How to Deploy Your First Kubernetes Application

How to Deploy Your First Kubernetes Application: Some technologies become center of development by helping and assisting other applications and technologies to grow, scale, easily and effectively. Kubernetes is one such hot technology and has been getting popular as years goes by.

Kubernetes have become so popular that even documentaries were made on it, by Google, Red Hat and more (Seriously 😐)! Let’s not get more into it (We shall try to cover that in other resource 🤞) and understand, “What is Kubernetes?”, “Kubernetes Architecture (k8s architecture)” and “Steps to Deploy Your First Application on Kubernetes?”.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Kubernetes

From past few years, Kubernetes and Kubernetes application is gaining rapid growth and traction across many industries. As systems and applications are getting more & more complex these days, Kubernetes helps and assist organisations in contemporary software development, application deployment, scaling and helps in implementing cloud based systems.

To start with, the first significant point to note down is that Kubernetes an open-source platform and it was designed and developed by Google as an open-source project. It was launched in June 2014 and often abbreviated as K8s.

The biggest advantage of Kubernetes is, its usage to automate the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. It solves, multitude of inherent challenges in managing extensive workloads in a cloud environment.

Kubernetes roots are dig deep in the principles of flexibility, scalability and reliability, Kubernetes fundamentally streamlines application deployment. It harnesses modern containerization technology, promising the resilience of applications, their smooth execution, and faultless scaling while providing high-availability.

It helps and affords Kubernetes developers, Kubernetes administrators, DevOps Engineers, Infrastructure team members or Software Developers, the pivotal space to focus on their application logic without being stuck or tied down by the intricacies of deployment.

👉 Kubernetes is a rising career path and Kubernetes jobs are growing every year, as the current systems and applications are getting more & more complex.

Kubernetes core feature set is very productive, it includes automated roll outs and rollbacks, service discovery and load balancing, secret and configuration management, storage orchestration, and more.

These features not only simplify the process of Kubernetes application deployment but also assures application in consistent up-time, robustness, and responsiveness of deployments. These bundle of features helped Kubernetes to be globally recognized, as one of the most capable and comprehensive container orchestration solutions.

In this article, we would try to unravel basics of Kubernetes, its components, Kubernetes architechure, and the general steps, that can help even beginners to deploy their first Kubernetes application. Demystifying its core components like Pods, Nodes, and Clusters, shedding light on its architectural framework.

This step wise Kubernetes guide, will help you in laying down an easy-to-follow manual approach to gear up your Kubernetes environment, its resources and how you can deploy your first Kubernetes application? Would look into the steps, which assist you to deploy your first application using Kubernetes.

It than, followed by a detailed section on scaling and updating your Kubernetes application. And how you can continuously monitor your deployed Kubernetes application!

The words that follow will also cover common issues and their troubleshooting, to ensure a trouble-free first experience for you with Kubernetes deployments.

Lets begin our understanding with, “What is Kubernetes?” 🤔.

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is an open source platform and helps in speeding up the development process, by managing services and apps with almost zero downtime. Kubernetes is available as a highly distributed system, because of the convenience it provides for automation and the powerful capabilities it offers in application maintenance and scaling.

Kubernetes is often used for running microservices infrastructures in the cloud, as a portable cloud platform (Cloud Computing). Many big cloud providers offer client services for managing Kubernetes clusters, as the pillars of distributed infrastructures.

Kubernetes make software professionals life easier, in terms of the application deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. It is also known as “K8s” or “kube”.

It was originally conceived and designed by Google engineers. Kubernetes was first introduced in mid 2014, as an open source platform. At that time in 2014, Google unveiled Kubernetes with its roots in Google internal large-scale cluster management system platform – “Borg“.

Borg was Google open source internal container orchestration platform and was the predecessor to Kubernetes.

Moving on in July of 2015, Kubernetes was donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) by Google. It now runs and operated, under the leadership and stewardship of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation team and is maintained by them.

This transfer of ownership and governance by Google to CNCF, has marked a significant milestone in the development and adoption of Kubernetes as a leading container orchestration platform.

To be honest, Kubernetes has an immense potential and exhibits remarkable versatility. It can be deployed across a wide spectrum of cloud based environments, cloud computing and providers. It includes – virtual machines (VMs), bare metal servers, public cloud providers, private clouds, and hybrid cloud setup environments.

