Chapter 3. Getting Kubernetes

Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge.

Kahlil Gibran

Kubernetes is the operating system of the cloud native world, providing a reliable and scalable platform for running containerized workloads. But how should you run Kubernetes? Should you host it yourself? On cloud instances? On bare-metal servers? Or should you use a managed Kubernetes service? Or a managed platform that’s based on Kubernetes, but extends it with workflow tools, dashboards, and web interfaces?

That’s a lot of questions for one chapter to answer, but we’ll try.

It’s worth noting that we won’t be particularly concerned here with the technical details of operating Kubernetes itself, such as building, tuning, and troubleshooting clusters. There are many excellent resources to help you with that, of which we particularly recommend Kubernetes cofounder Brendan Burns’s book Managing Kubernetes: Operating Kubernetes Clusters in the Real World (O’Reilly).

Instead, we’ll focus on helping you understand the basic architecture of a cluster, and give you the information you need to decide how to run Kubernetes. We’ll outline the pros and cons of managed services, and look at some of the popular vendors.

If you want to run your own Kubernetes cluster, we list some of the best installation tools available to help you set up and manage clusters.

Cluster Architecture

You know that Kubernetes connects multiple servers into a cluster, but what is a cluster, and how does it work? The technical ...

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