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Kubernetes Cluster Maintenance


Till now we have done a lot of things!!🥹


Kubernetes Installation & Configurations

Kubernetes Networking, Workloads, Services

Kubernetes Storage & Security

kudos to you!👏🫡 This is literally a lot...!😮‍💨

By doing all these workloads your cluster is tiered now🤕. You have to give the energy back and make it faster. It is very important to make your cluster healthy😄 and fine.

So it's high time to understand the Kubernetes cluster maintenance stuff now.

In our today's learning, we will be covering cluster upgradation, backing up and restoring the data and scaling our Kubernetes cluster. So, let's get started!🚀

Cluster Upgradation♿

  • Let's say you are running your application in the Kubernetes cluster having master node and worker nodes. Pods and replicas are up and running.

  • Now you want to upgrade your nodes. As everyone wants to keep updated themselves and so do the nodes.

  • When a node is in upgradation mode, it generally goes down and is no longer in use. So you cannot keep your master and worker node together in the upgrade state.

  • So firstly, you will upgrade the master node. While it's upgrading, your worker node cannot deploy new pods or do any modifications. The Pods that are running already, only they will be available for the users to access.

  • Though the users are not going to be impacted as they still have the application up and running.

  • When the master node is done with the upgradation and again up and running, now we can upgrade our worker nodes. But in this also, we cannot make worker nodes goes down altogether as this may impact the users who are using the applications.

  • If we have three Worker nodes in our cluster, they will go one after the other in the upgrade state. When node01 goes down, the pods and replicas running in that node will shift to the other working nodes for a while ie in node02 and node03.

  • Then node02 will go down after node01 is upgraded and available again for the users. The pod distribution of node02 will go to node01 and node03.

  • And the same procedure will follow up to upgrade node03. This is how we upgrade our cluster in Kubernetes.

  • There is another way to upgrade the cluster, you can deploy a worker node with the updated version into your cluster and shift the workloads of the older one to the new ones then delete the older node. This is how you can achieve the upgradation.

Now let's do this practically. First, the master node:

kubeadm which is a tool for managing clusters has an upgrade command that helps in upgrading the clusters. Run:

kubeadm upgrade plan

Run the above command to see the detailed information on the upgrade plan and gives you the information of the upgrade plan if your system is needed.

Then run the drain command to make it un-schedulable:

Image drain

Now install all the packages to use kubelet as it is a must in running controlplane node:

Image cp

Now, Run the below command to upgrade the version:

apt-get upgrade -y kubeadm=1.12.0-00

Now to upgrade the cluster, run:

kubeadm upgrade apply v1.12.0

It will pull the necessary images and upgrade the cluster components.

Now run the below command to see the changes

systemctl restart kubelet

Now it's time to upgrade the worker node one at a time. Follow these commands:

# First move all the workloads of node-1 to the others

$ kubectl drain node-1
# this terminate all the pods from a node & reschedule them on others

$ apt-get upgrade -y kubeadm=1.12.0-00
$ apt-get upgrade -y kubelet=1.12.0-00

$ kubeadm upgrade node config --kubelet-version v1.12.0
# upgrade the node config for the new kubelet version

$ systemctl restart kubelet

# as we marked the node un-schedulable above, wee need to make schedule again
$ kubectl uncordon node-1
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kubectl command will not work on the worker node, it will only work on the master node that's why after applying all the commands come back on the controlplane and make the node available again for scheduling.

Backup & Restore Methods🛗

  • We have till now deployed many numbers of applications in the Kubernetes cluster using pods, deployments and services.

  • So there are many files that are important to be backed up. Like the ETCD cluster where all the information about clusters is stored.

  • Persistent volumes storage is where we store the pod's data as we learned above.

  • You can store all these files in a source code repository like GitHub which is a good practice. In this even if you lost your whole cluster you still can deploy it again if you're using GitHub.

  • A better approach to back up your file is to query the kube-api server using the kubectl or by accessing the API server directly and saving all resource configurations for all objects created on the cluster as a copy.

  • You can also choose to back up the ETCD server itself instead of the files.

  • Like the screenshots on your phone, you take snapshots here of the database by using the etdctl utilities snapshot save command.

ETCDCTL_API=3 etcdctl \ snapshot save <name>

Now, if you want to restore the snapshot. First, you have to stop the server as the restore process requires the restart ETCD cluster and kube-api server

service kube-apiserver stop

Then run the restore command:

ETCDCTL_API=3 etcdctl \ snapshot restore <name> \ --data-dir <path>

Now restart the services which we stopped earlier

$systemctl daemon-reload
$service etcd restart
$service kube-apiserver start
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Scaling Clusters📶

We have done the scaling of pods in the Kubernetes cluster very well. Now what if you want to scale your cluster? Let's see how it can be done.

According to the capacity worker nodes adjust themselves by adding or removing from the cluster.

Kubernetes provides several tools and methods for scaling a cluster, like:

  • Manual Scaling🫥
  • Horizontal Pod Autoscaler (HPA)▶️
  • Cluster Autoscaler↗️
  • Vertical Pod Autoscaler (VPA)⏫

Let's have a look at all one by one

Manual Scaling - As the name suggests, we have to scale it manually using the kubectl command. Or if you're using any cloud provider, increase or decrease the number of worker nodes manually.

Horizontal Pod Autoscaler (HPA) - It automatically scales the number of replicas of a deployment or a replica set based on the observed CPU utilisation or other custom metrics.

When defining the definition file, you must ensure the usage of memory and cpu

To use utilisation-based resource scaling, like this:

 type: Resource
   name: cpu
     type: Utilization
     averageUtilization: 60
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This is also known as "scaling out". It involves adding more replicas of a pod to a deployment or replica set to handle the increased load.

Cluster Autoscaler - Based on the pending pods and the available resources in the cluster, it automatically scales the number of worker nodes in a cluster.

Read more about this scaler in detail here!

Vertical Pod Autoscaler (VPA) - It automatically adjusts the resource requests and limits of the containers in a pod based on the observed resource usage.

It is also known as "scaling up," which involves increasing the CPU, memory, or other resources allocated to a single pod.

Thank you!🖤

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