Version 1.0. This version is no longer supported as outlined in the Anthos version support policy. For the latest patches and updates for security vulnerabilities, exposures, and issues impacting Anthos clusters on VMware (GKE on-prem), upgrade to a supported version. You can find the most recent version here.

Enabling manual load balancing mode

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GKE On-Prem clusters can run with one of two load balancing modes: "integrated" or "manual." With integrated mode, GKE On-Prem clusters run with the F5 BIG-IP load balancer. With manual mode, you manually configure a different load balancer. For example, you could manually configure the Citrix load balancer or the Seesaw load balancer.

Manual load balancing mode requires more configuration than integrated mode. This page describes the steps you need to take for manual mode.

Limitations

Using manual load balancing has the following limitations:

  • You cannot use DHCP to assign IP addresses to cluster nodes. You must assign static node IP addresses.

  • You cannot expose Services of type LoadBalancer to clients outside the cluster. However, you can create Services of type NodePort and manually configure your load balancer to use them as backends. You can also expose your Services by using Ingress objects.

  • If you add or delete cluster nodes, you must manually configure your load balancer accordingly.

About getting support for manual load balancing

Google does not provide support for load balancers configured using manual load balancing mode. If you encounter issues with the load balancer, reach out to the load balancer's vendor.

Reserve your IP addresses

Each cluster you create has three or more VMs, which are called nodes. Reserve an IP address for each node in the clusters you intend to create. For example, if you intend to create an admin cluster with four nodes and a user cluster with three nodes, reserve seven IP addresses for nodes. Configure your routers so that all node IP addresses are routable.

You also need to reserve the following VIPs for load balancing:

  • VIP for the admin control plane (port exposed: TCP 443)
  • VIP for the admin cluster ingress controller (ports exposed: TCP 80, TCP 443)
  • VIP for the add-on manager (port exposed: TCP 8443)
  • VIP for the user control plane (port exposed: TCP 443)
  • VIP for the user cluster ingress controller (ports exposed: TCP 80, TCP 443)

Reserve node ports

GKE On-Prem uses Kubernetes Service objects of type NodePort to route traffic to Pods.

A Service has a ports field, which is an array of ServicePort objects. In a Service of type NodePort, each ServicePort object has a protocol, a port, a nodePort, and a targetPort. For example, here is part of a manifest for a Service that has two ServicePort objects in its ports array:

...
kind: Service
...
spec:
  ...
  type: NodePort
  ports:
  - protocol: TCP
    port: 80
    nodePort: 32676
    targetPort: 8080
  - protocol: TCP
    port: 443
    nodePort: 32677
    targetPort: 443
...

Suppose the preceding Service represents the ingress controller for your user cluster. Also suppose that you have made the following choices:

  • 203.0.113.5 is the VIP for your user cluster ingress controller.
  • The node addresses for your user cluster are 192.168.0.10, 192.168.0.11, and 192.168.0.12.

After you have configured your load balancer, traffic is routed as follows:

  • A client sends a request to 203.0.113.5 on TCP port 80. The load balancer chooses a user cluster node. For this example, assume the node address is 192.168.0.11. The load balancer forwards the request to 192.168.0.11 on TCP port 32676. The iptables rules on the node forward the request to an appropriate Pod on TCP port 8080.

  • A client sends a request to the 203.0.113.5 on TCP port 443. The load balancer chooses a user cluster node. For this example, assume the node address is 192.168.0.10. The load balancer forwards the request to 192.168.0.10 on TCP port 32677. The iptables rules on the node forward the request to an appropriate Pod on TCP port 443.

You do not have to create the Service objects for your VIPs. GKE On-Prem does that for you. But for each (VIP, TCP port) pair, you must choose and specify the following:

  • A set of node IP addresses
  • A nodePort value

You need to reserve seven nodePort values:

  • nodePort for the admin cluster control plane, TCP port 443
  • nodePort for the admin cluster ingress controller, TCP port 80
  • nodePort for the admin cluster ingress controller, TCP port 443
  • nodePort for the add-on manager, TCP port 8443
  • nodePort for the user control plane, TCP port 80
  • nodePort for for the user cluster ingress controller, TCP port 80
  • nodePort for for the user cluster ingress controller, TCP port 443

Modify the GKE On-Prem configuration file

When you install GKE On-Prem, you generate a configuration file. You need to modify the following sections in your configuration file:

  • Set lbmode to Manual.

  • Set admincluster:ipblockfilepath to the path of the static IP YAML file for your admin cluster. This is documented in Configuring static IPs. DHCP is not an option for Manual mode.

  • Set usercluster: ipblockfilepath to the path of the static IP YAML file for your user cluster.

  • Update the admincluster:manuallbspec field with the nodePort values you have chosen for your admin cluster.

  • Update the usercluster:manuallbspec section with the nodePort values you have chosen for your user cluster.

The following example shows a portion of an updated configuration file:

lbmode: Manual

admincluster:
  ipblockfilepath: "ipblock1.yaml"
  manuallbspec:
    ingresshttpnodeport: 32527
    ingresshttpsnodeport: 30139
    controlplanenodeport: 30968
    addonsnodeport: 31405

usercluster:
  ipblockfilepath: "env/default/ipblock2.yaml"
  manuallbspec:
    ingresshttpnodeport: 30243
    ingresshttpsnodeport: 30879
    controlplanenodeport: 30562

Configure your load balancer

Now that you've updated the configuration file, log in to your load balancer's management console and configure your VIPs.

First, check to make sure that your admin cluster and user cluster have different IP address pools.

As previously mentioned, you need to configure five VIPs and seven ports. So you create seven virtual services on your load balancer:

  • Admin cluster control plane, TCP port 443
  • Admin cluster ingress controller, TCP port 80
  • Admin cluster ingress controller, TCP port 443
  • Add-on manager, TCP port 8443
  • User control plane, TCP port 80
  • User cluster ingress controller, TCP port 80
  • User cluster ingress controller, TCP port 443

What's next

Troubleshooting

For more information, refer to Troubleshooting.