This guide explains how to set up cluster federation that lets us control multiple Kubernetes clusters.
This guide assumes that we have a running Kubernetes cluster. If not, then head over to the getting started guides to bring up a cluster.
This guide also assumes that we have the Kubernetes source code that can be downloaded from here.
Setting up federation requires running the federation control plane which consists of etcd, federation-apiserver and federation-controller-manager. We can run these binaries as pods on an existing Kubernetes cluster.
To run these as pods, we first need images for all the components. We can use official release images or we can build from HEAD.
As part of every release, images are pushed to
gcr.io/google_containers. To use
these images, we set env var
This will always use the latest image.
To use federation-apiserver and federation-controller-manager images from a specific release, we can set
To run the code from HEAD, we need to build and push our own images. We can build the images using the following command:
$ FEDERATION=true KUBE_RELEASE_RUN_TESTS=n make quick-release
Next, we need to push these images to a registry such as Google Container Registry or Docker Hub, so that our cluster can pull them.
If Kubernetes cluster is running on Google Compute Engine (GCE), then we can push the images to
The command to push the images will look like:
$ FEDERATION=true FEDERATION_PUSH_REPO_BASE=gcr.io/<gce-project-name> ./build/push-federation-images.sh
Once we have the images, we can run these as pods on our existing kubernetes cluster. The command to run these pods on an existing GCE cluster will look like:
$ KUBERNETES_PROVIDER=gce FEDERATION_DNS_PROVIDER=google-clouddns FEDERATION_NAME=myfederation DNS_ZONE_NAME=myfederation.example FEDERATION_PUSH_REPO_BASE=gcr.io/google_containers ./federation/cluster/federation-up.sh
KUBERNETES_PROVIDER is the cloud provider.
FEDERATION_DNS_PROVIDER can be
aws-route53. It will be
set appropriately if it is missing and
KUBERNETES_PROVIDER is one of
This is used to resolve DNS requests for federation services. The service
controller keeps DNS records with the provider updated as services/pods are
updated in underlying kubernetes clusters.
FEDERATION_NAME is a name we can choose for our federation. This is the name that will appear in DNS routes.
DNS_ZONE_NAME is the domain to be used for DNS records. This is a domain that we
need to buy and then configure it such that DNS queries for that domain are
routed to the appropriate provider as per
Running that command creates a namespace
federation and creates 2 deployments:
We can verify that the pods are available by running the following command:
$ kubectl get deployments --namespace=federation
NAME DESIRED CURRENT UP-TO-DATE AVAILABLE AGE
federation-apiserver 1 1 1 1 1m
federation-controller-manager 1 1 1 1 1m
federation-up.sh also creates a new record in our kubeconfig for us
to be able to talk to federation apiserver. We can view this by running
kubectl config view.
federation-up.sh creates the federation-apiserver pod with an etcd
container that is backed by a persistent volume, so as to persist data. This
currently works only on AWS, GKE, and GCE. You can edit
federation/manifests/federation-apiserver-deployment.yaml to suit your needs,
Now that we have the federation control plane up and running, we can start registering Kubernetes clusters.
First of all, we need to create a secret containing kubeconfig for that Kubernetes cluster, which federation control plane will use to talk to that Kubernetes cluster.
For now, we create this secret in the host Kubernetes cluster (that hosts federation control plane). When we start supporting secrets in federation control plane, we will create this secret there.
Suppose that our kubeconfig for Kubernetes cluster is at
/cluster1/kubeconfig, we can run the following command to create the secret:
$ kubectl create secret generic cluster1 --namespace=federation --from-file=/cluster1/kubeconfig
Note that the file name should be
kubeconfig since file name determines the name of the key in the secret.
Now that the secret is created, we are ready to register the cluster. The YAML file for cluster will look like:
- clientCIDR: <client-cidr>
We need to insert the appropriate values for
<secret-name> here is name of the secret that we just created.
serverAddressByClientCIDRs contains the various server addresses that clients
can use as per their CIDR. We can set the server’s public IP address with CIDR
"0.0.0.0/0" which all clients will match. In addition, if we want internal
clients to use server’s clusterIP, we can set that as serverAddress. The client
CIDR in that case will be a CIDR that only matches IPs of pods running in that
Assuming our YAML file is located at
/cluster1/cluster.yaml, we can run the following command to register this cluster:
$ kubectl create -f /cluster1/cluster.yaml --context=federation-cluster
--context=federation-cluster, we direct the request to federation apiserver.
we can ensure that the cluster registration was successful by running:
$ kubectl get clusters --context=federation-cluster
NAME STATUS VERSION AGE
cluster1 Ready 3m
Once the cluster is registered with the federation, we are all ready to use it.
But for the cluster to be able to route federation service requests, we need to restart
KubeDNS and pass it a
--federations flag which tells it about valid federation DNS hostnames.
Format of the flag is like this:
To update KubeDNS with federations flag, we can edit the existing kubedns replication controller to include that flag in pod template spec and then delete the existing pod. Replication controller will recreate the pod with updated template.
To find the name of existing kubedns replication controller, run
$ kubectl get rc --namespace=kube-system
This will list all the replication controllers. Name of the kube-dns replication
controller will look like
kube-dns-v18. You can then edit it by running:
$ kubectl edit rc <rc-name> --namespace=kube-system
--federations flag as args to kube-dns container in the YAML file that
pops up after running the above command.
To delete the existing kube dns pod, you can first find it by running:
$ kubectl get pods --namespace=kube-system
And then delete it by running:
$ kubectl delete pods <pod-name> --namespace=kube-system
We are now all set to start using federation.