Kubernetes 1.13: a review of major innovations

    At the beginning of this week , the next release of Kubernetes, which was dubbed “Angelic”, took place - 1.13 . This name is associated with the number 113, which is considered "angelic" and, according to the Kubernetes developers, it symbolizes "new beginnings, transformation and the end of one chapter before the opening of new ones". Without going into further analysis of the symbolism of what is happening, according to the tradition already established for our blog, we will tell about the key changes in the new version of Kubernetes for the seventh time, which are intended to please DevOps- / SRE-engineers working with this product.

    We used data from the table Kubernetes enhancements tracking , CHANGELOG-1.13 as sources of information. and related issues, pull requests, Kubernetes Enhancement Proposals (KEP).

    GA for kubeadm

    One of the main events of the release of Kubernetes 1.13 was the announcement of a stable status (General Availability, GA) for the console utility kubeadm . In the K8s blog, a separate publication was even dedicated to this . As many know, kubeadm is a tool for creating Kubernetes clusters according to the best practices of the project, as well as their further minimal maintenance. A distinctive feature is that developers strive to keep it compact and independent from the supplier / infrastructure, not including in it such issues as infrastructure provisioning, third-party network solutions, add-ons (monitoring, logging, etc.), specific integration with cloud providers.

    GA status marked kubeadm maturity in the following issues:

    • a stable console interface that follows the Kubernetes obsolescence policy: commands and flags presented in the GA release must be maintained for at least a year after being declared obsolete;
    • stable implementation “under the hood” due to the fact that the cluster is created by methods that will not change in the near future: the control plane runs as a set of static pods, bootstrap tokenskubeadm join are used for , and the ComponentConfig is used to configure the kubelet ;
    • configuration scheme with a new API (v1beta1), which allows declaratively describe almost all cluster components (GitOps becomes possible for clusters created from kubeadm) - an upgrade to version v1 is planned with no or minimal changes;
    • the so-called phases (or toolbox interface ) in kubeadm ( kubeadm init phase), allowing you to choose which initialization procedures will be performed;
    • the team kubeadm upgradeensures cluster updates between releases 1.10.x, 1.11.x, 1.12.x and 1.13.x (updates etcd, API Server, Controller Manager and Scheduler);
    • secure etcd installation by default (ubiquitously uses TLS) with the option to expand to an HA cluster if necessary.

    You can also note that kubeadm now correctly recognizes Docker 18.09.0 and its newer versions. Finally, the developers ask kubeadm users to go through a small online survey where they can express their wishes for using and developing the project.

    CoreDNS default

    CoreDNS, which received a stable status in the Kubernetes 1.11 release , went even further and became the default DNS server in K8s (instead of the kube-dns used so far). It was planned that this would happen as early as 1.12, however, developers were faced with the need for additional optimizations in scalability and memory consumption, which were completed only for the current release.

    Support for kube-dns will continue “at least for the next release,” but developers are talking about the need to start migrating to the actual solution now.

    Of the CoreDNS theme-related changes in Kubernetes 1.13, you can also note the appearance of the NodeLocal DNS Cache plugin .designed to improve DNS performance. The improvement is achieved by running on the cluster nodes the agent for the DNS cache, which will be directly accessed by the pods of this node. By default, the function is disabled, and for its activation must be set KUBE_ENABLE_NODELOCAL_DNS=true.


    Much attention in recent releases of Kubernetes is paid to working with the Container Storage Interface (CSI), which began with the alpha version of CSI in K8s 1.9 , continued with the beta version at 1.10 ... However, we already wrote about it more than once . A new milestone has been achieved in K8s 1.13: CSI support has been declared stable (GA).

    (Scheme from the article "We understand the Container Storage Interface ")

    At the same time, support for the CSI version v1.0.0 specification appeared and support for older versions of the standard (0.3 and earlier) was recognized as obsolete. This means that older CSI drivers for working with Kubernetes 1.15 and higher versions will need to be updated to CSI 1.0 (and moving to the new Kubelet plug-in registration directory). By the way, from the drivers themselves it is worth noting the appearance of the alpha version of the CSI interface for managing the life cycle of AWS EBS (Elastic Block Store) volumes.

    The new addon manager now automatically installs CRD from CSI if at least one of the two feature gates is activated: CSIDriverRegistryand CSINodeInfo. It has the status of an alpha version, and in fact is only a temporary solution to the problem, described in detail as a CRD installation mechanism..

    Volume planning with topology ( Topology Aware Volume Scheduling ), which we described in the context of the Kubernetes 1.10 release, has become stable . In short, with him the scheduler in his work takes into account the limitations of the topology of the pod volume (for example, its zone and node).

    The possibility of using block raw devices (not networked), which was presented in Kubernetes 1.9 as Persistent Volumes, was transferred to the beta version and is now enabled by default. We conclude the repository topic with the fact that support for GCERegionalPersistentDisk is declared stable.

    Cluster nodes

    An alpha version of support for third-party plug-ins for monitoring devices . The idea behind this initiative is to bring out device-specific out-of-tree knowledge from Kubelet . Cluster administrators will receive metrics reported by device plug-ins at the container level, and manufacturers will be able to create these metrics without the need to make changes to the Kubernetes core. Details of the implementation can be found in the proposal, called Kubelet Metadata API .

    Declared stable Kubelet Plugin Watcher (also called Kubelet Device Plugin Registration), which allows node-level plugins (device plug-ins, CSI and CNI) to report and interact with Kubelet about themselves.

