load Balancing and Service Discovery

Kubernetes has a built-in capacity for load balancing, which helps distribute business unevenly across all the containers. This also includes a service discovery medium to allow containers to communicate with each other reliably. 

Automated Rollouts and Rollbacks

Kubernetes can support automated rollouts and rollbacks. It enables smooth application updates with little downtime and can easily monitor the impact, ensuring stability.

Kubernetes Architecture

Kubernetes is composed of various key components. Let’s take a look at some of its components:

Master Node

It is the control plane of Kubernetes and is responsible for managing the cluster. It includes components like the API server, controller manager, and scheduler.

Worker Nodes

These are the nodes that run containerized applications. Each worker node has the kubelet (the agent that communicates with the master node), container runtime (Docker), and kube-proxy (the networking component). 


It is the smallest deployable unit in Kubernetes. It consists of one or more containers that share the same network and storage. These pods represent a single instance of a running process in a cluster.


There are numerous ways to expose an application running on a set of pods as a network service. These services provide load balancing and discovery features.

What we can do with Kubernetes in DevOps

Container OrchestrationAutomate deployment, scaling, and operations of application containers across clusters of hosts.
Service DiscoveryAutomatically exposes containers using DNS names or IP addresses.
Load BalancingDistributes network traffic across multiple containers to ensure application reliability
Storage OrchestrationAutomatically mounts the storage system of your choice, whether from local storage or cloud providers.
Automated RolloutsGradually roll out changes to your application or its configuration while monitoring application health.
Self-HealingAutomatically restarts containers.
Secret and Configuration ManagementDeploy and update secrets and application configuration without rebuilding your image and without exposing secrets in your stack configuration.

Kubernetes in DevOps Practices

Kubernetes has transformed the DevOps workflow process. In this section, we will look at how Kubernetes impacts the DevOps practices in the organization.

Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)

Kubernetes provides a CI/CD pipeline facility by allowing a consistent and scalable environment for running applications. Integration with tools like Jenkins, GitLab CI, and Circle CI allows automated application building, testing, and deployment.

Infrastructure as Code (IaC)

Kubernetes manipulates the desired condition of the infrastructure (YAML or JSON files). It aligns with the IaC principles and enables version control and infrastructure suitability.

Microservices Architecture

Kubernetes is optimized for microservices, which convert applications into lower and virtually coupled services. It provides the necessary structure for managing microservices, including service discovery, load balancing, and scaling. 

Monitoring and Logging

Kubernetes integrates with tools like Prometheus, Grafana, and ELK Stack, which perform monitoring and logging functions. It provides visibility into the performance and health of operations and structure. 

How to set Kubernetes and Terraform


  • Kubernetes: Install kubectl CLI.
  • Terraform: Install Terraform CLI.

Step 1: Configure Kubernetes Cluster by using managed services like AWS EKS, GCP GKE, or Azure AKS.

Step 2: Install Terraform ->

Step 3: Create Terraform Configuration

provider "kubernetes" {
  config_path = "~/.kube/config"

resource "kubernetes_namespace" "example" {
  metadata {
    name = "example"

resource "kubernetes_deployment" "example" {
  metadata {
    name = "nginx-deployment"
    namespace = kubernetes_namespace.example.metadata[0].name
  spec {
    replicas = 2
    selector {
      match_labels = {
        app = "nginx"
    template {
      metadata {
        labels = {
          app = "nginx"
      spec {
        container {
          image = "nginx:1.14.2"
          name  = "nginx"
          ports {
            container_port = 80

Step 4 : Initialize Terraform and Apply Terraform Configuration

terraform init

terraform apply

Container Orchestration with Kubernetes

Step 1: Create a Kubernetes cluster using managed services like AWS EKS, GCP GKE, or Azure AKS.

Step 2: Install kubectl to interact with your cluster.

Step 3: Create YAML files to define deployments, services, config maps, and secrets.

apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
  name: nginx-deployment
  replicas: 3
      app: nginx
        app: nginx
      - name: nginx
        image: nginx:1.14.2
        - containerPort: 80

Step 4: Resource Allocation -> Kubernetes scheduler allocates pods to nodes based on resource requests and availability.

Step 5: Use node affinity rules to control which nodes can run certain pods.

Step 6: Automatically scale the number of pod replicas based on CPU utilization.

kubectl autoscale deployment nginx-deployment --cpu-percent=50 --min=1 --max=10

Setup Load Balancing with Kubernetes

Step 1: Create a deployment YAML file for your application.

apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
  name: nginx-deployment
  replicas: 3
      app: nginx
        app: nginx
      - name: nginx
        image: nginx:1.14.2
        - containerPort: 80

Step 2: Define a service to expose your deployment and handle load balancing.

apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
  name: nginx-service
    app: nginx
    - protocol: TCP
      port: 80
      targetPort: 80
  type: LoadBalancer

Step 3: Deploy to Kubernetes

kubectl apply -f nginx-deployment.yaml
kubectl apply -f nginx-service.yaml

Real-World Applications of Kubernetes in DevOps


Spotify uses Kubernetes to manage its microservices architecture, which enables efficient scaling and service release across its global user base. It helps Spotify handle large-scale traffic and ensures high availability.


