Beginners Concepts in Kubernetes

What is Kubernetes

here is the best Explain like i am 5 (ELIF5) definition of Kubernetes

Docker images: think of them as blueprints, for example a blueprint for creating a cow.

Docker daemon: think of it as corral for letting the cows run wild.

Docker swarm (and Kubernetes): think of it as a rancher that manages the cows.

Let’s say you create many cows (docker containers) with the same blueprint (docker image) and let the cows do their thing in the corral (docker daemon).

You have all the dairy cows in one place but it’s getting pretty crowded and they’re eating all the stuff around them (resources) and you need to redistribute them to other areas or they will die.

You hire the rancher named Kubernetes and tell him of all the other corrals (nodes). The rancher checks each corrals capacities (resources) that they can handle. The rancher will take care of moving the cows around when the corrals are low on food to more abundant areas and the rancher will also take care of creating new cows for you if cows die for any reason.

The rancher is responsible optimizing your cattle ranch as efficient as possible and making it scale as long as you tell him of all the locations that he’s allowed to move the cows to. You can also tell him to only grow the ranch to a certain size or to dynamically scale larger to produce more milk based on the dairy consumption demand by the population (auto-scaling).

Whats Kuberenetes made of ?

In Kubernetes, a Service is an abstraction which defines a logical set of Pods and a policy by which to access them (sometimes this pattern is called a micro-service).

Why do we need a service?

Kubernetes pods are ephemeral in nature. Deployment object(s) can create and destroy pods dynamically. Each pod does have its own IP address, hence in a deployment, the set of pods running change all the time, so do the IP address for the pods.

This leads to a problem: if some set of pods (call them “backends”) provides functionality to other pods (call them “frontends”) inside your cluster, how do the frontends find out and keep track of which IP address to connect to , because the front end might want to connect to a pod for a backend request that was destroyed and another pod was created whose IP the frontend does not know.

So our connection between frontend ,backend and data service all communicating via services would look like this :

Suppose there were no services the pods would have to connect with other pods or any other object by themselves. Services enable connectivity between the group of pods. They also enable loose coupling between microservices in applications.

How does pod communicate ?

Let’s say we deployed a pod that is hosting an application. Can one directly talk to the pod using its IP address? Something like

Well, not really , as the pod IP is local IP , issued by the network or machine the pods is running on similar to what you run when you run your local machine localhost while making a website , your friend cannot open the website you are running on your localhost.

So with pods its same scenario which looks like this :

Clearly, the user cannot talk with the pod as they are in a separate network. So what are the options for the users to reach the application hosted in the pod?

Solution :

This is where the service object in K8s helps; it’s like the glue that connects different objects in K8s (similar to what routers do in networking, i.e., connect different networks). The service is like a virtual server and has its own IP address within the K8s cluster it resides in. So it doesn’t make sense to use Pod IP addresses directly. With a Service, you get a stable IP address that lasts for the life of the Service, even as the IP addresses of the member Pods change

What is a Service ?

The idea of a Service is to group a set of Pod endpoints into a single resource. You can configure various ways to access the grouping. By default, you get a stable cluster IP address that clients inside the cluster can use to contact Pods in the Service.

A Service identifies its member Pods with a selector. For a Pod to be a member of the Service, the Pod must have all of the labels specified in the selector. A label is an arbitrary key/value pair that is attached to an object.

Different Type of Service

Kubernetes allows us to specify what kind of service we want by specifying the “servicetypes” tag in the .yaml file

  • ClusterIP (default): Internal clients send requests to a stable internal IP address.
  • NodePort: Clients send requests to the IP address of a node on one or more nodePort values that are specified by the Service.The NodePort type is an extension of the ClusterIP type. So a Service of type NodePort has a cluster IP address.
  • LoadBalancer: Clients send requests to the IP address of a network load balancer.he LoadBalancer type is an extension of the NodePort type. So a Service of type LoadBalancer has a cluster IP address and one or more nodePort values.
  • ExternalName: Internal clients use the DNS name of a Service as an alias for an external DNS name.
  • Headless: You can use a headless service when you want a Pod grouping, but don’t need a stable IP address.

