API organization and structure

Stay organized with collections Save and categorize content based on your preferences.

The programmatic interface to your Google Kubernetes Engine cluster has two principal APIs: The Google Kubernetes Engine API (and the associated Google Cloud CLI) and the Kubernetes API (and the associated kubectl command-line interface).

Google Kubernetes Engine API

You use the Google Kubernetes Engine API and Google Cloud CLI primarily for configuring your cluster on Google Cloud. This might include tasks such as:

  • Creating a cluster.
  • Deleting a cluster.
  • Configuring cluster-level networking, such as rotating the cluster control plane IP or enabling network policy enforcement.
  • Updating the version of Kubernetes running on the cluster.
  • Adding, removing, or modifying node pools in your cluster.
  • Setting the machine type or node image used for your cluster's nodes.
  • Configuring the geographic zones or regions in which your cluster runs.

Google Kubernetes Engine API versioning

The Google Kubernetes Engine API has three groups:

  • v1 for generally available features.
  • v1alpha1 for alpha features.
  • v1beta1 for beta features.

Similarly, Google Kubernetes Engine gcloud commands are divided into three groups:

To learn how to use Google Kubernetes Engine beta features through the v1beta1 API, refer to Google Kubernetes Engine Beta Features.

Google Kubernetes Engine beta features

When new features for Google Kubernetes Engine are released to beta, they are made available through the v1beta1 API.

To use gcloud commands for Google Kubernetes Engine beta features, just run gcloud beta container clusters commands.

As features "graduate" from beta to general availability, the commands move from the v1beta1 API to the v1 API, and from the gcloud beta container track to the gcloud container track in the command-line interface). The commands might undergo small changes during this transition. Any breaking changes are only made after a deprecation warning and must maintain a three month period of backward compatibility.

Kubernetes API

You use the Kubernetes API and kubectl command-line interface for managing your cluster's containerized applications and workloads. This might include tasks such as:

  • Deploying an application
  • Scaling an application
  • Configuring intra-cluster networking settings
  • Configuring Pods and Containers
  • Controlling when Pods are evicted or restarted

Kubernetes API versioning

Kubernetes supports multiple API versions, each at a different API path such as /api/v1 or /apis/extensions/v1beta1. You must specify the API version when writing object configuration files or when interacting with the API directly.

The API is versioned separately from Kubernetes itself. For more information on API versioning, refer to the Kubernetes API versioning documentation.