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TL;DR
  • Apply manages Applications through files defining Kubernetes Resources (i.e. Resource Config)
  • Kustomize is used to author Resource Config

Declarative Application Management

This section covers how to declaratively manage Workloads and Applications.

Workloads in a cluster may be configured through files called Resource Config. These files are typically checked into source control, and allow cluster state changes to be reviewed before they are audited and applied.

There are 2 components to Application Management.

Client Component

The client component consists of authoring Resource Config which defines the desired state of an Application. This may be done as a collection of raw Resource Config files, or by composing and overlaying Resource Config authored by separate teams (using the -k flag with a kustomization.yaml).

Kustomize offers low-level tooling for simplifying the authoring of Resource Config. It provides:

  • Generating Resource Config from other canonical sources - e.g. ConfigMaps, Secrets
  • Reusing and Composing one or more collections of Resource Config
  • Customizing Resource Config
  • Setting cross-cutting fields - e.g. namespace, labels, annotations, name-prefixes, etc

Example: One user may define a Base for an application, while another user may customize a specific instance of the Base.

Server Component

The server component consists of a human applying the authored Resource Config to the cluster to create or update Resources. Once Applied, the Kubernetes cluster will set additional desired state on the Resource - e.g. defaulting unspecified fields, filling in IP addresses, autoscaling replica count, etc.

Note that the process of Application Management is a collaborative one between users and the Kubernetes system itself - where each may contribute to defining the desired state.

Example: An Autoscaler Controller in the cluster may set the scale field on a Deployment managed by a user.

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