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16 Best Kubernetes Books for Beginners

trulyfurqan profile image Muhammad Furqan Ul Haq ・8 min read

Kubernetes is a container orchestration platform. Now, you might be wondering what does that really mean. So today, I've compiled a list of the best Kubernetes books that might help you understand the core concepts of Kubernetes in detail.

Some books will walk you through the fundamental concepts of containers, orchestration, Kubernetes, continuous deployment, cloud-native, etc. in a step-by-step manner. Whereas, I've also added a few books for people who already have some familiarity with Kubernetes and are looking for best practices.

No matter whether you are a complete newbie to the world of Kubernetes or are already working as a DevOps engineer, this guide will help you select the Kubernetes book that is most suitable for you according to your requirements.

Best Kubernetes Books

It's time to dive into the most awaited list of best Kubernetes books. I've carefully compiled it to help you give a variety to choose from. All of these books are great and informational, they all have something unique to offer.

Comparison of Best Kubernetes Books


1- Kubernetes First Steps

As its name suggests, Kubernetes First Steps is a combination of an eBook, videos, and some extra stuff that is designed for absolute beginners. At first, it helps you get started with Docker and Kubernetes. Later on, you will be introduced to more complex topics in an easy-to-understand manner.

What will you learn?

  • How to package applications as Docker containers.
  • Kubernetes fundamentals.
  • How to scale applications.
  • Kubernetes self-healing properties.
  • How to troubleshoot failed deployments.
  • Use Kubernetes locally with minikube.
  • In-depth understanding of YAML.
  • Start using kubectl, a command-line tool for Kubernetes.

If you can just afford to buy one Kubernetes book then I would highly recommend you to go for it. It's because I personally like their additional stuff like videos, code examples, support from the instructors on Slack, Kubernetes cheatsheet, and interactive exercises on minikube.

All of this combined in a single course will definitely enhance your learning experience.

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2- The Kubernetes Book

The Kubernetes Book helps you become proficient at Kubernetes. It clearly explains each and every concept of Kubernetes. Here, you'll learn about:

  • Kubernetes architecture.
  • Deploy, scale, perform rolling updates, and even self-heal applications.
  • Real-world security and threat-modeling in Kubernetes.

According to the author Nigel Poulton, he will update this book at least once a year to keep up with the latest Kubernetes trends.

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3- Kubernetes: Up and Running: Dive into the Future of Infrastructure 2nd Edition

This book is actually written by people who developed Kubernetes at Google. So, it's a great opportunity for you to learn Kubernetes from the ones who know each and everything about it.

It explains the use of tools and APIs to build scalable distributed systems automatically.

No matter whether you want to use Kubernetes for machine learning applications, online services, or even smaller Raspberry Pi computers, this book is right for you.

Here the authors will practically teach you how Kubernetes can be used to create and deploy real-world applications.

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4- Kubernetes App Development

Are you familiar with programming languages like JavaScript, Python, Java, or PHP?

If so, this book might be more suitable for you. It's because the author has specifically designed this book for software developers who want to pass the CKAD (Certified Kubernetes Application Developer) certification exam.

At first, you will learn how to install Kubernetes and Docker. Then, you'll be introduced to Kubernetes CLI aka kubectl. At this point, you'll learn many commands to interact with Kubernetes.

The author will also guide you about the complete architecture of Kubernetes. It is very important because Kubernetes is a new technology and has introduced many concepts that were never seen before.

For example, you'll learn about:

  • Kubernetes pod.
  • Patterns (such as Sidecar pattern, Adapter pattern, and Ambassador pattern).
  • Rolling updates and rolling back.
  • Service Accounts.
  • Monitoring, Debugging, and Logging errors.

Finally, a complete guide to passing the CKAD exam will be provided. It contains information regarding the exam style, sample questions, and some actionable advice from the author.

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5- Understanding Kubernetes in a visual way

This book is a bit different from the others mentioned here. Aurélie Vache (the author) has created a collection of sketch notes about Kubernetes which might help you learn this amazing technology in a visual way.

These sketch notes cover the basics as well as many advanced topics like Kubernetes components, Horizontal PodAutoScaler, Node Affinity, Network Policies, etc.

It could be the right choice for you if you prefer learning through interesting notes instead of a well-formatted book.

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6- Learn CKS Scenarios

The Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) program is an exam that determines the skill set of Kubernetes engineers. It helps the current or potential employers to see whether you have the right skill set to build, deploy, and secure container-based applications through best practices.

This book will help you prepare for the CKS Certification exam. It contains many scenarios and practice questions that will definitely polish your Kubernetes skills.

I only recommend this book if you already have a good understanding of Kubernetes and are looking for some quick guide before appearing in the CKS exam.

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7- Kubernetes in Action, Second Edition

In the beginning, this book will help you understand what is Kubernetes and how it can deploy container-based distributed applications with ease. After that, the author will gradually introduce you to new features.

After reading this book, you'll be able to monitor, scale, and tune applications using Kubernetes.

