Best Kubernetes Tools

Kubernetes tools that will transform your K8s workflow. Dive into the key capabilities you need for simplified app management, automated CI/CD, robust security, and more.

In this article, we will explore the various Kubernetes tools available for cost optimization, app definition & management, CI/CD, secret management, security, networking & service mesh and monitoring.

Table of Contents

Introducing Kubernetes Tools

 Kubernetes Tools for Cost Optimization

  1. PerfectScale
  2. Densify
  3. Kubecost

 Kubernetes Tools for App Definition & Management

  1. Helm
  2. Kuztomize

Kubernetes Tools for CI/CD

  1. JenkinsX
  2. Tekton
  3. Octeto

Kubernetes Tools for Secret Management

  1. HashiCorp
  2. Sealed Secrets

Kubernetes Tools for Security

  1. Aqua Security
  2. Falco

Kubernetes Tools for Networking & Service Mesh

  1. Istio
  2. Calico

Kubernetes Tools for Monitoring

  1. Prometheus
  2. Grafana
  3. Thanos


Introducing Kubernetes Tools

Before exploring the specific tools available in K8s, it is important to grasp the value of Kubernetes tooling. Kubernetes itself furnishes a robust system for managing containers, but operating it can be tricky and additional tools are needed to address particular use cases. These Kubernetes tools function as extensions to K8s, empowering users to streamline and boost their workflows while leveraging the platform's full capabilities.

K8s tools simplify the management of containerized applications

One of the key reasons Kubernetes tools is vital is because it simplifies the administration of containerized applications. With the emergence of microservices architectures and containerization, organizations are deploying applications in a distributed way. Kubernetes tooling offers a unified and efficient method to govern these distributed applications, ensuring scalability, fault tolerance, and easy deployment.

Kubernetes tools offer advanced features

Moreover, Kubernetes tooling provides advanced functionalities beyond the basic capabilities of the core Kubernetes framework. These tools enable users to automate complex tasks, like scaling applications based on demand, managing storage volumes, and implementing sophisticated networking configurations. By utilizing Kubernetes tooling, organizations can optimize their infrastructure, enhance resource utilization, and boost the overall performance of their applications.

Augment oservability and monitoring capabilities

Another important aspect of Kubernetes tooling is its ability to enhance observability and monitoring capabilities. These tools furnish detailed insights into the performance and behavior of applications operating on Kubernetes clusters. They provide metrics, logs, and tracing capabilities, enabling users to swiftly identify and troubleshoot issues. With Kubernetes tooling, organizations can proactively monitor their applications, detect anomalies, and ensure high availability and reliability.

K8s tools enabling DevOps practices and promoting collaboration

Furthermore, Kubernetes tooling plays a vital role in facilitating DevOps practices and promoting collaboration between development and operations teams. These tools streamline continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines, allowing organizations to automate build, test, and deployment processes. Kubernetes tooling also integrates with popular development tools and frameworks, enabling seamless integration and efficient teamwork between developers and operators.

In summary, Kubernetes tools are essential for organizations aiming to leverage Kubernetes's full potential. These tools simplify containerized application management, furnish advanced capabilities, boost observability and monitoring, and efficient collaboration between development and operations teams. By incorporating Kubernetes tooling into their workflows, organizations can optimize their infrastructure, enhance application performance, and accelerate their cloud-native transition.

Take a look at the CNCF Cloud Native Interactive Landscape

Kubernetes Tools for Cost Optimization

In the first category of Kubernetes tools, we will explore K8s cost optimization tools. As organizations scale their Kubernetes deployments, cost optimization becomes a critical consideration. Kubernetes provides several tools that allow users to monitor and optimize resource utilization, ensuring that they are using their infrastructure efficiently.