The Kubernetes ecosystem is very vast and is rapidly expanding. It offers an array of services, extensive support, and a rich toolkit. It accommodates various container runtimes, including Docker, containerd, CRI-O, and any implementation conforming to the Kubernetes CRI (Container Runtime Interface).

Kubernetes proves to be invaluable and can be used for several purposes:

  • Managing Linux Containers
  • Orchestrating complex microservice architectures
  • Streamlining the scheduling and automation of containerized application deployment, management, and scaling
  • Eliminating the manual intricacies involved in these processes

Kubernetes excels not only as a learning platform but also as a solution for small-scale applications. However, when it comes to deploying production software at scale, organizations often seek more advanced and mature functionalities. And to implement this, companies often look for specialized kubernetes specialized resources, skilled workers and software developers, who can take care of this!

Kubernetes Jobs Profile and Career Options

It is a common perception among students and working professionals that Kubernetes is a complex and sophisticated system! But it is nothing like that, you can learn it by the help of high quality learning resources, official Kubernetes documentation, online courses, and can also take help from Kubernetes online community support.

The official Kubernetes documentation is the greatest source to start off your learning journey related to Kubernetes fundamental concepts. You can learn here concepts such as – “How to start with Kubernetes”, “How to set up a K8s cluster”, learning Kubernetes Components, and other Kubernetes features.

For the professionals with experience in IT, software development, system administration, IT operations and DevOps, it is easier to learn these concepts because of their foundation in concepts related to containerization, networking, and cloud infrastructure, which are relevant to Kubernetes.

Having said that, others can also start off with Kubernetes or Kubernetes application journey by understanding the basics and idea of Kubernetes implementation. Without any hesitation 👍!

If you want to create or build your career in the field of Kubernetes, here are some of the prominent Kubernetes jobs roles and career options

  1. Kubernetes Developer
  2. Infrastructure Team
  3. Cloud/Platform Team
  4. DevOps Team
  5. Software Engineer, DevOps Engineer, Cloud Engineer, Full Stack Engineer, Infrastructure Engineer, Software Architect
  6. Kubernetes Administrator: This role involves managing and maintaining Kubernetes clusters.
  7. Contributors to Kubernetes Documentation

Now we will move to understand, important basic concepts and components of kubernetes and how you can deploy your first application on kubernetes!

Understanding the Basics of Kubernetes and Its Architectural Framework

A glance into the basic terminology: Pods, Nodes, Clusters

Before one dives into the complexities of Kubernetes deployments, it is important and crucial to have a firm grip on some foundational Kubernetes concepts. Else, the whole concept would fly over your head 😊.

To begin with, a Pod is the smallest and simplest unit in the Kubernetes object model that can be created or managed. These Pods often host a single instance of an application, realizing what we know as one-to-one application-to-Pod mapping. This makes Pods the core deployable objects in Kubernetes.

Nodes, on the other hand, could be perceived as the ‘workers’ running the show in the background. A node could either be a virtual or a physical machine, depending on the environment, responsible for running the Pods. They come equipped with services necessary to run Pods, managed by the control plane. Thus, nodes form an integral organ 👤 of the Kubernetes system.

Anyone, who is familiar with Kubernetes knows that it is all about how successfully you can manage clusters.

So, what exactly are these Kubernetes Clusters? In its essence, a Kubernetes Cluster is a set of node machines for running containerized applications. To simply put, a cluster runs your applications and services using the orchestration and managerial prowess of Kubernetes.

Overview of Kubernetes Architecture and Components

What is Kubernetes Architecture: Many from us are aware of the APIs (Application Programming Interface)! In this case, the reactive surface of Kubernetes is exposed by the Kubernetes APIs, a set of application programming interfaces.

These are also known as the ‘front-end‘ of the control plane. Kubernetes APIs are critical to the functioning of the platform, making it possible and successful is the way – how well your application interacts with them! This also includes the all-important job of creating and managing Kubernetes objects.

etcd deserves an honorary mention 👏👏👏, when discussing the Kubernetes architecture or k8s architecture. Pronounced as “et-cee-dee,” it is a consistent and highly-available key-value store. Kubernetes uses etcd to store all its data – its configuration data, its state, and its metadata. Being at the heart of a Kubernetes cluster, etcd plays a fundamental role in Kubernetes’ distributed systems.

Next comes the Kubelet, a core component of nodes running in every Kubernetes environment. It is a process that starts and manages Pods, ensuring that the containers are running in a Pod.

By communicating with the master components, it also ensures that the Pods are healthy and running as intended. Therefore, understanding Kubelet is crucial to the process of deploying your first application on Kubernetes.

