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The Complete Guide to Kubernetes Installation Methods

Kubernetes Installation
Written by Albert Finch

So, you’ve decided to install Kubernetes. Whether the elevated portability/flexibility or the multi-cloud capabilities compelled you to adopt this open-source platform, you’ll need to approach this integration with the thoughtfulness it deserves. 

There are lots of installation methods for Kubernetes, which is the prime reason it’s challenging to get a new system up and running. With numerous decisions to be made during the Kubernetes installation process, it’s in your best interest to devise a game plan before you commit to a specific method. 

Common Kubernetes challenges to be aware of during installation

But before you start narrowing down the right method for you, there are some common Kubernetes challenges to be aware of that may interfere with scaling, security, and logging and monitoring. If you’re using a single node installation or a manual installation, you won’t be able to scale your deployment beyond the size of the single node. Additionally, if you’re using a managed cluster installation, you’ll be limited by the size of the cluster. For people using a single node installation or a manual installation, you’ll need to be careful to secure your node properly. 

Additionally, if you’re using a managed cluster installation, you’ll need to trust the service provider to secure your cluster for you. Logging and monitoring can also be a challenge with Kubernetes. If you’re using a single node installation or a manual installation, you’ll need to set up logging and monitoring yourself. Using CNCF-certified Kubernetes distribution like these can obliterate complexities. But how? By taking host dependencies out of the question, there will be a stable path for deployment.  Now that you’ve brushed up on common complexities, it’s time to pinpoint the path of least resistance by assessing the pros and cons of each installation method. 

Manual installation from scratch

Manual installation is the method as old as time and the most trusted way to install Kubernetes. With the manual installation, you’re responsible for setting up all of the components and software that Kubernetes needs.

The benefits of manual installation are that you have more control over the entire process, meaning you can tailor the installation to your specific needs. 

Single node installation

Single node installation is the most basic way to install Kubernetes. In this installation method, you install all Kubernetes components on a single node. The benefits of the single node installation are that it’s simple and easy to set up. However, it has several drawbacks. First, it’s not scalable, so you can’t use it for larger deployments. 

Second, it doesn’t offer high availability, so your Kubernetes deployment will be down if the node fails. Third, it doesn’t provide much in the way of security. With this shortcoming in mind, you’ll need to be careful to secure your node correctly.

Automatic installation

Automatic installation is a newer installation method that’s growing in popularity. The benefits of the automatic installation method are that it’s simple and beginner-friendly. You don’t need any experience with Kubernetes or Linux to use these tools, which relieves the stresses typically involved. Additionally, automatic installation is scalable and offers high availability.

Managed clusters

The managed cluster installation method is the newest way to install Kubernetes. This installation method uses a hosted Kubernetes service, meaning you’ll be relying on an outsourced platform rather than having to set up everything up yourself.

The biggest downside of the managed cluster installation is that it’s more expensive than the other installation methods.

Wrap up

The installation method that’s right for you will depend on your specific needs and level of experience with Kubernetes. For a seamless, speed-bump-free installation, thoroughly assess the benefits and drawbacks of each method spotlighted above. 

About the author

Albert Finch

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