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Hidden Gems of Kops - Kubernetes Deployment Tool

devnunes profile image Rafael Nunes Originally published at Medium ・2 min read

Kops is one of the most common Kubernetes provision tool. It is certified CNCF project. Kops officially supports AWS and has beta support for GCE and Openstack.

In this blog post, I will briefly discuss hidden gems of the kops that might be useful provisioning your Kubernetes cluster. It doesn't mean that no-one knows what I mentioned here, it means that it is very useful information but not very common.

Execute any script after your machine is started

Kops supports adding your custom scripts to instance groups. So you can install any tool, application before kops provisions the kubernetes.

  - name: script.sh
    type: text/x-shellscript
    content: |
      echo "Hello World.

My use case for additionalUserData is assigning static ip to my instances. I have small script that assigns static ip when the machine starts so my kubernetes cluster nodes get assigned AWS Elastic IPs.

Enable Kubernetes Audit Logs

One of the great feature of Kubernetes is audit logs. So you can see what is going on in your cluster. You can log every action in your cluster and see what changes are applied. In Kops you can specify audit log file in cluster configuration as following:

    auditLogPath: /var/log/kube-apiserver-audit.log
    auditLogMaxAge: 10
    auditLogMaxBackups: 1
    auditLogMaxSize: 100
    auditPolicyFile: /srv/kubernetes/audit.yaml

Use Spot Instance

It is possible to create instance group from spot instances. You can specify maxPrice in your instance group configuration.

  image: kope.io/k8s-1.8-debian-jessie-amd64-hvm-ebs-2018-02-08
  machineType: t2.medium
  maxPrice: "0.20"

It is possible to define advanced spot instance configuration. You can find more info from here.

Enable Detailed Monitoring

If you are using AWS then you can enable detailed monitoring for your instances. In Kops it can be enabled in instance groups.

   detailedInstanceMonitoring: true

You can see more information and pricing from here.

Configure Kernel Parameters

Starting from Kops 1.17, it is possible to specify kernel parameters.

apiVersion: kops.k8s.io/v1alpha2
kind: InstanceGroup
  name: nodes
    - fs.pipe-user-pages-soft=524288
    - net.ipv4.tcp_keepalive_time=200

Validating Cluster and Dumping Configuration

It might be very simple command but Kops has validate command that validates the cluster and its health.

kops validate cluster

Cluster information can be dumped by:

kops toolbox dump


This blog post explained some of the useful features of the Kops. If you have other hidden gems please put a comment and I would be very happy update the blogpost with your name and make a collaborative work!

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Lambda Store

Lambda Store is the first the `serverless Redis` service. In this blog, Lambda Store engineering team shares their experiences on Cloud, AWS, Kubernetes, Redis and of course Lambda Store.


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