Preparing for network disconnects - Amazon EKS
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Preparing for network disconnects

If your local network has lost connectivity with the Amazon Web Services Cloud, you can continue to use your local Amazon EKS cluster on an Outpost. This topic covers how you can prepare your local cluster for network disconnects and related considerations.

Considerations when preparing your local cluster for a network disconnect:
  • Local clusters enable stability and continued operations during temporary, unplanned network disconnects. Amazon Outposts remains a fully connected offering that acts as an extension of the Amazon Web Services Cloud in your data center. In the event of network disconnects between your Outpost and Amazon Web Services Cloud, we recommend attempting to restore your connection. For instruction, see Amazon Outposts rack network troubleshooting checklist in the Amazon Outposts User Guide. For more information about how to troubleshoot issues with local clusters, see Troubleshooting local clusters for Amazon EKS on Amazon Outposts.

  • Outposts emit a ConnectedStatus metric that you can use to monitor the connectivity state of your Outpost. For more information, see Outposts Metrics in the Amazon Outposts User Guide.

  • Local clusters use IAM as the default authentication mechanism using the Amazon Identity and Access Management authenticator for Kubernetes. IAM isn't available during network disconnects. So, local clusters support an alternative authentication mechanism using x.509 certificates that you can use to connect to your cluster during network disconnects. For information about how to obtain and use an x.509 certificate for your cluster, see Authenticating to your local cluster during a network disconnect.

  • If you can't access Route 53 during network disconnects, consider using local DNS servers in your on-premises environment. The Kubernetes control plane instances use static IP addresses. You can configure the hosts that you use to connect to your cluster with the endpoint hostname and IP addresses as an alternative to using local DNS servers. For more information, see DNS in the Amazon Outposts User Guide.

  • If you expect increases in application traffic during network disconnects, you can provision spare compute capacity in your cluster when connected to the cloud. Amazon EC2 instances are included in the price of Amazon Outposts. So, running spare instances doesn't impact your Amazon usage cost.

  • During network disconnects to enable create, update, and scale operations for workloads, your application's container images must be accessible over the local network and your cluster must have enough capacity. Local clusters don't host a container registry for you. If the Pods have previously run on those nodes, container images are cached on the nodes. If you typically pull your application's container images from Amazon ECR in the cloud, consider running a local cache or registry. A local cache or registry is helpful if you require create, update, and scale operations for workload resources during network disconnects.

  • Local clusters use Amazon EBS as the default storage class for persistent volumes and the Amazon EBS CSI driver to manage the lifecycle of Amazon EBS persistent volumes. During network disconnects, Pods that are backed by Amazon EBS can't be created, updated, or scaled. This is because these operations require calls to the Amazon EBS API in the cloud. If you're deploying stateful workloads on local clusters and require create, update, or scale operations during network disconnects, consider using an alternative storage mechanism.

  • Amazon EBS snapshots can't be created or deleted if Amazon Outposts can't access the relevant Amazon in-region APIs (such as the APIs for Amazon EBS or Amazon S3).

  • When integrating ALB (Ingress) with Amazon Certificate Manager (ACM), certificates are pushed and stored in memory of the Amazon Outposts ALB Compute instance. Current TLS termination will continue to operate in the event of a disconnect from the Amazon Web Services Region. Mutating operations in this context will fail (such as new ingress definitions, new ACM based certificates API operations, ALB compute scale, or certificate rotation). For more information, see Troubleshooting managed certificate renewal in the Amazon Certificate Manager User Guide.

  • The Amazon EKS control plane logs are cached locally on the Kubernetes control plane instances during network disconnects. Upon reconnect, the logs are sent to CloudWatch Logs in the parent Amazon Web Services Region. You can use Prometheus, Grafana, or Amazon EKS partner solutions to monitor the cluster locally using the Kubernetes API server's metrics endpoint or using Fluent Bit for logs.

  • If you're using the Amazon Load Balancer Controller on Outposts for application traffic, existing Pods fronted by the Amazon Load Balancer Controller continue to receive traffic during network disconnects. New Pods created during network disconnects don't receive traffic until the Outpost is reconnected to the Amazon Web Services Cloud. Consider setting the replica count for your applications while connected to the Amazon Web Services Cloud to accommodate your scaling needs during network disconnects.

