AKS Questions: Top 20 Most Asked Questions about Azure Kubernetes Service

AKS has grown in importance as more businesses switch to cloud-based infrastructure, benefiting both IT specialists and developers.

Understanding everything that AKS has to offer, however, can be overwhelming for new users due to its plethora of features and capabilities. 

We will address the top 20 AKS questions in this article, offering a thorough how-to for anyone interested in using this potent tool. 

What is Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)?

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is a fully-managed container orchestration service offered by Microsoft Azure. It allows users to deploy, manage, and scale containerized applications on a cloud-based infrastructure using the open-source Kubernetes platform.  

  • AKS automates many of the manual processes involved in managing containerized applications, such as deploying, scaling, and updating applications, making it easier and more efficient to manage container-based workloads. 

  • Additionally, AKS integrates with other Azure services, providing a comprehensive cloud-native solution for developing and deploying modern applications.  

How Does AKS Work and What Services Does It Offer?  

The working of AKS 

  • Provisioning

    With a few clicks, users can easily provision and configure a Kubernetes cluster. Users are no longer required to manage and maintain the underlying infrastructure required to run the cluster.

  • Deployment

    After provisioning the Kubernetes cluster, users can deploy containerized applications via the Kubernetes API or the Azure site.

  • Scaling

    AKS supports automatic scaling of both the cluster and the apps running on it. Customers can specify resource restrictions for their applications, and AKS will scale up or down automatically based on demand.

  • Upgrades

    AKS provides automated upgrades for the Kubernetes cluster and the underlying infrastructure. This ensures that users always have access to the latest features and security updates.

  • Monitoring

    AKS provides built-in monitoring and logging capabilities, allowing users to monitor the health and performance of their applications.

Key Services Provided by AKS

  • Container Orchestration

    AKS offers a fully-managed Kubernetes solution that enables users to manage containerized applications with ease.

  • Automatic Scaling

    AKS supports automatic scaling for both the cluster and the apps that run on it, making it simple to handle fluctuating traffic.

  • Load Balancing

    AKS includes load-balancing capabilities that allow users to distribute traffic evenly among their applications.

  • Networking

    AKS offers complex networking capabilities like virtual networks, network security groups, and DNS integration. 

  • Security

    To assure the security of applications operating on the platform, AKS has built-in security capabilities such as Azure Active Directory integration, RBAC, and network security policies.

What Are the Main Use Cases of Azure Kubernetes Service? 

  • Application Modernization

    AKS allows organizations to modernize their legacy applications by containerizing them and running them on a Kubernetes cluster in the cloud. 

  • Microservices

    AKS provides a platform for deploying and managing microservices-based applications, which are composed of small, independent services that can be easily scaled and updated.

  • DevOps

    AKS enables teams to implement a DevOps workflow for their containerized applications.

  • Hybrid cloud

    AKS supports hybrid cloud scenarios, where organizations can run some workloads on-premises and others in the cloud. 

What Are the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)? 

  1. 1

    What is the cost of AKS?

    AKS costs vary depending on a number of variables, including the number of nodes, the size of the VM, and data transport. To determine the price, utilize the Azure Price Calculator. 

  2. 2

    What is Kubernetes?

    Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration system that automates the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. 

  3. 3

    What are the benefits of using AKS?

    AKS provides many benefits such as automated scaling, security features, high availability, and ease of use.

  4. 4

    How does AKS work?

    AKS automates the deployment, scaling, and management of Kubernetes clusters by providing a managed control plane and node infrastructure.

  5. 5

    What are the prerequisites for using AKS?

    To use AKS, you need an Azure subscription, a resource group, and a virtual network.

  6. 6

    How do I create an AKS cluster?

    You can create an AKS cluster using the Azure Portal, Azure CLI, or Azure PowerShell.

  7. 7

    How do I deploy applications to AKS?

    You can deploy applications to AKS using Kubernetes manifests, Helm charts, or Azure DevOps pipelines.

  8. 8

    How do I scale my AKS cluster?

    You can scale your AKS cluster manually or automatically using AKS node pools or horizontal pod autoscaling.

  9. 9

    What is a node pool in AKS?

    A node pool is a group of nodes with the same configuration within an AKS cluster.

  10. 10

    What is Azure Container Registry (ACR)?

    ACR is a managed Docker registry service provided by Azure that allows you to store and manage container images.

  11. 11

    How do I integrate ACR with AKS?

    You can integrate ACR with AKS by creating an Azure service principal and granting it access to the container registry.

  12. 12

    How do I monitor my AKS cluster?

    You can monitor your AKS cluster using Azure Monitor, which provides metrics, logs, and alerts for your cluster.

  13. 13

    How do I secure my AKS cluster?

    You can secure your AKS cluster by using Azure Active Directory for authentication, RBAC for authorization, and network security policies for traffic control.

  14. 14

    How do I upgrade my AKS cluster?

    You can upgrade your AKS cluster by using the Azure portal, Azure CLI, or Azure PowerShell to select the new Kubernetes version and initiate the upgrade process.

