Version 1.8. This version is supported as outlined in the Anthos version support policy, offering the latest patches and updates for security vulnerabilities, exposures, and issues impacting Anthos clusters on bare metal. For more details, see the release notes 1.8. This is the most recent version. For a complete list of each minor and patch release in chronological order, see the combined release notes.

Available versions: 1.8  |   1.7  |   1.6

Configure multiple network interfaces for pods

This document describes how to configure Anthos clusters on bare metal to provide multiple network interfaces, multi-NIC, for your pods. The multi-NIC for pods feature can help separate control plane traffic from data plane traffic, creating isolation between planes. Additional network interfaces also enable multicast capability for your pods. Multi-NIC for pods is supported for user clusters, hybrid clusters, and standalone clusters. It is not allowed for admin type clusters.

Network plane isolation is important for systems using network functions virtualizations (NFVs), such as software-defined networking in a wide area network (SD-WAN), a cloud access security broker (CASB), and next-generation firewalls (NG-FWs). These types of NFVs rely on access to multiple interfaces to keep the management and data planes separate, while running as containers.

The multiple network interface configuration supports associating network interfaces with node pools, which can provide performance benefits. Clusters can contain a mix of node types. When you group high-performance machines into one node pool, you can add additional interfaces to the node pool to improve traffic flow.

Setting up multiple network interfaces

Generally, there are three steps to set up multiple network interfaces for your pods:

  1. Enable multi-NIC for your cluster with the multipleNetworkInterfaces field in the cluster custom resource.

  2. Specify network interfaces with NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resources.

  3. Assign network interfaces to pods with the k8s.v1.cni.cncf.io/networks annotation.

Additional information is provided to help you configure and use the multi-NIC feature in a way that best suits your networking requirements.

Enabling multi-NIC

Enable multi-NIC for your pods by adding the multipleNetworkInterfaces field to the clusterNetwork section of the cluster custom resource and setting it to true.

  ...
  clusterNetwork:
    multipleNetworkInterfaces: true
    pods:
      cidrBlocks:
      - 192.168.0.0/16
    services:
      cidrBlocks:
      - 10.96.0.0/12
  ...

Specifying network interfaces

Use NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resources to specify additional network interfaces. The NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resources correspond to the networks that are available for your pods. You can specify the custom resources within the cluster configuration, as shown in the following example, or you can create the NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resources directly:

---
apiVersion: baremetal.cluster.gke.io/v1
kind: Cluster
metadata:
  name: my-cluster
  namespace: cluster-my-cluster
spec:
    type: user
    clusterNetwork:
      multipleNetworkInterfaces: true
...
---
apiVersion: "k8s.cni.cncf.io/v1"
kind: NetworkAttachmentDefinition
metadata:
  name: gke-network-1
  namespace: cluster-my-cluster
spec:
  config: '{
  "type": "ipvlan",
  "master": "enp2342",  # defines the node interface that this pod interface would
                         map to.
  "mode": "l2",
  "ipam": {
    "type": "whereabouts",
    "range": "172.120.0.0/24"
  }
}'
---
apiVersion: "k8s.cni.cncf.io/v1"
kind: NetworkAttachmentDefinition
metadata:
  name: gke-network-2
  namespace: cluster-my-cluster
spec:
  config: '{
  "type": "macvlan",
  "mode": "bridge",
  "master": "vlan102",
  "ipam": {
    "type": "static",
    "addresses": [
      {
        "address": "10.10.0.1/24",
        "gateway": "10.10.0.254"
      }
    ],
    "routes": [
      { "dst": "192.168.0.0/16", "gw": "10.10.5.1" }
    ]
  }
}'

When you specify the NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resource in your cluster configuration file, Anthos clusters on bare metal uses this name to control the NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resource after cluster creation. Anthos clusters on bare metal treats this custom resource inside the cluster namespace as the source of truth and reconciles it to the default namespace of the target cluster.

The following diagram illustrates how Anthos clusters on bare metal reconciles NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resources from the cluster-specific namespace to the default namespace.