1. Kubernetes Cost Optimization Tool: PerfectScale

PerfectScale is an automated Kubernetes cost optimization and management platform. It's the industry's only production-ready automation platform that can safely and autonomously right-size your environment to enhance resilience and availability, eliminate waste, and reduce carbon emissions. With PerfectScale you can ensure your environment is always perfectly scalable to meet demand by effortlessly optimizing every layer of your K8s stack.

Some of the top DevOps teams, including Paramount Pictures,, Solidus Labs, and proTeanecs, have trusted their Kubernetes cost optimization to PerfectScale. Read their case studies here

kubernetes cost optimization tool #1


PerfectScale offers a generous 30-day free trial to experience the full benefits of this Kubernetes cost optimization tool. Check the Perfectscale pricing here.

In summary, PerfectScale simplifies Kubernetes optimization with purpose-built capabilities, proactive support, and integrated automation. PerfectScale is your go-to tool for Kubernetes cost optimization. It automates resource scaling, ensuring that your clusters are provisioned optimally, eliminating the wasteful over-provisioning that can inflate your K8s expenses.

2. Kubernetes Cost Optimization Tool: Densify

Densify is a cloud optimization and resource management platform designed to help organizations maximize the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their cloud infrastructure. It primarily focuses on optimizing the allocation of cloud resources, such as virtual machines (VMs) and containers, across various cloud providers like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).



Densify offers customized pricing based on the organization's needs.

In summary, Densify is a powerful cloud cost management tool that leverages AI and real-time analysis to optimize resources and reduce costs. Its multi-cloud support, cost-saving recommendations, and detailed reporting make it a valuable asset for organizations seeking to improve cloud cost efficiency. However, users should be prepared for some initial fine-tuning, potential pricing concerns, and integration complexities.

Take a look how Solidus Labs reduces Kubernetes resilience Issues by 90%

3. Kubernetes Cost Optimization Tool: Kubecost

Kubecost provides real-time cost visibility and insights for teams using Kubernetes, helping you continuously reduce your Kubernetes spend. Kubecost is a great tool for you to see allocated spend across all native Kubernetes concepts, so you can provide your teams with transparent, accurate cost data reconciled with your actual cloud bill. Break down costs by namespace, deployment, service, and more across any major cloud provider or on-prem Kubernetes environment.



Kubecost offers both a free open-source version and a paid enterprise version with custom pricing.

In summary, Kubecost is a valuable tool for organizations seeking to gain control over their Kubernetes spending and resource allocation. While it offers numerous benefits in terms of Kubernetes cost optimization, it's essential to consider the complexity of implementation and its focus on cost-related aspects when deciding if it's the right fit for your Kubernetes environment.

Cut K8s cloud costs while improving system reliability with PerfectScale PodFit Solution

Kubernetes tools for App Definition & Management

The second category of Kubernetes tools we will explore is focused on app definition and management. These K8s tools provide abstractions and higher-level constructs to simplify the deployment and management of applications on Kubernetes.


One popular tool in this space is Helm, a package manager for Kubernetes that enables users to define and manage applications as charts. With Helm, developers can easily package and share applications, making it easier to deploy and manage complex applications.

Helm is not just a package manager, but also a powerful templating engine. It allows developers to define reusable templates for Kubernetes resources, such as deployments, services, and config maps. These templates can be parameterized, allowing for easy customization and configuration of the applications. Helm charts can also include dependencies, making it easy to manage complex application stacks with multiple components.


Another K8s tool worth mentioning is Kustomize, which provides a way to customize and manage Kubernetes manifests. It allows users to define overlays, patches, and transformations to apply to base manifests, making it easier to manage the configuration and deployment of applications across different environments. Kustomize also integrates well with GitOps practices, enabling teams to have a declarative and version-controlled approach to managing their Kubernetes configurations.

With Kustomize, developers can easily manage configuration drift across different environments. They can define overlays that contain environment-specific configuration, such as different resource limits or environment variables. These overlays can be applied on top of the base manifests, allowing for easy customization without modifying the original files. This makes it easier to manage applications that need to be deployed in multiple environments, such as development, staging, and production.

