Getting Started with Kubernetes for Non-Techies: Step by Step

In this step by step guide & tutorial, you'll learn the process for getting started with Kubernetes for non-techies and beginners basics tips

Getting Started with Kubernetes for Non-Techies Step by Step Learn Basics Tutorial Beginners

Kubernetes, often abbreviated as K8s, is an open-source platform that automates the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. In layman’s terms, it’s a tool that helps manage software applications efficiently and reliably, without requiring your constant attention. In this step by step guide & tutorial, you’ll learn the process for getting started with Kubernetes for non-techies and beginners basics tips.

Kubernetes was developed by Google, one of the pioneers in the field of scalable systems. They open-sourced it in 2014, and it’s now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. The primary reason Kubernetes has gained so much popularity over the years is its ability to run anywhere, be it on-premises, in the public cloud, or a hybrid of both.

Now, you might be thinking, why should I care about Kubernetes? The answer is simple: Kubernetes has drastically altered the way we develop and deploy applications. It’s a foundation of DevOps technology and has become an industry-standard in creating scalable and reliable applications.

Why Businesses Are Adopting Kubernetes 

Scalability: Growing and Shrinking Resources Easily

One of the key reasons businesses are adopting Kubernetes is its scalability. In a fast-paced business environment, the ability to scale up or down based on demand is crucial. With Kubernetes, you can do just that. It allows you to quickly and seamlessly scale your applications, ensuring you have the right amount of resources at the right time.

Kubernetes achieves this using its auto-scaling feature. It constantly monitors the load on your system and automatically adjusts the number of running instances of your application based on the current demand. This means your system can handle traffic spikes without downtime or performance degradation.

Moreover, Kubernetes doesn’t just scale your applications; it scales with your business. Whether you’re a small startup or a large enterprise, Kubernetes can handle your workload. It’s designed to manage systems of any size, offering the same benefits to all users. In this step by step guide & tutorial, you’ll learn the process for getting started with Kubernetes for non-techies and beginners basics tips.

Efficiency: Maximizing the Use of System Resources: Getting Started with Kubernetes

Efficiency is another major selling point of Kubernetes. It ensures that your system resources are used to the maximum, minimizing waste and thereby reducing costs. Kubernetes achieves this through its intelligent scheduling and resource allocation capabilities.

Unlike traditional systems where resources are allocated statically, Kubernetes dynamically allocates resources based on the demand and usage patterns of your applications. This ensures that your applications always have the resources they need, but no more than what they require.

Additionally, Kubernetes can pack multiple applications into a single physical machine, utilizing its resources to the fullest. This reduces the number of machines required, leading to lower infrastructure costs.

Reliability: Ensuring Applications Are Always Up and Running

Reliability is a non-negotiable requirement in today’s digital world. Any downtime can cost businesses thousands, if not millions, of dollars. Kubernetes ensures that your applications are always up and running, providing a reliable service to your customers.

Kubernetes achieves this through its self-healing abilities. If an application crashes, Kubernetes automatically restarts it. So, a machine fails, Kubernetes reschedules the applications running on it to other machines. If a deployment is not healthy, Kubernetes rolls it back. All these happen automatically, without any manual intervention.

Moreover, Kubernetes provides robust health checking mechanisms. It constantly monitors the state of your applications and takes corrective actions when something goes wrong. This proactive approach significantly reduces the chances of downtime, making your applications more reliable.

Kubernetes Basic Terminology Explained in Layman’s Terms 

Nodes: Think of Them as Workers: Getting Started with Kubernetes

In the world of Kubernetes, nodes are the workers. They are the machines (physical or virtual) that run your applications. Each node has a Kubelet, which is an agent for managing the node and communicating with the Kubernetes master.

Nodes can be categorized into two types: worker nodes and master nodes. Worker nodes run the applications, while master nodes are responsible for managing the Kubernetes cluster. They maintain the desired state of the cluster, such as which applications are running and on which nodes.

Pods: Packages That Workers Handle

Pods are the smallest and simplest unit in the Kubernetes model. They are the packages that the worker nodes handle. A pod can contain one or more containers, but typically it contains only one.

