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History and milestones

Kubernetes, born out of Google's internal container orchestration system – known as the Google Borg project – emerged as a powerful solution for managing Google's vast infrastructure. In 2014, Google engineers released Kubernetes as an open-source project, and its potential quickly attracted the attention of industry leaders. Microsoft, Red Hat, IBM and Docker joined the open-source project at its launch, greatly boosting Kubernetes' visibility and significantly accelerating its product development.

A significant milestone in Kubernetes' journey was the formation of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) in 2015. CNCF provides governance and support for Kubernetes, fostering its growth as an open and collaborative project. The CNCF was chartered with a goal of making "Cloud native computing ubiquitous."

Enterprise adoption of Kubernetes has seen remarkable moments, with major technology companies embracing the platform. Notable examples include the successful deployment of Kubernetes at scale by companies like AirbnbSpotify and Uber. These examples showcase Kubernetes' wide-ranging capability to effectively handle large and intricate workloads across diverse industries.

2017 marked a significant milestone in the world of Kubernetes, as Microsoft introduced Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) as a tech preview release. The following year, the rest of the public cloud provider market embraced Kubernetes through Microsoft's Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) transitioning from tech preview to full general availability, solidifying its position as a robust offering in the Kubernetes landscape. 

Additionally, Amazon Web Services (AWS) launched Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), expanding the options available to users seeking managed Kubernetes solutions. Other cloud providers, like Digital Ocean, also joined the wave, recognizing the growing demand for Kubernetes and offering their own solutions to cater to developers and enterprises alike.

Advantages of Kubernetes

Kubernetes offers numerous advantages for engineers and administrators working with containerized applications:

  • Flexibility: Kubernetes allows deploying applications across various infrastructure environments, including public, private and hybrid clouds, providing flexibility and avoiding vendor lock-in.
  • Scalability: Kubernetes enables effortless scaling of applications, both horizontally by adding or removing instances and vertically by adjusting resource allocation. This ensures applications can handle increased workloads without downtime or performance degradation.
  • Resilience: Kubernetes enhances application resilience by automatically handling container failures and managing workload distribution across healthy nodes. It ensures applications remain available even in the face of node failures or disruptions.
  • Efficient workload management: By abstracting away the underlying infrastructure, Kubernetes provides a consistent and unified platform for managing containerized workloads. It simplifies deployment, scaling and monitoring, allowing engineers to focus on application development rather than infrastructure concerns.

Kubernetes revolutionizes container orchestration and management by providing a scalable, flexible and resilient platform for deploying and managing applications. By leveraging its architectural components, such as the control plane and pods, engineers and administrators working together can optimize resource utilization, simplify operations and accelerate application delivery in diverse environments.

Kubernetes architecture

Kubernetes architecture consists of two main components: the control plane and the data plane. Understanding this architecture is essential for effectively managing and operating Kubernetes clusters.

Control plane

The control plane of Kubernetes is responsible for managing and maintaining the state of the cluster. To meet the requirements of High Availability (HA) and enable leader elections it is deployed with an odd number of nodes, commonly composed of three to five instances. This configuration ensures both redundancy, allowing for the seamless operation of the cluster even in the event of failures, and an odd number of nodes to facilitate efficient decision-making processes within the control plane.

The control plane comprises several core components:

  • kube-apiserver: Acts as the central management point for the cluster, handling API requests and managing the cluster's state.
  • etcd: A distributed key-value store that securely stores and manages the cluster's configuration and state information. etcd serves as the source of truth for maintaining a consistent, highly available data store for all components of the Kubernetes control plane.
  • kube scheduler: Responsible for assigning workloads to suitable nodes based on resource availability and constraints.
  • controller manager: Ensures the desired state of the cluster by continuously monitoring and reconciling the actual state with the desired state.

Data plane

The Kubernetes data plane is composed of worker nodes, which are responsible for running the actual workloads or applications. These workloads are executed within pods, the smallest deployable units in Kubernetes. Pods can host one or more containers, and they serve as the logical boundary for the storage and networking resources utilized by the containers running within them. 

The creation of pods is orchestrated through the Kubernetes control plane, which is responsible for maintaining the desired state of deployments. Pods act as the fundamental building blocks of a Kubernetes application, providing the necessary environment for running and managing containers.

The data plane comprises several core components:

  • kubelet: The kubelet is a daemon that runs on each worker node within a cluster. It communicates with the control plane and ensures that pods scheduled to run within the node are running, while enforcing the desired state of deployments. It monitors and manages the specified number of replicas, ensuring they are running as intended.
  • kube-proxy: The kube-proxy is a network proxy running on each node of a cluster. It maintains network rules on nodes, enabling network communication by routing traffic to pods originating from within or outside the cluster. Additionally, it performs load balancing of traffic across pods within the cluster, ensuring efficient distribution.
  • runtime: The runtime is responsible for executing containers within a pod. It pulls necessary container images from container registries, starts and stops containers, and manages container resources. The runtime ensures that containers within a pod are appropriately managed throughout their lifecycle, providing the necessary environment for running and managing containerized workloads.

Next steps for your organization

To facilitate your organization's journey towards application modernization, adopting Kubernetes and containerization, several next steps can help you navigate the process successfully:

  • Access additional resources: Explore white papers, case studies and industry reports on Kubernetes and containerization to gain deeper insights into the technology and its benefits. WWT provides a range of resources to assist you in your journey.
  • Participate in on-demand labs: Engage in hands-on learning experiences through on-demand labs, allowing your team to explore Kubernetes and containerization in a controlled environment.
  • Leverage WWT's comprehensive services: WWT offers comprehensive services to support your organization's Kubernetes journey. From planning and designing to deploying Kubernetes in your data center or the cloud, WWT can provide expertise and guidance.
  • Kubernetes briefings: Request briefings to gain in-depth insights into Kubernetes architecture, including on-premises and public cloud implementations. These briefings will enable your organization to make informed decisions regarding the appropriate platform and deployment strategy, aligning with your organizational goals.
    • Public cloud kubernetes: Explore the intricacies of deploying and managing Kubernetes in public cloud environments, including setup, integration, scalability and cost optimization.
    • On-Premises Kubernetes implementation: Learn about on-premises Kubernetes implementation, covering infrastructure considerations, security, high availability and day-to-day management.
  • DevOps automation principles: Leverage WWT's expertise to navigate DevOps automation principles, which play a vital role in streamlining application development and deployment. By incorporating these principles into your broader strategy, you can enhance efficiency and effectiveness in your app delivery processes.


Containerization and Kubernetes offer transformative solutions for modern application development and deployment. With the benefits of being a DevOps enabler, application portability, and legacy application modernization, organizations can unlock new levels of scalability, efficiency and agility. By considering the suitability of existing applications, exploring deployment options and leveraging expert resources, your organization can embark on a successful Kubernetes journey. WWT is here to support you at every step, offering a wealth of knowledge, resources and services tailored to your specific needs.