Kubernetes Applications

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Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration platform that enables quick and robust application deployment. It manages operations such as the deployment of workloads, clustering nodes, management of runtimes, and keeping a check on resources. Over the years, it has secured a lot of traction because it is a convenient way for scaling and managing applications.

In addition, various add-ons and plugins are also released in the market that can integrate them with Kubernetes to enhance the functioning and production of Kubernetes containers and clusters. These add-ons increase the functionality of Kubernetes and therefore, using them is a good idea for dynamic Kubernetes deployment. The blog is composed of the top 10 add-ons that efficiently enhance operations and networking of Kubernetes infrastructure.

Do We Need Applications for Kubernetes?

As everyone knows, Kubernetes is not a one-size-fits-all platform. For building clusters with ease and flexibility, relying on third-party solutions is a good move. If you’re using Kubernetes for learning purposes and want to work around the basic components, then you might not require these add-ons.

However, for development and testing for production on a large scale, these add-ons will help in achieving complex, production-ready environments that too with minimal manual effort.

Top 10 Applications for Kubernetes

1. Grafana

It allows users to monitor the performance of the Kubernetes clusters in real-time. Grafana comes with 4 dashboards for the representation of different performances, they are:

  1. Cluster
  2. Node
  3. Pod/Container
  4. Deployment

It allows individuals to automate the deployment process and uses a default configuration to use within the clusters. The metrics used for collecting the data are high-level cluster & node stats along with lower-level pods & container stats. The higher-level metrics are used for alerts and the low-level metric for troubleshooting.

Key Highlights

  • Users are allowed to edit the metrics along with selecting the Kubernetes cluster that can be discovered with the help of tags.
  • Offers tons of visualization options like heatmaps, histograms, graphs, and geomaps for displaying the data more interactively.
  • Comes with a library containing thousands of dashboard layouts.
  • It brings various teams to one centralized place for sharing data easily

2. Calico

Calico is an open-source networking solution for containers, VMs, and host-based workloads. It is compatible with various leading platforms such as Kubernetes, OpenShift, OpenStack, etc.

It catalyzes the speed of all the Kubernetes processes and also offers cloud-native scalability. Moreover, it comes with tons of functionalities along with unique features like running containers on public cloud, on-premises, on single nodes, and even across a cluster with a bunch of nodes.

Key Highlights

  • It connects the interface of Containers with Kubernetes for better communication regarding the events-related workloads along with the creation/destruction of network policy.
  • It offers a robust network policy model for making the process of freezing nodes and allowing the traffic of your choice.
  • Based on scenarios, it utilizes the Linux eBPF or the Linux kernel’s highly optimized standard networking pipeline for delivering higher performance.
  • Its core design is based on best practices merged with proven standards-based network protocols that are used worldwide.
  • It maintains feasible communication among Kubernetes workloads and non-Kubernetes workloads with advanced security.

3. KubeVirt

This add-on is used for the management of virtual machines on Kubernetes. Being a virtualization extension, it aims at offering a common ground for all the solutions based on virtualization. This is extremely beneficial for businesses that want to containerize all the virtual machine-based workloads easily. In simple words, users will be able to achieve a centralized development platform where they can build, modify, and deploy applications existing in both application containers as well as virtual machines that too in a shared environment.

Therefore, existing virtual machine-based workloads will be quickly used as containerized applications and developers can also delete them when required along with using the remaining virtualized components as desired.

Key Highlights

  • Using KubeVirt along with Kubernetes will help Virtual Machines to transform into containerized apps.
  • Efficiently fuses virtualized workloads with container workloads and brings them to one single platform.
  • Allows development of new applications based on microservices within containers and facilitates proper interaction with existing virtualized applications.

4. Contrail

Contrail offers end-to-end networking policies along with 360-degree control over the cloud or any other deployment from a single user interface. Converting workflows into dedicated policies, Contrail simplifies the orchestration of virtual overlays across multiple environments. Users can also control and manipulate end-to-end policies through various virtual environments.

Moreover, Contrial’s Software-Defined Networking (SDN) helps in deploying the workloads over any particular environment securely. Along with this, users can also enjoy the continuous overlay connectivity for technologies such as VMs, Containers, Bare metals from anywhere.

Key Highlights

  • Insert and chain virtual networks with the help of policies.
  • The REST API helps in automation and smooth integration directly with cloud orchestration systems.
  • Offers seamless connection among legacy network workloads.
  • Secures all the containers with micro-segmentation and encryption with cloud-native applications when paired with a firewall.

5. CoreDNS

It is a flexible and extensible DNS server that works by default in Kubernetes for version 1.14 and above. Most of the users have adopted the use of CoreDNS in the place of kube-dns because the former comes with better and improved security measures along with tons of bug fixes.