In addition to Helm and Kustomize, there are other Kubernetes tools available for app definition and management in the Kubernetes ecosystem. For example, Ksonnet provides a way to define and manage Kubernetes applications using a Jsonnet-based DSL. It allows developers to define reusable components and environments, making it easier to manage complex application configurations. Another tool, Kompose, enables users to convert Docker Compose files into Kubernetes manifests, simplifying the migration of applications from Docker to Kubernetes.

Overall, these K8s tools provide developers with powerful abstractions and higher-level constructs to simplify the definition and management of applications on Kubernetes. Whether it's using Helm for packaging and sharing applications, Kustomize for managing configuration drift, or other tools like Ksonnet and Kompose, the Kubernetes ecosystem offers a variety of options to streamline the app definition and management process.

Kubernetes Tools for CI/CD

Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) are essential practices for modern software development. They enable teams to deliver software faster, with higher quality and reliability. Kubernetes, the popular container orchestration platform, offers several tools that integrate seamlessly into CI/CD pipelines, making it easier to build, test, and deploy applications on Kubernetes clusters.

Jenkins X

One of the most popular CI/CD tools in the Kubernetes ecosystem is Jenkins X. Built specifically for Kubernetes, Jenkins X provides a cloud-native approach to CI/CD. It offers a wide range of features and capabilities that streamline the software delivery process. With Jenkins X, developers can easily automate the building, testing, and deployment of their applications on Kubernetes clusters.

Jenkins X embraces the GitOps methodology, which promotes the use of Git as the single source of truth for infrastructure and application configuration. This means that all changes to the CI/CD pipeline and application deployments are made through Git commits and pull requests. Jenkins X automatically synchronizes the changes from Git to the Kubernetes cluster, ensuring that the cluster is always in sync with the desired state defined in the Git repository.

In addition to GitOps, Jenkins X also provides automatic environment provisioning. It can create new Kubernetes namespaces and environments for each branch of a Git repository, allowing developers to easily test their changes in isolated environments before merging them into the main branch. This helps catch bugs and issues early in the development process, reducing the risk of introducing problems into production.

Jenkins X integrates seamlessly with popular source code repositories like GitHub, making it easy to trigger CI/CD pipelines based on code changes. It can automatically build and test applications whenever changes are pushed to the repository, ensuring that the latest code is always validated and ready for deployment. Jenkins X also supports pull request previews, which allow developers to preview their changes in a live environment before merging them into the main branch.


Another K8s tool worth mentioning is Tekton, an open-source framework for creating Kubernetes-native CI/CD pipelines. Tekton provides a set of Kubernetes Custom resources that define the building blocks of a pipeline, such as Tasks and Pipelines. With Tekton, users can easily define, manage, and execute their CI/CD workflows, enabling them to deliver software faster and more reliably.

Tekton is designed to be highly flexible and extensible. It allows users to define their CI/CD pipelines as code, using familiar programming languages and tools. This makes it easy to version control and collaborate on pipeline definitions, ensuring that changes are tracked and auditable. Tekton also provides a rich set of reusable components, such as buildpacks and container images, that can be used to build and deploy applications on Kubernetes clusters.

One of the key advantages of Tekton is its tight integration with Kubernetes. Since Tekton is built on top of Kubernetes Custom Resources, it leverages the native capabilities of the Kubernetes platform, such as scalability, fault tolerance, and resource management. This ensures that CI/CD pipelines running on Tekton can take full advantage of the underlying Kubernetes infrastructure, delivering fast and reliable results.


Okteto offers a comprehensive platform designed to turbocharge the development velocity in Kubernetes environments. It stands out as a single platform that automates various aspects of the developer experience, bringing about a unified and streamlined development process. The platform is particularly tailored for platform teams aiming to build modern development experiences. It allows for the adoption of a solid foundation for Platform and DevX Engineering, enabling the automation of production-like development environments directly on Kubernetes. This automation leads to a significant boost in developer productivity and more efficient workflows.

