Pods

OpenShift Container Platform leverages the Kubernetes concept of a pod, which is one or more containers deployed together on one host, and the smallest compute unit that can be defined, deployed, and managed.

Pods are the rough equivalent of a machine instance (physical or virtual) to a container. Each pod is allocated its own internal IP address, therefore owning its entire port space, and containers within pods can share their local storage and networking.

Pods have a lifecycle; they are defined, then they are assigned to run on a node, then they run until their container(s) exit or they are removed for some other reason. Pods, depending on policy and exit code, may be removed after exiting, or may be retained in order to enable access to the logs of their containers.

OpenShift Container Platform treats pods as largely immutable; changes cannot be made to a pod definition while it is running. OpenShift Container Platform implements changes by terminating an existing pod and recreating it with modified configuration, base image(s), or both. Pods are also treated as expendable, and do not maintain state when recreated. Therefore pods should usually be managed by higher-level controllers, rather than directly by users.

The recommended maximum number of pods per OpenShift Container Platform node host is 110.

Below is an example definition of a pod that provides a long-running service, which is actually a part of the OpenShift Container Platform infrastructure: the integrated container registry. It demonstrates many features of pods, most of which are discussed in other topics and thus only briefly mentioned here:

Example 1. Pod Object Definition (YAML)
apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
  annotations: { ... }
  labels:                                (1)
    deployment: docker-registry-1
    deploymentconfig: docker-registry
    docker-registry: default
  generateName: docker-registry-1-       (2)
spec:
  containers:                            (3)
  - env:                                 (4)
    - name: OPENSHIFT_CA_DATA
      value: ...
    - name: OPENSHIFT_CERT_DATA
      value: ...
    - name: OPENSHIFT_INSECURE
      value: "false"
    - name: OPENSHIFT_KEY_DATA
      value: ...
    - name: OPENSHIFT_MASTER
      value: https://master.example.com:8443
    image: openshift/origin-docker-registry:v0.6.2 (5)
    imagePullPolicy: IfNotPresent
    name: registry
    ports:                              (6)
    - containerPort: 5000
      protocol: TCP
    resources: {}
    securityContext: { ... }            (7)
    volumeMounts:                       (8)
    - mountPath: /registry
      name: registry-storage
    - mountPath: /var/run/secrets/kubernetes.io/serviceaccount
      name: default-token-br6yz
      readOnly: true
  dnsPolicy: ClusterFirst
  imagePullSecrets:
  - name: default-dockercfg-at06w
  restartPolicy: Always
  serviceAccount: default               (9)
  volumes:                              (10)
  - emptyDir: {}
    name: registry-storage
  - name: default-token-br6yz
    secret:
      secretName: default-token-br6yz
1 Pods can be "tagged" with one or more labels, which can then be used to select and manage groups of pods in a single operation. The labels are stored in key/value format in the metadata hash. One label in this example is docker-registry=default.
2 Pods must have a unique name within their namespace. A pod definition may specify the basis of a name with the generateName attribute, and random characters will be added automatically to generate a unique name.
3 containers specifies an array of container definitions; in this case (as with most), just one.
4 Environment variables can be specified to pass necessary values to each container.
5 Each container in the pod is instantiated from its own Docker-formatted container image.
6 The container can bind to ports which will be made available on the pod’s IP.
7 OpenShift Container Platform defines a security context for containers which specifies whether they are allowed to run as privileged containers, run as a user of their choice, and more. The default context is very restrictive but administrators can modify this as needed.
8 The container specifies where external storage volumes should be mounted within the container. In this case, there is a volume for storing the registry’s data, and one for access to credentials the registry needs for making requests against the OpenShift Container Platform API.
9 Pods making requests against the OpenShift Container Platform API is a common enough pattern that there is a serviceAccount field for specifying which service account user the pod should authenticate as when making the requests. This enables fine-grained access control for custom infrastructure components.
10 The pod defines storage volumes that are available to its container(s) to use. In this case, it provides an ephemeral volume for the registry storage and a secret volume containing the service account credentials.

This pod definition does not include attributes that are filled by OpenShift Container Platform automatically after the pod is created and its lifecycle begins. The Kubernetes API documentation has complete details of the pod REST API object attributes, and the Kubernetes pod documentation has details about the functionality and purpose of pods.

Services

A Kubernetes service serves as an internal load balancer. It identifies a set of replicated pods in order to proxy the connections it receives to them. Backing pods can be added to or removed from a service arbitrarily while the service remains consistently available, enabling anything that depends on the service to refer to it at a consistent address. The default service clusterIP addresses are from the OpenShift Container Platform internal network and they are used to permit pods to access each other.

To permit external access to the service, additional externalIP and ingressIP addresses that are external to the cluster can be assigned to the service. These externalIP addresses can also be virtual IP addresses that provide highly available access to the service.

Services are assigned an IP address and port pair that, when accessed, proxy to an appropriate backing pod. A service uses a label selector to find all the containers running that provide a certain network service on a certain port.