CoreDNS allows individuals to take every possible action regarding the DNS data with the help of using plugins. In addition, users are also allowed to add various functionalities by simply writing the plugin.

Key Highlights

  • Users can recover information and data easily
  • Maintains proper load balancing of the responses.
  • Enables zone transfers to work as primary servers whenever required along with automatic loading of the zone files from disk.
  • Caches all the DNS responses and utilizes etcd as a backend.
  • Functions as a proxy for proceeding queries further to another nameserver.

6. Weave Scope

It is one of the most popular and efficient add-ons for visualization and monitoring of Docker containers and Kubernetes. Users are enabled to see the entire infrastructure of their containers from a birds-eye view; therefore, checking problems within the distributed containerized app gets extremely simple and quick along with smooth deployment on cloud providers.

This add-on can be deployed on local hosts as well as in the cloud. The best part is that it analyses the processes, containers, and hosts automatically without the requirement of any kernel modules, libraries, or coding.

Key Highlights

  • It constructs a logical topology for applications as well as infrastructure.
  • Analyzing through scope helps in adding high-level filters on container-based microservices.
  • Users will have the option to present data in both graphical view and tabular view.
  • It allows users to pause, restart, stop, and delete containers as a part of management along with the ability to troubleshoot without leaving the browser window.
  • Get real-time app data such as tags and metadata for your containers easily by clicking on nodes to display the details panel.
  • Make quick searches on the basis of the node type, name, label, or even path.

7. Multus CNI

CNI stands for Container Network Interface and it allows Kubernetes to attach various network interfaces to pods. Normally, every pod in Kubernetes gets a single network interface, but Multus allows them to create a pod with multiple interfaces.

Multus CNI abides by the official definition for network resources (de-facto standard) for offering a method with configured additional network interfaces. This standard was originally released by the Kubernetes Network Group.

Key Highlights

  • It efficiently splits the control/data plane traffic.
  • Allows multiple network interfaces to connect with one single pod.
  • Helps in developing storage-intensive applications.
  • Automatically builds up a multi-homed node that can be acquired by various containers.

8. Anteria

It is a native project for Kubernetes that executes the Container Network Interface with Kubernetes Network Policy for offering better network compatibility and improved security for pods along with managed workloads.

Moreover, Antrea untangles the networking process across various clouds and OS with a uniform network stack built over Open vSwitch. It is designed for bringing ease in deploying, operating, and adopting Kubernetes controller patterns along with robust diagnostics.

Key Highlights

  • Allows Kubernetes pod networking through IP overlay with the help of Geneve for encapsulation.
  • It implements the network traffic filtering rule for pods by fetching the Kubernetes Network Policy API.
  • Offers enhanced network performance by increasing the number of rules.

9. Knitter

This add-on is used for managing networking in Kubernetes. In addition, it also offers the ability for the management of tenants and networks. Following are the four major components of Knitter:

  1. Knitter-manager: Runs on a central controller node
  2. Knitter-plugin: It is a CNI plugin that is utilized through CNI API
  3. Knitter-agent: Runs on all of the nodes of a cluster
  4. Knitter-monitor: It also runs on the central controller node but it configures logical resources

Moreover, it comes with a set of end-to-end container networking solutions and features such as keeping IP addresses for applications, IP address migration, etc.

Key Highlights

  • Utilizes the CNI plugin for supporting multiple networks in a Kubernetes pod.
  • Allows pods to be attached to high-performance networks.
  • Users are enabled to customize their infrastructure.
  • Compatible to run on public clouds, private clouds, and hybrid clouds.
  • Compatible with VM and bare-metal cloud environments.

10. Romana

Romana is an add-on for Kubernetes that enhances the automation of creating isolated cloud-native networks and secured applications with the help of micro-segmentation. It utilizes the industry standards for securing applications so that they can be deployed easily on public and private clouds.

Its integration with orchestration systems such as Kubernetes will let developers utilize existing tools and workflows for securing their applications.

Key Highlights

  • Allows users to deploy applications with advanced security and within isolated networks and policy-controlled environments.
  • Kubernetes running on public clouds will be able to apply networks along with security policies on all pods.
  • Containerized apps using Romans can be easily operated and with better performance.
  • Utilizes best practices for providing best-security measures.


Kubernetes or K8s is the most popular platform for the deployment, scalability, and management of containerized applications. Originally developed by engineers at Google, Kubernetes comes with tons of features and benefits for managing and deploying containerized applications. However, hundreds of add-ons and plugins are used for taking the functionalities of Kubernetes to the next level.

The blog is composed of 10 add-ons or third-party applications for Kubernetes that are used for enhancing the networking, management, and functioning of the Kubernetes. Moreover, their benefits are also mentioned for a better understanding of the value they can add for various businesses.

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