Difficulty: Beginner
Estimated Time: 10 minutes

This scenario explains the different aspects of launching a Kubernetes cluster. We'll understand how the service discovery mechanism works in kubernetes.

Understanding Service Discovery

Step 1 of 3

Step 1: Kubernetes Service

Kubernetes Pods are mortal. They are born and when they die, they are not resurrected. ReplicationControllers in particular create and destroy Pods dynamically (e.g. when scaling up or down or when doing rolling updates). While each Pod gets its own IP address, even those IP addresses cannot be relied upon to be stable over time. This leads to a problem: if some set of Pods (let’s call them backends) provides functionality to other Pods (let’s call them frontends) inside the Kubernetes cluster, how do those frontends find out and keep track of which backends are in that set? A Service

A Kubernetes Service is an abstraction which defines a logical set of Pods and a policy by which to access them - sometimes called a micro-service. The set of Pods targeted by a Service is (usually) determined by a Label Selector (see below for why you might want a Service without a selector).

As an example, consider an image-processing backend which is running with 3 replicas. Those replicas are fungible - frontends do not care which backend they use. While the actual Pods that compose the backend set may change, the frontend clients should not need to be aware of that or keep track of the list of backends themselves. The Service abstraction enables this decoupling.

For Kubernetes-native applications, Kubernetes offers a simple Endpoints API that is updated whenever the set of Pods in a Service changes. For non-native applications, Kubernetes offers a virtual-IP-based bridge to Services which redirects to the backend Pods.

Defining a service

A Service in Kubernetes is a REST object, similar to a Pod. Like all of the REST objects, a Service definition can be POSTed to the apiserver to create a new instance. For example, suppose you have a set of Pods that each expose port 9376 and carry a label "app=MyApp".

Check the kubectl version using, kubectl version