Deploying a stateful application

This page explains how to deploy a stateful application using Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE).

Overview

Stateful applications save data to persistent disk storage for use by the server, by clients, and by other applications. An example of a stateful application is a database or key-value store to which data is saved and retrieved by other applications.

Persistent storage can be dynamically provisioned, so that the underlying volumes are created on demand. In Kubernetes, you configure dynamic provisioning by creating a StorageClass. In GKE, a default StorageClass allows you to dynamically provision Compute Engine persistent disks.

Kubernetes uses the StatefulSet controller to deploy stateful applications as StatefulSet objects. Pods in StatefulSets are not interchangeable: each Pod has a unique identifier that is maintained no matter where it is scheduled.

Stateful applications are different from stateless applications, in which client data is not saved to the server between sessions.

You can learn more about persistent storage in multi-zonal and regional clusters.

Before you begin

Before you start, make sure you have performed the following tasks:

Set up default gcloud settings using one of the following methods:

  • Using gcloud init, if you want to be walked through setting defaults.
  • Using gcloud config, to individually set your project ID, zone, and region.

Using gcloud init

If you receive the error One of [--zone, --region] must be supplied: Please specify location, complete this section.

  1. Run gcloud init and follow the directions:

    gcloud init

    If you are using SSH on a remote server, use the --console-only flag to prevent the command from launching a browser:

    gcloud init --console-only
  2. Follow the instructions to authorize gcloud to use your Google Cloud account.
  3. Create a new configuration or select an existing one.
  4. Choose a Google Cloud project.
  5. Choose a default Compute Engine zone for zonal clusters or a region for regional or Autopilot clusters.

Using gcloud config

  • Set your default project ID:
    gcloud config set project PROJECT_ID
  • If you are working with zonal clusters, set your default compute zone:
    gcloud config set compute/zone COMPUTE_ZONE
  • If you are working with Autopilot or regional clusters, set your default compute region:
    gcloud config set compute/region COMPUTE_REGION
  • Update gcloud to the latest version:
    gcloud components update
  • Ensure your containerized application is stored in an image registry, such as Container Registry.

You can follow the quickstart, to enable the GKE API, create a cluster, and learn more about GKE.

Requesting persistent storage in a StatefulSet

Applications can request persistent storage with a PersistentVolumeClaim.

Typically, you must create PersistentVolumeClaim objects in addition to creating the Pod. However, StatefulSet objects include a volumeClaimTemplates array, which automatically generates the PersistentVolumeClaim objects. Each StatefulSet replica gets its own PersistentVolumeClaim object.

You can also use a preexisting disk in a StatefulSet.

Creating a StatefulSet

To create a StatefulSet resource, use the kubectl apply command.

The kubectl apply command uses manifest files to create, update, and delete resources in your cluster. This is a declarative method of object configuration. This method retains writes made to live objects without merging the changes back into the object configuration files.

Linux

The following manifest file is a simple example of a StatefulSet governed by a Service that has been created separately:

apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: StatefulSet
metadata:
  name: STATEFULSET_NAME
spec:
  selector:
    matchLabels:
      app: APP_NAME
  serviceName: "SERVICE_NAME"
  replicas: 3
  updateStrategy:
    type: RollingUpdate
  template:
    metadata:
      labels:
        app: APP_NAME
    spec:
      containers:
      - name: CONTAINER_NAME
        image: ...
        ports:
        - containerPort: 80
          name: PORT_NAME
        volumeMounts:
        - name: PVC_NAME
          mountPath: ...
  volumeClaimTemplates:
  - metadata:
      name: PVC_NAME
      annotations:
        ...
    spec:
      accessModes: [ "ReadWriteOnce" ]
      resources:
        requests:
          storage: 1Gi

Replace the following:

  • STATEFULSET_NAME: the name of the StatefulSet.
  • SERVICE_NAME: the name of the Service.
  • APP_NAME: the name of the application run in the Pods.
  • CONTAINER_NAME: the name of the containers in the Pods.
  • PORT_NAME: the name of the port opened by the StatefulSet.
  • PVC_NAME: the name of the PersistentVolumeClaim.

