7 Books to Gift your Cloud Native Colleagues and get them Started on the Kubernetes Journey

Looking for the perfect gift for your cloud native colleagues? What better than a book? Here is our curated list of books that will get them started on the Kubernetes journey.

Hasham Haider

Hasham Haider

December 20, 2018

7 minute read

It’s that time of the year again. Snow is in the air, Christmas is right around the corner and it’s a time for presents.

That got us thinking: what is the absolute perfect gift you can give to your cloud native colleagues?

A nerf gun? Maybe

A book? Definitely

As Garrison Keillor said:  “A book is a gift you can open again and again.”

So in the spirit of Christmas and for cloud native bookworms everywhere, here is our curated list of Kubernetes books that will make a perfect gift for your colleagues to get them started on the Kubernetes journey.


 The Kubernetes Book

The first book on our list is … well …  The Kubernetes Book. The book is great if you are looking to get to grips with basic Kubernetes concepts, fast. It starts off with an overview of the most important concepts, before moving on to a deep dive into installing Kubernetes and a detailed look into concepts like pods, deployments, and services with dedicated chapters.

At 139 pages, it is also short and will let you dip your toes before moving on to more advanced topics. It is also regularly updated (at least once a year), which is crucial in the world of fast moving technologies like Kubernetes. The author, Nigel Poulton,  also has an accompanying video series which complements the topics covered by the book.

Nigel is a Docker captain - a distinction docker gives to community members with deep knowledge of the container domain and a passion for sharing that knowledge. He also has a couple of other books to his name including Docker Deep Dive and Data Storage Networking.

 51Wf2nQa43L._SX379_BO1,204,203,200_Kubernetes: Up and Running

Kubernetes Up and Running has probably the most prestigious set of authors that one can get in the Kubernetes world. Kelsey Hightower, Brendan Burns, and Joe Beda have all worked on Kubernetes at Google and other companies and in different capacities.



The book is meant as a practical guide to help achieve new levels of velocity, agility, reliability, and efficiency. It picks up from creating and running containers before moving on to deploying individual Kubernetes objects like pods, services, replicasets, daemonsets and jobs chapter wise. The book is more suited to ops since it has a lot more detail on how to run already existing Kubernetes clusters and does not delve into Kubernetes cluster installation and initial configuration as much.

Since the authors were involved with the development of Kubernetes itself, the book digs into the why of Kubernetes too. Which can be especially valuable if the recipient of the gift is a manager. It tackles the Kubernetes topic from the distributed systems viewpoint and explores the distributed systems challenges that led to the development of Kubernetes.

purple button on a picture with a room full of people working




Kubernetes in Action

Kubernetes in Action by Marko Luksa is probably one of the best reviewed Kubernetes books on both Amazon and Goodreads. It is primarily targeted towards software developers and unlike the first two books on our list, it delves deeper into individual concepts with a great deal of interesting detail on Kubernetes internals.

The book is divided into three well-defined sections: an overview of Docker,  containerization, and Kubernetes, a detailed chapter wise look into the core concepts, and finally a beyond the basics section which tackles advanced Kubernetes concepts and topics relevant to ops teams and Kubernetes admins.

The book goes through the process of building out a Kubernetes cluster, launching applications onto it and adding additional features before exploring advanced topics like monitoring, tuning, and scaling, with every new piece of knowledge accompanied by examples.

The author, Marko Luksa, has impressive credentials, with 20 years of professional programming experience in the bag, currently working as a software engineer at Redhat.


Kubernetes Cookbook

Kubernetes Cookbook as the name suggests is a collection of real-world Kubernetes recipes to deploy highly available Kubernetes clusters on a number of cloud providers as well as on-premise data centers. It also tackles more advanced topics like authentication, logging, monitoring and authorization for clusters. The book is aimed towards system administrators and DevOps engineers with a basic grounding in containers and Kubernetes.

The book walks through the process of setting up a cluster from scratch, moves onto baking in high availability, deploying the cluster on AWS and GCP and finally adds in the cluster administration, authorization, logging, and monitoring components. All of these components are accompanied by recipes at each step.

The authors also have extensive backgrounds in the computer industry, with Hideto Saito being a part of the old and experienced guard at SUN Microsystems Japan before moving to San Francisco, where he is currently at Apple as an Infrastructure Engineer. The other two co-authors are Hui-Chuan Chloe Lee and Ke-Jou Carol Hsu, both software engineers with a ton of experience under their belts.

51qCaCNyz+L._SX382_BO1,204,203,200_Kubernetes Cookbook: Building Cloud Native Applications

Another Kubernetes Cookbook - this one from Michael Hausenblas, Developer Advocate at Redhat and Sébastien Goasguen, former Director of Cloud Technologies at Bitnami. Both have excellent credentials for writing a Kubernetes recipe book given their extensive experience in cloud native technologies. 


The book has a collection of upwards of 80 Kubernetes recipes; from creating a Kubernetes cluster to working with services and setting up monitoring and logging. The recipes cover most of the tasks that developers, system administrators, and architects will be confronted with in their day to day operations. As such it is a great resource to have on your work desk and consult throughout the work day.

Michael and Sébastien provide a wealth of easy to follow examples for installing, monitoring and managing Kubernetes clusters in production. 

Admittedly, the book does skimp on the theory and does not go into detailed discussions about Kubernetes concepts, but it more than makes up for it with practical examples and recipes. So be prepared for a lot of dog ears, or buy yourself a bunch of bookmarks to keep track of your progress.



Managing Kubernetes

Brendan Burns, the co-author of Mastering Kubernetes co-founded the Kubernetes project during his days at Google. As such, a book with his thoughts on operating production Kubernetes clusters should be pretty handy. And it does live up to expectations.


The book is targeted towards SREs and DevOps engineers with a concise roadmap on building, operating, managing, and upgrading Kubernetes clusters. It does a great job of introducing basic Kubernetes concepts before discussing more advanced topics like the Kubernetes architecture, API server, scheduler and authentication among others. Kubernetes installation, monitoring, disaster recovery, and networking are also covered in great detail with individual chapters assigned to them.

Extending Kubernetes is another standout topic that is discussed, with a great overview of various extensibility approaches and a comparison between them.

51lI2cTYlOL._SX375_BO1,204,203,200_Cloud Native Infrastructure

And finally Cloud Native Infrastructure, by Justin Garrison and Kris Nova to tie it all together. Both bring their extensive experience of architecting infrastructure at massive scale - at companies like Google, Amazon and Netflix - to bear on this book, and it shows. This is a great book to top off the Kubernetes journey and understand it in the overall context of the cloud native movement.


The book is meant as a practical guide for infrastructure architects and system administrators to help them design and maintain elastic, resilient and scalable infrastructure. It starts off with a discussion about cloud native application and infrastructure design, compares both to more traditional methods, and identifies the stage at which to go cloud native.

Justin and Kris then go through the entire life cycle of cloud native infrastructure, from designing and developing cloud native applications to testing, managing, securing and implementing. The book is sprinkled with real-life lessons learnt from building internet scale applications at companies on the forefront of cloud native technologies, making it mandatory reading.

To conclude..Christmas is the time to spread cheer and happiness. So what better way to appreciate your colleagues than by gifting them one of these books and kickstarting their Kubernetes journey. Unless you are the Krampus, in which case you don't have much use for books. Maybe a schnapps? Anyways, we at Replex wish you happy holidays and a great start to the new year!

A CIOs Guide to Kubernetes in Production Download Guide
Hasham Haider


Hasham Haider

Fan of all things cloud, containers and micro-services!

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