etcd, Kubernetes

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A Simple Approach to Exploring etcd Features and Best Practices


Technologies like Kubernetes (K8s) have evolved to simplify the management of containerized applications as the world of containerization and orchestration continues to develop. The brain of the cluster and the foundation of K8s is etcd, a distributed key-value store that enables coordination and synchronization among many components. This article will examine etcd’s functionality, capabilities, and recommended practises for utilising them inside the Kubernetes ecosystem.

Understanding etcd

CoreOS created etcd, an open-source distributed key-value store with high availability, consistency, and fault tolerance. It uses the Raft consensus method to secure data integrity across a cluster of machines. K8s relies heavily on etcd, the primary datastore for configuration information, cluster state, and metadata.

Across a cluster of computers, etcd, an open-source distributed key-value store offers a dependable data archiving method. It is the perfect option for storing configuration, service discovery, and other data that must be dispersed throughout a cluster because it is made to be straightforward, quick, and highly accessible.

etcd is a flexible tool for many applications because it may be used with or without Kubernetes. In this article, we will examine the functionality of etcd in both situations and the advantages of using it with Kubernetes.


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etcd without Kubernetes

With no Kubernetes involved, etcd functions as a stand-alone key-value store. Applications can access etcd and save key-value pairs of data there. The cluster-wide replication of the etcd data creates highly available and reliable data storage.

One of its key advantages is the ease of installation and use of etcd without Kubernetes. Applications can connect to the etcd cluster using straightforward APIs, and the cluster can be set up with just a few instructions.

etcd with Kubernetes

The Kubernetes control plane’s foundation is provided by etcd when used in conjunction with Kubernetes. The Kubernetes control plane oversees maintaining the desired state of the cluster and managing the cluster’s current state.

Important information regarding the cluster’s state, configuration data, and details on the cluster’s nodes’ states are all stored in etcd. The Kubernetes control plane uses this information to make decisions about the cluster’s state and maintain the desired state.

Features of etcd

  1. Distributed Consistency: The Raft consensus mechanism, used by etcd, ensures accurate and consistent data replication over several nodes. This mechanism guarantees that the cluster will remain highly available and failure-resistant.
  2. Scalability: The large-scale distributed system support provided by etcd makes it possible to scale your K8s cluster smoothly as your application’s needs change.
  3. Watch API: Clients can track changes to the data in storage using the Watch API, which enables instantaneous responses and updates inside the K8s cluster.
  4. Security: etcd offers a secure environment for storing sensitive data by supporting data encryption in transit and at rest. Use RBAC or Role-Based Access Control to limit access to authorized users.


Best Practices for etcd and Kubernetes

  1. High availability is achieved by deploying an etcd cluster with an odd number of nodes (for example, 3, 5, or 7). To prevent a single point of failure, distribute etcd nodes among various failure domains.
  2. Backup and disaster recovery: To guard against data loss, regularly back up your etcd data. Maintain a clear catastrophe recovery plan with regular snapshots and appropriate restoration steps.
  3. Secure Communication: Enable Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption between etcd nodes and client apps. This guards against unauthorized access and safeguards personal data.
  4. Monitoring and Alerting: Implement monitoring tools to keep tabs on your etcd cluster’s performance and general health. Create alerts to inform you of any problems, such as excessive latency or unstable clusters.
  5. Upgrading etcd and K8s: When upgrading your K8s cluster, pay attention to etcd compatibility. Ensure you adhere to the suggested upgrade processes to prevent disruptions or incompatibilities.

There are many advantages to utilizing etcd with Kubernetes. One of the key advantages of using etcd is that it gives the control plane a reliable and highly accessible data store, guaranteeing that the cluster is constantly operational and that no data is lost. Additionally, etcd and Kubernetes work well together, offering a seamless and integrated cluster data management and storage solution.



Kubernetes’ core component, etcd, offers a trustworthy and dependable data store for handling configuration, state, and metadata within a cluster. The Kubernetes infrastructure’s reliability, scalability, and security improve by comprehending etcd’s inner workings and implementing recommended practices for its deployment and maintenance. You can efficiently orchestrate and manage your containerized apps, providing smooth scalability and effective resource utilization within your K8s cluster by utilizing the power of etcd.

etcd is an excellent option for many applications because it offers a consistent and dependable way to store data, whether you use it with or without Kubernetes. When used with Kubernetes, etcd provides a reliable and integrated solution for maintaining the desired state of the cluster and managing the cluster’s current state.

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1. What is etcd and why is it important in distributed systems?

ANS: – etcd is a distributed key-value store crucial for managing configuration data and ensuring reliability in distributed systems.

2. How does etcd ensure high availability and fault tolerance?

ANS: – etcd uses the Raft consensus algorithm to replicate data across nodes, ensuring availability even if some nodes fail.

3. Can etcd be used outside of Kubernetes?

ANS: – Yes, etcd is a standalone project that can be used independently in any distributed system for coordination and managing configurations.

WRITTEN BY Komal Singh



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