👉 If you look at the Kubernetes Master Node, Kubernetes Worker Node and Kubernetes Architecture, Kubernetes internal system working and flow will become more clear, transparent to you. You will understand what their internal structures made up of and how these components interact with each other, internally and with outside systems. This would definitely helps you in better deploying your Kubernetes application.

For better understanding, we are showcasing all three units, to help you get better understanding of it through “Kubernetes architecture diagram”.

Kubernetes Application: Kubernetes Master Node
Kubernetes Application: Kubernetes Worker Node
Kubernetes Application: Kubernetes Architecture Diagram

Setting up a Kubernetes Environment

To set up your first Kubernetes environment, you require to have atleast a basic understanding of how to install Kubernetes on various Operating Systems, such as Windows, Linux, and MacOS. Each OS have their own set of specific instructions and commands. To find them for each OS you can refer to the Kubernetes documentation, which is utterly comprehensive and straightforward.

It might be somewhat overwhelming for beginners and may also for intermediates, but the trouble is worth the results!

For many Kubernetes beginners a critical milestone is, when they first encounter Minikube! Minikube is a tool that allows and makes it easy to run a single-node Kubernetes cluster locally on your personal computer.

Minikube is an ideal platform for users and developers, who want to test, experiment and try out Kubernetes applications on their local machines.

Using Minikube, developers can test Kubernetes applications without the need for a full-fledged, multi-node Kubernetes cluster and can develop with it on a daily basis.

Minikube can run on many OS, such as Windows, macOS, and Linux. It offers support for numerous Kubernetes features such as DNS, NodePorts, ConfigMaps, and Secrets.

The final stride towards setting up a Kubernetes environment is setting up your first Kubernetes Cluster using Minikube. It is as simple as installing Minikube, starting it up by running the ‘minikube start‘ command, and voila! You are all set up, and your Kubernetes cluster is up and running.

Preparing for Your First Kubernetes Application Deployment

Understanding Docker and containerization

The first step towards achieving a successful Kubernetes deployment, clear understanding of Docker and the basics of containerization are required.

Docker is a platform used to automate the deployment, scaling, and management of applications using containerization. It is a lightweight alternative to virtualization. It plays an instrumental role in Kubernetes Deployment since it facilitates the creation of containers and self-sufficient units. These units run an individual application, along with all its dependencies and requirements.

Containerization is the technology that Docker employs. It encapsulates an application with its entire runtime environment, thus making it easily portable and ensuring its smooth operation. Doesn’t matter, what the underlying operating system and infrastructure is!

To learn Kubernetes, it is fundamentally important that you should understand the way containers operate, what are their benefits over traditional VM-based environments, and how they can be created and managed using Docker!

You can start working with Docker by creating a Docker container for your application. It is as simple as installing Docker and writing a Dockerfile. This Dockerfile will outline the environment of your application. After that, you have to build an image using this Dockerfile, and finally, you would create a container using this Docker image.

Creating a Kubernetes Deployment

Moving forward, let’s discuss – What is Kubernetes Deployment YAML file? YAML is an acronym for “YAML Ain’t a Markup Language”. It is is a human readable data serialization format or standard. Deployment instructions would be written in this simple language, which is known as a Kubernetes Deployment YAML file.

YAML file is used to define configuration and settings in a clear and easily readable format. Despite its name, YAML is not a markup language like XML; it’s a data format that emphasizes simplicity and readability. This file instructs Kubernetes on creating, updating, and scaling instances of your application and services.

Creating a Deployment file requires you to outline the containers you want to run and their specifications in the Deployment YAML file. Once you are done with this, it is time for action 🏃‍♂️💨!

Now put Kubernetes Deployment into action and deploy your application usingkubectl‘. kubectl is a command-line tool that helps you interact with and control your Kubernetes clusters.

Kubectl talks directly with the Kubernetes API, allowing developers to interact directly with Kubernetes objects.

The ‘kubectl create‘ or ‘kubectl apply‘ commands become particularly important, when creating or updating deployments.

