11 tools that make Kubernetes better

Few computing platforms—even those of great power and scale—satisfy every need as-is. While Kubernetes is useful out of the box, it’s far from complete. You can always find a use case or a need where the default Kubernetes feature set falls short, such as database support, or simply ignores, such as continuous delivery.

That’s where the broader Kubernetes community comes in, with add-ons, extensions, and bonus goodies for the container orchestration framework. Here are 11 of the top Kubernetes companions we’ve found. Some will complement any Kubernetes cluster, while others address specific needs that stock Kubernetes doesn’t address.

Gatekeeper: Kubernetes policy controls

The Open Policy Agent project (OPA) provides a way to create policies across cloud-native application stacks, from ingress to service-mesh components to Kubernetes. Gatekeeper provides a Kubernetes-native way to enforce OPA policies on a cluster automatically, and to audit for any events or resources violating policy. All this is handled by a relatively new mechanism in Kubernetes, admission controller Webhooks, that fire on changes to resources. With Gatekeeper, OPA policies can be maintained as just another part of your Kubernetes cluster’s defined state, without needing constant babysitting. 

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