  15. 15

    Can I use Azure DevOps with AKS?

    Yes, you can use Azure DevOps with AKS to build, test, and deploy your applications.

  16. 16

    How do I deploy a database on AKS?

    You can deploy a database on AKS using a containerized database like SQL Server or MySQL.

  17. 17

    What is the maximum number of nodes supported by AKS?

    AKS supports up to 5,000 nodes per cluster.

  18. 18

    How do I configure load balancing on AKS?

    AKS provides built-in load-balancing capabilities through Azure Load Balancer, and users can also use third-party load-balancing solutions.

  19. 19

    What backup options are available for AKS?

    AKS supports backups using Azure Backup and Kubernetes persistent volumes.

  20. 20

    What programming languages can be used to develop applications on AKS?

    AKS supports applications developed using any programming language that can run in containers, including Java, Python, Node.js, and more.

How to Set up and Manage Aks Clusters and Associated Resources?

Setting up and managing AKS clusters and associated resources involves the following steps: 

  • Create a Resource Group 

    A resource group is a logical container for resources deployed to Azure. Create a resource group where you will deploy your AKS cluster and associated resources.

  • Create an AKS Cluster

    Use the Azure portal, Azure CLI, or Azure PowerShell to create an AKS cluster. During creation, you will specify the number of nodes, node size, and other cluster configurations.

  • Create a Virtual Network

    A virtual network is used to isolate the AKS cluster from other resources in the Azure environment. Create a virtual network and specify the address space and subnets to be used by the AKS cluster.

  • Create a Kubernetes Namespace

    A namespace is used to organize and manage Kubernetes resources. Create a Kubernetes namespace to contain your resources.

  • Create Kubernetes Deployments

    A deployment is a Kubernetes resource that defines how many replicas of a container should be running at any given time. Create Kubernetes deployments for your containerized applications.

  • Create Kubernetes Services

    A service is a Kubernetes resource that provides a stable IP address and DNS name for accessing a set of pods. Create Kubernetes services for your deployments.

  • Set Up Monitoring and Logging

    Use Azure Monitor and Azure Log Analytics to monitor and log your AKS cluster and associated resources.

  • Configure Auto-scaling

    AKS supports horizontal pod autoscaling, which automatically scales the number of replicas of a deployment based on CPU utilization. Configure auto-scaling to ensure your application can handle changing demands.

  • Manage Upgrades

    AKS provides automatic upgrades for both the Kubernetes version and the node operating system. You can also manually upgrade your AKS cluster using the Azure portal, Azure CLI, or Azure PowerShell.

  • Set Up RBAC

    Role-based access control (RBAC) is used to manage access to Kubernetes resources. Configure RBAC to ensure that only authorized users can access and modify your resources.

What Are the Pricing Options Offered by Azure Kubernetes Service?  

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) has a number of price options to accommodate varied workloads and business requirements. Among the cost choices are:

  • Basic 

    For testing and development settings, the Basic tier provides a low-cost choice. It has a single node pool and no high availability or auto-scaling capabilities. The basic tier is billed on an hourly basis.

  • Standard

    The Standard tier is intended for production workloads that demand high availability and auto-scaling features. It has several node pools, auto-scaling, and node auto-repair. The Standard tier is billed hourly and is based on the number and size of nodes in the cluster.

  • Advanced

    The Advanced tier is intended for mission-critical applications that necessitate advanced networking capabilities such as virtual network integration, network policy, and Azure Private Link. It includes all of the Standard tier's capabilities as well as additional networking features. 

  • Azure Hybrid Benefit

    Azure Hybrid Benefit is a licensing option that allows users to bring their existing Windows Server and SQL Server licenses to AKS. This option has the potential to drastically lower the cost of operating Windows containers on AKS.

  • Reserved Instances

    A pricing option that allows clients to commit to utilizing AKS for a specified amount of time, often one or three years, in exchange for a large discount. This method of running long-term workloads on AKS can be cost-effective.

Aside from these pricing choices, AKS also provides a free tier with a limited number of resources and capabilities for testing and development. The free tier is charged per minute for the number and size of nodes in the cluster.

What Are the Main AKS Competitors and How Do They Differ?  


Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)


A managed Kubernetes service from Amazon Web Services (AWS).


High availability, scalability, integration with other AWS services, and flexible pricing options.


Limited operating system support, and complex setup process, require significant AWS expertise.


Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)


A managed Kubernetes service from the Google Cloud Platform.


High performance, integration with other Google Cloud Platform services, and easy setup process.


Higher pricing compared to other managed Kubernetes services, limited support for Windows containers.


Red Hat OpenShift


An enterprise Kubernetes platform from Red Hat.


Full-stack Kubernetes platform, support for hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments, easy integration with existing applications.


Higher pricing compared to other managed Kubernetes services, complex setup process, requires significant Red Hat expertise.


Docker Enterprise


A Kubernetes platform from Docker.


Easy to use, integrated container management and orchestration, support for hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments.


