Kubernetes facilitates declarative configuration and automation. One of its key benefits is that services in containers can be distributed automatically and intelligently across an entire cluster in order to take advantage of available resources. All kinds of services such as load balancers, distributed logging systems, monitoring, stateful services (such as databases or message queues) can be distributed in the cluster in addition to the actual business applications.
It also offers a wide range of options for detecting and dealing with problems in clusters with the aid of health/readyness checks, self-healing, automatic failover, service discovery, canary deployments, rolling updates, and zero-downtime deployments. This makes Kubernetes a platform for microservices or portable cloud platform without the risk of vendor lock-in as it can be used both in private data centers and in the public cloud.
As an alternative to the name »Kubernetes«, the short form »K8S« is also used where »K« and »S« stand for the first and last letter of Kubernetes respectively and the »8« for the eight letters in-between.