Kubernetes scales and manages stateless applications quite easily. Stateful applications require more work. Databases, caching systems and file stores are harder to dynamically manage with data intact, and sometimes come with their own notion of clustering. Operators are Kubernetes agents that know how to deploy, scale, manage, backup and even upgrade complex, stateful applications. Operators are a pattern for extending Kubernetes and are at the heart of Red Hat’s OpenShift Kubernetes distribution. Operators make it easier to consume foundation software on orchestrated clusters, they present a Kubernetes-native mechanism for automating, packaging and distributing software.
With Red Hat’s OperatorHub.io catalog, an SDK supporting a growing list of languages, and a vibrant community of partners and developers already building them, Operators enable a flexible way to extend Kubernetes automation to arbitrarily complex applications.