As a platform engineer of many years now, Kubernetes has become one of those ubiquitous tools that are simply a must-have in many of our clients’ tech stacks. Considering that the big three cloud vendors (AWS, GCP, and Microsoft Azure) all now offer their own flavor of managed Kubernetes services, it is easy to see how it has become ever more prolific in the “cloud-native architecture” space.

Like all cloud-native technologies, Kubernetes can be a challenge to test locally. On many of our projects, developers often use Docker-compose instead of Kubernetes to test their applications locally, which inevitably causes some friction when deploying them to a cloud environment. Platform engineers also need to test their Kubernetes infrastructure and manifests and often resort to using dedicated cloud environments to do so, which can be quite expensive. What was needed was a way to get as close as possible to a cloud-based managed cluster on a laptop.

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