What is Kubernetes in Simple Terms?

By John King, CISSP, PMP, CISM •  Updated: 01/01/23 •  3 min read

Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration system that was developed by Google but is now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). It is designed to automate the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications.

Containers are a way to package an application along with all its dependencies into a single, standalone unit that can be easily deployed and run on any platform. This makes developing and deploying applications much easier, as it ensures that the application will run the same way on any machine, regardless of the underlying infrastructure.

Kubernetes, often referred to as “K8s,” was designed to manage and orchestrate these containerized applications at scale. It provides a framework for deploying, scaling, and managing containerized applications across a cluster of machines.

One of the key features of Kubernetes is its ability to automatically scale applications up or down based on demand. This is achieved through replicas or copies of the application that can be run on different machines in the cluster. Kubernetes will automatically create and destroy replicas as needed to ensure that the desired number of replicas are running at all times.

Another key feature of Kubernetes is its ability to reschedule failed containers on healthy machines automatically. If a container fails, Kubernetes will automatically restart it on a healthy machine, ensuring that the application is always available.

In addition to these core features, Kubernetes also provides some other tools and features that make it easier to manage and deploy containerized applications. These include:

Kubernetes has become the standard for managing containerized applications in the cloud and is widely used by companies of all sizes. It has a large and active community, with contributions from companies such as Google, Red Hat, and IBM, as well as many individual developers.

One of the reasons for its popularity is that it is platform-agnostic, meaning it can run on any infrastructure, including on-premises, in the cloud, or even on a developer’s laptop. This makes it an attractive option for companies that want to use containers but want to avoid being tied to a particular cloud provider.

Overall, Kubernetes is a powerful and flexible tool that makes it easy to deploy, scale, and manage containerized applications at scale. If you plan to use containers in your application development and deployment process, it is worth considering Kubernetes as your orchestration platform.

John King, CISSP, PMP, CISM

John King currently works in the greater Los Angeles area as a ISSO (Information Systems Security Officer). John has a passion for learning and developing his cyber security skills through education, hands on work, and studying for IT certifications.