Kubernetes explained deep enough: Configuration

Kubernetes explained deep enough: Configuration

This is the second part of Kubernetes mini-series Kubernetes explained deep enough For web version of this blog and more information about docker, Kubernetes and Docker Certification, please visit: Part 1: Introduction. Part 2: Kubernetes explained deep enough: Storage — this blog. Part3: Kubernetes explained deep enough: Deployments. Part 4: Kubernetes explained deep enough: Configuration. Part 5: Services discoverability, DNS, cluster communication.

How does it work?

Kubernetes natively supports 2 resources geared towards storing configuration consumed by pods. Both configuration types required data to be represented in a key:value pair format.

  • Config Maps: use to store non-confidential data
  • Secrets: use to store confidential data (tokens, SSH keys, passwords, certificates, etc)

Config maps are not suited for storing large quantities of data. Please use external storage for this purpose. As a side-note, etcd, key-value store where Kubernetes stores all its state can only hold resources up to 1MN in size.

Secrets in Kubernetes are actually not _**_encrypted_, but rather _base64 encoded**, so best for storing critical sensitive information, recommendation is to use key vaults such as [Hashicorp Vault_](https://learn.hashicorp.com/vault) with Helm sidecar or native offerings from public cloud providers, like [Azure Key Vault_](https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/key-vault/).

Both config maps and secrets can be mounted into pods in 2 ways:

  • As volumes
  • As environmental variables

Below diagram shows those options on the example of config map, same applies to secrets

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