NetworkAttachmentDefinition reconciliation

Although it is optional, we recommend that you specify NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resources this way, during cluster creation. User clusters benefit the most when you specify the custom resources during cluster creation, because you can then control the NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resources from the admin cluster.

If you choose not to specify NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resources during cluster creation, you can add NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resources directly to an existing target cluster. Anthos clusters on bare metal reconciles NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resources defined in the cluster namespace. Reconciliation also happens upon deletion. When a NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resource is removed from a cluster namespace, Anthos clusters on bare metal removes the custom resource from the target cluster.

Assigning network interfaces to a pod

Use the k8s.v1.cni.cncf.io/networks annotation to assign one or more network interfaces to a pod. Each network interface is specified with a namespace and the name of a NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resource, separated by a forward slash (/).

---
apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
  name: samplepod
  annotations:
    k8s.v1.cni.cncf.io/networks: NAMESPACE/NAD_NAME
spec:
  containers:
  ...

Replace the following:

  • NAMESPACE: the namespace. Use default for the default namespace, which is standard. See Security concerns for an exception.
  • NAD_NAME: the name of the NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resource.

Use a comma-separated list to specify multiple network interfaces.

In the following example, two network interfaces are assigned to the samplepod Pod. The network interfaces are specified by names of two NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resources, gke-network-1 and gke-network-2, in the default namespace of the target cluster.

---
apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
  name: samplepod
  annotations:
    k8s.v1.cni.cncf.io/networks: default/gke-network-1,default/gke-network-2
spec:
  containers:
  ...

Restricting network interfaces to a NodePool

You must specify with the k8s.v1.cni.cncf.io/nodeSelector annotation a pool of nodes for which a NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resource is valid. Anthos clusters on bare metal forces any pods that reference this custom resource to be deployed on those specific nodes. In the following example, Anthos clusters on bare metal forces deployment of all pods that are assigned the gke-network-1 network interface to the multinicNP NodePool. Anthos clusters on bare metal labels a NodePool with the baremetal.cluster.gke.io/node-pool label accordingly.

apiVersion: "k8s.cni.cncf.io/v1"
kind: NetworkAttachmentDefinition
metadata:
  annotations:
    k8s.v1.cni.cncf.io/nodeSelector: baremetal.cluster.gke.io/node-pool=multinicNP
  name: gke-network-1
spec:
...

You are not limited to using the standard labels. You can create your own, custom pools from the cluster nodes by applying a custom label to those nodes. Use the kubectl label nodes command to apply a custom label:

kubectl label nodes NODE_NAME LABEL_KEY=LABEL_VALUE

Replace the following:

  • NODE_NAME: the name of the Node you are labeling.
  • LABEL_KEY: the key to use for your label.
  • LABEL_VALUE: the label name.

Once the node is labeled, apply the baremetal.cluster.gke.io/label-taint-no-sync annotation on that node to prevent Anthos clusters on bare metal from reconciling the labels. Use the kubectl get nodes --show-labels command to verify if a node is labeled.

Security concerns

A NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resource provides full access to a network, so cluster administrators must be cautious about providing create, update, or delete access to other users. If a given NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resource has to be isolated, it can be placed in a non-default namespace, where only the pods from that namespace can access it. NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resources specified in the cluster configuration file are always reconciled to default namespace.

In the following diagram, pods from the default namespace can't access the network interface in the privileged namespace.

Use of namespaces to isolate network traffic

Supported CNI plugins

This section lists the CNI plugins supported by the multi-NIC feature for Anthos clusters on bare metal. Use only the following plugins when specifying a NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resource.

Interface creation:

  • ipvlan
  • macvlan
  • bridge

Meta plugins:

  • portmap
  • sbr
  • tuning

IPAM plugins:

  • host-local
  • static
  • whereabouts

Routing

A pod with one or more assigned NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resources has multiple network interfaces. By default, the routing table in this situation is extended with the locally available additional interfaces from assigned NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resources only. The default gateway is still configured to use the master/default interface of the pod, eth0.

