Consul has many integrations with Kubernetes. You can deploy Consul to Kubernetes using the Helm chart, sync services between Consul and Kubernetes, automatically secure Pod communication with Connect, and more. This section documents the official integrations between Consul and Kubernetes.
» Use Cases
Running a Consul server cluster: The Consul server cluster can run directly on Kubernetes. This can be used by both nodes within Kubernetes as well as nodes external to Kubernetes, as long as they can communicate to the server nodes via the network.
Running Consul clients: Consul clients can run as pods on every node and expose the Consul API to running pods. This enables many Consul tools such as envconsul, consul-template, and more to work on Kubernetes since a local agent is available. This will also register each Kubernetes node with the Consul catalog for full visibility into your infrastructure.
Service sync to enable Kubernetes and non-Kubernetes services to communicate: Consul can sync Kubernetes services with its own service registry. This allows Kubernetes services to use native Kubernetes service discovery to discover and connect to external services, and for external services to use Consul service discovery to discover and connect to Kubernetes services.
Automatic encryption and authorization for pod network connections: Consul can automatically inject the Connect sidecar into pods so that they can accept and establish encrypted and authorized network connections via mutual TLS. And because Connect can run anywhere, pods can also communicate with external services (and vice versa) over a fully encrypted connection.
And more! Consul can run directly on Kubernetes, so in addition to the native integrations provided by Consul itself, any other tool built for Kubernetes can choose to leverage Consul.
» Getting Started With Consul and Kubernetes
There are several ways to try Consul with Kubernetes in different environments.
The Consul and minikube guide is a quick walk through of how to deploy Consul with the official Helm chart on a local instance of Minikube.
The Deploying Consul with Kubernetes guide walks you through deploying Consul on Kubernetes with the official Helm chart and can be applied to any Kubernetes installation type.
The Kubernetes on Azure guide is a complete walk through on how to deploy Consul on AKS.
The Consul and Kubernetes Reference Architecture guide provides recommended practices for production.
The Consul and Kubernetes Deployment guide covers the necssary steps to install and configure a new Consul cluster on Kubernetes in production.
» "consul-k8s" Project
The dedicated consul-k8s project contains the integration functionality between Consul and Kubernetes. You generally will not need to invoke this project directly since the Helm chart automates the installation and configuration of the project when necessary.
We may integrate this functionality directly into Consul in the future, but the separate project allows us to iterate and version the Kubernetes functionality separately. Additionally, a lot of the functionality works across multiple Consul versions, so you're able to update and resolve any Kubernetes integration issues without also upgrading Consul itself which can be more difficult.