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By: Amal Prasad

How does Kubernetes containers Work


Kubernetes is an open-source platform to manage containerized services and workloads that can be both declarative configuration and automated. It is extensible, portable, and scaleable. Kubernetes has a wide availability of services, support, and tools.


What is Kubernetes containers?

Container deployment is most popular currently due to its ease of deploying, zero chance of errors, etc. Containers are similar to VMs, but containers are lightweight because they don't have to carry an OS with them. 

The use of containers in application development and deployment offers several advantages over traditional virtual machine (VM) images. These advantages include increased ease and efficiency of container image creation, which allows for agile application creation and deployment.

Containers provide separation of concerns between developers and operations teams by allowing application container images to be created at build/release time rather than deployment time, thereby decoupling applications from infrastructure. This approach allows for more efficient use of resources, reduces errors, and increases application stability.

Containers offer cloud and OS distribution portability, allowing them to run on CoreOS, RHEL, Ubuntu, on-premises, on major public clouds, and anywhere else.

Containers simplify how we manage applications. Instead of just dealing with the hardware and the operating system, containers focus on efficiently running applications using logical resources. This approach also facilitates the creation of loosely coupled, distributed, elastic, and liberated microservices. By decomposing applications into smaller, self-contained components, they can be deployed and administered dynamically, as opposed to being hosted as a monolithic entity running on a large, specialized machine.

Resource isolation and predictable application performance are also benefits of using containers. Containers provide high efficiency and density in resource utilization, making them a powerful tool for modern application development and deployment.

Kubernetes containers are designed to be lightweight and portable, and as such, they typically do not carry an operating system with them. Instead, containers are built using container images, which include all the necessary files and libraries to run the application. These images are designed to be run on top of a host operating system that provides the necessary system-level resources and services that the application needs.

How do Kubernetes Containers Work?

Kubernetes containers work by encapsulating an application and its dependencies into a single, portable unit that can be easily deployed and managed. Containers are built using container images containing all the necessary files and libraries to run the application. These images are stored in a container registry, such as Docker Hub or Google Container Registry.

When a container is deployed in Kubernetes, it is scheduled to run on a specific node in the cluster. Kubernetes uses a scheduler to select the best node for each container based on factors such as resource availability and workload balancing. Once the container is running, Kubernetes monitors its health and automatically restarts it if it fails.

Kubernetes also provides a range of features for managing containers, such as scaling, rolling updates, and service discovery. Scaling allows developers to increase or decrease the number of containers running a particular application, depending on the workload. Rolling updates enable developers to refresh the application seamlessly without experiencing any periods of downtime. This is achieved by progressively substituting older containers with newer ones. In addition, service discovery facilitates container-to-container communication, ensuring connectivity even as containers migrate across the cluster.

Why Kubernetes

Kubernetes containers are a vital part of modern-day application development because they provide portable running time and a standardized environment. This allows developers to build applications that can run anywhere, from a developer's laptop to a large data center. Kubernetes also provides a platform for managing containers at scale, allowing developers to easily deploy, manage, and scale containerized applications.

Containers are also more efficient than traditional virtual machines, as they share the host operating system and use fewer resources. This makes them ideal for running microservices-based applications, which are composed of many small, independent services that can be scaled independently.

Container Images

Container images serve as the building blocks of Kubernetes containers. These images are essentially read-only templates that contain everything required to run an application, including code, libraries, dependencies, and configuration settings. They are crafted using instructions specified in a Dockerfile or another containerization tool.

These images are typically stored in container registries such as Docker Hub, Google Container Registry, or AWS Elastic Container Registry. Kubernetes ensures that the specified container image is employed during deployment, enhancing consistency and reproducibility across diverse environments.

Container Environment

In Kubernetes, each container runs within its own isolated environment, known as a Pod. A Pod represents the smallest deployable unit in Kubernetes and can house one or more containers. These containers share the same network namespace, storage, and IP address, making it easier to manage and coordinate related services.

Kubernetes offers a wealth of environment variables that can be injected into containers, enabling them to access information about the cluster, services, or other runtime properties. This flexibility simplifies the dynamic configuration of containers, adapting them seamlessly to their specific deployment context.

Runtime Class

Runtime Class is a valuable Kubernetes feature that empowers you to specify the container runtime to be used for a particular Pod. While Docker is one of the most prevalent container runtimes, Kubernetes supports various runtimes, including containers and CRI-O.

This flexibility proves invaluable when specific runtimes offer superior performance or enhanced security features tailored to your workloads. By defining a Runtime Class for a Pod, you can ensure that the containers within that Pod utilize the designated runtime.

Container Lifecycle Hooks

Effective management of container lifecycles is critical within Kubernetes. Container Lifecycle Hooks offers a solution by allowing you to define specific actions to be executed before or after container startup or termination.

There are two types of Container Lifecycle Hooks:

PreStart Hooks: These hooks are executed before a container begins its operation. They prove useful for tasks such as initializing databases or configuring essential environment variables.

PostStart and PreStop Hooks: These hooks come into play after a container starts and just before it stops. They are commonly employed for tasks like registering the container with a service discovery system or ensuring a graceful shutdown of services.


Kubernetes containers have revolutionized the world of application deployment and management. By offering scalability, portability, and automation, they have become an indispensable part of modern software development. In this article, we've explored the core concepts of Kubernetes containers, including Container Images, Container Environment, Runtime Class, and Container Lifecycle Hooks.

As you continue your journey into the realm of Kubernetes containers, remember that this powerful platform's flexibility and robust ecosystem provide you with the tools needed to deploy and manage applications efficiently. Whether you're a developer or an operations engineer, Kubernetes containers are your trusted companions in building and maintaining resilient, scalable, and adaptable applications in the ever-evolving landscape of containerized technology.

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