Higher pricing compared to other managed Kubernetes services, limited scalability, requires significant Docker expertise.




A Kubernetes management platform from Rancher Labs.


Easy to use, support for multiple Kubernetes clusters, integration with other cloud services.


Limited scalability, requires significant Rancher expertise, and may have limited support for certain Kubernetes features.

What Are the Benefits of Using AKS over Other Competitors? 

  • Integration with Azure services

    AKS is deeply integrated with other Azure services, such as Azure Active Directory, Azure Monitor, and Azure DevOps, which makes it easier to build and manage containerized applications within the Azure ecosystem.

  • Seamless scalability

    AKS makes it easy to scale your applications up or down based on the demand of your workload, without worrying about the underlying infrastructure.

  • Security

    AKS comes with built-in security features, such as network policies, secrets management, and RBAC (Role-Based Access Control), that help protect your applications and data.

  • Cost-effectiveness 

    AKS offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model, which means that you only pay for what you use, and you can easily optimize your costs by scaling your applications as needed.

  • Support and Documentation

    AKS is backed by Microsoft's extensive support and documentation, which makes it easier to troubleshoot any issues and get the help you need.

What Security Considerations Should Be Taken into Account When Using AKS?

  1. 1

    Secure Access

    AKS provides multiple methods for accessing the Kubernetes API, such as Azure AD, Azure AD Pod Identity, and Kubernetes RBAC. It is important to ensure that access is restricted to only authorized users or applications and that credentials are securely managed.

  2. 2

    Network Security

    AKS supports Azure Virtual Network (VNet), which enables network isolation and segmentation. It is important to configure network security policies to control traffic to and from your AKS cluster.

  3. 3

    Node Security

    AKS nodes can be secured using Azure Security Center, which provides visibility and control over the security of your Azure resources. It is important to ensure that nodes are regularly patched and updated to address any security vulnerabilities.

  4. 4

    Container Security

    AKS supports container image signing and verification, which ensures that only trusted images are deployed to your AKS cluster. It is important to ensure that container images are scanned for vulnerabilities and that only approved images are used.

Best Strategies to Troubleshoot Common Issues When Using AKS

  • Examine the Cluster's Health

    Use the following command to check the health of your AKS cluster: kubectl get nodes.   This will display the status of your nodes and whether or not they are ready. If a node is not ready, you can look into the reason for the issue.

  • Check the Status of the Pod

    Use the following command to check the status of your pods: kubectl get pods. This will display the status of your pods and whether or not they are running. If a pod is not running, you can explore the cause by reviewing the pod logs.

  • Check Network Connectivity

    Use the following command to check network connectivity to your AKS cluster: kubectl run -it —rm —image=busybox busybox — /bin/sh. This will launch a busybox pod as well as an interactive shell. You can then test network connectivity to other services from there.

  • Examine the Container Logs

    Use the kubectl logs command to inspect the logs of your containers. This will display the logs for the container that is currently executing in the chosen pod. If you see any mistakes or abnormalities in the logs, you can look into the root cause.

  • Examine Resource Usage 

    Run the command kubectl top nodes to see how much space your AKS cluster is taking up. This will display the CPU and memory utilization of each node in your cluster.


Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is a popular managed container orchestration service provided by Microsoft Azure.

This article provides answers to the top 20 most asked questions about AKS, including its benefits, security considerations, troubleshooting strategies, and more, to help users get the most out of this powerful tool.


Is AKS PaaS or SaaS?

AKS is a PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) offering from Microsoft Azure. It provides a managed platform for running and orchestrating containerized applications using Kubernetes.

Does AKS need a public IP?

AKS clusters can be deployed with or without a public IP address. If you need to access your cluster from the internet, you can assign a public IP address to the load balancer that is created by AKS to expose your application.

Does AKS support Autoscaling?

Yes, AKS supports horizontal pod autoscaling (HPA) and cluster autoscaling. HPA automatically adjusts the number of replicas of a pod based on resource utilization, while cluster autoscaling adds or removes nodes in the cluster based on demand.

Does AKS support GPU?

Yes, AKS supports GPU-enabled nodes for running compute-intensive workloads such as machine learning and high-performance computing. You can select GPU-enabled node pools during cluster creation.

What are the components of AKS?

AKS is composed of several components, including the Kubernetes API server, etcd database, kubelet, kube-proxy, and container runtime (such as Docker).

Additionally, AKS includes several Azure-specific components, such as the Azure Load Balancer and Azure Container Registry.

How many nodes does AKS have?

The number of nodes in an AKS cluster can vary based on the needs of the application. You can create multiple node pools with different sizes and configurations to optimize performance and cost.

What are the limitations of AKS?

Some limitations of AKS include:

  • Limited control over the underlying infrastructure.

  • Limited customization options for the Kubernetes cluster.

  • Higher cost compared to self-managed Kubernetes clusters.

  • Limited support for certain Kubernetes features and add-ons.

About the author


Youssef is a Senior Cloud Consultant & Founder of ITCertificate.org

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