What is Knative?

Developed by Google, Knative provides a set of middleware components that are essential to build modern, source-centric, and container-based applications that can run anywhere: on premises, in the cloud, or even in a third-party data center. Knative components are built on Kubernetes and codify the best practices shared by successful real-world Kubernetes-based frameworks.

Knative provides accomplishes two major things: Serving and Eventing. Knative can orchestrate source-to-container workflows, auto-scale workloads, route and manage network traffic, or bind running services to eventing ecosystems.

Knative Logo

Knative Major Functions

Knative does two things: Serving and Eventing.


Knative Serving builds on Kubernetes and Istio to support deploying and serving of serverless applications and functions. Serving is easy to get started with and scales to support advanced scenarios.

The Knative Serving project provides middleware primitives that enable:

  • Quick deployment of serverless containers
  • Scaling up and down to zero automatically
  • Routing and network programming for Istio components
  • Snapshots of deployed code and configurations


Eventing provides building blocks for consuming and producing events that adhere to the CloudEvents specification (a specification developed by the CNCF Working Group). It includes abstractions for feeds from event sources, and decoupled delivery through messaging channels backed by pluggable pub/sub broker services.

Knative Eventing defines a single event forwarding and persistence layer, called a Channel. Events are delivered to Services or forwarded to Channels using subscriptions. This allows m

Knative Architecture

Knative is a serverless extension. That utilizes both Kubernetes for container orchestration and Istio as a Service Mesh.

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