Additionally, Okteto specializes in automating cloud-native development experiences. It simplifies the provisioning of modern environments for development, testing, and Kubernetes deployment, marking a crucial step in the journey towards microservices. The platform also emphasizes building a self-service development experience, enhancing developer creativity, confidence, and collaboration. This modern development experience facilitated by Okteto is designed to adapt to the evolving demands of today's development scenarios, particularly in Kubernetes-centric environments

In conclusion, Kubernetes offers a variety of tools for CI/CD that can greatly enhance the software delivery process. Jenkins X and Tekton are just two examples of the many options available in the Kubernetes ecosystem. Whether you choose Jenkins X, Tekton, or any other tool, integrating CI/CD into your Kubernetes workflow can help you build, test, and deploy applications with greater efficiency and confidence.

Kubernetes Tools for Secret Management

Secrets management is a critical aspect of application security, and Kubernetes offers several tools to help users manage and secure their sensitive information.


One such tool is HashiCorp Vault, a popular open-source tool that provides a centralized solution for managing secrets and privileged access.

Vault integrates seamlessly with Kubernetes, allowing users to dynamically generate and manage secrets, store encryption keys, and authenticate and authorize access to sensitive resources. With Vault, users can create and manage secrets such as passwords, API keys, and certificates. These secrets can then be securely accessed by applications running in Kubernetes clusters.

But Vault offers more than just secret management. It also provides a robust set of features for secure access control. Users can define fine-grained policies to control who can access which secrets and what operations they can perform. Vault supports various authentication methods, including Kubernetes service accounts, LDAP, and GitHub, ensuring that only authorized users and applications can access sensitive information.

Sealed Secrets

Another Kubernetes tool that deserves mention is Sealed Secrets, which leverages Kubernetes native resources to encrypt and decrypt secrets. Sealed Secrets allow users to store encrypted secrets directly in Git repositories, allowing for easy version control and auditability of secrets. This eliminates the need for a separate secret management system while ensuring the security of sensitive information.

Sealed Secrets work by encrypting secrets using a public key, which is stored in a Kubernetes cluster as a custom resource. The encrypted secret can then be safely stored in a Git repository, and only authorized users with access to the private key can decrypt and use the secret. This approach provides a secure and convenient way to manage secrets without compromising their confidentiality.

Moreover, Sealed Secrets integrates seamlessly with Kubernetes, making it easy to deploy and manage. It provides a custom controller that automatically encrypts and decrypts secrets as they are created or updated in the cluster. This ensures that secrets are always encrypted at rest and only decrypted when needed, minimizing the risk of exposure.

In addition to HashiCorp Vault and Sealed Secrets, there are other tools available for secret management in Kubernetes. These include Kubernetes Secrets, which is a built-in feature of Kubernetes for storing and managing secrets, and external solutions like Azure Key Vault and Google Cloud KMS, which provide integration with cloud-based secret management systems.

Overall, Kubernetes offers a wide range of tools and options for secret management, allowing users to choose the solution that best fits their needs. Whether it's Vault, Sealed Secrets, or other tools, these solutions provide the necessary features and security controls to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive information in Kubernetes environments.

Kubernetes Tools for Security

Keeping Kubernetes clusters and applications secure is paramount in today's threat landscape. With the increasing adoption of containerization and the widespread use of Kubernetes, it is crucial to have robust security measures in place. Fortunately, Kubernetes provides several tools that aid in securing clusters and applications against potential vulnerabilities and attacks.

Aqua Security

One notable tool in this space is Aqua Security. Aqua Security offers a comprehensive platform for securing containerized applications on Kubernetes. Their solution includes a range of features such as vulnerability scanning, runtime protection, and compliance automation. By leveraging Aqua Security, organizations can identify and mitigate security risks in their Kubernetes deployments effectively. The vulnerability scanning feature allows users to scan container images for known vulnerabilities, ensuring that only secure images are deployed. The runtime protection feature monitors the behavior of containers in real-time, detecting any suspicious activities or potential security threats. Additionally, Aqua Security's compliance automation feature helps organizations adhere to industry standards and regulations, ensuring that their Kubernetes deployments are secure and compliant.


