Comparing 10 Managed Kubernetes Services

Comparing 10 Managed Kubernetes Services

Kubernetes is becoming an increasingly popular platform for container orchestration and deployment. And more organizations are turning to managed Kubernetes services for their containerized applications. Now, there are various managed Kubernetes services on the market to choose from.

In this comprehensive review, we look at ten of the most popular managed Kubernetes services and explore their features. Whether you’re an experienced Kubernetes user or just getting started, this review should help you make an informed decision about the best-managed Kubernetes service for your needs.

Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)

Amazon EKS is one of the leading managed Kubernetes services that have gained immense popularity among cloud enthusiasts and DevOps engineers. It is a fully managed Kubernetes service that allows you to easily run and manage containerized applications in the cloud. AWS’s managed Kubernetes service offers high availability and scalability. It integrates well with other AWS services and tools but can be more expensive than other options.


  • Amazon EKS is a managed service that makes it easy to run Kubernetes on AWS.
  • Amazon EKS integrates with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) and Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) to provide secure and isolated clusters.
  • It is highly available and reliable, with automatic scaling and failover capabilities.
  • It also supports the deployment of GPU instances for machine learning workloads.

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is a fully-managed Kubernetes service from Microsoft that simplifies the deployment and management of containerized applications on Azure. AKS eliminates the need to install and manage the Kubernetes control plane and nodes or manually configure networking.


  • Integration with Azure portal and Active Directory for easy access and management.
  • Autoscaling of cluster nodes based on usage and load.
  • Integration with Azure DevOps for continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD).
  • Ability to use Azure services like Azure Container Registry, Azure Monitor, and Azure Policy for added functionality and monitoring.

Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)

Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) is a fully managed Kubernetes service that lets you deploy, manage and scale containerized applications on the Google Cloud Platform. Google’s managed Kubernetes service is known for its ease of use, fast updates, and robust security features. It also offers strong integration with the Google Cloud Platform.


  • GKE automatically updates Kubernetes versions, patches, and security fixes without downtime.
  • GKE has built-in security features like identity and access management (IAM) and encryption at rest.
  • GKE integrates seamlessly with other Google Cloud services like Cloud Storage, BigQuery, and Stackdriver.
  • GKE supports multi-region clusters, allowing you to deploy your applications closer to your users for better performance and reliability.

Rackspace Kubernetes-as-a-Service (KaaS)

Rackspace Kubernetes-as-a-Service (KaaS) is a managed Kubernetes service offered by Rackspace, a leading cloud solutions provider. With KaaS, Rackspace takes care of the infrastructure and day-to-day management of Kubernetes, allowing users to focus on their applications.


  • Rackspace KaaS provides a simple and efficient deployment process with a user-friendly interface for setting up your Kubernetes cluster.
  • Rackspace KaaS is designed to be highly scalable, allowing you to add or remove resources as needed to match the demands of your applications.
  • With Rackspace KaaS, you can access monitoring tools that provide real-time insights into your cluster’s health and performance.

Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes Engine

Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes Engine is a managed Kubernetes service offered by Red Hat, a leading provider of open-source solutions. It provides a robust platform for deploying, managing, and scaling containerized applications on Kubernetes. This service offers a strong focus on enterprise security and compliance.


  • Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes Engine offers a secure environment for running applications by implementing container and node isolation and fine-grained access controls.
  • Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes Engine can be extended using an operator framework.
  • It allows developers to deploy and manage applications across multiple clouds and on-premise infrastructure.

VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG)

VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) is a managed Kubernetes service that allows enterprises to run their Kubernetes clusters on any infrastructure, whether on-premise or in the cloud. VMware’s managed Kubernetes service offers seamless integration with VMware’s infrastructure and management tools.


  • TKG simplifies the deployment and management of Kubernetes clusters by providing a single, unified interface for managing clusters across multiple clouds and on-premise data centers.
  • TKG is designed to be scalable and highly available, supporting multi-cluster deployments and automated failover.
  • TKG uses a consistent infrastructure and configuration approach across multiple clusters and clouds.

IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service (IKS)

IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service (IKS) is a fully managed Kubernetes service that enables users to deploy and manage containerized applications with ease. IBM’s managed Kubernetes service provides a strong focus on data privacy and compliance. It also offers integration with other IBM services and tools.


  • With IKS, you can create Kubernetes clusters in just a few clicks without worrying about infrastructure management.
  • IKS offers a flexible pricing model based on resource consumption, allowing users to pay only for what they use.
  • IKS seamlessly integrates with other IBM Cloud services, such as IBM Watson and IBM Cloud Object Storage, making it easier to deploy and manage complex applications.

Vultr Kubernetes Engine

Vultr Kubernetes Engine is a managed Kubernetes service offered by Vultr, a cloud infrastructure provider. It provides various features and benefits, making it an attractive option for those deploying and managing their Kubernetes clusters. Vultr’s managed Kubernetes service offers a low-cost alternative with quick deployment and scalability.


  • Vultr Kubernetes Engine offers a high level of automation and simplification, making it an ideal choice for small to medium-sized businesses.
  • Vultr Kubernetes Engine provides an intuitive web-based interface to easily manage Kubernetes clusters.
  • It has a robust and reliable infrastructure that can handle various applications, making it an attractive option for businesses with demanding workloads.


