Packaging Applications and Services with Kubernetes Operators

Package applications and services for Kubernetes with the Operator framework. 

Developing Operators

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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. 

Download Operator-SDK binary 

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

7 lessons | 190 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.


Kubernetes API fundamentals

30 minutes | Beginner

Understand the structure and features of the Kubernetes API fundamentals.

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

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Writing Kubernetes Operators in Java with JOSDK, Part 3: Implementing a controller

April 4, 2022

This article is part of a series on Java Operator SDK, and covers how to write the controller in the Operator.

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CodeReady Workspaces scales up, is now Red Hat OpenShift Dev Spaces

April 1, 2022

Major upgrades are coming in Red Hat OpenShift Dev Spaces 3.0. Learn about the new workspace engine and discover how it benefits users and admins.

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Develop a basic rate limiter with Quarkus and Redis

March 29, 2022

Rate limiting protects your services from excessive demand. This hands-on activity shows how to implement it in a Java application using Redis.

4 reasons you’ll love using Red Hat OpenShift Data Science

What’s new for developers in the OpenShift 4.10 console

March 22, 2022

Discover what’s new in the Red Hat OpenShift 4.10 console. Explore Serverless and Eventing features, OpenShift Pipelines enhancements, and much more.

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Write Kubernetes in Java with the Java Operator SDK, Part 2

March 22, 2022

Use the Java Operator SDK and its Quarkus extension to build a sample application as you take a deeper dive into writing Kubernetes Operators in Java.

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Write Kubernetes in Java with the Java Operator SDK

February 15, 2022

Discover the benefits of creating Kubernetes Operators in Java and learn how the Java Operator SDK extension for Quarkus simplifies development tasks.

More articles about Operators

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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.


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Interested in the Operator community?

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

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