    New feature in alpha version status - NodeLease . If earlier the heartbeat of a node was determined by NodeStatus, then with a new feature, each node will have an object associated with it Lease(in the namespacekube-node-lease), which is periodically updated by the node. "Pulse" now set both parameters: the old NodeStatus, which is communicated to the master only in case of changes or at a fixed timeout (by default, this is once a minute), and a new object (it is updated frequently). Since this object is quite small, it will greatly improve scalability and performance. The authors took up the creation of a new “pulse” after testing clusters with a size of more than 2000 nodes, which during their work could rest on the limits etcd, see KEP-0009 for more details .

    type Lease struct {
      metav1.TypeMeta `json:",inline"`
      // Standard object's metadata.
      // More info: https://git.k8s.io/community/contributors/devel/api-conventions.md#metadata
      // +optional
      ObjectMeta metav1.ObjectMeta `json:"metadata,omitempty"`
      // Specification of the Lease.
      // More info: https://git.k8s.io/community/contributors/devel/api-conventions.md#spec-and-status
      // +optional
      Spec LeaseSpec `json:"spec,omitempty"`
    type LeaseSpec struct {
      HolderIdentity       string           `json:"holderIdentity"`
      LeaseDurationSeconds int32            `json:"leaseDurationSeconds"`
      AcquireTime          metav1.MicroTime `json:"acquireTime"`
      RenewTime            metav1.MicroTime `json:"renewTime"`
      LeaseTransitions     int32            `json:"leaseTransitions"`

    (Compact specification of the new object to represent the “pulse” of the node - Lease- is identical LeaderElectionRecord)


    The alpha version of Dynamic Audit Control follows the ideas of Dynamic Admission Control and provides dynamic configuration of advanced audit capabilities — for this you can now register (dynamically) the webhook that will receive the event flow. The need for this feature is due to the fact that the audit at Kubernetes offers very powerful features, but they are difficult to configure, and each configuration change still required an apiserver reboot.

    Data encryption to etcd (see official documentation ) has been transferred from experimental status to beta version.

    kind: EncryptionConfiguration
    apiVersion: apiserver.config.k8s.io/v1
      - resources:
        - secrets
        - identity: {}
        - aesgcm:
            - name: key1
              secret: c2VjcmV0IGlzIHNlY3VyZQ==
            - name: key2
              secret: dGhpcyBpcyBwYXNzd29yZA==
        - aescbc:
            - name: key1
              secret: c2VjcmV0IGlzIHNlY3VyZQ==
            - name: key2
              secret: dGhpcyBpcyBwYXNzd29yZA==
        - secretbox:
            - name: key1
              secret: YWJjZGVmZ2hpamtsbW5vcHFyc3R1dnd4eXoxMjM0NTY=

    (An example of a configuration with encrypted data is taken from the documentation .)

    Among the less significant innovations in this category:

    • Now apiserver can be configured to refuse requests that can not get into the audit-logs.
    • The objects PodSecurityPolicywere added support for the rules MayRunAsfor options fsGroupand supplementalGroupsallowing to determine the range of allowed group identifiers (GID) for pods / containers without forcing the default GID. In addition, a strategy isPodSecurityPolicy now possible in the pod specification RunAsGroup, i.e. can control the main GID for containers.
    • For kube-scheduler, they replaced the old insecure port (10251) with a new secure (10259) port and enabled it by default. If no additional flags are specified, then self-signed certificates are created in the memory for downloading.


    The team kubectl diff, showing the difference between the local configuration and the actual description of the working object (works recursively for directories with configuration), received a beta status.

    In fact, it diff“predicts” the changes that will be made with the execution of the command kubectl apply, and another new feature is used for this - APIServer DryRun . Its essence - idle launch - should be clear from the title, and a more detailed description is available in the Kubernetes documentation . By the way, in release 1.13, the DryRun feature was also “upgraded” to the beta version and enabled by default.

    And one more advance to beta in the console world of Kubernetes touched upon the new plugin mechanism . Along the way in itcorrected the order of output of plug-ins ( kubectl plugin list), removing the additional sorting from there.

    In addition, ephemeral-storage resources kubectl describe nodewere added to the output , and projected volumes were added to volumes .kubectl describe pod

    Other changes

    The Taint Based Eviction scheduler feature has been transferred to beta status and is enabled by default after a long lull in development. Its purpose is to automatically add taints to nodes (using a NodeController or kubelet) when certain conditions occur, such as, for example node.kubernetes.io/not-ready, which corresponds to the value NodeConditionin Ready=False.

    Annotation critical for the operation of the cluster of pods - critical-pod- declared obsolete. Instead, it is proposed to use priorities (in beta with Kubernetes 1.11) .

    For the first time, AWS (within the framework of alpha versions) became available:

    • AWS ALB (Application Load Balancer) integration with Kubernetes Ingress resources — aws-alb-ingress-controller (the project was originally created by Ticketmaster and CoreOS to migrate first to the AWS cloud);
    • AWS's external CCM (Cloud Controller Manager), cloud-provider-aws , is responsible for running controllers with cloud-specific provider (AWS) functionality.

    SIG Azure implemented additional support for Azure Disk (Ultra SSD, Standard SSD and Premium Azure Files) and advanced Cross resource group nodes to the beta version. In addition, in CNI-plug-ins for Windows, it is possible to configure DNS in the container.


    • Version etcd - 3.2.24 (not changed from Kubernetes 1.12).
    • Checked Docker versions - 1.11.1, 1.12.1, 1.13.1, 17.03, 17.06, 17.09, 18.06 (also did not change).
    • Go version - 1.11.2, coincides with the minimum supported.
    • CNI version is 0.6.0.
    • The CSI version is 1.0.0.
    • CoreDNS version - 1.2.6.


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