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Kubernetes Architecture

September 25, 2020 by Bibhas Bhattacharya
Category: DevOps

This tutorial is adapted from Web Age course Docker and Kubernetes Administration.

1.1 Architecture Diagram

In this tutorial, we will review various parts of the following architecture diagram:

Kubenetes Architecture

1.2 Components

Cluster – Includes one or more master and worker nodes

Master – Manages nodes and pods

(worker) Node – a physical, virtual or cloud machine

Pod – A group of one or more containers, created and managed by Kubernetes

Container – Are most commonly Docker containers where application processes are run

Volume – A directory of data accessible to containers in a pod. It shares a lifetime with the pod it works with.

Namespace – A virtual cluster. Allows for multiple virtual clusters within a physical one.

1.3 Kubernetes Cluster

A Kubernetes cluster is a set of machines(nodes) used to run containerized applications. To do work a cluster needs to have at least one master node and one worker node. The Master node determines where and what is run on the cluster. Worker nodes contain pods that contain containers. Containers hold execution environments where work can be done. A cluster is configured via the kubectl command-line interface or by the Kubernetes API.

1.4 Master Node

 The Master node manages worker nodes.

The master node includes several components:

Kube-APIServer – traffic enters the cluster here

Kube-Controller-Manager – runs the cluster’s controllers

Etcd – Maintains cluster state, provides key-value persistence

Kube Scheduler – schedules activities to worker nodes

Clusters can have more than one master node

Clusters can have only one active master node


1.5 Kube-Control-Manager

The Kube-Control-Manager (part of the Master Node) manages the following controllers:

Node controller

Replication controller

Endpoints controller

Service account controller

Token controller

All these controller operations are compiled into a single application. The controllers are responsible for the configuration and health of the cluster’s components.

1.6 Nodes

A node consists of a physical, virtual, or cloud machine where Kubernetes can run Pods that house containers. Clusters have one or more nodes. Nodes can be configured manually through kubectl. Nodes can also self-configure by sending their information to the Master when they start up. Information about running nodes can be viewed with kubectl.


Other components found on the worker node include:

kubelet – interacts with the master node, manages containers and pods on the node

kube-proxy – responsible for network configuration

container runtime – responsible for running containers in the pods (typically Docker)


1.7 Other Components

Pods – Logical container for runtime containers

Containers – Pods typically contain Docker runtime containers holding OS images and applications. Work is run in containers.


1.8 Interacting with Kubernetes

All user interaction goes through the master node’s api-server. kubectl provides a command-line interface to the API. Control of Kubernetes can also be done through the Kubernetes Dashboard (web UI).


1.9 Summary

In this tutorial, we covered:

Architecture Diagram







Interaction through API

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