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Kubernetes Terminology

For more detailed information about Kubernetes concepts, see the Kubernetes documentation.

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)

The Microsoft Azure service for Kubernetes containers.


A set of nodes, some of which host the Kubernetes pods. A cluster has one management node and at least one worker node. The containerized applications run on the cluster.


A file that contains the external configuration of an application.


An executable image that contains software and all of its related dependencies. Containers decouple the software from the infrastructure and are therefore easier to deploy and are portable.

Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)

The Amazon service for Kubernetes containers.


Translates metrics from the application into a format readable by Prometheus. It also makes the metrics available to be scraped by Prometheus.

Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)

The Google service for Kubernetes containers.


A tool for simplifying the deployment of Kubernetes applications and services.

Helm chart

A package that contains all resource definitions needed to run an application or service in a Kubernetes cluster.

Ingress Controller

An application that includes a Kubernetes load balancer, a network plugin, and exporter capabilities. The controller requires a public IP address or domain to access clients outside the Kubernetes cluster.

kube-state-metrics (KSM)

A listening service that uses the Kubernetes API server to gather data and generate metrics about the state of objects such as nodes, pods, and deployments.


An abstraction for organizing cluster objects. Resources within a namespace must have unique names.


A machine in Kubernetes. Depending on the cluster configuration, nodes can be either virtual or physical. There is a single management (master) node and one or more worker nodes, which run the applications. A node can have multiple pods.


A group of containers on a cluster.


An abstraction layer used to define a logical set of pods. A service allows the application to be exposed externally, provides load balancing, and allows service discovery for pods, thereby permitting your applications to receive traffic.


An application running on Kubernetes.