You can modify this behavior by using the following CNI plugins:

  • sbr
  • static
  • whereabouts

For example, you might want all traffic to go through the default gateway, the default interface. However, some specific traffic goes over one of the non-default interfaces. Traffic can be difficult to disambiguate based on destination IP (normal routing), because the same endpoint is available over both the interface types. In this case, source-based routing (SBR) can help.

SBR plugin

The sbr plugin gives the application control over routing decisions. The application controls what is used as the source IP address of the connection it establishes. When the application chooses to use the NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resource's IP address for its source IP, packets land in the additional routing table sbr has set up. The sbr routing table establishes the NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resource's interface as the default gateway. The default gateway IP inside that table is controlled with the gateway field inside whereabouts or static plugins. Provide the sbr plugin as a chained plugin. For more information about the sbr plugin, including usage information, see Source-based routing plugin.

The following example shows "gateway":"21.0.111.254" set in whereabouts, and sbr set as chained plugin after ipvlan:

# ip route
default via 192.168.0.64 dev eth0  mtu 1500
192.168.0.64 dev eth0 scope link
# ip route list table 100
default via 21.0.111.254 dev net1
21.0.104.0/21 dev net1 proto kernel scope link src 21.0.111.1

Static and whereabouts plugins

The whereabouts plugin is basically an extension of the static plugin and these two share the routing configuration. For a configuration example, see static IP address management plugin. You can define a gateway and route to add to the pod's routing table. You can't, however, modify the default gateway of the pod in this way.

The following example shows the addition of "routes": [{ "dst": "172.31.0.0/16" }] in the NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resource:

# ip route
default via 192.168.0.64 dev eth0  mtu 1500
172.31.0.0/16 via 21.0.111.254 dev net1
21.0.104.0/21 dev net1 proto kernel scope link src 21.0.111.1
192.168.0.64 dev eth0 scope link

Configuration examples

This section illustrates some of the common network configurations supported by the multi-NIC feature.

Single network attachment used by multiple pods

Single network attachment used by multiple pods

Multiple network attachments used by single pod

Multiple network attachments used by single pod

Multiple network attachments pointing to same interface used by single pod

Multiple network attachments pointing to same interface used by single pod

Same network attachment used multiple times by single pod

Same network attachment used multiple times by single pod

Troubleshooting

If additional network interfaces are misconfigured, the pods to which they are assigned don't start. This section highlights how to find information for troubleshooting issues with the multi-NIC feature.

Check pod events

Multus reports failures through Kubernetes pod events. Use the following kubectl describe command to view events for a given pod:

kubectl describe pod POD_NAME

Check logs

For each node, you can find Whereabouts and Multus logs at the following locations:

  • /var/log/whereabouts.log
  • /var/log/multus.log

Review pod interfaces

Use the kubectl exec command to check your pod interfaces. Once the NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resources are successfully applied, the pod interfaces look like the following output:

user@node1:~$ kubectl exec samplepod-5c6df74f66-5jgxs -- ip a
1: lo: <LOOPBACK,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 65536 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN group default qlen 1000
    link/loopback 00:00:00:00:00:00 brd 00:00:00:00:00:00
    inet 127.0.0.1/8 scope host lo
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
2: net1: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN group default
    link/ether 00:50:56:82:3e:f0 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
    inet 21.0.103.112/21 scope global net1
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
38: eth0@if39: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc noqueue state UP group default
    link/ether 36:23:79:a9:26:b3 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff link-netnsid 0
    inet 192.168.2.191/32 scope global eth0
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever

Get pod status

Use the kubectl get to retrieve the network status for a given pod:

kubectl get pods POD_NAME -oyaml

Here's a sample output that shows the status of a pod with multiple networks:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
  annotations:
    k8s.v1.cni.cncf.io/network-status: |-
      [{
          "name": "",
          "interface": "eth0",
          "ips": [
              "192.168.1.88"
          ],
          "mac": "36:0e:29:e7:42:ad",
          "default": true,
          "dns": {}
      },{
          "name": "default/gke-network-1",
          "interface": "net1",
          "ips": [
              "21.0.111.1"
          ],
          "mac": "00:50:56:82:a7:ab",
          "dns": {}
      }]
    k8s.v1.cni.cncf.io/networks: gke-network-1