Keptn v1 reached EOL December 22, 2023. For more information see


Keptn allows building scalable automation for delivery and operations. Therefore, Keptn introduces and uses the following terms.

General Terms

Keptn: Keptn, pronounced captain, is the name of this CNCF project. It is a control-plane for cloud-native application life-cycle orchestration. It is written with capital K followed by lower-case letters.

Project: A project is a structural element to maintain multiple services forming an application in stages.

Project stage: A project stage (or just stage) defines a logical space (e.g., a namespace in Kubernetes), which has a dedicated purpose for an application in a continuous delivery process. Typically a project has multiple project stages that are ordered.

Service: A service is the smallest deployable unit and is deployed in all project stages according to the order. Each service in a project follows the same task sequences.

Shipyard: A shipyard is the declarative means to divide an environment (e.g., Kubernetes cluster) into project stages and to specify task sequences for each project stage.

Sequence: A sequence declares a set of tasks for realizing a delivery or operations process. A task sequence is triggered by an external event, i.e., by a domain event. Examples for domain events are the availability of a new artifact that should be deployed (i.e., a new-artifact event) or the occurrence of a problem (i.e., a problem event).

Task: A task is the smallest executable unit of a sequence. A task is triggered by an event.

Keptn-service: A Keptn-service is the unit that is executing a task. It can be responsible for executing one or many tasks and it is triggered by an event of a task.

Uniform: The uniform declares a list of Keptn-services that represents the execution plane of a Keptn installation and are required to execute the respective tasks. (Note: Currently, Keptn provides two hard-coded execution planes: (1) full - containing Keptn-services for delivery and automated operations use cases and (2) quality gates only.)

Event: An event triggers a task and contains relevant data for the respective task.

Resource: A resource is a configuration (e.g., deployment, or service config) or a service-related artifact (e.g., test case, or remediation action), which is consumed by a Keptn-service to execute the task.

Architectural Terms

Keptn installation: A Keptn installation encloses the control plan and execution plane.

Control plane: The control plane is the minimum set of components, which are required to run a Keptn and to manage projects, stages, and services, to handle events, and to provide integration points.

Execution plane: The execution plane consists of all Keptn-services that are required to process all tasks.

Supported Tasks in Continuous/Progressive Delivery

Deployment: The deployment makes a built artifact (e.g., a Docker image) available for use as a service in a project stage.

Test: The test executes a set of tests (e.g., requests) against the service. The test kind (e.g., functional or performance) can be derived from the purpose of the project stage or environment.

Evaluation: The evaluation represents the quality gate of a stage by checking the SLO.

Supported Tasks in Continuous Operation

Remediation: A remediation is an action, which is executed when a problem was detected, e.g., by the monitoring solution. The remediation action should solve the problem in an automatic way.

Quality Gate

The quality gate is a concept that allows defining SLOs, which are determined by one or many SLIs. Source

Service-Level Indicator (SLI): An SLI is a service-level indicator, which is a defined quantitative measure of some metric of the service.

Service-Level Objective (SLO): An SLO is a service-level objective, which is a target value or range of values for an SLI. A common structure for SLOs is: SLI ≤ target value, or lower bound ≤ SLI ≤ upper bound.

Service-Level Agreement (SLA): An SLA is a service-level agreement, which is an explicit or implicit contract with your users that includes consequences of meeting (or missing) the SLOs the SLA contains.