Hierarchy Controller gives you better observability into your workloads by using both the hierarchical and abstract namespaces in your cluster. It achieves this by propagating your cluster's tree labels to your Pods, making them available to any system that can ingest Kubernetes labels, including:
For example, consider a workload running in a namespace from the example repository.
Hierarchy Controller lets you select Pods, logs, or usage metering generated
by any workload that is a descendant of
rnd, or any
other abstract namespace. This includes not only the workloads in namespaces
located in the Git repository such as
gamestore, but also any
Hierarchy Controller child namespace that you might create as a descendant
of those namespaces.
Enabling hierarchical observability
Hierarchical observability is provided by Hierarchy Controller. To enable hierarchical observability, do the following:
In the configuration file for the Config Sync Operator, in the
spec.hierarchyControllerobject, set the value of
# config-management.yaml apiVersion: configmanagement.gke.io/v1 kind: ConfigManagement metadata: name: config-management spec: hierarchyController: enabled: true # Set to true to enable hierarchical observability: enablePodTreeLabels: true # ...other fields...
Apply the configuration:
kubectl apply -f config-management.yaml
After about a minute, Hierarchy Controller and hierarchical observability become usable on your cluster.
When hierarchical observability is enabled, Hierarchy Controller installs a mutating admission webhook to add the tree labels onto the Pods. To verify that this webhook is working correctly:
Start a workload in any namespace, such as the following:
kubectl run websvr --image=nginx --namespace default --generator=run-pod/v1
Inspect the Pod and verify that it contains the
kubectl describe pod --namespace default websvr
Name: websvr Namespace: default # ...other fields... Labels: default.tree.hnc.x-k8s.io/depth=0 # This is the Pod tree label # ...other labels... # ...other fields...
Clean up the workload:
kubectl delete pod --namespace default websvr
Existing Pods do not receive the Pod tree labels; these labels are only added to new Pods. For more information, see Limitations, later in this document.
Using hierarchical workload observability
After Pod tree labels are enabled, they can be used to improve hierarchical workload observability both inside clusters and in other Google Cloud products.
Querying Pods by hierarchy
Any Kubernetes operation that includes a label selector can be used to query Pod
tree labels. For example, to view all Pods in all namespaces that are running in
a descendant of the
default namespace, use the following query:
kubectl get pods --all-namespaces -l default.tree.hnc.x-k8s.io/depth
Output based on the sample workload that we created to verify the installation:
NAMESPACE NAME READY STATUS RESTARTS AGE default websvr 1/1 Running 0 70s
Querying Cloud Logging by hierarchy
Cloud Logging supports a slightly different format for labels than
Kubernetes. For example, to search for any workload running in a descendant of
default namespace, instead of searching for the Kubernetes label
default.tree.hnc.x-k8s.io/depth, Cloud Logging expects a
query similar to the following in
the Google Cloud Console:
Alternatively, you can use a similar filter in the
gcloud command-line tool:
gcloud logging read "resource.type=k8s_container AND labels.k8s-pod/default_tree_hnc_x-k8s_io/depth!=''"
Querying GKE usage metering by hierarchy
You can use Pod tree labels to attribute requests and usages from GKE usage metering to namespace trees. To enable hierarchical usage metering:
Enable regular GKE usage metering on your cluster.
Confirm that the data is being ingested to BigQuery. In the Cloud Console, go to BigQuery.
Follow the prerequisites for enabling GKE cluster usage metering section to enable visualization for GKE usage metering.
Open Google Data Studio, click Blank Report, and then select BigQuery as the data source.
Select Custom query and search for your project ID. In the text box on the right, enter your customized query. For examples of the custom queries, see the following sections.
Example: total usage of every subtree
This query returns the usage for every regular, abstract, and hierarchical namespace in the cluster, including all their descendants:
SELECT REGEXP_EXTRACT(label.key, r"^[a-zA-Z0-9\-]+") as subtree, resource_name, usage.unit, SUM(usage.amount) AS usage_amount FROM `PROJECT_NAME.DATASET_NAME.TABLE_NAME`, UNNEST(labels) AS label WHERE regexp_contains(label.key, "tree.hnc.x-k8s.io/depth") GROUP BY subtree, resource_name, usage.unit ORDER BY resource_name ASC, subtree ASC
Partial sample output:
In this example, the usage attributed to namespace
a includes the usage of
its descendant namespaces
a2, which are also shown.
Example: usage of a single subtree
This query displays the total amount of usage under namespace
a and all its
SELECT resource_name, usage.unit, SUM(usage.amount) AS usage_amount FROM `PROJECT_NAME.DATASET_NAME.TABLE_NAME`, UNNEST(labels) AS label WHERE label.key="SUBTREE_NAME.tree.hnc.x-k8s.io/depth" GROUP BY resource_name, usage.unit
Sample output for namespace
Example: usage of all namespaces in a subtree
This query displays the individual usage of every namespace in a given subtree:
SELECT namespace, resource_name, SUM(usage.amount) AS usage_amount FROM `PROJECT_NAME.DATASET_NAME.TABLE_NAME`, UNNEST(labels) AS label WHERE label.key="SUBTREE_NAME.tree.hnc.x-k8s.io/depth" GROUP BY namespace, resource_name
Sample output for namespace
a itself contains no usage, so it is not listed in the results of
Limitations of hierarchical monitoring
The following are limitations of hierarchical monitoring.
Changes to the hierarchy are ignored
Pod tree labels are added to Pods when they are created and are not modified after the Pod starts running. This means that Pods that were started before hierarchical monitoring was enabled do not receive Pod tree labels.
In addition, any Pod whose hierarchy changes after the Pod was started—for example, by using Hierarchy Controller to change the parent of a namespace—does not have its labels updated. While hierarchy modifications are typically quite rare, if this situation occurs and is causing a problem, ensure that you restart all affected Pods after modifying the hierarchy.
Pods are still created even if labels cannot be applied
Hierarchical monitoring does not apply to Pods running in key system namespaces
hnc-system. However, the webhook configuration itself
has no way to exclude these namespaces. Therefore, if Hierarchy Controller
encounters a problem, Pod creation in all namespaces could be impacted.
As a result, rather than risk a cluster-wide outage, if Hierarchy Controller
cannot process a Pod within two seconds, the webhook fails and allows the Pod to
be created without the labels. Such webhook failures can be monitored via the
Kubernetes API server
by looking for failures of the
podlabel.hierarchycontroller.configmanagement.gke.io mutating admission
Learn more about common tasks that you might want to use HNC to accomplish in the HNC User Guide: How-to.