Managing Multiple Kubernetes Clusters: What, Why and How

Kubernetes is a powerful tool for deploying and managing containerized applications. However, managing its clusters is a critical but challenging task for many organizations. Today, we will discuss the benefits of managing multiple clusters, and the challenges they present, and offer a quick technical guide on managing these clusters efficiently. Following that, I will highlight 4 best solutions designed to simplify this process, illustrating their strengths and how they address common hurdles in Kubernetes management.

Morgan Perry

Morgan Perry

April 11, 2024 · 5 min read
Managing Multiple Kubernetes Clusters: What, Why and How - Qovery

#Why Multiple Kubernetes Clusters

Kubernetes clusters are groups of host machines, known as nodes, that are used for deploying applications in a containerized environment. These clusters provide a platform for container orchestration, ensuring that the state of the system matches the expected state defined by the developers and operators. There are several key advantages to using multiple Kubernetes clusters. The three most important are:


Different clusters can be used to isolate environments (development, staging, production), projects, or teams. This isolation reduces the risk of one team’s work affecting another, and it can also prevent a problem in one environment from impacting another.


Multiple clusters can help to scale applications more effectively. If an application needs more resources, it can be moved to a larger cluster or distributed across multiple clusters.

#Geographic distribution

For global applications, having clusters in different geographic locations can reduce latency for end-users and comply with data sovereignty regulations.

Architecture of Kubernetes multi-cluster. Source:
Architecture of Kubernetes multi-cluster. Source:

#Challenges to Manage Multiple K8s Clusters

Managing multiple Kubernetes clusters comes with its own set of challenges. Some of the biggest challenges include the following:

#Maintenance and upgrade operational overhead

Operational overhead increases with the number of Kubernetes clusters, complicating daily operations, upgrades, and maintenance. These essential tasks ensure clusters run smoothly but require significant time and expertise, highlighting the need for streamlined management practices.

#Configuration drift

Keeping the configuration consistent across multiple clusters can be difficult. Small differences can accumulate over time, leading to significant discrepancies, known as configuration drift.

#Security policy enforcement

Applying consistent security policies across all clusters can be complex and time-consuming, especially when clusters are used by different teams or for different purposes.

#Monitoring and logging

Collecting and analyzing logs and monitoring data from multiple clusters can be a complex task. It requires a centralized logging and monitoring solution that can handle data from all clusters.

#A Quick Technical Guide

Managing multiple Kubernetes clusters efficiently is key for DevOps professionals. Here’s a straightforward approach using kubectl and Kubeconfig files.

#Step 1: Understand Key Concepts

  • Context: A configuration in Kubernetes that specifies a cluster and the user’s access information. For instance, dev-context for development.
  • Namespace: A method to divide cluster resources among multiple users. Example: frontend for frontend resources.
  • Kubeconfig Files: Files that store your cluster, user credentials, and contexts.

#Step 2: Set Up Your Kubeconfig Files

Your Kubeconfig, typically at ~/.kube/config, stores information about your clusters, users, and contexts. It’s essential for managing multiple clusters.

#Step 3: Switch Between Contexts

List all contexts:

kubectl config get-contexts

Switch to a specific context, e.g., dev-context:

kubectl config use-context dev-context

#Step 4: Managing Namespaces

Create a new namespace, e.g., frontend:

kubectl create namespace frontend

Switch the default namespace to frontend in your current context:

kubectl config set-context --current --namespace=frontend

#Step 5: Add New Cluster Configurations

For a new cluster named prod-cluster, add its details to your Kubeconfig:

- name: prod-cluster
 certificate-authority: /path/to/ca.crt

Add user credentials and a context named prod-context for prod-cluster.

#Step 6: Create a New Cluster

Creating new clusters depends on your Kubernetes environment. For cloud-based clusters, refer to your cloud provider's documentation. For local testing, use Minikube:

minikube start --profile=testing-cluster

This creates a new cluster named testing-cluster.