Cluster IP

  • When you create a Service of type ClusterIP, Kubernetes creates a stable IP address that is accessible from nodes in the cluster.
  • This service is accessed using kubernetes proxy.
  • which will create a service with cluster IP but no external IP
  • Clients in the cluster call the Service by using the cluster IP address and the TCP port specified in the port field of the Service manifest
  • The request is forwarded to one of the member Pods on the TCP port specified in the targetPort field
  • For the preceding example, a client calls the Service at on TCP port 80.
  • The request is forwarded to one of the member Pods on TCP port 8080
  • The member Pod must have a container that is listening on TCP port 8080.
  • If there is no container listening on port 8080, clients will see a message like “Failed to connect” or “This site can’t be reached”.

Node Port

  • When you create a Service of type NodePort, Kubernetes gives you a nodePort value.
  • NodePort service helps expose the Service on each Node’s IP at a static port (the NodePort)
  • Then the Service is accessible by using the IP address of any node along with the nodePort value.
  • After you create the Service, you can use kubectl get service -o yaml to view its specification and see the nodePort value.
  • External clients call the Service by using the external IP address of a node along with the TCP port specified by nodePort
  • The request is forwarded to one of the member Pods on the TCP port specified by the targetPort field.
  • For example, suppose the external IP address of one of the cluster nodes is Then for the preceding example, the external client calls the Service at on TCP port 32675.
  • The request is forwarded to one of the member Pods on TCP port 8080. The member Pod must have a container listening on TCP port 8080.
  • The NodePort Service type is an extension of the ClusterIP Service type. So internal clients have two ways to call the Service:

1. Use clusterIP and port.

2. Use a node’s IP address and nodePort.

Load Balancer

  • Exposes the service via the cloud provider’s load balancer.
  • For clusters running onpublic cloud providers like AWS or Azure, creating a load LoadBalancer service provides an equivalent to a clusterIP service,
  • extending it to an external load balancer that is specific to the cloud provider.
  • Kubernetes will automatically create the load balancer, provide firewall rules if needed, and populate the service with the external IP address assigned by the cloud provider.


  • ExternalName services are similar to other Kubernetes services; however, instead of being accessed via a clusterIP address,
  • it returns a CNAME record with a value that is defined in the externalName: parameter when creating the service.

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Service vs Ingress vs Load Balancer

  • A Kubernetes LoadBalancer is a type of Service.
  • A Kubernetes Ingress is not a type of Service. It is a collection of rules. An Ingress Controller in your cluster watches for Ingress resources, and attempts to update the server side configuration according to the rules specified in the Ingress.
  • Load Balancers tend to be a little simpler than Ingresses.
  • Ingresses might come with nice features like TLS/HTTPS termination and limited HTTP routing.
  • Unlike all the above examples, Ingress is actually NOT a type of service. Instead, it sits in front of multiple services and act as a “smart router” or entrypoint into your cluster.
  • An ingress is really just a set of rules to pass to a controller that is listening for them. You can deploy a bunch of ingress rules, but nothing will happen unless you have a controller that can process them.
  • You can deploy a bunch of ingress rules, but nothing will happen unless you have a controller that can process them.
  • An Ingress Controller is simply a pod that is configured to interpret ingress rules. One of the most popular ingress controllers supported by kubernetes is nginx. In terms of Amazon, ALB can be used as an ingress controller.
  • A LoadBalancer service could listen for ingress rules, if it is configured to do so.
  • You can do a lot of different things with an Ingress, and there are many types of Ingress controllers that have different capabilities.
  • The default GKE ingress controller will spin up a HTTP(S) Load Balancer for you. This will let you do both path based and subdomain based routing to backend services.
  • Ingress is probably the most powerful way to expose your services, but can also be the most complicated.
  • There are many types of Ingress controllers, from the Google Cloud Load Balancer, Nginx, Contour, Istio, and more.
  • There are also plugins for Ingress controllers, like the cert-manager, that can automatically provision SSL certificates for your services.
  • Ingress is the most useful if you want to expose multiple services under the same IP address, and these services all use the same L7 protocol (typically HTTP). You

Things to look up

  • Helm , Helm Chart
  • Kubernetes’ liveliness and readiness probes , Startup probe
  • Calico for CNI
  • Conntrack and netfilter


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