Learn Design Principles and Components of the Kubernetes Machine on KubeAcademy

June 30, 2020 Marissa Bosché

We’re excited to announce a new KubeAcademy course—The Kubernetes Machine. If you make architectural decisions, manage infrastructure day-to-day or deploy apps to Kubernetes, The Kubernetes Machine course will teach you how Kubernetes works. The advanced course dives into the Kubernetes machine and its design principles and components. You’ll learn what makes Kubernetes so effective as a container orchestration system.

What you’ll learn in the course 

The Kubernetes Machine course consists of 11 lessons, totaling just over an hour of material. Here’s a preview of what each lesson covers. 

Introduction to the Kubernetes Machine

Before diving into the course, KubeAcademy instructor Rich Lander will quickly review what you’ll learn and what you need to know in order to get the most out of the course.

Kubernetes design

This lesson covers the important design principles of Kubernetes. You will learn about level-triggered vs. edge-triggered logic, the API-driven nature of Kubernetes, the watch mechanisms that are used to connect the components of the system and about what a "controller" is in the Kubernetes context.


Etcd is the persistent data store for Kubernetes. It is a distributed key-value store that records the state of all resources in a Kubernetes cluster. This lesson will teach you the fundamentals of etcd.

Kubernetes API

The Kubernetes API is at the heart of the Kubernetes control plane. In this lesson you'll learn how Kubernetes objects are organized in the API and how clients are notified of changes to them.

API Server

This lesson extends what was covered in the Kubernetes API lesson. We also cover what happens in the API Server when a request is received to alter the state of the cluster.


The kube-scheduler is the Kubernetes controller responsible for assigning pods to nodes in the cluster. Its scope is narrow but complex. In this lesson, you'll learn about the crucial role it plays in the control plane.

Controller Manager

In this lesson, you'll learn about the kube-controller-manager, which encompasses various control loops that are critical to the proper function of a Kubernetes cluster.

Cloud Controller Manager

This lesson covers the cloud-controller-manager. This component includes control loops that help manage a Kubernetes cluster's underlying infrastructure.


The kubelet is another Kubernetes controller. In general terms, it provides an interface between the Kubernetes control plane and the container runtime on each server in the cluster. This lesson will teach you how it does this.


The kube-proxy implements the Service resource in Kubernetes. In this lesson, you'll learn the critical role it plays in Kubernetes networking.

Kubernetes Machine recap

Creating a Deployment in Kubernetes works with all of the processes and controllers that we’ve talked about in this course. In this lesson, we’ll walk through how each of the components work together to make a Deployment happen in Kubernetes.

Unlock your full potential with Kubernetes courses designed by experts

The expert instructors at KubeAcademy design and deliver practical Kubernetes training. We invite you to create your own profile on KubeAcademy to track your progress, save your favorite courses and earn achievements. Not sure which courses are right for you? Take the assessment quiz to get a personalized recommendation of courses based on your experience, interests, role and more. 

Don’t see the topic or course you’re looking for on KubeAcademy? Drop us a line at KubeAcademy@VMware.com to let us know. We’re always accepting requests for new topics as we continue to expand the KubeAcademy course catalog. 

Happy learning! 


About the Author

Marissa Bosché is a marketing manager at VMware. She builds global, integrated marketing campaigns for VMware Tanzu, and leads strategy and growth for KubeAcademy. Prior to VMware, she was a marketing manager at Heptio.

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