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5 DevOps Tools to Level Up Your Kubernetes


Here are five tools to level up your Kubernetes journey; no matter if you are just getting started or deep in the K8s, read on to see why I picked them. 🦮

Here are five tools to level up your Kubernetes journey; no matter if you are just getting started or deep in the K8s, read on to see why I picked them. 🦮

  • k8Lens
  • Helm
  • ArgoCD
  • Local Kubernetes
  • Policy as Code

K8 Lens IDE

K8s Lens is a management tool that lets you manage many Kube-config files at once. You can explore 🤯 plenty of things with it as well, such as managing pods and services and configuring secrets.

With the built-in terminal, you can quickly enter into pods to check logs or delete them if need be! It also has an inbuilt function for decoding base64 encoding secrets, making your life easier because it saves time!

📸 Lens provides you with the ability to install applications from Helm charts. Click on the Apps icon in the left menu, then search for what you are interested in.

K8lens has all the necessary tools for diagnosing your pods and services; it is available in Linux, Windows, and macOS. Being open-source is a bonus, although they have some paid features now after being acquired by Mirantis in 2021.

Helm Charts

⚓️ You know what a Helm chart is, right? ⚓️

One of the first things you learn when working with Kubernetes is about Helm charts. They are so prevalent that they are sure to stay with you throughout your entire Kubernetes journey.

Let me get the rest of us up to speed a bit.

Charts are collections of files that describe related sets of Kubernetes resources, and you might use a single Chart to deploy something simple like a Prometheus pod or something complex like running a full-stack web app.

✅ Helm is the package manager for Kubernetes.

Some things to consider when forking an existing Helm chart that you plan on publishing to the Charts repo. You are required to add your fork as a GitHub Page. Also, pay attention to Releases and not just what exists on the main branch.

Super helpful and makes your life a ton easier, Helm.

Argo CD

🦑 Argo CD was designed to work with Kubernetes since its inception. It only runs on Kubernetes, and it integrates with your cluster in its own namespace ㊔ using Custom Resource Definitions.

It monitors your Git repository for changes to the Kubernetes manifests, and when it detects changes, it will automatically ↻ publish them to the target cluster.

☑️ Argo CD supports multi-tenancy and multiple clusters.

While ArgoCD is an easy way to get started deploying, it does not do Continuous Integration (CI). To set up CI, you will need to use Jenkins or Github Actions or Gitlab CI, which ArgoCD integrates well.

Getting started with ArgoCD is extremely easy; there are numerous integrations, and it comes with a killer UI that makes it great for anyone learning Kubernetes.

ArgoCD will unlock GitOps and combine exceptionally well with the tools in the next section.

Local Kubernetes

There are many use cases for needing a local Kubernetes, from just getting started to testing something before rolling it out or even testing Kubernetes itself. 🗞️ 🐜 🛳️

Minikube runs in VM or containers, kind runs in Docker, k3s are native and MicroK8s run in containerd.

☑️ Minikube runs as a VM or containers or native; it supports multiple clusters, different container runtimes, and even Kubernetes versions.

☑️ Kind keeps coming up everywhere I look; it has many of the features listed above and sits nicely in-between the “complexity” of minikube and the “lightweight” k3s.

☑️ K3s is a lightweight implementation of Kubernetes designed to run in Production on low-resource systems, such as in IoT or Edge devices. Fast startup times make this an attractive choice for many people.

☑️ MicroK8s are built by Ubuntu, so they work well there but can run in other types of Linux, as well as macOS and Windows. The numerous features included make MicroK8s worth considering for anything up to small Production Kubernetes.

I couldn’t possibly pick one tool for this section; however, any of them will significantly impact how and where you use Kubernetes. 🐧

Policy as Code

Once you use Kubernetes everywhere, you will likely have pretty complex YAML files. That is where Policy as Code (PaC) comes in. 👨🏻‍💻

YAML gets hard to follow after about 3 or 4 levels, and so when you are 6 or 8 levels deep in, the resulting syntax errors become pretty troublesome. 🕵️

But wait, there’s more.

Have you ever wanted to ensure that container images had a digest tag or prevent specific security issues from a CVE from ever occurring again?

If you have ever wanted to Ensure or Prevent something from happening in your Kubernetes cluster, Policy as Code has you covered.

Interested so far? Checkout Datree!

Integrating PaC into your pipeline is a game-changer by automatically stopping configuration issues from occurring in Production.

Achievement Unlocked

Congratulations, you made it. 🎯

What did I miss? I wanted to include things like; Trivy, Crossplane, Knative, Spinnaker, and many more, but there wasn’t room!

Thank you for reading my list of 5 Kubernetes-specific tools that will be invaluable to you. You can find my newsletter and the weekly DevOps Report at

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Logan Land 🧙‍♂️

Chief Engineerer, phpops

Working on 🐘 $_@MergePHP;
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