Kubernetes Tools to Expand and Scale

Kubernetes, the container orchestration tool was developed by Google, and become an essential resource for Agile and DevOps teams. As an open-source tool, Kubernetes is becoming an ecosystem in itself, with other tools being developed to assist it. Some of these extensions are coming straight from Kubernetes, while others are open-source projects and have their own right.

Kubernetes gives a list of native and open source tools on their website, but we thought it’d be useful to review each tool in more depth. Some of these tools are preferred by Kubernetes learners, while others should be saved unless you develop a strong working knowledge of the system.

Native Tools:

1: Kubeadm

Kubeadm is the command line tool that allows you to easily provision a secure Kubernetes cluster on top of either a physical server, cloud server, or virtual machine. This enables you to bootstrap a Kubernetes cluster in an easy and secure way. The clusters created by Kubeadm are developed to pass the Kubernetes Conformance tests.

Kubeadm was designed for both new users to utilize with and gain a better understanding of Kubernetes, and for existing users to test applications and easily develop clusters. It’s great for testing the efficacy of Kubernetes clusters while providing teams the scalability they need if they decide to adopt it.

2: Kubectl

Kubectl is the command-line tool for Kubernetes that controls the Kubernetes cluster organizer. Under Kubectl, there are numerous subcommands for more precise cluster management control, like converting files between various API versions or executing container commands.

3: Kubefed

Another handy command line tool from Kubernetes is the Kubefed command. This tool assists you administrate your federated clusters. With Kubefed, you are capable of to deploy new Kubernetes cluster federation control planes. You can also add clusters to, detach clusters from, a pre-existing federation control plane. This tool is only available in Kubernetes version 1.5 and up.

4: Minikube

Minikube is a key Kubernetes tool for development and testing. It’s also another great tool for learners just getting started on Kubernetes. Minikube made it easy to execute a single-node Kubernetes cluster locally for development and testing. There are plenty of Kubernetes features supported on Minikube, including DNS, NodePorts, ConfigMaps and Secrets, Dashboards, Container Runtime (Docker, and CRI-O), allowing CNI’s, and ingress. Enabling Minikube is a simple process.

5: Dashboard

Kubernetes Dashboard is an amazingly useful tool for cluster management. From the web-based dashboard, you can deploy and debug your containerized apps into a Kubernetes cluster. Once deployed, you can manage the cluster in its entirety, along with all its resources.

Once up and running, Dashboard provides you an overarching view of all of your running applications. You can also refine any individual Kubernetes resources. These resources can be Daemon Sets, Deployments, Jobs, or any other resource you have executing.

6: Third-Party Tools

Third-party Kubernetes tools are not developed by Kubernetes itself, but still have a thriving community of strong open source developers. These tools are recognized by Kubernetes on their website, so it’s secure to trust them as much as Kubernetes does.

7: Helm

Helm is a vital tool used for managing Kubernetes charts. Kubernetes graphs are packages of pre-configured Kubernetes resources. These graphs have two things:

  1. A description of the package.
  2. One or more templates that contain Kubernetes manifest files.

Essentially, Helm streamlines install and manage your Kubernetes applications.

Helm has a ton of powerful features that help DevOps teams run their Kubernetes applications smoothly. You can find and utilize popular software packaged as official Kubernetes graphs. Some of the graphs can be found on Kubeapps. You can even make builds and share your own applications as Kubernetes graphs for others to use.

8: Kompose

Kompose is an essential tool for developers experienced in container management, but unknown with Kubernetes. If you’re experienced with containers, chances are you’re experienced with Docker Compose. Kompose enables users to seamlessly transition their Compose files and applications into Kubernetes objects by executing just one command.

Transferring your Docker Compose files to Kubernetes resources might not be completely the same, so make sure to double-check after the transfer. Even still, transferring using Kompose is a huge help for Docker Compose veterans.

At Clarity, we are going all in on containers, micro services, and continuous delivery in 2020.

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