Kubernetes essential guide: 10 must-reads

Kubernetes, containers, and automation have become crucial to IT goals – and practically beg for continuous learning. Consider this a mini-class
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I recently met one of my mentors for lunch: "I have to go edit an article about  Kubernetes this afternoon," I told him when we were done. "Kuber-what?" he said. That reaction is not unusual. Many IT pros are knee-deep in Kubernetes and its two partners in flexibility and speed, containers  and automation. But many non-IT folks have still never heard of it.

Perhaps that's one reason why the reaction to our recent coverage has been so strong: Many of you have started to discuss Kubernetes with customers, partners, and line-of-business colleagues – and you need to do it in terms non-techies can understand.

At the same time, you need to take care of the IT leader worries. You're busy figuring out how Kubernetes fits into your long-term strategy, how to avoid speed bumps, and what's coming next.

As Kevin Casey noted recently, the Kubernetes ecosystem moves very quickly: It’s been dubbed the fastest-moving project in open source history. That makes it a lot different than a finished "product."

Says Frank Reno, senior technical product manager at Sumo Logic, “It is a fast-paced, highly active community that develops Kubernetes and the related projects. As it changes, it also changes the way you need to look at and develop things. It’s all for the better, but still, much to keep up on.”

To that end, we've rounded up the best of our recent explainers and analysis around getting started with Kubernetes, taking it to the next level, and using it in concert with containers and automation. So dig in – and share this with others on your team who need to get up to speed or understand the concepts and benefits in language for non-techies. 

• How to explain Kubernetes in plain English

How do you explain Kubernetes and orchestration to non-technical people?

• Getting started with Kubernetes: 5 misunderstandings, explained

IT leaders and container experts discuss key misconceptions about Kubernetes – and the realities behind each of them

• Kubernetes in production vs. Kubernetes in development: 4 myths

IT teams tinkering with containers and Kubernetes can discover a steep learning curve when they move from sandbox experiments to production. Here's what to know ahead of time.

• 6 container trends IT leaders should watch

We asked a wide range of IT leaders and experts for their input on the top developments to watch in the container universe. 

• How to explain containers in plain English

If you haven't had to explain containers to non-techies yet, you will soon. Use these explanations from container experts.

• Container security fundamentals: 5 things to know

Can you articulate the core facts about container security – even to skeptics inside your organization? Here are 5 key points.

• IT automation: How to make the case

Want to get your entire team on board with automation plans? IT execs share their strategies.

• 8 IT automation mistakes to avoid

Where do IT teams go wrong as they automate more processes? CIOs and automation experts share lessons learned.

• Disrupt or be disrupted: 3 trends enabling next-level IT agility

Three trends are converging to fuel superstar-level agility: Cloud, microservices, and containers.

• Hands-on tutorial: Get started with Kubernetes 

Learn the basics of using the open source container management system with this easy tutorial.

[ Kubernetes terminology, demystified: Get our Kubernetes glossary cheat sheet for IT and business leaders. ]

Laurianne McLaughlin is Editorial Director, Digital Communities for Red Hat, leading content strategy. Previously, she served as Content Director for The Enterprisers Project, Editor-in-Chief at InformationWeek.com, and Managing Editor at CIO.com.