Meet the Kubernetes Operator

A Kubernetes Operator is an extension to Kubernetes and captures the knowledge of a human operator. Engineers use Kubernetes to gain an overview of how services such as applications need to behave when they encounter problems. In this article, we will understand every aspect of Kubernetes Operators.

Why is Kubernetes popular in IT?

The answer to this question lies behind containers and microservices which greatly influenced the software development industry. They helped us achieve a great many things but also brought on new problems that need to be solved.

Containers allowed a bigger leap in resource efficiency over virtual machines than hardware servers. However, containers have the drawback of focusing on only one service which dictates a modern app to indulge a small squad of containers.

This “small” squad usually means a huge number of containers which have the task of communicating with each other, manage problems, and scale themselves to meet the endless demands. Since they have to be managed manually, they can be overwhelming for even the best DevOps teams.

Kubernetes originated as an internal Google system that was used to manage the production of containers. Now, Kubernetes is a popular open-source project.

Around its launch, Kubernetes was amazing at managing stateless applications but required hand-holding for stateful applications such as databases.

Operators gained power with the launching of the Operator Framework for the management of Kubernetes’ native applications.

What is the Kubernetes Operator?

An operator is used to build an application and to drive an application on Kubernetes as it provides domain-specific knowledge to applications and can be used in troubleshooting. It helps in the automation of an application and all its processes. 

A Kubernetes Operator helps in the extension of the types of applications that run on Kubernetes. They help in the installation and management of custom solutions in a Kubernetes cluster. They consist of additional Custom Resource Definitions (CRDs) and a controller that runs within the cluster.

A Kubernetes application is run and managed Kubernetes APIs and kubectl tools. In order to fully utilize Kubernetes, one needs a tenacious set of APIs to service and manage the application that is running on Kubernetes. Operators are the runtime that manages these applications.

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