Deploying Kubernetes
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2h 30m

Kubernetes is a production-grade container orchestration system that helps you maximize the benefits of using containers. Kubernetes provides you with a toolbox to automate deploying, scaling, and operating containerized applications in production. This course will teach you all about Kubernetes including what it is and how to use it.

This course is paired with an Introduction to Kubernetes Playground lab that you can use to follow along with the course using your own Kubernetes cluster. The lab creates a Kubernetes cluster for you to use as we perform hands-on demos in the course. All of the commands that are used in the course are included in the lab to make it easy to follow along.

Learning Objectives 

  • Describe Kubernetes and what it is used for
  • Deploy single and multiple container applications on Kubernetes
  • Use Kubernetes services to structure N-tier applications 
  • Manage application deployments with rollouts in Kubernetes
  • Ensure container preconditions are met and keep containers healthy
  • Learn how to manage configuration, sensitive, and persistent data in Kubernetes
  • Discuss popular tools and topics surrounding Kubernetes in the ecosystem

Intended Audience

This course is intended for:

  • Anyone deploying containerized applications
  • Site Reliability Engineers (SREs)
  • DevOps Engineers
  • Operations Engineers
  • Full Stack Developers


You should be familiar with:

  • Working with Docker and be comfortable using it at the command line

Source Code

The source files used in this course are available here:


August 27th, 2019 - Complete update of this course using the latest Kubernetes version and topics

May 7th, 2021 - Complete update of this course using the latest Kubernetes version and topics



Once you've decided on Kubernetes, you have a variety of methods for deploying Kubernetes. This course focuses on the core concepts. But because it is only natural to ask how to get started using Kubernetes, this short lesson discusses some of your options for deploying Kubernetes.

Deploying Kubernetes single-node cluster. For development and test scenarios, you can run Kubernetes on a single-machine. Docker for Mac and Docker for Windows, both include support for running Kubernetes on the local machine in a single-node configuration. Just make sure Kubernetes is enabled in the settings. This is the easiest way to get started if you already have Docker installed.

Another option is to use minikube which supports Linux in addition to Macs and Windows. Lastly, Linux systems can use kubeadm to set up a single-node cluster. Kubeadm is used as a building block for building Kubernetes clusters, but it can effectively create single-node clusters. But be aware that kubeadm will install Kubernetes on the system itself rather than a virtual machine, like the prior methods.

Single-node clusters are also useful within continuous integration pipelines. In this use case, you want to create ephemeral clusters that start quickly and are in a pristine state for testing applications in Kubernetes each time you check a new code. Kubernetes in Docker, abbreviated K-in-D or kind is made specifically for this use case.

Deploying Kubernetes multi-node cluster. For your production workloads, you want clusters with multiple nodes to take advantage of horizontal scaling and to tolerate node failures. To decide what solution works best for you, you need to ask several key questions including, "How much control do you want over the cluster versus the amount of effort you are willing to invest in maintaining it?"

Fully-managed solutions free you from routine maintenance but often lag the latest Kubernetes releases by a couple of version numbers for consistency. New versions of Kubernetes are released every three months. Examples of fully-managed Kubernetes as a service solutions include Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service or EKS, Azure Kubernetes Service or AKS, and Google Kubernetes Engine or GKE.

To have full control over your cluster, you should check out kubespray, kops, and kubeadm. The next question is, "Do you already have investment into and expertise with a particular cloud provider?" Cloud provider's managed Kubernetes services integrate tightly with other services in their cloud. For example, how identity and access management is performed. There will be a lot less friction to staying close to what you already know.

After that, we have, "Do you need enterprise support?" Several vendors offer enterprise support and additional features on top of Kubernetes. These can include OpenShift by RedHat, Pivotal Container Service, or Rancher.

Another question to consider is, "Are you concerned about vendor lock-in?" If you are, you should focus on open source solutions, like kubespray and Rancher that can deploy Kubernetes clusters to a wide variety of platforms.

Some other questions that are not important are, "Do you want the cluster on-prem, in the cloud, or both?" Because Kubernetes provides users with an abstraction of cluster of resources to the underlining nodes that can be running in different platforms. Kubernetes itself is at the core of open source hybrid clouds. Even cloud vendor Kubernetes solutions allow using on-prem compute. For example, GKE on-prem lets you run GKE on-premise, EKS allows you to add an on-premise nodes to the cluster, and Azure Stack allows you to run AKS on-prem.

Another question to consider is, "Do you want to run Linux containers, Windows containers, or a mix? To support Linux containers, you need to ensure you have Linux nodes in your cluster. To support Windows containers, you need to ensure that you have Windows nodes in your cluster. Both Linux and Windows nodes can exist in the same cluster to support both types of containers.

All that being said, in the context of this course, Cloud Academy has you covered for the following along with a course using a real multi-node cluster. The introduction to Kubernetes playground lab provides the same cluster that will be used during this course. So if you want to follow along without setting up your own cluster, go ahead and start that lab now and feel free to use any other cluster if you'd like to.

In the next lesson, we're going to be covering the Basics of Kubernetes Architecture. Continue on when you are ready.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Jonathan Lewey is a DevOps Content Creator at Cloud Academy. With experience in the Networking and Operations of the traditional Information Technology industry, he has also lead the creation of applications for corporate integrations, and served as a Cloud Engineer supporting developer teams. Jonathan has a number of specialities including: a Cisco Certified Network Associate (R&S / Sec), an AWS Developer Associate, an AWS Solutions Architect, and is certified in Project Management.