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Abhishek Pathak
Abhishek Pathak

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Kubernetes Architecture

Kubernetes offers four fundamental advantages over Docker.

  1. By-default cluster in nature, which fixes the issue of a single host
  2. Auto-healing, which helps with zero downtime
  3. Auto-scaling helps in scaling the application.
  4. Multiple enterprise-level supports

Understanding the architecture of K8s

We will understand the architecture in conjunction with the docker.

In K8s, we create a master node and multiple worker nodes.

In K8s, we don't directly send the request to the worker; the request goes through the master.

Your request always goes through something called the control plane, or master node.

request flow

Data Plane / Worker Node

In K8s, the smallest level of deployment is pod. In Docker, we deploy a container.

What are pods?

A pod is just a wrapper over a container, which has some advanced capabilities.

When the user tries to deploy a pod, similar to a container, your pod gets deployed.

In Docker, we have a Docker engine called Dockershim which is used to run containers.

In K8s we have a container runtime, which actually runs the container which will be inside the pod.

A pod can container multiple containers.

The difference is that Docker is not mandatory. In docker have Dockershim as a runtime, but in K8s, we can either use Dockershim, Containerd, or Crio; these are all competators of Dockershim. In k8s we can you any other container runtime that implements the K8s container interface.

We have a component in pods called Kubelet, which is responsible for running the pod in the worker node.

Kubelet, which is responsible for maintaining this Kubenetes pod, always looks for containers that are inside the pod; if the pod is running or not, using the feature of auto-healing, it maintains the environment.

In Docker, we have docker0, or we have default networking in Docker, which will make the communication between containers and host easier.

Mostly we work with bridge networking, so similar to that in K8s we have kube-proxy which will provide networking in K8s.

So, till now, we talked about 3 component

  1. Kube-proxy, which provides networking, IP addresses, and load balancing. It uses ip tables on the Linux machines.
  2. kubelet: actually responsible for creation of the pod and also responsible for running the application. If the application is not running, then Kubelet informs one of the components in the control plane that something is going wrong.

  3. Container runtime: which actually runs your container

data plane

Master Node/Control Plane

Why do you need the control plane, master component, or master node?

So for any application or component, there are some standards; a cluster is one specific standard.

Till now we know that in k8s architecture, we have a master node which is also called as control plane and multiple worker node called as Data Plane.

So suppose users want to create a pod i.e container to run the application, who will decide where the pod will be created, in node 1, node 2, etc. coz we have multiple nodes in worker node.

This is one specific instruction for now that we require; but, there can be multiple instructions, and there should be a core component that has to deal with such types of instructions.

Components, which act as core components, take all the requests. There has to be a core component that is basically doing everything in the K8s, and that core component is called API server, and this component is present in your master component.

It sounded like a tv serial lol. Now moving on

API server is a component that basically exposes your K8s to the external world. The heart of the K8s is the API server.

Now, suppose the user is trying to create a pod.

He tries to access the API server, the K8s API server decides that node 1 is free, but to schedule the container in node 1, we have a component called 'scheduler'.

Scheduler -> Scheduler is responsible for scheduling your pod or your resources on K8s.

The API server decides the information, and the controller acts on that information.

Now that we have deployed, we need a component that should act as a backup service, acting as a backup store for the entire cluster information.

In K8s, we have etcd.

etcd -> A key value store, where the entire cluster information is stored as objects, etc. Without etcd, we don't have cluster-related information in backup.

and the most attractive feature of the k8s is auto-scaling and auto-healing.

To manage those features, we have some components, and those components are called as controllers.

Which are used to maintaing the state of the cluster, Simple eg of controller is replica sets, which is used for maintaining the state of the pods. We, will deep dive into the replica set in future blogs.

We need a components to check if all the controller are working or not, checking the state, maintaining the state, making require changes, etc etc

and Those controllers are managed by the controller manager.

So, till now, we talked about 4 components in the control plane.

  1. API Server: All the communication that will happen in the cluster will be via the API Server; it exposes a restfull API over https.

  2. Scheduler: Responsible for physically scheduling the objects and stuff. Listen to the API server. The scheduler will be responsible for scheduling it on the worker node. Manages new requirements.

  3. ETCD -> It's a database that stores information about the cluster. If api wants any info, it communicates with the etcd db and can get any information, including configuration about the cluster.

  4. Controller Manager: The controller manager manages controllers and has four functionalities.

    1. Maintaining the desired state
    2. Maintaining the current state
    3. Check the difference in sttae.
    4. Make the changes.

control plane

Summary: Components of K8s

The K8S architecture is divided into two parts.

control plane (master node) and data plane (worker node)

Data plane: executing the actions

  1. kube-proxy
  2. Container runtime
  3. kubelet

Control plane: controlling the actions.

  1. API server
  2. etcd
  3. schedular

Many of the concept here may seems unfamilier, but later in the series you will get all the knowlegede

For video tutorial you must follow Abhishek.Veeramalla

If the article helps you, leave a like, follow, or anything ๐Ÿ™‚.

You can follow me on LinkedIn, GitHub, and hashnode.


Top comments (7)

anurag_vishwakarma profile image
Anurag Vishwakarma

Love this article, bro. I would like to know if you can publish this article on my blog by contributing? - Take a look.

scorcism profile image
Abhishek Pathak • Edited

Thanks buddy. Your website is just awesome, I submitted this article there.

anurag_vishwakarma profile image
Anurag Vishwakarma

@scorcism Check your email & accept invite. You can now start writing articles.

revoltez profile image

Great Article, you should fix some orthographic and errors and typos

scorcism profile image
Abhishek Pathak

hey, thank you for the feedback. Will check again.

robinamirbahar profile image


scorcism profile image
Abhishek Pathak

thank you