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8- Cloud Native DevOps with Kubernetes: Building, Deploying, and Scaling Modern Applications in the Cloud

Kubernetes is no doubt an excellent invention for the cloud-native world. The authors of this book John Arundel and Justin Domingus are basically cloud experts. They will teach you the complete ins and outs of the Kubernetes ecosystem.

Here, you'll learn to build a cloud-native application with its supporting infrastructure. You will also be introduced to a continuous deployment pipeline which is very important for production applications.

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9- Kubernetes Best Practices: Blueprints for Building Successful Applications on Kubernetes

I would say that this book is not for absolute beginners. But, a great option for those who want to learn the current best practices to use Kubernetes in real-world applications.

You will learn different patterns for monitoring and securing your systems. Additionally, I recommend this book if you want to understand Kubernetes networking policies.

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10- Managing Kubernetes: Operating Kubernetes Clusters in the Real World

This book is designed for people who prefer tons of practical examples as compared to just theory. It is written by one of Kubernetes co-founder Brendan Burns. I think he can better teach you how Kubernetes works internally due to his massive involvement in this open-source project.

The author will demonstrate ways to maintain and enhance the cluster according to your requirements.

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11- Introduction to DevOps with Kubernetes: Build scalable cloud-native applications using DevOps patterns created with Kubernetes

Do you want to start a career in DevOps?

This book will walk you through the concepts of DevOps using Kubernetes. Both of these are key to ensure the high performance of IT infrastructure.

It reveals the operational challenges we face in real-world apps and gives solutions to overcome them.

After reading this book, you can easily monitor an app by setting up a pod failure alert on Prometheus. It also covers topics like kubectl commands and how to configure Alertmanager to send alerts to the Slack channel.

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12- Kubernetes Patterns: Reusable Elements for Designing Cloud-Native Applications

Microservices and Containers have significantly changed the way we build and deploy software applications. In this book, Bilgin Ibryam and Roland Huß who works at Red Hat will teach you about common practices for designing and implementing cloud-native apps on Kubernetes.

They also provide you some reusable elements, patterns, and principles that will boost your productivity while building real-world applications.

You must have some basic understanding of Kubernetes before buying this book. It is more suitable for those looking for common cloud-native patterns.

This book focuses on the following pattern categories.

  • Foundational patterns
  • Behavioral patterns
  • Structural patterns
  • Configuration patterns
  • Advanced patterns

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13- Kubernetes Cookbook: Building Cloud Native Applications

This book takes a practical approach to help you automate deployments and manage different operations of application containers across clusters of hosts.

It is based on a problem-solution-discussion format. Meaning that this book has detailed answers for many common issues you might face while working with Kubernetes.

Here, you will learn the following topics.

  • How to install Kubernetes?
  • Kubernetes API and API groups
  • Application primitives
  • Monitor the state of an app. What to do if something goes wrong.
  • Quickly troubleshoot common issues.

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14- Kubernetes Operators: Automating the Container Orchestration Platform

In Kubernetes, operators are used for packaging, deploying, and managing applications. They can automate complex stateful applications by adding application-specific operational knowledge to a Kubernetes cluster.

Operators are frequently used for application upgrades, automatically react to failures, and streamline repetitive tasks like backups.

This book revolves around Kubernetes Operators. Here, the authors will teach you how to create operators using Operator Framework and SDK.

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15- Mastering Kubernetes: Level up your container orchestration skills with Kubernetes to build, run, secure, and observe large-scale distributed apps, 3rd Edition

Do you want to become an intermediate or advanced level Kubernetes professional?

Then, this book will be the right choice for you.

It not only introduces you to Kubernetes fundamentals but also helps you explore many advanced topics like:

  • Service Meshes
  • Serverless Computing
  • Cluster Federation
  • Autoscaling

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16- Programming Kubernetes: Developing Cloud-Native Applications

This book is written by Michael Hausenblas (AWS developer advocate) and Stefan Schimanski (Red Hat principal software engineer).

They help you develop Kubernetes-native applications. These apps can directly interact with the API server to find out or simply update the state of resources.

Here, you'll learn about the client-go API library and custom resources.

Before you buy this Kubernetes book, you must have some know-how about Go programming language, Git, and package management.

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Conclusion

You just saw the collection of best Kubernetes books. Now, I would like to mention some facts about its market share. It will definitely motivate you to learn this amazing technology.

According to a report published by Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), containers used in the production environment have seen a massive increase of 300% since 2016. Also, the usage of Kubernetes in production has increased to 83%, up from 78% last year.

So, the market share of Kubernetes is increasing continuously. In turn, it creates new job opportunities for DevOps engineers.

It is interesting to note that Kubernetes is mostly used by enterprise-level companies like Google, VMware, Deloitte, etc. So, you can expect a salary anywhere from $72K to $146K per year.

In my opinion, all of these Kubernetes books mentioned here are worth buying. They offer great value in return for the amount spent.

Nowadays, I'm reading Kubernetes First Steps. And so far I found it a very interesting and informational book. At the moment, I'm waiting for its video lectures which will be available soon (in the 2nd week of March 2021).


Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something then I may earn a small commission.

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