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Kubernetes Logical Components

Links: 110 Kubernetes Index

Pods & Containers

  • Pod is the smallest unit that we will interact with.
  • Pod is basically a wrapper for a container.
  • In each worker node we can have multiple pods and we can have multiple containers inside a single pod.
Generally we have 1 pod per application i.e. 1 container inside a pod (this is the most common use case).

If we have any helper containers for the main application then we tend to have more than one container per pod.

  • All containers inside the same pod share volumes and IP addresses

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  • The virtual network assigns each pod its own IP address.

    • So each pod is its own self contained server with its own IP address.
    • The pods communicate with each other via internal IP addresses.
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We don't create containers inside Kubernetes we only create pods.
  • Pods are an abstraction layer over containers provided by Kubernetes.
  • A pod manages the container running inside it without our intervention.
  • For example if a container stops or dies inside a pod it will be automatically restarted.


  • Pods also die and have to be restarted. When pods are restarted they are assigned a new IP address.
    • Now if your application is talking to the database and the database server dies and is restarted again it will be assigned a new IP address.
    • Now it becomes very inconvenient to adjust that IP address.
    • So because of this another component of Kubernetes called service is used.
    • Now if the pod behind a service dies a new pod is created and attached to the same service.
  • Service is an alternative to IP addresses.
  • Instead of having dynamic IP addresses there are services sitting in front of each pod that talk to each other.
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  • It also acts as a load balancer which means it will catch the request and forward it to the pod which is least busy.
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Service servers two main purposes → permanent IP addresses and load balancers.


Without ingress.

  • When you use an LoadBalancer service for your deployment you get an external ip address and port to access your application.
  • We have to use an external service.
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  • Although it is accessible to everyone it is not convenient to access it via ip:port. We would prefer a domain name instead.

With ingress.

  • While using ingress instead of an external service we will have an internal service.
  • We will not expose our application via IP address and port.
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  • ConfigMap is external configuration for your application.
ConfigMap usage
  • Suppose you have several database pods in a database deployment with a service name of mongo-database-service.
  • Now the pods in the application deployment use this service name when communicating with the database.
  • Now if you change the service name to mongo-service then you will have to rebuild the image for your application since the service name parameter is defined in the code of the application.
  • This is where using config maps with pods can help us.
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  • ConfigMap is for storing non confidential data only.
We should not store things like database username and password in it.


  • Just like ConfigMap secrets are also used for external configuration for your application.
  • Secret is just like config map but the main difference is that it is used to store secret data like database username and password which we could not store in the ConfigMap.
The values must be base64 encoded before adding them to the yaml file.
  • Secret components are meant to be secured using third party tools in k8s.


  • It is used to persist data and is generally connected to the database deployment.
  • So if any of the pods go down they won’t wipe out any data with them since data is not persisted in pods.
  • Volumes can be external or local.
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  • Kubernetes explicitly won't manage any persistent storage that you have.
    • This means you are responsible for backing up, replicating the data and making sure it is kept on a proper hardware.


  • In Kubernetes generally you won't be interacting with individual pods but deployment yaml file.
Deployment component is an abstraction on top of pods.


Deployment component is for stateLESS apps, statefulset component is for stateFUL apps.
Why deployments cannot be used to manage pods containing databases?
  • You can easily create replicas of pods hosting applications but that is not possible in case of database pods since if there are multiple database pods then there can be write and read inconsistencies.
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  • Statefulset component is specifically meant for databases.

    • It will make sure that reads and writes are synchronised.
  • But managing databases using statefulset is not easy.

Hence DB are generally hosted outside Kubernetes cluster and just have stateless applications in Kubernetes.

Last updated: 2022-08-28