kOps (Kubernetes Operations) is a tool that streamlines the managing of Kubernetes clusters and the necessary cloud infrastructure. It is designed to be a kubectl-like tool for clusters. Its cloud platform support range includes AWS, GCP, Hetzner, Digital Ocean, and Azure. However, it is noteworthy that some of these integrations are still in beta.
kOps follows a release and versioning strategy that ensures it supports the latest minor version of Kubernetes and two prior minor versions, prioritizing backward compatibility. For instance, kOps version 1.27 supports Kubernetes versions between 1.25 and 1.27. Therefore, kOps has to be updated to an appropriate version prior to upgrading Kubernetes.
Cluster management with kOps can be fully automated by implementing it into continuous integration pipelines. This eliminates all risks of manually managing clusters, especially production ones. Another advantageous feature is the fully automated rolling upgrade of clusters, ensuring zero downtime.
We use kOps to manage our Kubernetes clusters in Hetzner Cloud. It has significantly improved cluster management efficiency as Hetzner does not offer a managed Kubernetes service yet. Considering Hetzner kOps support is still beta, you may encounter minor issues. At present, it lacks the cluster autoscaler implementation and the ability to provision cloud infrastructure via Terraform. But these functionalities are anticipated in future releases.