Kubernetes, also known as K8s, is an open source container orchestration platform for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized apps. It provides compute, storage, and network infrastructure, as well as automation and coordination, for apps running in containers across public, private, hybrid cloud, and multi-cloud environments. It also enhances flexibility, scalability, reliability, high availability, and portability for containerized workloads.

Kubernetes automates and streamlines deployment, load balancing, horizontal scaling, rollouts and rollbacks, and self-healing of containerized apps to help you accelerate app releases, improve resource utilization efficiency, achieve production readiness, and meet business SLAs.

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In Kubernetes, containerized apps run inside pods, which are the smallest deployable units that run on nodes. Nodes form a cluster where compute, storage, and network  resources are combined, shared, and coordinated across pods. Pods are grouped together in a deployment and presented as a service to clients or other applications and services .

Apps inside a Kubernetes cluster can be accessed from outside using several methods, with an Ingress controller being one of the most popular and efficient ones.

Because of its popularity, completeness, and ability to automate tasks and adapt to needs, Kubernetes has become the de facto standard for container orchestration and management. For production deployments, organizations often use cloud-managed Kubernetes platforms and pre-packaged Kubernetes distributions such as Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)Red Hat OpenShiftRancher by SUSE, and VMware Tanzu, to simplify the Day 0 experience.

For more information on Kubernetes, see our Kubernetes learn page.

How NGINX Can Help

Connectivity Stack for Kubernetes from NGINX helps you scale, observe, govern, and secure Kubernetes applications in any environment – on premises, in the cloud, and at the edge. It improves customer experience with reduced complexity, increased uptime, and detailed real-time visibility at scale. Connectivity Stack for Kubernetes combines these components:

  • NGINX Ingress Controller – Manage app connectivity at the edge of a Kubernetes cluster with API gateway, identity, and observability features
  • NGINX Service Mesh – Developer-friendly solution for service-to-service connectivity, security, orchestration, and observability
  • NGINX App Protect – (Optional) Modern app security that integrates seamlessly in DevOps environments as a robust WAF or app‑level DoS defense

Get started by requesting your free 30-day trial of NGINX Ingress Controller with NGINX App Protect WAF and DoS, and download the always free NGINX Service Mesh.