In this file, the kind field specifies that a StatefulSet object should be created with the specifications defined in the file. This example StatefulSet produces three replicated Pods, and opens port 80 for exposing the StatefulSet to the internet.

Windows

When using clusters with Windows Server node pools, you must create a StorageClass because the default StorageClass uses ext4 as the file system type, which only works for Linux containers. If you are using a Compute Engine persistent disk, you must use NTFS as the file storage type as shown in the following example:

apiVersion: storage.k8s.io/v1
kind: StorageClass
metadata:
  name: STORAGECLASS_NAME
parameters:
  type: pd-standard
  fstype: NTFS
provisioner: kubernetes.io/gce-pd
reclaimPolicy: Delete
volumeBindingMode: WaitForFirstConsumer

The following StatefulSet manifest uses the StorageClass defined above. It creates four PersistentVolume and PersistentVolumeClaim pairs to represent four Compute Engine persistent disks. Each Pod in the StatefulSet consumes one persistent disk.

To ensure your Pods are correctly scheduled onto Windows Server nodes, you must add a node selector to your Pod specification.

apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: StatefulSet
metadata:
  name: STATEFULSET_NAME
spec:
  replicas: 4
  selector:
    matchLabels:
      app: APP_NAME
  template:
    metadata:
      labels:
        app: APP_NAME
      name: CONTAINER_NAME
    spec:
      nodeSelector:
        kubernetes.io/os: windows
      containers:
      - name: CONTAINER_NAME
        image: ...
        ports:
        - containerPort: 80
          name: PORT_NAME
        volumeMounts:
        - name: PVC_NAME
          mountPath: C:\mnt\state
  volumeClaimTemplates:
  - metadata:
      name: PVC_NAME
    spec:
      storageClassName: STORAGECLASS_NAME
      accessModes: [ "ReadWriteOnce" ]
      resources:
        requests:
          storage: 1Gi

Replace the following:

  • APP_NAME: the name of the application run in the Pods.
  • STATEFULSET_NAME: the name of the StatefulSet.
  • CONTAINER_NAME: the name of the containers in the Pods.
  • PORT_NAME: the name of the port opened by the StatefulSet.
  • PVC_NAME: the name of the PersistentVolumeClaim.
  • STORAGECLASS_NAME: the name of the StorageClass.

To create a StatefulSet resource, run the following command replacing STATEFULSET_FILE with the manifest file name:

kubectl apply -f STATEFULSET_FILE

You can also use kubectl apply -f DIRECTORY/ to create all objects (except existing ones) defined in configuration files stored in a directory.

Inspecting a StatefulSet

kubectl

To inspect the StatefulSet, run the following command:

kubectl get statefulset STATEFULSET_NAME -o yaml

This command displays the live configuration of the StatefulSet resource in YAML format.

To list the Pods created by the StatefulSet, run the following command:

kubectl get pods -l app=APP_NAME

In this command, the -l flag instructs kubectl to get all Pods labeled for the APP_NAME.

The output is similar to the following:

NAME                                READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
pod-name                            1/1       Running   0          1m
pod-name                            1/1       Running   0          1m

To get detailed information about the StatefulSet, run the following command:

kubectl describe statefulset STATEFULSET_NAME

To get information about a specific Pod, run the following command:

kubectl describe pod POD_NAME

To list the PersistentVolumeClaim objects that were created, run the following command:

kubectl get pvc

The output is similar to the following:

NAME                            STATUS    VOLUME                                     CAPACITY   ACCESS MODES   STORAGECLASS    AGE
STATEFULSET_NAME-PVC_NAME-0     Bound     pvc-bdff4e1e-183e-11e8-bf6d-42010a800002   1G         RWO            standard        9s
STATEFULSET_NAME-PVC_NAME-1     Bound     pvc-bdff4e1e-183e-11e8-bf6d-42010a800003   1G         RWO            standard        9s
STATEFULSET_NAME-PVC_NAME-2     Bound     pvc-bdff4e1e-183e-11e8-bf6d-42010a800004   1G         RWO            standard        9s