Following are the steps to deploy your first application on Kubernetes ecosystem:

  1. Set up a kubernetes cluster: To use Kubernetes, the first thing you need to perform is – Setting up your Kubernetes cluster. Kubernetes cluster is a set of machines and devices, that would run the Kubernetes control plane and the containers. This would be your first step for deploying Kubernetes application. To do this, you can use a cloud provider, such as Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), or Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), or on-premises.
  2. Package your application into containers: Second step would be ensuring your Kubernetes application should run! To make sure that your application runs on Kubernetes smoothly, you need to package it into one or more containers. This would help in handling the application load and ensures better speed and performance. Packaging means bundling your application code and its dependencies into a Docker image.
  3. Define the desired state of your application using manifests: Third step would be defining and creating Manifests! Kubernetes uses manifests, which are files that describe the desired state of your application. Manifests help in managing the deployment and scaling of your containers.
    – Manifests are usually written in YAML and describe the desired state of your application, including details like the number of replicas, ports, and environment variables.
    – You may also need to define ConfigMaps or Secrets for managing configuration data.
  4. Define your Kubernetes resources: This should be your fourth step. In this step, you will be creating YAML files and defining Kubernetes resources like Deployments, Services, ConfigMaps, Secrets, Ingress, and Persistent Volumes. It depends on your application requirements, that what all resources you would be needing.
  5. Push your code to an SCM platform: After defining your Kubernetes application resources and creating YAML files, the next step is to push your application code to an SCM platform such as GitHub or others.
  6. Use a CI/CD tool to automate: To perform this step, you would be using a specialized CI/CD platform such as Harness to automate the deployment of your application. For this step, Kubernetes native CI/CD tools like Argo CD can be helpful.
  7. Deploy your application: After making Kubernetes cluster and resources ready. Go to the module section and start your deployment journey. Here, you need to select your deployment type i.e., Kubernetes and than, click ‘Connect to Environment’. To connect to environment, you can use Delegate.
    -> Now, you can deploy your application to the cluster, using the ‘kubectl create‘ command.
    – For example, to deploy an application, you need to run the following command:
    kubectl create deployment my-deployment –image my-image
  8. Verify that your application is running: Once your Kubernetes application deployment is done, you need to continuously monitor it to verify its running status. To verify that, it is running smoothly you can access the application URL in a web browser to ensure its working. If you are using Ingress, you will need to configure the Ingress resource to route traffic to your application.
  9. Set Up Ingress (If Required):
    • If your application requires external access, you need to configure Ingress resources or Load Balancers.
    • Make sure DNS records are set up to route traffic to your application.
  10. Scaling and Maintenance:
    • After the initial deployment, you may need to adjust the number of replicas, update configurations, and perform maintenance tasks as needed.
    • You need to track and implement rolling updates and monitoring to manage changes smoothly. This would be ongoing process.

Remember, these are general steps and the exact process may vary based on the specifics of your application and the infrastructure you are using.

By following the above steps, you can deploy your first application on kubernetes and running on Kubernetes in no time. It’s always a good idea to refer to the official Kubernetes documentation or specific guides related to your use case.

Interacting with Your Deployed Kubernetes Application

Post-deployment, the next step is to interact with your deployed application. Various kubectl commands allow you to ascertain the status of your deployed applications.

  • The ‘kubectl get deployments‘ command provides you with a quick overview, while
  • kubectl describe deployments‘ command gives a detailed information about a specific deployment.

When you run kubectl describe deployments command, it provides you with comprehensive details about the deployment, including its current status, events, labels, replicas, and more. This information is helpful and used for troubleshooting and understanding the current state of a deployment in your Kubernetes cluster.

One another important to understand in whole Kubernetes Deployment Process is – How to access deployed applications from outside the Kubernetes cluster? This is another crucial facet of Kubernetes.

With Kubernetes Services, a specific type of service known as NodePort is available. By using this service, you can expose your application to external traffic. ‘kubectl expose‘ is the command used to achieve this.

Lastly, it is very obvious and hardly surprising for first-timers to encounter issues while deploying applications on Kubernetes. But worry not!

The vast and active Kubernetes community ensures that troubleshooting common issues is always a breeze. Whether it is a complex, problematic deployment or working within the Kubernetes dashboard, quick solutions are invariably at your disposal.

Scaling and Updating Your Kubernetes Application

Importance of Scaling in Kubernetes

Once you have successfully deployed your application on Kubernetes, the next important aspect you would definitely consider is scaling! Scaling is one of the most primary most reason, why companies using Kubernetes.

Scaling is a vital part of running applications in production environment. It defines your Kubernetes application ability to match demand by adjusting capacity. This is where the real power of Kubernetes shines through.

Kubernetes allows two types of scaling – Horizontal and Vertical.