  • The Amazon VPC CNI plugin for Kubernetes defaults to secondary IP mode. It's configured with WARM_ENI_TARGET=1, which allows the plugin to keep "a full elastic network interface" of available IP addresses available. Consider changing WARM_ENI_TARGET, WARM_IP_TARGET, and MINIMUM_IP_TARGET values according to your scaling needs during a disconnected state. For more information, see the readme file for the plugin on GitHub. For a list of the maximum number of Pods that's supported by each instance type, see the eni-max-pods.txt file on GitHub.

Authenticating to your local cluster during a network disconnect

Amazon Identity and Access Management (IAM) isn't available during network disconnects. You can't authenticate to your local cluster using IAM credentials while disconnected. However, you can connect to your cluster over your local network using x509 certificates when disconnected. You need to download and store a client X509 certificate to use during disconnects. In this topic, you learn how to create and use the certificate to authenticate to your cluster when it's in a disconnected state.

  1. Create a certificate signing request.

    1. Generate a certificate signing request.

      openssl req -new -newkey rsa:4096 -nodes -days 365 \ -keyout admin.key -out admin.csr -subj "/CN=admin"
    2. Create a certificate signing request in Kubernetes.

      BASE64_CSR=$(cat admin.csr | base64 -w 0) cat << EOF > admin-csr.yaml apiVersion: kind: CertificateSigningRequest metadata: name: admin-csr spec: signerName: request: ${BASE64_CSR} usages: - client auth EOF
  2. Create a certificate signing request using kubectl.

    kubectl create -f admin-csr.yaml
  3. Check the status of the certificate signing request.

    kubectl get csr admin-csr

    An example output is as follows.

    NAME AGE REQUESTOR CONDITION admin-csr 11m kubernetes-admin Pending

    Kubernetes created the certificate signing request.

  4. Approve the certificate signing request.

    kubectl certificate approve admin-csr
  5. Recheck the certificate signing request status for approval.

    kubectl get csr admin-csr

    An example output is as follows.

    NAME AGE REQUESTOR CONDITION admin-csr 11m kubernetes-admin Approved
  6. Retrieve and verify the certificate.

    1. Retrieve the certificate.

      kubectl get csr admin-csr -o jsonpath='{.status.certificate}' | base64 --decode > admin.crt
    2. Verify the certificate.

      cat admin.crt
  7. Create a cluster role binding for an admin user.

    kubectl create clusterrolebinding admin --clusterrole=cluster-admin \ --user=admin --group=system:masters
  8. Generate a user-scoped kubeconfig for a disconnected state.

    You can generate a kubeconfig file using the downloaded admin certificates. Replace my-cluster and apiserver-endpoint in the following commands.

    aws eks describe-cluster --name my-cluster \ --query "cluster.certificateAuthority" \ --output text | base64 --decode > ca.crt
    kubectl config --kubeconfig admin.kubeconfig set-cluster my-cluster \ --certificate-authority=ca.crt --server apiserver-endpoint --embed-certs
    kubectl config --kubeconfig admin.kubeconfig set-credentials admin \ --client-certificate=admin.crt --client-key=admin.key --embed-certs
    kubectl config --kubeconfig admin.kubeconfig set-context admin@my-cluster \ --cluster my-cluster --user admin
    kubectl config --kubeconfig admin.kubeconfig use-context admin@my-cluster
  9. View your kubeconfig file.

    kubectl get nodes --kubeconfig admin.kubeconfig
  10. If you have services already in production on your Outpost, skip this step. If Amazon EKS is the only service running on your Outpost and the Outpost isn't currently in production, you can simulate a network disconnect. Before you go into production with your local cluster, simulate a disconnect to make sure that you can access your cluster when it's in a disconnected state.

    1. Apply firewall rules on the networking devices that connect your Outpost to the Amazon Web Services Region. This disconnects the service link of the Outpost. You can't create any new instances. Currently running instances lose connectivity to the Amazon Web Services Region and the internet.

    2. You can test the connection to your local cluster while disconnected using the x509 certificate. Make sure to change your kubeconfig to the admin.kubeconfig that you created in a previous step. Replace my-cluster with the name of your local cluster.

      kubectl config use-context admin@my-cluster --kubeconfig admin.kubeconfig

    If you notice any issues with your local clusters while they're in a disconnected state, we recommend opening a support ticket.