Kubernetes Health Check Best Practices🏥

Last updated
June 20, 2024
Evan Witmer
Growth Lead

Table of Contents

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Kubernetes, the powerhouse behind modern container orchestration, demands meticulous health checks to ensure smooth sailing for your applications. These checkups are the unsung heroes, detecting lurking issues before they escalate into major disruptions. But where to begin? How do you navigate the labyrinth of logs, metrics, and configurations?

Enter the era of AI-powered assistants, revolutionizing the way we approach Kubernetes health checks. We'll delve into the intricacies of cluster scans, harnessing the power of AI to analyze your infrastructure's vital signs. Discover how these intelligent assistants identify potential bottlenecks, security vulnerabilities, and resource misconfigurations. Get ready to elevate your Kubernetes expertise and empower yourself with the tools to keep your applications running at peak performance.

What is a k8s Health Check?

In the world of Kubernetes (often shortened to k8s), a health check is like a doctor's visit for your applications. It's a set of probes and configurations that monitor the well-being of your containers, pods, and services, ensuring they're running smoothly and ready to handle traffic. These checks help identify issues like unresponsive applications, resource constraints, or misconfigurations before they escalate into major problems. Performing a Kubernetes cluster scan is the first step towards a comprehensive health checkup, offering a detailed snapshot of your infrastructure's vital signs and potential areas for improvement.

Performing a Kubernetes Cluster Scan

We do not want to bury the easiest way to get a status check on Kubernetes. Botkube's new AI assistant has automated most of the heavy-lifting to this process. Watch our video below of starting a cluster scan directly from Slack and performing health checks automatically.

After Botkube is setup, type '@botkube ai scan' to start the process.

GIF of Cluster Scan being performed in Slack
Preforming A Kubernetes Cluster Scan from Slack

What Does the k8s Cluster Scan Do?

Botkube's AI assistant takes cluster scanning to a new level, going beyond simply prompting a generic LLM with raw cluster data. It utilizes a sophisticated process that combines in-depth analysis with intelligent interpretation to provide actionable insights. Here's how it works:

  1. In-Depth Cluster Analysis: The assistant harnesses the power of kubectl, the command-line tool for Kubernetes, to perform a meticulous examination of your cluster's logs. This involves diving into individual nodes, pods, namespaces, and services to uncover hidden issues, warnings, or errors that may be lurking beneath the surface.
  2. Intelligent Issue Interpretation: Any identified issues are then fed into a trained LLM, often ChatGPT 4.o, for further analysis. The AI assistant doesn't stop at a single query; it persistently probes the LLM, seeking root causes, potential solutions, and best practices to address the discovered problems.
  3. Comprehensive Summary Generation: The assistant compiles all the gathered information, including insights from the LLM and its own analysis, into a comprehensive cluster scan summary. This summary is not just a dry list of errors; it's a carefully crafted report designed to be both informative and actionable.
  4. Customizable Delivery: The final step is delivering the summary in a format that works for you. Botkube's AI assistant seamlessly integrates with popular communication platforms like Slack, Teams, or Discord, providing a user-friendly way to receive and act upon the cluster scan results.

In the next section, we'll break down the different sections of the Botkube AI cluster health checkup, shedding light on the specific insights and recommendations you can expect from this powerful tool.

The Different Sections of the Cluster Scan

To provide the most actionable and valuable insights, we've distilled the cluster scan results into the following key sections, focusing on potential risks, resource optimization, and configuration best practices.

1 - Summary & Pod Health

As you can see in the screenshot below, the first part of the scan results focuses on summarizing issues. It also gives statistics related to Pod status. Below we see that the readiness probe fails on some of my pods with the CrashLoopBackOff state. This is a very common issue that the AI will suggest fixes to later on in the message.

Summary and Pod Health Section in Slack Message

2- Resource Utilization, Configuration, and Networking

The next section of the report dives into the heart of your cluster's performance and stability. It meticulously examines resource utilization, flagging potential out-of-memory (OOM) issues, under-provisioned cores, or any other bottlenecks that could hinder optimal performance. Additionally, it scrutinizes cluster configuration and networking, identifying misconfigurations or potential vulnerabilities that could impact the overall health of your infrastructure.

In the screenshot below, you can see a clean bill of health, indicating no major issues were detected during this scan.

k8s cluster status coming from Slack

3- Detailed Checks

Next, the report shows you more detailed reports on some of the issues it found during the process. You can see from the screenshot from our example scan that it gives us more detail on the pods that were in the crashbackloop state.

Detailed checks for Pod readiness

4 - Recommendations

Finally, the most actionable section of the cluster review, the recommendations. This section should take into account all the previous sections/issues and give actionable steps to improve your Kubernetes cluster.

k8s Health Checkup recommendations


In this exploration of Kubernetes health checks, we've defined the concept, highlighted the significance of cluster scans, and delved into the inner workings of Botkube's AI-powered cluster scan report. From in-depth log analysis to intelligent interpretation and comprehensive summaries, you've gained a deeper understanding of how to proactively monitor and maintain the health of your Kubernetes infrastructure. Armed with this knowledge, you're better equipped to detect potential issues, optimize resource utilization, and ensure the smooth operation of your applications. Embrace the power of AI-assisted cluster scans and unlock the full potential of your Kubernetes environment.

About Botkube

Botkube is an AI-powered Kubernetes troubleshooting tool for DevOps, SREs, and developers. Botkube harnesses AI to automate troubleshooting, remediation, and administrative tasks— streamlining operations to save teams valuable time and accelerate development cycles. Botkube empowers both Kubernetes experts and non-experts to make complex tasks accessible to all skill levels. Get started with Botkube for free.