Horizontal scaling implies that you scale by adding more machines to your pool of resources, while vertical scaling means that you scale by adding more power (CPU, RAM) to your existing machines. Both methods serve unique scaling requirements, hence having knowledge of when to use which is crucial to successfully leveraging Kubernetes scaling.

Scaling your application in Kubernetes is uncomplicated when using “kubectl scale“. This command enables you to adjust the computing power your application has at its disposal swiftly and effortlessly, thus ensuring your application is always equipped to meet user demands.

Understanding and Implementing Rolling updates and Rollbacks

When it comes to managing rolling updates and rollbacks, Kubernetes provides a few paradigms, one of the most popular being the Rolling update. Rolling updates gradually roll out changes to your application to ensure that your software doesn’t experience any downtime. Its sophistication makes it a commonly used strategy to manage deployments in Kubernetes.

To perform rolling updates, you would require a ReplicationController, ReplicatSet, DaemonSet, or Deployment, which can use the RollingUpdate strategy.

A simple “kubectl rolling-update” command initiates the rolling update.

You need to provide it, with the name of the controller and the new image to which it must update. Kubernetes will take care of all the heavy lifting, ensuring your application stays available throughout the procedure, automatically replacing old Pods with new ones incrementally.

In case of a deployment failure, Kubernetes allows rollback to the previous, stable state. Using “kubectl rollout undo“, a deployment can be quickly reverted, ensuring persistent application availability and a smooth user experience.

Monitoring Your Kubernetes Application Performance

Now your application is deployed on Kubernetes, what next? Well running an Kubernetes application in a production environment requires continued performance monitoring.

The need for monitoring arises from the necessity of ensuring that your application is always running optimally with no issues. Any potential issues, it might encounter are mitigated before they can create any issue and impact the user experience.

Kubernetes Dashboard comes very handy and useful here. Kubernetes Dashboard is a general-purpose, web-based user interface for eyeing on Kubernetes clusters. Most significant use of Dashboard is that it gives convenience of troubleshooting your applications right from your web browser.

Another important use is that, it makes your life easier to check and get an overview of, what is running in the Kubernetes cluster. Also through this, you can monitor whether everything is running smoothly or facing any errors that may have occurred.

Alongside using the Kubernetes Dashboard, several other practices can ensure effective monitoring.

Checking logs and running diagnostic commands can provide insights into the performance and behavior of your applications and the whole Kubernetes system.

Observing these best monitoring practices after your Kubernetes application deployment, will definately contribute to a smooth, effective operation of your application, facilitating an optimal user experience.

Conclusion: The Power of Kubernetes Unraveled

As we journey through the complexities and algorithms behind the remarkable orchestration tool that Kubernetes is, its pertinent role in today’s dynamic tech world becomes increasingly evident.

Irrespective of your business scale, whether you are a budding startup or an established technology giant, Kubernetes offers unparalleled advantages in automating, deploying, and scaling your applications, optimizing them to run in a cloud environment.

Kubernetes has revolutionized the way operations and development teams think about deploying applications and scaling infrastructure. From an insightful look into the terminologies concerning Kubernetes Pods, Nodes, and Clusters.

Or in understanding its robust architectural model, moving on to unravelling Docker’s fundamental role in container orchestration. Even more exciting and enthralling is the diligent process required in preparing to deploy applications. Deployment often involves mastering the seamless scaling, updating, and monitoring for a butter smooth user experience.

Learning, educating and clasping the intricacies of the Kubernetes architecture is an essential milestone in anyone career journey towards achieving mastery. This job skill expertise, will definately give you an edge over others in making your career path successful and getting a dream job.

The essential spirit of learning of thses tools, embedded in its Nodes, Pods, Clusters, and APIs, goes a long way in understanding Kubernetes distinct capacity to manage large-scale workloads efficiently, which helps in scaling of your business.

Kubernetes’ habit and knack for providing control, automation, and a broad array of features to choose from, makes it a one of the most required and much-desired tool set in the current world of software deployment and progress.

Remember, getting started with Kubernetes is no straight road. You’ll likely encounter challenges and stumble upon roadblocks that seem too high to overcome, especially when you’re preparing for your first Kubernetes deployment.

But, no need of getting afraid or overwhelmed. Know that while the outset might seem intimidating, each failure brings you one step closer to your goal of acing Kubernetes Deployments.

With the enormous contributions and continual efforts from its vibrant community, Kubernetes continues to grow exponentially in terms of features, stability, and ease of use. So dip your feet in, crack those Knuckles, and begin your Kubernetes journey.

Happy Orchestrating!


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