Containers inside a pod share the same network namespace, meaning they can communicate with each other using localhost. They can also share storage volumes, enabling data to persist across container restarts.

Services: The Delivery Routes for Packages

Services in Kubernetes are like the delivery routes for the pods. They define a set of pods and a policy by which to access them. Services enable communication between pods, and between pods and the outside world.

There are three types of services in Kubernetes: ClusterIP, NodePort, and LoadBalancer. ClusterIP is the default and exposes the service on a cluster-internal IP. NodePort exposes the service on each node’s IP at a static port. LoadBalancer exposes the service externally using a cloud provider’s load balancer.

Deployments: The Strategy for Delivering Packages Efficiently: Getting Started with Kubernetes

Deployments in Kubernetes represent a set of multiple, identical pods with no unique identities. They manage the replica sets of pods, ensuring that a specified number of the same pods are running at any given time.

Deployments are useful for deploying changes to your application, such as rolling out updates and rolling back to a previous version. They can also scale the number of pods up or down, and pause or resume a deployment.

A Simple Kubernetes Project for Newbies 

One of the best ways to understand Kubernetes is by doing a simple project. Let’s deploy a basic web application on Kubernetes. You don’t need any coding skills for this, just a basic understanding of how Kubernetes works. In this step by step guide & tutorial, you’ll learn the process for getting started with Kubernetes for non-techies and beginners basics tips.

Installing Kubernetes: Getting Started

First, you’ll need to install Kubernetes. There are several ways to do this, but the simplest one is by using Minikube. It’s a tool that runs a single-node Kubernetes cluster on your personal computer, ideal for learning and testing purposes.

Deploying a Sample Application

Once you have Kubernetes up and running, you can deploy your application. Kubernetes deployments are typically defined in YAML files. These files describe the desired state of your application, such as the number of replicas, the container image to use, and the ports to expose.

Here is an example deployment shared in the Kubernetes documentation: In this step by step guide & tutorial, you’ll learn the process for getting started with Kubernetes for non-techies and beginners basics tips.

apiVersion: apps/v1

kind: Deployment


  name: nginx-deployment


    app: nginx


  replicas: 3



      app: nginx




        app: nginx



      - name: nginx

        image: nginx:1.14.2


        - containerPort: 80

Save the deployment above as a YAML file, and then apply it using this command: 

kubectl apply -f <FILENAME>

This command sends your configuration to the Kubernetes master, which then schedules your application to run on the worker nodes. Learn more about the kubectl command line in this kubectl cheat sheet

Creating a Service: Getting Started with Kubernetes

After your application is running, you can expose it to the outside world using a service. Just like deployments, services are defined in YAML files and applied using the kubectl apply command. Here is an example of a service, again from the official documentation, that allows pods to listen for requests on TCP port 9376:

apiVersion: v1

kind: Service


  name: my-service


  selector: MyApp


    - protocol: TCP

      port: 80

      targetPort: 9376

Scaling the Application

Finally, you can scale your application by changing the number of replicas in your deployment. You can either edit the YAML file and reapply it, or use the kubectl scale command, with this syntax: In this step by step guide & tutorial, you’ll learn the process for getting started with Kubernetes for non-techies and beginners basics tips.

kubectl scale --replicas=<NUMBER> -f <FILENAME>

Substitute <NUMBER> for the number of replicas you need and <FILENAME> for the YAML file defining your deployment.

That’s it! You’ve successfully deployed a web application on Kubernetes. While this is a simple example, it gives you a glimpse into the power and flexibility of Kubernetes.

Understanding Kubernetes can seem daunting at first, but once you start using it, you’ll realize its potential. It’s a powerful tool that can help you manage your applications more efficiently and reliably. So, start your Kubernetes journey today and master the art of DevOps.

Author Bio: Gilad David Maayan

Gilad David blog author David Maayan

Gilad David Maayan is a technology writer who has worked with over 150 technology companies including SAP, Imperva, Samsung NEXT, NetApp and Check Point, producing technical and thought leadership content that elucidates technical solutions for developers and IT leadership. Today he heads Agile SEO, the leading marketing agency in the technology industry.