GKE on AWS architecture

GKE on AWS is a managed service that helps you provision, operate, and scale Kubernetes clusters in your AWS account.

Architecture of GKE on AWS, showing the Google Cloud service and clusters containing a control plane and node pools

Resource management

GKE on AWS uses AWS APIs to provision the resources needed by your cluster, including virtual machines, managed disks, Auto Scaling group, security groups, and load balancers.

You can create, describe, and delete clusters with the Google Cloud CLI or GKE Multi-Cloud API.

Authenticating to AWS

When you set up GKE on AWS, you create an AWS IAM role in your AWS account with the required permissions. You also create a service account in your Google Cloud project to establish a trust relationship for AWS IAM identity federation.

For more information, see Authentication overview.

Resources on Google Cloud

GKE on AWS uses a Google Cloud project to store cluster configuration information on Google Cloud.

Fleets and Connect

GKE on AWS registers each cluster with a Fleet when it is created. Connect enables access to cluster and workload management features from Google Cloud. A cluster's Fleet membership name is the same as its cluster name.

You can enable features such as Config Management and Cloud Service Mesh within your Fleet.

Cluster architecture

GKE on AWS provisions clusters using private subnets inside your AWS Virtual Private Cloud. Each cluster consists of the following components:

  • Control plane: The Kubernetes control plane uses a high-availability architecture with three replicas. Each replica runs all Kubernetes components including kube-apiserver, kube-controller-manager, kube-scheduler, and etcd. Each etcd instance stores data in an EBS volume, and uses a network interface to communicate with other etcd instances. A standard load balancer is used to balance traffic to the Kubernetes API endpoint, kube-apiserver.

  • Node pools: A node pool is a group of Kubernetes worker nodes with the same configuration, including instance type, disk configuration, and instance profile. All nodes in a node pool run on the same subnet. For high availability, you can provision multiple node pools across different subnets in the same AWS region.

The following diagram shows a sample VPC, node pool, and control plane structure, including network address translation (NAT) gateway and load balancer. You create this infrastructure with the instructions to Create an AWS VPC and Quickstart.

Sample VPC

What's next