Top 10 Managed Kubernetes Providers in 2023

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Kubernetes has emerged as the go-to project for organisations requiring container orchestration at scale. The open-source container orchestration platform has rapidly evolved since its release as an experimental technology developed by Google ten years ago and is now a standardised infrastructure for cloud-native environments. 

Kubernetes operates at the container level rather than the hardware level, handling scalability requirements, failover, deployment patterns, load balancing, logging, and monitoring. It’s not the only option for container management, but it has rapidly become one of the most popular. 

Today, Kubernetes is a true open-source community, with engineers from Google, Red Hat, and many other big names actively contributing to the project. Kubernetes’ adoption continues to grow exponentially in 2023, with 96 per cent of organisations using or evaluating the technology. 

Although Kubernetes is open-source, many companies looking to adopt Kubernetes do not have the expertise or resources to set up and maintain the cluster themselves. Managed Kubernetes providers provide companies with the necessary support and maintenance of the Kubernetes clusters. 

Some even improve upon the core technology, including deeper code delivery, observability and management, integration, and security features built-in to their services. With the market rapidly expanding rapidly, organisations have more options than ever before when choosing a Kubernetes provider that suits their business needs. 

In this list, we’ve compiled our picks for the Top 10 Managed Kubernetes service providers boasting scalability, endless customisation, and top-notch security.

VULTR Kubernetes

First on our list we have VULTR Kubernetes – a managed Kubernetes service provided by the cloud platform VULTR. The service offers a scalable, reliable, and secure environment for deploying and managing containerised applications using Kubernetes. One of the most noteworthy features of VULTR Kubernetes is its scalability. The service enables users to scale their Kubernetes clusters up or down as necessary, depending on their resource requirements. This allows for the swift and straightforward addition or removal of resources as needed, without concern for the underlying infrastructure.


Another significant advantage of VULTR Kubernetes is its dependability. The service is designed to be highly available, with built-in redundancy and failover capabilities that ensure that your applications are always available. Additionally, VULTR Kubernetes offers a secure environment for running your applications, with support for encryption, network isolation, and role-based access control. However, some users may find that the service has a steeper learning curve than some other managed Kubernetes services.

Linode Kubernetes Engine (Akamai)

Previously known as Linode Kubernetes Engine (LKE), Akamai is a managed Kubernetes service provided by Linode. It offers an effortless and effective solution to deploy, manage and scale containerised applications using Kubernetes. One of Akamai's standout features is its simple and easy-to-use user interface. The platform is intended to be user-friendly and can be used by those with limited or no Kubernetes experience. The service provides a straightforward interface for deploying and managing Kubernetes clusters, making it simple to get started with containerised applications.

Another significant advantage of Akamai is its scalability. The platform allows users to easily scale their Kubernetes clusters up or down as required, depending on their resource needs. This means resources can be added or removed swiftly and effortlessly, without worrying about the underlying infrastructure.

Alibaba Cloud Container Service for Kubernetes (ACK)

One of the first vendors to pass the Kubernetes conformance certification tests globally, Alibaba Cloud Container Service for Kubernetes is a full managed service that allows companies to run Kubernetes on the Alibaba Cloud. The tool integrates virtualisation, storage, networking, and security capabilities,  allowing users to deploy applications in high-performance and scalable containers while providing full lifecycle management of enterprise-class containerised applications.


ACK offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model, with the billing rules and billable items depending on the cluster type you’re using. This allows users to use the container service to create, contract or expand Kubernetes clusters easily and even upgrade Kubernetes clusters with ease. ACK can be integrated seamlessly with Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) resources and Server Load Balancer for a secure, high-performance deployment platform.


Platform9 is a managed SaaS Kubernetes platform that can be used in edge, private and hybrid clouds. The platform has an interactive graphical user interface (GUI) that makes it easy to deploy clusters or nodes while providing a powerful IDE for developers for simplified in-context views of pods, logs, events, and more. Both development and operations teams can access the information they need in an instant secured through SSO and Kubernetes RBAC.


Since Platform9 can support multiple versions of Kubernetes clusters simultaneously, Kubernetes cluster management is straightforward, whether on-premises, at the edge, or in public clouds. But one of Platform 9’s biggest strengths comes with its integration with existing infrastructure. Its built-in monitoring integrates with Slack, and it can integrate with your single sign-on (SSO) provider. The platform also scales worker nodes automatically for clusters created on Azure and AWS, so clusters automatically scale up or down based on the workload.

Red Hat OpenShift

Red Hat OpenShift brings together tested and trusted services to reduce the friction of developing, modernizing, deploying, running, and managing applications. The container orchestration service is a hybrid cloud and Kubernetes-container platform for enterprise app development and container management. It supports both traditional and cloud-native applications and includes Red hat enterprise Linux as its foundation, as well as cluster information for network storage, logging, and monitoring. This gives users a complete solution to run and manage containers and that includes application and developer tools to integrate open-shift into your CI/CD processes. 


