Kubernetes Cloud Services Breakdown

How To Deploy Kubernetes

There are many ways to deploy Kubernetes for both organizations and personal use. Some of the popular ways are:

  • A Kubernetes service in the cloud
  • locally with Minikube or Docker Desktop
  • With a Rasberry Pi running something like k3s
  • With a cloud/platform agnostic solution like OpenStack or Kubernetes running on OpenShift

What To Think About

When you’re deploying Kubernetes in any environment, big or small, there are a few things that you’ll want to think about.

Kubernetes Service Breakdown

Now that you’ve read about Kubernetes deployments and how to think about them, let’s break down the various ways you can deploy Kubernetes in the cloud. One thing you’ll notice is nine times out of ten, they’re all sort of doing the same thing. The result, outcome, and reason why you’d use a Kubernetes service in the cloud is pretty much the same. However, it is important to understand the differences and upsides to each.

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)

AKS is the Azure implementation of Kubernetes. It allows you to not have to worry about the control plane and instead just worry about the worker nodes. The Kubernetes worker nodes run as Azure Virtual Machines. You can manage AKS via:

  • Azure portal
  • PowerShell
  • Azure CLI
  • Terraform
  • ARM

Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)

EKS is the AWS implementation of Kubernetes. Like AKS, you don’t have to worry about the control plane/API server. Instead, you just run worker nodes as EC2 instances. You create the worker nodes via a Node Pool. The Node Pool contains the EC2 instances that run as Kubernetes worker nodes. You can manage EKS via:

  • AWS portal
  • Terraform

Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)

It’s well-known that Kubernetes was created at Google. In fact, it was used for roughly 15 years at Google prior to Google releasing it to the public. Because of that, if you assume that GKE is a top notch Kubernetes service, you’re correct. GKE is definitely one of the easiest ways to deploy Kubernetes and you have a ton of management around the cluster itself.

Which Service Should You Use?

The reality is all of the Kubernetes services in most cases are the same. It comes down to a “pick your poison” option. If you’re already in GCP, Azure, or AWS, choose the service that they offer. If you want a more cloud/vendor-agnostic solution, go with something like OpenShift or Kubernetes running on OpenStack.



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Michael Levan

Michael Levan


Leader in Kubernetes consulting, research, and content creation ┇AWS Community Builder (Dev Tools Category)┇ HashiCorp Ambassador