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What are the main Kubernetes architecture components?

Kubernetes is a complex system to understand and, if you’re like me, you might find that you understand things better when they’re explained visually.

So I’ve made this Kubernetes architecture diagram, which shows a 10,000-foot view of all of the components of Kubernetes, and how they fit together.

Kubernetes architecture diagram

The key components in a Kubernetes cluster

Kubernetes architecture diagram by Tutorial Works is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

The control plane

On the left, you’ve got the control plane, which lives across multiple nodes.

“Control plane” is a pretty broad term to describe the components that manage the cluster. It includes things like the Kubernetes API Server (which you interact with when you use kubectl), and Etcd (which is the data store that holds the desired state of the cluster).

The nodes

The nodes are the worker machines which run your Pods and their containers. On each node, the Kubelet is a clever daemon that manages the containers running on that node, and reports back their status to the control plane.

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I hope you found this quick Kubernetes architecture diagram useful! Feel free to use it in your own work, following the Creative Commons BY-SA licence.

If you want to learn more about Kubernetes, check out the components page on the official Kubernetes website.


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