10 Best Tools to Manage Kubernetes Clusters

Managing multiple Kubernetes clusters presents a significant challenge, primarily due to operational overheads, complexity, and the steep learning curve associated with Kubernetes' complex ecosystem. As organizations scale and deploy across various environments; production, staging, and development, the need for a robust tool to streamline management becomes crucial. In this article we will go through the top ten tools that simplify Kubernetes management, addressing common issues such as inconsistent configurations, security enforcement, and efficient monitoring. It provides a comprehensive overview of each tool, highlighting their key features and how they ease the difficulties of Kubernetes administration.

Morgan Perry

Morgan Perry

May 6, 2024 · 7 min read
10 Best Tools to Manage Kubernetes Clusters - Qovery

#Challenges of Managing Kubernetes Clusters

#Operational Overhead

  • Manual Work: Scaling deployments, handling rollbacks, and managing configurations can be time-consuming manual tasks.
  • Exposing Developers to Ops: Developers might get bogged down in operational tasks, hindering their focus on application development.

#Complexity and Steep Learning Curve

  • Steep Learning Curve: Kubernetes has a rich ecosystem of concepts (Pods, Deployments, Namespaces) requiring significant learning investment.
  • Troubleshooting Complexity: Debugging issues across distributed containers and complex networking configurations can be challenging.

#Multi-clusters Management

  • Inconsistent Configurations: Maintaining consistent configurations across multiple production, staging, and development clusters can be error-prone.
  • Tool Sprawl: Managing separate tooling for each cluster increases complexity and maintenance overhead.

#Security Policy Enforcement

  • Granular Control: Implementing and enforcing granular security policies (e.g., network isolation, resource limits) across all deployments can be intricate.
  • Least Privilege: Ensuring deployments run with minimal privileges requires careful configuration and ongoing monitoring.

#Monitoring and Logging

  • Visibility Across Clusters: Gaining centralized visibility into application health, resource utilization, and errors across multiple clusters can be difficult.
  • Log Aggregation and Analysis: Correlating logs from distributed containers across the cluster for troubleshooting can be a complex task.

#Top 10 Tools That Make Kubernetes Management Easy

#1. Qovery

Qovery Platform
Qovery Platform
  • Intuitive Kubernetes Management: Qovery offers a great user-friendly web UI specifically designed for managing Kubernetes resources. It simplifies tasks like managing deployments, and provides features like automatic scaling, load balancing, and health checks, freeing you from infrastructure management headaches.
  • Instantly Ready Deployment: Get your applications up and running quickly with Qovery's pre-configured environments. Deployments take mere minutes, accelerating your time to production.
  • Seamless Integration: Integrates easily with popular development tools and platforms.

#2. Rancher

  • Multi-Cluster Management: Juggling multiple Kubernetes clusters? Rancher's unified interface simplifies this by offering centralized management for all your clusters from a single location.
  • Integrated Tools for Containerized Workloads: Rancher goes beyond basic cluster management. It provides built-in tools for monitoring, logging, and even CI/CD pipelines, creating a comprehensive platform for your containerized workloads.
  • Centralized Authentication and Role-Based Access Control (RBAC): Enforce strong security practices across your clusters. With Rancher's RBAC, you can define consistent user permissions and security policies for all clusters, ensuring a unified security posture.

#3. Portainer

  • Intuitive Kubernetes Management: Portainer offers a user-friendly web UI specifically designed for managing Kubernetes resources. It simplifies tasks like managing deployments, services, and namespaces, making it ideal for beginners or those new to Kubernetes.
  • Platform Deployment of Complex Apps in Seconds: Deploying complex applications with multiple containers can be time-consuming. Portainer streamlines this process, allowing you to deploy intricate applications in seconds.
  • GitOps Automation: Integrate GitOps workflows into your development process with Portainer. This enables automated deployments and configuration management, ensuring consistency and reducing manual errors.

#4. K9s

  • Real-Time Monitoring of Kubernetes Resources: Keep a watchful eye on your cluster health with K9s. It provides a real-time view of your cluster resources, including pod statuses, resource utilization, and overall health metrics.
  • Handles Standard and Custom Resource Definitions: K9s isn't limited to just standard Kubernetes resources. It can also monitor custom resources defined by your applications, offering comprehensive cluster visibility.
  • Cluster Metrics Tracking: Gain insights into your cluster performance with K9s' metric tracking capabilities. Track key metrics like CPU, memory, and network usage to identify potential bottlenecks and proactively manage performance.

#5. Lens

  • Context-Aware UI for Kubernetes Management: Lens provides a user-friendly interface that adapts dynamically based on the selected resource. This context-aware approach makes it easier to navigate and manage your clusters efficiently.
  • Real-Time and Historical Metrics Viewing: Analyze your cluster performance comprehensively with Lens. It allows you to view both real-time and historical metrics for your clusters and applications, providing valuable insights for optimization.
  • Multi-Cluster Operations Support: Manage multiple Kubernetes clusters seamlessly with Lens. You can manage all your clusters from a single Lens instance, eliminating the need to switch between different tools for each cluster.