Like pods, services are REST objects. The following example shows the definition of a service for the pod defined above:

Example 2. Service Object Definition (YAML)
apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
metadata:
  name: docker-registry      (1)
spec:
  selector:                  (2)
    docker-registry: default
  clusterIP: 172.30.136.123   (3)
  ports:
  - nodePort: 0
    port: 5000               (4)
    protocol: TCP
    targetPort: 5000         (5)
1 The service name docker-registry is also used to construct an environment variable with the service IP that is inserted into other pods in the same namespace. The maximum name length is 63 characters.
2 The label selector identifies all pods with the docker-registry=default label attached as its backing pods.
3 Virtual IP of the service, allocated automatically at creation from a pool of internal IPs.
4 Port the service listens on.
5 Port on the backing pods to which the service forwards connections.

The Kubernetes documentation has more information on services.

Service externalIPs

In addition to the cluster’s internal IP addresses, the user can configure IP addresses that are external to the cluster. The administrator is responsible for ensuring that traffic arrives at a node with this IP.

The externalIPs must be selected by the cluster adminitrators from the ExternalIPNetworkCIDRs range configured in master-config.yaml file. When master-config.yaml is changed, the master service must be restarted.

Example 3. Sample ExternalIPNetworkCIDR /etc/origin/master/master-config.yaml
networkConfig:
  ExternalIPNetworkCIDR: 192.0.1.0.0/24
Example 4. Service externalIPs Definition (JSON)
{
    "kind": "Service",
    "apiVersion": "v1",
    "metadata": {
        "name": "my-service"
    },
    "spec": {
        "selector": {
            "app": "MyApp"
        },
        "ports": [
            {
                "name": "http",
                "protocol": "TCP",
                "port": 80,
                "targetPort": 9376
            }
        ],
        "externalIPs" : [
            "192.0.1.1"         (1)
        ]
    }
}
1 List of External IP addresses on which the port is exposed. In addition to the internal IP addresses)

Service ingressIPs

In non-cloud clusters, externalIP addresses can be automatically assigned from a pool of addresses. This eliminates the need for the administrator manually assigning them.

The pool is configured in /etc/origin/master/master-config.yaml file. After changing this file, restart the master service.

The ingressIPNetworkCIDR is set to 172.29.0.0/16 by default. If the cluster environment is not already using this private range, use the default range or set a custom range.

If you are using high availability, then this range must be less than 256 addresses.

Example 5. Sample ingressIPNetworkCIDR /etc/origin/master/master-config.yaml
networkConfig:
  ingressIPNetworkCIDR: 172.29.0.0/16

Service NodePort

Setting the service type=NodePort will allocate a port from a flag-configured range (default: 30000-32767), and each node will proxy that port (the same port number on every node) into your service.

The selected port will be reported in the service configuration, under spec.ports[*].nodePort.

To specify a custom port just place the port number in the nodePort field. The custom port number must be in the configured range for nodePorts. When 'master-config.yaml' is changed the master service must be restarted.

Example 6. Sample servicesNodePortRange /etc/origin/master/master-config.yaml
kubernetesMasterConfig:
  servicesNodePortRange: ""

The service will be visible as both the <NodeIP>:spec.ports[].nodePort and spec.clusterIp:spec.ports[].port

Setting a nodePort is a privileged operation.

Service Proxy Mode

OpenShift Container Platform has two different implementations of the service-routing infrastructure. The default implementation is entirely iptables-based, and uses probabilistic iptables rewriting rules to distribute incoming service connections between the endpoint pods. The older implementation uses a user space process to accept incoming connections and then proxy traffic between the client and one of the endpoint pods.

The iptables-based implementation is much more efficient, but it requires that all endpoints are always able to accept connections; the user space implementation is slower, but can try multiple endpoints in turn until it finds one that works. If you have good readiness checks (or generally reliable nodes and pods), then the iptables-based service proxy is the best choice. Otherwise, you can enable the user space-based proxy when installing, or after deploying the cluster by editing the node configuration file.

Labels

Labels are used to organize, group, or select API objects. For example, pods are "tagged" with labels, and then services use label selectors to identify the pods they proxy to. This makes it possible for services to reference groups of pods, even treating pods with potentially different containers as related entities.

Most objects can include labels in their metadata. So labels can be used to group arbitrarily-related objects; for example, all of the pods, services, replication controllers, and deployment configurations of a particular application can be grouped.

Labels are simple key/value pairs, as in the following example:

labels:
  key1: value1
  key2: value2

Consider:

  • A pod consisting of an nginx container, with the label role=webserver.

  • A pod consisting of an Apache httpd container, with the same label role=webserver.

A service or replication controller that is defined to use pods with the role=webserver label treats both of these pods as part of the same group.

The Kubernetes documentation has more information on labels.

Endpoints

The servers that back a service are called its endpoints, and are specified by an object of type Endpoints with the same name as the service. When a service is backed by pods, those pods are normally specified by a label selector in the service specification, and OpenShift Container Platform automatically creates the Endpoints object pointing to those pods.

In some cases, you may want to create a service but have it be backed by external hosts rather than by pods in the OpenShift Container Platform cluster. In this case, you can leave out the selector field in the service, and create the Endpoints object manually.

Note that OpenShift Container Platform will not let most users manually create an Endpoints object that points to an IP address in the network blocks reserved for pod and service IPs. Only cluster admins or other users with permission to create resources under endpoints/restricted can create such Endpoint objects.