Airbnb utilizes Kubernetes to run its core infrastructure, allowing rapid development and release cycles. Kubernetes' capabilities endure resilience and stability for Airbnb’s services.

The New York Times

All the New York Times applications were migrated to Kubernetes to increase deployment speed and scalability. These automated rollouts have minimized downtime during updates. 

Useful Commands Kubernetes in DevOps

kubectl config set-cluster
Configure kubectl to use a specific cluster
kubectl config set-context 
--cluster=<cluster-name> --user=<user-name>
Set the context to use a specific cluster and user
kubectl config 
Switch the context to a specific cluster
kubectl cluster-info
Get cluster information
Node Management
kubectl get nodes
List all nodes in the cluster
kubectl describe 
node <node-name>
Get detailed information about a node
kubectl cordon <node-name>
Mark a node as unschedulable
kubectl uncordon <node-name>
Mark a node as schedulable
kubectl drain 
Drain a node for maintenance
Pod Management
kubectl get pods
List all pods in the default namespace
kubectl get pods 
-n <namespace>
List all pods in a specific namespace
kubectl describe 
pod <pod-name>
Get detailed information about a pod
kubectl delete 
pod <pod-name>
Delete a pod
kubectl apply -f 
Create a pod from a YAML file
kubectl exec 
-it <pod-name> -- <command>
Execute a command in a pod
Service Management
kubectl get services
List all services
kubectl describe 
service <service-name>
Get detailed information about a service
kubectl apply -f <service-definition.yaml>
Create a service from a YAML file
kubectl delete 
service <service-name>
Delete a service
Deployment Management
kubectl get deployments
List all deployments
kubectl describe 
deployment <deployment-name>
Get detailed information about a deployment
kubectl apply -f 
Create a deployment from a YAML file
kubectl apply -f 
Update a deployment
kubectl scale deployment
Scale a deployment
kubectl rollout 
undo deployment 
Rollback a deployment
Namespace Management
kubectl get namespaces
List all namespaces
kubectl create 
namespace <namespace-name>
Create a namespace
kubectl delete 
namespace <namespace-name>
Delete a namespace
ConfigMap Management
kubectl get configmaps
List all ConfigMaps
kubectl apply -f 
Create a ConfigMap from a YAML file
Secret Management
kubectl get secrets
List all secrets
kubectl apply -f 
Create a secret from a YAML file
Logging and Monitoring
kubectl logs <pod-name>
View logs of a pod
kubectl logs <pod-name> -c <container-name>
View logs of a specific container in a pod
kubectl logs -f 
Stream logs of a pod
Persistent Volume Management
kubectl get pv
List all Persistent Volumes (PVs)
kubectl get pvc
List all Persistent Volume Claims (PVCs)
kubectl apply -f 
Create a Persistent Volume and Persistent Volume Claim from a YAML file
kubectl apply -f <filename.yaml>
Apply a configuration to a resource by file
kubectl delete 
-f <filename.yaml>
Delete a resource by file
kubectl api-resources
Get available API resources
kubectl api-versions
Get available API versions
kubectl explain <resource>
Get documentation for a resource

Challenges and Considerations


Kubernetes requires constant knowledge and expertise updation. Its steep learning curve requires a certain level of expertise for its setup and management. Understanding its components and architecture is essential for effective and optimal use.

Resource Management

Proper Management of resources, like CPU, memory, and storage, is essential to avoid over- or under-provisioning. This resource management significantly impacts performance and cost.

Monitoring and Debugging

Kubernetes has extensive monitoring and logging capabilities. Interpretation and debugging issues can be a challenge in organizations, but Kubernetes has a set of strong monitoring and alerting strategies that are a boon for them.

Kubernetes has revolutionized how associations deploy, scale, and manage operations in the DevOps era. Its critical capabilities, combined with the benefits of containerization,  give a strong and secured platform for enforcing DevOps practices. By automating deployment processes, ensuring high accessibility, and enabling flawless scalability, Kubernetes empowers associations to deliver software speedily and more reliably.   

Kubernetes and Its Future

Despite its complexity, the wide acceptance of Kubernetes is a testament to its value in ultramodern IT  surroundings. As further organizations clasp microservices, CI/ CD channels, and invariable infrastructure, Kubernetes will continue to play a vital part in shaping the future of DevOps. By addressing challenges through proper training, resource operation, and security measures, associations can utilize the full potential of Kubernetes, achieving lesser effectiveness and innovation in their software development and operations processes.

Read More

Follow us on

Table of Contents

    Subscribe to Us

    Always Get Notified