Platform9 is a hybrid cloud infrastructure company that offers a fully-managed Kubernetes service. Platform9’s managed Kubernetes service provides a flexible infrastructure supporting multiple cloud providers. It also offers advanced automation and monitoring features.


  • Platform9 works with a variety of cloud providers, including AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.
  • Platform9 automatically upgrades Kubernetes and associated components to ensure your clusters are always up-to-date and secure.
  • Platform9 offers round-the-clock support to help you with any issues that arise.

DigitalOcean Kubernetes

DigitalOcean Kubernetes is a managed Kubernetes service that provides a reliable, scalable, and secure container orchestration platform for developers. DigitalOcean’s managed Kubernetes service is a low-cost option with easy deployment and integration with other DigitalOcean services.


  • DigitalOcean Kubernetes comes with built-in security features such as encrypted communication between nodes and clusters, network policies, and RBAC (Role-Based Access Control) for managing user access.
  • DigitalOcean Kubernetes offers highly available and scalable clusters that can handle thousands of nodes and containers.
  • DigitalOcean Kubernetes makes it easy to deploy and manage clusters through a simple and intuitive interface.

How Do They Differ From Each Other?

Each managed Kubernetes service has its own set of features and capabilities that differentiate it from others in the market. Each has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, too, so it’s important to consider your organization’s specific needs before making a decision. Here are the main differences between the ten managed Kubernetes services:

  • Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS): EKS offers a highly scalable and reliable managed Kubernetes service that integrates well with other AWS services.
  • Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS): AKS is Microsoft’s managed Kubernetes service that offers integration with Azure Active Directory and support for Windows containers.
  • Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE): GKE is Google’s managed Kubernetes service that offers fast, reliable, and scalable deployment of containerized applications on Google Cloud.
  • Rackspace Kubernetes-as-a-Service (KaaS): KaaS offers a fully managed Kubernetes service that provides automated cluster scaling and a wide range of support options.
  • Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes Engine: OpenShift is a fully integrated container platform supporting enterprise-level applications, security, and governance.
  • VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG): TKG provides a Kubernetes runtime environment for running applications across multiple clouds and data centers.
  • IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service (IKS): IKS is IBM’s managed Kubernetes service that offers integration with Watson AI services and support for deploying GPU workloads.
  • Vultr Kubernetes Engine: Vultr provides a low-cost, scalable, managed Kubernetes service that is easy to deploy and manage.
  • Platform9: Platform9 offers a fully managed Kubernetes service that supports hybrid and multi-cloud environments, monitoring, and alerts.
  • DigitalOcean Kubernetes: DigitalOcean offers an easy-to-use managed Kubernetes service that provides fast deployment and integration with other DigitalOcean services.

In summary, each managed Kubernetes service has its own capabilities that make it suitable for specific use cases. Thus, when choosing a managed Kubernetes service, it’s good to evaluate these differences and determine which service will meet your organization’s particular needs.

The Benefits of Using a Managed Kubernetes Service

As Kubernetes continues to gain popularity in the world of cloud computing, more and more companies are turning to managed Kubernetes services to streamline their operations. Here are just a few of the benefits of using a managed Kubernetes service:

  • Simplified management: Kubernetes can be complex to manage, especially for companies new to cloud-native technology. Managed Kubernetes services take care of your infrastructure and administrative tasks, allowing your team to focus on more important tasks.
  • Scalability: Kubernetes is known for its ability to scale applications and workloads, but managing this can be challenging. Managed Kubernetes services offer easy scaling, whether you need to scale up or down, without manual intervention.
  • Reliability: Managed Kubernetes services are typically highly available and fault tolerant, reducing the likelihood of service disruptions and ensuring the high availability of your applications.
  • Security: Kubernetes is secure, but only if properly configured and maintained. Managed Kubernetes services typically offer a range of security features and best practices to help protect your applications and data.
  • Cost savings: Running and managing Kubernetes on your own can be expensive, requiring significant investment in hardware and personnel. Managed Kubernetes services can help reduce costs by offering pay-as-you-go pricing, taking care of infrastructure maintenance and upgrades, and reducing the need for in-house expertise.

Overall, using a managed Kubernetes service can help simplify operations, improve reliability and security, and save money. If you’re considering Kubernetes for your company, it’s worth exploring the benefits of managed services.

In a Nutshell

Kubernetes is a powerful tool for managing containerized applications. However, setting up and managing a Kubernetes cluster can be challenging and time-consuming. That’s where managed Kubernetes services come in.

We reviewed ten of the most popular managed Kubernetes services to help you decide which one is right for your needs. While each service has its own unique features and benefits, some common themes emerged. First, many of the services offer similar features, including automatic scaling, load balancing, and automated upgrades. However, pricing can vary significantly, so be sure to compare the costs carefully. Second, some services are more focused on developers and offer features like continuous deployment and integration, while others are more focused on operations, such as monitoring and troubleshooting.

Finally, the level of support and customization options can also vary, so make sure you choose a service that meets your specific needs. Overall, if you’re looking for a fast and easy way to get started with Kubernetes, a managed Kubernetes service is definitely worth considering. Just be sure to do your research and choose a service that fits your requirements and budget.