While the rise of microservices architectures and containers has sped up development cycles for many, managing them in production has created a new level of complexity as teams are required to think about managing the load balancing and distribution of these services. Kubernetes is a powerful tool for managing distributed containerized applications, but managing Kubernetes itself is a complex process with a steep learning curve. Not only can a Kubernetes solution be difficult to implement, it can also be difficult to update and debug.

One way to reduce complexity in managing your Kubernetes environment is to integrate it directly into your CI/CD pipeline. CircleCI orbs allow you to easily add integrations to other tools and services for Kubernetes and container management with just a few lines of code. Orbs are reusable, shareable, open source packages of CircleCI config that enable the immediate integration of these services. With orbs, you get an out-of-the-box solution for managing the most important services in your pipeline.

Deploy and manage Kubernetes services and environments with these orbs:

Google Kubernetes Engine new
Deploy a Kubernetes cluster and update production code in seconds from your CI pipeline

Amazon Elastic Container Services (EKS) new
Deploy, manage, and scale containerized applications using Kubernetes on AWS

Azure Kubernetes Service new
Ship faster, operate with ease, and scale confidently with Azure Kubernetes Service

Red Hat OpenShift new
Automate the build, deployment, and management of Kubernetes applications

Kublr new
Centrally deploy, run, and manage your large enterprise’s multi-cluster Kubernetes deployments across all of your environments

Helm new
Find, share, and use software built for Kubernetes with Helm Charts

Manage Kubernetes applications across development, test, staging, and production environments via the Nirmata API

VMware Code Stream new
Release higher quality applications and IT code faster while reducing operational risk

Automate the release steps of your workflow, creating a 100% repeatable deployment process for every state in your pipeline

Store, manage, and secure container images with these orbs:

Amazon EC2 Container Registry
Easily store, manage, and deploy container images with Amazon

Google Container Registry
Store, manage, and secure your Docker container images with Google Cloud Registry

Docker Hub
Create, manage, build, and ship your teams’ container applications anywhere

Azure Container Registry new
Simplify Kubernetes container development by easily storing and managing container images for Azure deployments

What our partners are saying:

“For CI/CD, VMware Code Stream and VMware Cloud Assembly orb for creating PKS clusters and automating application deployment is a great place to start,” said Ken Lee, Head of Product Marketing, CMBU, VMware.

“CircleCI and Nirmata provide customers with the ability to seamlessly automate their containerized application lifecycle management from development, deployment to operations, and optimization, across any infrastructure. While CircleCI specializes in accelerating application development at scale, Nirmata provides customers with a single management plane to deploy and manage those applications in Kubernetes based multi-cloud environments. Together, CircleCI and Nirmata deliver on the promise of Business Agility for the Enterprise, while significantly reducing TCO of cloud-native application lifecycle management,” said Anubhav Sharma, VP Customer Success at Nirmata.

“As development teams shift to Kubernetes they will begin to move away from monolithic CD pipelines. CircleCI is furthering this ability with the DeployHub orb to support microservice sharing, configurations, and releases,” said Tracy Ragan, CEO, and Co-founder of DeployHub.

“Kublr has created an orb that enables CircleCI users to automate application build, test, and deploy jobs on top of Kubernetes clusters. CircleCI users can automatically authenticate to the Kublr Platform to query and leverage the Kublr API. CircleCI jobs will be capable of creating kubernetes clusters, checking the status of clusters, and retrieving cluster Config Files to enable application deployments on Kubernetes,” said Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr.

What you can do

Is there something else that you would like to do with Kubernetes that isn’t available from an orb? Orbs are open source, so adding functionality to an existing orb is just a matter of getting your PR approved and merged. Check out all of the available orbs in the orbs registry. Do you have a use case that you feel stands apart from the current set of Kubernetes orbs? You can author one yourself and contribute it to the community. We’ve even published best practices for creating automated build, test, and deploy pipelines for orbs (part 1 and part 2) to help you along your way.

With microservices, your team can take advantage of third-party services and OSS, eliminating the need for in house development of common tools and resources. With orbs, your team only needs to know how to use those services, not how to integrate or manage them.