Kubernetes Multi-Clusters:

Aman Dev Verma
2 min readSep 7, 2022


Containerized deployments offer more scalability and availability improvements over traditional deployments. Even with these improvements, complex applications can quickly overwhelm containerized environments without proper management. Kubernetes helps organizations to:

  • Effectively orchestrate containerized environments
  • Efficiently manage the underlying resources and user demands

However, there are situations where a single Kubernetes cluster is unable to handle the application load or properly distribute the application to end-users. In such instances, multi-cluster Kubernetes solutions are ideal for distributing the work across multiple clusters.

What is a Kubernetes multi-cluster?

Kubernetes multi-cluster is an environment with multiple Kubernetes clusters. They can be configured in several ways:

  • Within a single physical host
  • With different multiple hosts in the same data center
  • In different regions within a single cloud provider
  • Utilizing multiple cloud providers and distributed across multiple regions to provide a truly global multi-cluster environment

Kubernetes multi-cluster architecture

When it comes to multi-cluster architecture, there are two considerations:

  • The Kubernetes multi-cluster configuration
  • The application architecture

There are primarily two methods to handle a multi-cluster Kubernetes environment:

  • The Kubernetes-centric federated method
  • The network-centric method

A Kubernetes-centric method uses tools like kubefed to manage multiple Kubernetes clusters from a centralized location (federated clusters). Other tools like Shipperand Admiralty can facilitate:

  • Rollout strategies
  • Multi-cluster orchestration
  • Workload distribution

The network-centric method aims to provide a robust network to facilitate communication between different clusters. The clusters act as separate entities, yet applications can communicate with each other using a network. The network approach is based on mesh networking principles and has adapted service mesh concepts to the infrastructure. An example of this approach is:

  • Linkerd service mirroring

Multi-clusters offer multi benefits

Kubernetes multi-clusters is an extensive field composed of multiple implementations and integration methods dictating multi-cluster deployments.

With all the advantages it offers for large-scale applications, it is paramount that you select the appropriate architecture for your multi-cluster environment and tool stack to manage the Kubernetes multi-cluster centrally.