Kubernetes hands on series: What happens when you create a Pod in Kubernetes?

As you know Pods are the smallest deployable units of computing that you can create and manage in Kubernetes.

No matter if you create a pod manually or, preferably through a supervisor such as a deployment, a daemon set or a stateful set, the pod can be in one of the following phases:

  • Pending: The API Server has created a pod resource and stored it in etcd, but the pod has not been scheduled yet, nor have container images been pulled from the registry.
  • Running: The pod has been scheduled to a node and all containers have been created by the kubelet.
  • Succeeded: All containers in the pod have terminated successfully and will not be restarted.
  • Failed: All containers in the pod have terminated. At least one container has terminated in failure.
  • Unknown: The API Server was unable to query the state of the pod, typically due to an error in communicating with the kubelet.

Lets understand it in more detail -

You are probably familiar with the first 4 steps:

  • kubectl sends the YAML to the API
  • The Pod is stored in etcd
  • The scheduler assigns a Node At this point the Pod is in etcd, but not in the node.
  • The kubelet starts creating the Pod.


  • The kubelet delegates creating the container to the CRI
  • The kubelet delegates attaching the container to the network to the CNI
  • The CNI assigns an IP address to the pod
  • Probes are checked
  • The kubelet reports the IP address to the control plane

The Pod was created!
Kubernetes stops here unless that Pod is part of a Service.

If the Pod belongs to a Service, Kubernetes creates an endpoint- it concatenates the IP address and Port (targetPort) of the Pod. The endpoint is added to the Endpoint (object).

Wait… endpoint what?

In Kubernetes:

  • endpoint is a (IP:port) pair
  • Endpoint is a collection of endpoints (a list of IP:port pairs)

For every Service in the cluster, Kubernetes creates an Endpoint object with endpoints. Confusing, isn’t it?

The endpoints (IP:port) are used by:

  • kube-proxy to set iptables rules
  • CoreDNS to update the DNS entries
  • Ingress controllers to set up downstreams
  • Service meshes
  • More operators

As soon as an endpoint is added, the components are notified.

When the endpoint (IP:port) is propagated, you can finally start using the Pod!

Can you guess what happens when you delete a Pod?

The same process but in reverse.

Hope you like the tutorial. Please let me know your feedback in the response section.

Thanks. Happy learning!



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