Our teams continue to report good results when using Lens to visualize and manage their Kubernetes clusters. Billed as an "IDE for Kubernetes," Lens makes it possible to interact with the cluster without having to memorize commands or manifest file structures. Kubernetes can be complex, and we understand that a tool for visualizing cluster metrics and deployed workloads can save time and reduce some of the toil involved in maintaining a Kubernetes cluster. Instead of hiding complexity behind a simple point-and-click interface, Lens brings together the tools an administrator would run from the command line. But be cautious about interactively making changes to a running cluster via any mechanism. We generally prefer that infrastructure changes be implemented in code so they are repeatable, testable and less prone to human error. However, Lens does excel as a one-stop tool to interactively navigate through and comprehend your cluster status.
One of the strengths of Kubernetes is its flexibility and range of configuration possibilities along with the API-driven, programmable configuration mechanisms and command-line visibility and control using manifest files. However, that strength can also be a weakness: when deployments are complex or when managing multiple clusters, it can be difficult to get a clear picture of the overall status through command-line arguments and manifests alone. Lens attempts to solve this problem with an integrated environment for viewing the current state of the cluster and its workloads, visualizing cluster metrics and changing configurations through an embedded text editor. Rather than a simple point-and-click interface, Lens brings together the tools an administrator would run from the command line into a single, navigable interface. This tool is one of several approaches that are trying to tame the complexity of Kubernetes management. We've yet to see a clear winner in this space, but Lens strikes an interesting balance between a graphical UI and command-line–only tools.