Packaging Applications and Services with Kubernetes Operators

Package applications and services for Kubernetes with the Operator framework. 

Image result for operator framework image

Operators give you a convenient way to package, deploy, manage and distribute applications for Kubernetes. The method allows you to package configuration so that users can deploy operators from a simple catalog without having to engage administrators. You can distribute operators beyond your organization using which is open to all contributions or the Red Hat OpenShift OperatorHub using Red Hat's certification process. 

Operator maturity model

Conceptually, an Operator takes human operational knowledge and encodes it into software that is more easily packaged and shared with consumers. How you approach and build your Operator is up to you. Advanced Operators are designed to handle upgrades seamlessly, react to failures automatically, and not take shortcuts, such as skipping a software backup process to save time.

A Kubernetes application is both deployed on Kubernetes and managed using the Kubernetes APIs and kubectl/oc tooling. You can think of Operators as the runtime that manages this type of application on Kubernetes.

Hands-on Operator labs


Building Operators on OpenShift

9 lessons | 240 minutes

Learn about k8s API fundamentals, the etcd operator, using the Operator SDK with Go and Helm, review Ansible basics, and use Ansible to deploy Kubernetes modules.


Operator SDK with Helm

30 minutes | Beginner

Create a CockroachDB Operator from an existing CockroachDB Helm chart, running securely without Tiller or manual invocation.


Manage the etcd Operator

30 minutes | Beginner

Manage etcd clusters on Kubernetes and automate resize, failover, and upgrade tasks, including backup and restore actions.


Install the Operator Lifecycle Manager

30 minutes | Beginner

Install the Operator Lifecycle Manager in an OpenShift environment, access the UI, create a subscription manifest, and approve an InstallPlan.


Ansible Operator Overview

30 minutes | Beginner

Learn what the Ansible Operator is, how to map custom resource events, pass extra variables, leverage existing roles from Ansible Galaxy, then how to deploy and run the Operator in a local or remote OpenShift cluster.

Technology partners: Publish on OpenShift OperatorHub


Red Hat Partner Connect is a program for technology partners—ISVs, SIs, and VARs—that provides software, tools, and other technical resources for your development work, and marketing resources for your marketing & sales colleagues.

Certify your Operator with Red Hat Partner Connect

When you publish, you get:


Seal of approval

Your Operator functionality is verified by Red Hat.



Listed in Red Hat OpenShift OperatorHub and Red Hat Ecosystem Catalog for all customers to see and download.

RHEL Release

Continuous certification

Using Red Hat Certification Build Service APIs means continuous security compliance—great for CI/CD.

RHEL Release

Support coverage

Full Red Hat support for the foundation of Operators and their containers when used with Red Hat OpenShift.

New articles about Operators

Kourier: A lightweight Knative Serving ingress

Kourier: A lightweight Knative Serving ingress

June 30, 2020

Until recently, Knative Serving used Istio as its default networking component for handling external cluster traffic and service-to-service communication. Istio is a great service mesh solution, but it can add unwanted complexity and resource use to your cluster if you don’t need it. That’s why we created Kourier: To simplify the ingress side of Knative […]

Migrating a namespace-scoped Operator to a cluster-scoped Operator

Migrating a namespace-scoped Operator to a cluster-scoped Operator

June 26, 2020

Within the context of Kubernetes, a namespace allows dividing resources, policies, authorization, and a boundary for cluster objects. In this article, we cover two different types of Operators: namespace-scoped and cluster-scoped. We then walk through an example of how to migrate from one to the other, which illustrates the difference between the two. Namespace-scoped and […] and your Kubernetes cluster | DevNation Tech Talk and your Kubernetes cluster | DevNation Tech Talk

June 25, 2020

An Operator packages and manages the entire lifecycle of an application. You might not be building your own Operators (yet), but Operators make it easier to install and consistently manage the foundation components like databases, file systems, and middleware that your applications rely on -- and they’re not just for OpenShift. We’ll show you how to use the Operator Lifecycle Manager (OLM) and the Operators at with your Kubernetes cluster.

A development roadmap for Open Data Hub

A development roadmap for Open Data Hub

June 22, 2020

Open Data Hub (ODH) is a blueprint for building an AI-as-a-Service (AIaaS) platform on Red Hat’s Kubernetes-based OpenShift 4.x. The Open Data Hub team recently released Open Data Hub 0.6.0, followed up by a smaller update of Open Data Hub 0.6.1. We recently got together and discussed our plans and timeline for the next two […]

Camel K 1.0: The serverless integration platform goes GA

Camel K 1.0: The serverless integration platform goes GA

June 18, 2020

After many months of waiting, Apache Camel K 1.0 is finally here! This groundbreaking project introduces developers to cloud-native application development and automated cloud configurations without breaking a sweat. With the 1.0 general availability (GA) release, Apache Camel K is more stable than ever, with performance improvements that developers will appreciate.

Latest Comments

Waiting for Disqus…

Adventures Aboard the Kluster Kruise Ship

This story uses a series of metaphors to introduce the concept of Operators, explain how they aid in the automation of clusters, and provide a high-level overview of Operator Lifecycle Management in a way that anyone can understand. Readers will meet Kate the octopus, esteemed cruise ship director, who finds herself overwhelmed with the responsibilities associated with her position.


Get a copy of the book

Interested in the Operator community?

OperatorHub is the community home for Kubernetes Operators. Find an existing Operator or list your own.

Browse Operators