To get information about a specific PersistentVolumeClaim, run the following command:

kubectl describe pvc STATEFULSET_NAME-PVC_NAME-0

To get information about a specific PersistentVolume, run the following command:

kubectl describe pv PV_NAME

Console

To inspect a StatefulSet, perform the following steps:

  1. Visit the Google Kubernetes Engine Workloads menu in Cloud Console.

    Visit the Workloads menu

  2. In the workloads list, click the name of the StatefulSet you want to inspect.

  3. On the Stateful Set details page, do any of the following:

    • Click the Revision History tab to see the StatefulSet's revision history.
    • Click the Events tab to see all events related to the StatefulSet.
    • Click the Logs tab to see container logs for the StatefulSet.
    • Click the YAML tab to see, copy, or download the configuration YAML for the StatefulSet.

Updating a StatefulSet

There are multiple ways of updating StatefulSets. The common, declarative method is kubectl apply. To update the StatefulSet directly from your shell or in a preferred editor, you can use kubectl edit. You can also use the YAML editor from the GKE Workloads menu in the Cloud Console.

You can roll out updates to the Pods specification for a StatefulSet resource, such as its image, resource usage/requests, or configuration.

kubectl apply

You can update the StatefulSet by applying a new or updated manifest file. This is useful for making various changes to your StatefulSet, such as when scaling or for specifying a new version of your application.

To update a StatefulSet, run the following command:

kubectl apply -f STATEFULSET_FILE

Replace STATEFULSET_FILE with the updated manifest file.

The kubectl apply command applies a manifest file to a resource. If the specified resource does not exist, it is created by the command.

For more information about kubectl apply, see the kubectl reference documentation.

Console

To edit the live configuration of a StatefulSet, perform the following steps:

  1. Visit the Google Kubernetes Engine Workloads menu in Cloud Console.

    Visit the Workloads menu

  2. In the workloads list, click the name of the StatefulSet you want to modify.

  3. Click Edit.

  4. Change the configuration YAML as desired.

  5. Click Save.

Inspecting update rollout

kubectl

To inspect the rollout of the StatefulSet, run the following command:

kubectl rollout status statefulset STATEFULSET_NAME

To see the StatefulSet's rollout history, run the following command:

kubectl rollout history statefulset STATEFULSET_NAME

To undo a rollout, run the following command:

kubectl rollout undo statefulset STATEFULSET_NAME

Console

To see the revision history of a StatefulSet, perform the following steps:

  1. Visit the Google Kubernetes Engine Workloads menu in Cloud Console.

    Visit the Workloads menu

  2. In the workloads list, click the name of the StatefulSet you want to inspect.

  3. Click the Revision History tab.

  4. Select the desired revision.

Update strategies

StatefulSet’s updateStrategy field allows you to configure and disable automated rolling updates for containers, labels, resource requests, limits, and annotations for the Pods in a StatefulSet.

You can learn more about Update Strategies for StatefulSets in the Kubernetes documentation.

Scaling a StatefulSet

kubectl

The kubectl scale command can be used at any time to scale your StatefulSet.

To manually scale a StatefulSet, run the following command:

kubectl scale statefulset STATEFULSET_NAME --replicas NUMBER_OF_REPLICAS

Replace NUMBER_OF_REPLICAS with the desired number of replicated Pods.

Console

To scale a StatefulSet, perform the following steps:

  1. Visit the Google Kubernetes Engine Workloads menu in Cloud Console.

    Visit the Workloads menu

  2. In the workloads list, click the name of the StatefulSet you want to modify.

  3. Click Scale.

  4. Enter the new number of Replicas for the StatefulSet.

  5. Click Scale.

Deleting a StatefulSet

kubectl

To delete a StatefulSet, run the following command:

kubectl delete statefulset STATEFULSET_NAME

Console

To delete a StatefulSet, perform the following steps:

  1. Visit the Google Kubernetes Engine Workloads menu in Cloud Console.

    Visit the Workloads menu

  2. In the workloads list, select one or more StatefulSets you want to delete.

  3. Click Delete.

  4. When prompted to confirm, click Delete.

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