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Hands-on tutorial for going from day-1 to production on DigitalOcean Kubernetes.


The decision to adopt Kubernetes shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s a complex system that requires hard work and dedication. In fact, when it comes to using Kubernetes, the best value comes from adopting a DevOps culture. Kubernetes isn’t just installing something on a virtual machine (VM), it’s a transformative way of viewing IT and enabling your teams. Automation is a direct path to becoming more productive. Kubernetes can make every aspect of your applications and tools accessible to automation, including role-based access controls, ports, databases, storage, networking, container builds, security scanning, and more. Kubernetes gives teams a well-documented and proven system that they can use to automate so that they can focus on outcomes.

Startups and small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are uniquely positioned in their journeys. Unlike enterprises, they typically don’t have dedicated departments for operations or security, and they usually run lean development teams. At the same time, SMBs are ultra-efficient, sometimes going from discovery phases to production in a matter of two or three weeks. When startups and SMBs consider adopting Kubernetes, they need to retain their ability to be flexible and pivot quickly while benefiting from the scalability and automation provided by Kubernetes. To achieve both without large and ongoing maintenance overhead, SMBs may consider the hands-free operations provided by Managed Kubernetes offerings.

In this guide, you’ll find recommendations for SMBs at any stage of the Kubernetes adoption journey. From the incipient stages of discovery and development through staging, production, and ultimately scaling applications, we’ll offer a simple yet comprehensive approach to getting the most out of Kubernetes.

Guide Overview

This guide will teach you how to:

  1. Install and configure required tools to build applications running on DigitalOcean Kubernetes.
  2. Set up a DigitalOcean Container Registry for storing application images.
  3. Deploy the online boutique sample application consisting of several microservices, used as a demonstration through this guide.
  4. Perform local development for the online boutique sample application using Tilt.
  5. Set up a DigitalOcean Kubernetes cluster to perform remote development using Tilt.
  6. Set up staging and production environments to promote the online boutique sample application to upper environments.
  7. Set up CI/CD workflows using GitHub actions to build and deploy the online boutique sample application to each environment after a code change (or PR merge).
  8. Set up observability for each environment - logging, monitoring, alerting, etc.
  9. Automatically scale application workloads on demand.

Please proceed with the Getting started -> Installing required tools section.