OpenShift is highly customisable and supports multitenancy, providing extended support for CI/CD tooling. Together, these features make it easier for teams to provision, deploy, scale and manage containers more efficiently while avoiding vendor lock-in. Red Hat’s integration agility also ensures high flexibility and availability, encouraging faster development and deployment. It seamlessly integrates with existing DevOps tools, including CI/CD tools. Meanwhile, OpenShift’s cluster autoscaler adjusts the size of the cluster automatically to meet your deployment needs.

VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid

VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) for Kubernetes provides container deployment, scaling, and management with tools, automation, and insights. It’s built on top of vSphere, VMWare’s cloud computing virtualisation platform and allows users to easily manage containers at scale with the cloud. TKG boats a user-friendly interface and integrates well with  integrates with CI/CD pipelines, including Altoros Jenkins, CloudBees CI, Concourse CI, GitLab CI/CD, and Nirmata


A major advantage to using VMWare is that organizations can build and manage Kubernetes environments alongside traditional VMware workloads from a single platform. Users also get strong security, backup, and utilisation management features,  as well as access to a complete multi-cloud orchestration system. This is all supported for Service Mesh and Global Control Plan and most container deployments, including comprehensive support across public cloud providers. VMware offers users 24/7 production guidance for Kubernetes, and users can simply contact its Pivotal Labs if they wish to change how they build their applications, making the platform extremely customisable.

DigitalOcean Kubernetes (DOKS)

DigitalOcean Kubernetes (DOK) is a managed Kubernetes service offered by the IaaS platform Digital Ocean. The platform stands out with its own orchestration system, which users follow for the best practices, get a hosting environment set up and be able to focus on the applications instead of the infrastructure. The platform also has a variety of options for automation, which allows user to quickly automate their infrastructure to provision and deploy faster, moving from one deployment a month to multiple times a day. Users can also make use of  Digital Ocean’s  Cluster AutoScaler to make automatic adjustments to nodes in their clusters, ensuring fast performance and controlling costs for Kubernetes deployments. 


DOKS’ administration dashboard is intuitive for both experts and those with less experience. Users don’t need direct access to instances to deploy a platform because DigitalOcean gives you managed Kubernetes and databases. The platform is integrated with other DigitalOcean services making it an attractive option for teams looking to simplify their containerized application development and deployment workflows.

Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)

While a relatively new service, Amazon’s Elastic Kubernetes Service has been improved upon drastically since its launch in 2018. The introduction of new features such as an open-source k8’s distribution, known as EKS Distro, and a brand new development for the platform known as Amazon EKS anywhere have made the service one of the most popular on the market, gradually replacing ECS, which si AWS’s proprietary container orchestrator. 


EKS is fully-managed, providing an easy way to build, operate, manage and secure Kubernetes apps, and run Kubernetes containers within the Amazon Web Services cloud environment. Seamlessly integrating with AWS, EKS automates key Kubernetes management tasks like node provisioning, patching, and updates. It also includes encryption and built-in security, integration with CloudWatch for logging, automatic updating, IAM for access permissions, and CloudTrail for auditing.

Azure Kubernetes (AKS)

For companies who already use Microsoft’sAzure platform, Microsoft’s AKS is becoming the norm for Kubernetes. The service began as an orchestrator-agnostic platform supporting Mesosphere DC/OS, Kubernetes, and Docker Swarm, but quickly gained popularity and became a go-to service for Kubernetes orchestration. AKS provides a managed upstream K8s environment, along with cluster monitoring and automatic upgrades to simplify the management, deployment, and operations of Kubernetes. 


The platform offers a number of different ways to provision a cluster, including a command line, web console, Terraform, and Azure resource manager. It integrates with development tools such as Draft and Helm and includes unique tools like Bridge to Kubernetes offering an interactive Kubernetes development experience. The service also includes Azure Advisor, a support tool for optimising performance and savings that provides guidance based on your configurations. Users can also easily request support through their account or visit the AKS forums, which are extremely active and regularly updated.

Google Kubernetes Engine 

As the industry’s first cloud-based managed Kubernetes provider available on the market, Google’s Kubernetes Engine (GKE) takes the crown for the best Managed Kubernetes Provider.  GKE provides a managed environment for scaling, deploying and managing containerised applications within a safe, enterprise-grade Google infrastructure. Since Kubernetes was created by Google engineers for their in-house container orchestration, GKE is considered one of the most advanced Kubernetes platforms available today. Despite this, it is still user-friendly, offering a range of easy-to-use features such as the ability to seamlessly build or attach multiple nodes to a cluster or control configurations. 


GKEs are designed for use on Google Cloud and they can even be deployed in hybrid environments, as well as, on-premises. It runs on Google’s infrastructure, so it seamlessly integrates with other Google products for users using them. For those that aren’t,, GKE integrates perfectly with almost any Kubernetes dashboard, with Google Cloud’s operations suite allowing users to monitor logs in one place. Besides making it easy for users to create clusters, GKE also provides advanced cluster management features, such as auto-scaling, load balancing, auto repair, auto upgrades, logging and monitoring, as well as access to site reliability engineers (SRE), who can help you with issues, like handling runtime errors or maximizing application performance.