Another tool worth mentioning is Falco, an open-source runtime security project designed specifically for Kubernetes. Falco utilizes kernel-level instrumentation to detect and alert on unexpected behaviors and potential security threats in real-time. By monitoring the system calls and activities happening within the Kubernetes clusters, Falco provides operators with greater visibility into the activity and behavior of their applications and infrastructure. This increased visibility allows operators to quickly identify any anomalous behavior or potential security breaches. Falco's real-time alerts enable operators to take immediate action, mitigating any potential risks and ensuring the security of their Kubernetes deployments.

In conclusion, Kubernetes offers a range of tools that help organizations enhance the security of their clusters and applications. Aqua Security and Falco are just two examples of such tools, each providing unique features and capabilities to address different security concerns. By leveraging these tools and implementing best practices, organizations can significantly improve the security posture of their Kubernetes deployments and protect against potential vulnerabilities and attacks.

Kubernetes tools for Networking & Service mesh

Networking and service mesh are crucial components of a Kubernetes deployment, and there are various tools available to address these needs.


One widely adopted tool in this space is Istio, an open-source service mesh that provides traffic management, security, and observability for microservices running on Kubernetes. Istio enables users to implement advanced networking capabilities, such as traffic shifting, circuit breaking, and distributed tracing, without modifying application code.


Another tool that deserves mention is Calico, a popular networking and network security solution for Kubernetes. Calico provides advanced networking features like network policy enforcement, secure pod-to-pod communication, and load balancing. It also integrates well with other Kubernetes networking plugins and can be used as a standalone solution or with a service mesh like Istio. is recognized as a leading provider of API gateway and service mesh solutions. They offer products like Gloo, which provide robust control over API gateways and service meshes, crucial for enhancing cloud-native application security, observability, and resiliency. Gloo features a unified management plane that simplifies operations, accelerates scaling, and effectively reduces the total cost of ownership. This makes's offerings particularly valuable for businesses looking to secure their service connections and fortify their applications against potential attacks​

Kubernetes Tools for Monitoring

Monitoring the health and performance of Kubernetes clusters and applications is crucial for ensuring their reliability and availability. Kubernetes offers several tools that enable users to gain insights into the state of their deployments and identify performance bottlenecks.


One widely used monitoring tool in the Kubernetes ecosystem is Prometheus. Prometheus provides a rich set of features for collecting, storing, and visualizing metrics, making it easier to monitor the health and performance of Kubernetes clusters and applications.


Another tool worth mentioning is Grafana, a popular open-source visualization tool that works seamlessly with Prometheus. Grafana allows users to create dashboards and visualizations, enabling them to gain valuable insights into their Kubernetes deployments. With Grafana, operators can easily create custom dashboards to monitor key metrics, set up alerts, and troubleshoot issues in real-time.


Thanos is an open-source project designed to enhance Prometheus, a widely-used monitoring solution. It provides a set of components that can be composed into a highly available Prometheus setup with long-term storage capabilities. The primary goals of Thanos are to maintain the simplicity of operations and to retain the reliability features of Prometheus. This makes Thanos an effective solution for businesses looking to extend the functionality of Prometheus, particularly in terms of improving its scalability and storage capabilities without compromising on its core strengths


In summary, Kubernetes tools are vital for augmenting the abilities of the Kubernetes platform. Ranging from application definition and administration to CI/CD, security, networking, monitoring, and cost enhancement, these K8s tools empower developers and operators to make the most of Kubernetes' capabilities. As the Kubernetes ecosystem keeps on developing, it's crucial for associations to stay up with the latest K8s tools and use them successfully to drive fruitful Kubernetes deployments.

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