#6. Cyclops

  • Simplified Kubernetes Management: Cyclops streamlines common Kubernetes tasks for developers, making deployments, rollbacks, and scaling a breeze. This improves developer experience by reducing complexity and streamlining workflows.
  • Troubleshooting and Error Detection: Identifying and diagnosing issues within your cluster can be challenging. Cyclops offers troubleshooting tools to help you pinpoint problems quickly and efficiently.
  • Custom Rules Validation: Prevent errors before they impact production with Cyclops' custom rules validation feature. Define custom rules to validate deployments and catch configuration errors before they reach your production environment.

#7. Platform9

  • Fully Managed CNCF Certified Kubernetes Platform: Platform9 takes the complexity out of managing Kubernetes entirely. It provides a fully managed, CNCF-certified Kubernetes service with built-in monitoring and security features. This allows you to focus on your applications while Platform9 handles the underlying infrastructure.
  • Remote Monitoring and Self-Healing Clusters: Monitor your clusters remotely with Platform9 and leverage its self-healing capabilities. Platform9 can automatically address issues within the cluster, minimizing downtime and ensuring smooth operation.
  • Automated Security Patching of CVEs: Security vulnerabilities are a constant concern. Platform9 automates the patching process for known vulnerabilities (CVEs), ensuring your clusters remain secure and protected from potential attacks.

#8. DevSpace

  • Streamlined Workflow for Build and Deployment Steps: DevSpace eliminates the need for context switching between separate build, deployment, and testing tools. It integrates these processes into a single, streamlined workflow, boosting developer productivity.
  • Faster Iterations with Real-Time Container Updates: Experience rapid development cycles with DevSpace's real-time container updates. Changes made to your code are reflected in your running containers immediately, allowing for faster iteration and quicker feedback loops.
  • Advanced Build Caching: Optimize build times significantly with DevSpace's advanced build caching capabilities. By caching previously built layers, DevSpace eliminates the need to rebuild them for subsequent deployments, saving valuable time.

#9. Kubevious

  • Simplified Kubernetes Management: Kubevious offers a web-based UI for managing Kubernetes clusters. It provides features like deployment visualization and resource management, making it easier to understand and manage your cluster configuration.
  • Troubleshooting and Optimization: Troubleshooting issues within your cluster can be time-consuming. Kubevious includes diagnostic tools to help you pinpoint problems and identify areas for optimization.
  • Full-Text Search for All Cluster Resources: Quickly find the resources you need within your cluster with Kubevious' full-text search functionality. This eliminates the need to manually navigate through complex hierarchies to locate specific resources.

#10. Kops


Short for Kubernetes Operations, Kops helps build, destroy, update, and maintain highly available and production-grade Kubernetes clusters using the command line. This open-source initiative simplifies the management of clusters on AWS and GCE while incorporating cloud-native functionalities and automated updates.

  • Automated provisioning of highly available Kubernetes clusters with support for zero-config managed cluster add-ons.
  • Additional functionalities encompass command line autocompletion, YAML manifest-based API configuration, and dry-run modes for manifest creation.
  • Capability to incorporate containers, hooks, and files to nodes via a cluster manifest file.
  • Support for add-ons, upgrades from kube-up, and the generation of Terraform configurations.

#Consideration For Selecting The Right Tool

Selecting the right tool for your Kubernetes clusters is not easy. There are a lot of tools available, and it is challenging to pick the right one for your needs. Below we have compiled some important considerations before you make the final decision. 

#User Experience and Ease of Use

  • Choose a tool with a context-aware UI that adapts to selected resources and a web UI that simplifies common tasks, making daily operations more efficient.
  • Opt for tools that are easy to learn and integrate into daily workflows, reducing the learning curve and enhancing productivity.
  • Ensure the tool supports efficient onboarding with helpful tutorials, user guides, and responsive support, facilitating quick proficiency for new users.

#Compatibility and Integration

  • Ensure seamless compatibility with your technical stack and existing infrastructure.
  • Look for tools that integrate well with your CI/CD pipelines or offer multi-cloud support.

#Scalability and Performance

  • Choose a tool that can scale effortlessly as your cluster count and workload demands increase.
  • Look for features like automatic scaling based on resource usage or support for managing thousands of clusters.

#Feature Set and Flexibility

  • Choose a tool that offers core functionalities like multi-cluster management, monitoring, and security.
  • Consider additional features like GitOps integration for automated deployments or custom rule validation for proactive error prevention.

#Community and Support

  • A vibrant community and reliable support are essential for troubleshooting issues and staying up-to-date.
  • Look for tools with active community forums or that offer enterprise support options.


The article comprehensively covers a variety of tools designed to ease the management of Kubernetes clusters, each offering unique features to tackle specific challenges. Tools like Qovery simplify the deployment process and offer robust multi-cluster management, ensuring consistency across environments. Portainer and K9s enhance user experience with intuitive interfaces and real-time monitoring capabilities. Lens and Cyclops provide in-depth analytics and security features that are vital for maintaining cluster health and security. The consideration section at the end of the article highlights the importance of scalability, user experience, compatibility, feature set, and community support when selecting the right tool. Key takeaways include the necessity of choosing a tool that not only meets the immediate needs but also scales with the growing demands of the organization, ensuring a smooth and efficient Kubernetes management experience.

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