#Step 7: Apply Configurations Across Clusters

To deploy an app across all clusters, iterate over your contexts, assuming frontend-config.yaml is your configuration file:

for context in $(kubectl config get-contexts -o name); do
 kubectl --context=$context apply -f frontend-config.yaml

#4 Best Solutions to Simplify Multiple Kubernetes Clusters Management


Qovery is a standout solution designed with a developer-first mindset. It abstracts the complexities of Kubernetes, allowing developers to concentrate on coding rather than on operational intricacies. Here’s how Qovery excels in managing multiple Kubernetes clusters:

  • Seamless Integration: Qovery integrates directly with your Kubernetes cluster, offering a hassle-free setup with a simple command ($ helm install qovery). This eliminates the need for in-depth Kubernetes knowledge.
  • Automated Deployments: By selecting a Git repository and Dockerfile, Qovery automates the build and deployment processes, generating Helm charts for Kubernetes deployment without requiring developers to write any YAML.
  • Environment Consistency: Qovery ensures consistency across development, staging, and production environments, addressing common challenges such as configuration drift and security policy enforcement.
  • Operational Excellence: It significantly reduces operational overhead by offering out-of-the-box solutions for monitoring, logging, and managing environment variables, making it an ideal platform for Kubernetes cluster management.
Thousands of Kubernetes clusters can be connected to the single Qovery Control Plane
Thousands of Kubernetes clusters can be connected to the single Qovery Control Plane

#Case studies

Discover how Spayr, a fintech startup, manages multiple environments on Kubernetes With Qovery


Rancher provides an all-encompassing Kubernetes management platform that facilitates operations across any infrastructure. It offers detailed control over clusters, comprehensive security features, and extensive integration options.

Comparison with Qovery: While Rancher's robust feature set is commendable, it often requires a deeper understanding of Kubernetes to fully leverage. This complexity can overshadow its benefits for teams seeking streamlined workflows. In contrast, Qovery's automated deployments and developer-friendly tools ensure a smoother experience with less overhead, making it a more attractive solution for those prioritizing ease of use and efficiency.


Platform9 delivers Kubernetes as a service, emphasizing ease of use and scalability. It's designed to reduce the complexity of deploying, managing, and maintaining Kubernetes clusters across private, public, and edge environments.

Comparison with Qovery: Platform9 simplifies Kubernetes management, but its service-based approach might limit customization and control compared to Qovery's flexible and intuitive platform. Qovery stands out for its seamless integration with existing workflows and its commitment to developer empowerment, offering a balance between simplicity and control.


Portainer is known for its straightforward user interface, making Kubernetes cluster management accessible to those with limited Kubernetes expertise. It provides basic deployment, monitoring, and management tools.

Comparison with Qovery: Portainer’s simplicity is beneficial for small-scale operations or those new to Kubernetes. However, for complex, multi-cluster environments, Qovery's comprehensive feature set, including advanced environment and deployment management capabilities, positions it as a more robust solution. Qovery addresses the full spectrum of Kubernetes management challenges, offering a superior option for teams needing more than just basic management.


Managing multiple Kubernetes clusters comes with its challenges, from ensuring configuration consistency to maintaining security and operational efficiency. Despite these hurdles, the right tools can make a significant difference. Qovery emerges as a strong player in this space, distinguishing itself with features tailored for developer ease and operational excellence. With its seamless integration, automated deployments, and focus on environment consistency, Qovery addresses the complexities of Kubernetes management head-on. It not only simplifies the deployment process but also ensures operational efficiency, making it an ideal choice for developers and organizations looking to manage Kubernetes clusters without getting involved in its complexities. So what are you waiting for? Try Qovery for free now!

Your Favorite Internal Developer Platform

Qovery is an Internal Developer Platform Helping 50.000+ Developers and Platform Engineers To Ship Faster.

Try it out now!
Your Favorite Internal Developer Platform
Qovery white logo

Your Favorite Internal Developer Platform

Qovery is an Internal Developer Platform Helping 50.000+ Developers and Platform Engineers To Ship Faster.

Try it out now!
KubernetesPlatform EngineeringDevOps