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Provider GCP

Gardener extension controller for the GCP cloud provider

Gardener Extension for GCP provider

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Project Gardener implements the automated management and operation of Kubernetes clusters as a service. Its main principle is to leverage Kubernetes concepts for all of its tasks.

Recently, most of the vendor specific logic has been developed in-tree. However, the project has grown to a size where it is very hard to extend, maintain, and test. With GEP-1 we have proposed how the architecture can be changed in a way to support external controllers that contain their very own vendor specifics. This way, we can keep Gardener core clean and independent.

This controller implements Gardener’s extension contract for the GCP provider.

An example for a ControllerRegistration resource that can be used to register this controller to Gardener can be found here.

Please find more information regarding the extensibility concepts and a detailed proposal here.

Supported Kubernetes versions

This extension controller supports the following Kubernetes versions:

VersionSupportConformance test results
Kubernetes v1.26 Conformance Tests
Kubernetes v1.25 Conformance Tests
Kubernetes v1.24 Conformance Tests
Kubernetes v1.23 Conformance Tests
Kubernetes v1.22 Conformance Tests
Kubernetes v1.21 Conformance Tests
Kubernetes v1.20 Conformance Tests

Please take a look here to see which versions are supported by Gardener in general.

How to start using or developing this extension controller locally

You can run the controller locally on your machine by executing make start.

Static code checks and tests can be executed by running make verify. We are using Go modules for Golang package dependency management and Ginkgo/Gomega for testing.

Feedback and Support

Feedback and contributions are always welcome. Please report bugs or suggestions as GitHub issues or join our Slack channel #gardener (please invite yourself to the Kubernetes workspace here).

Learn more!

Please find further resources about out project here:

1 - Create a Кubernetes Cluster on GCP with Gardener


Gardener allows you to create a Kubernetes cluster on different infrastructure providers. This tutorial will guide you through the process of creating a cluster on GCP.


  • You have created a GCP account.
  • You have access to the Gardener dashboard and have permissions to create projects.


  1. Go to the Gardener dashboard and create a Project.

  2. Check which roles are required by Gardener.

    1. Choose Secrets, then the plus icon and select GCP.

    2. Click on the help button .

  3. Create a service account with the correct roles in GCP:

    1. Create a new service account in GCP.

    2. Enter the name and description of your service account.

    3. Assign the roles required by Gardener.

    4. Choose Done.

  4. Create a key for your service:

    1. Locate your service account, then choose Actions and Manage keys.

    2. Choose Add Key, then Create new key.

    3. Save the private key of the service account in JSON format.

  5. Enable the Google Compute API by following these steps.

    When you are finished, you should see the following page:

  6. Enable the Google IAM API by following these steps.

    When you are finished, you should see the following page:

  7. On the Gardener dashboard, choose Secrets and then the plus sign . Select GCP from the drop down menu to add a new GCP secret.

  8. Create your secret.

    1. Type the name of your secret.
    2. Select your Cloud Profile.
    3. Copy and paste the contents of the .JSON file you saved when you created the secret key on GCP.
    4. Choose Add secret.

    After completing these steps, you should see your newly created secret in the Infrastructure Secrets section.

  9. To create a new cluster, choose Clusters and then the plus sign in the upper right corner.

  10. In the Create Cluster section:

    1. Select GCP in the Infrastructure tab.
    2. Type the name of your cluster in the Cluster Details tab.
    3. Choose the secret you created before in the Infrastructure Details tab.
    4. Choose Create.
  11. Wait for your cluster to get created.


After completing the steps in this tutorial, you will be able to see and download the kubeconfig of your cluster.

2 - Deployment

Deployment of the GCP provider extension

Disclaimer: This document is NOT a step by step installation guide for the GCP provider extension and only contains some configuration specifics regarding the installation of different components via the helm charts residing in the GCP provider extension repository.


Authentication against the Garden cluster

There are several authentication possibilities depending on whether or not the concept of Virtual Garden is used.

Virtual Garden is not used, i.e., the runtime Garden cluster is also the target Garden cluster.

Automounted Service Account Token The easiest way to deploy the gardener-extension-admission-gcp component will be to not provide kubeconfig at all. This way in-cluster configuration and an automounted service account token will be used. The drawback of this approach is that the automounted token will not be automatically rotated.

Service Account Token Volume Projection Another solution will be to use Service Account Token Volume Projection combined with a kubeconfig referencing a token file (see example below).

apiVersion: v1
kind: Config
- cluster:
    certificate-authority-data: <CA-DATA>
    server: https://default.kubernetes.svc.cluster.local
  name: garden
- context:
    cluster: garden
    user: garden
  name: garden
current-context: garden
- name: garden
    tokenFile: /var/run/secrets/projected/serviceaccount/token

This will allow for automatic rotation of the service account token by the kubelet. The configuration can be achieved by setting both true and in the respective chart’s values.yaml file.

Virtual Garden is used, i.e., the runtime Garden cluster is different from the target Garden cluster.

Service Account The easiest way to setup the authentication will be to create a service account and the respective roles will be bound to this service account in the target cluster. Then use the generated service account token and craft a kubeconfig which will be used by the workload in the runtime cluster. This approach does not provide a solution for the rotation of the service account token. However, this setup can be achieved by setting true and following these steps:

  1. Deploy the application part of the charts in the target cluster.
  2. Get the service account token and craft the kubeconfig.
  3. Set the crafted kubeconfig and deploy the runtime part of the charts in the runtime cluster.

Client Certificate Another solution will be to bind the roles in the target cluster to a User subject instead of a service account and use a client certificate for authentication. This approach does not provide a solution for the client certificate rotation. However, this setup can be achieved by setting both true and, then following these steps:

  1. Generate a client certificate for the target cluster for the respective user.
  2. Deploy the application part of the charts in the target cluster.
  3. Craft a kubeconfig using the already generated client certificate.
  4. Set the crafted kubeconfig and deploy the runtime part of the charts in the runtime cluster.

Projected Service Account Token This approach requires an already deployed and configured oidc-webhook-authenticator for the target cluster. Also the runtime cluster should be registered as a trusted identity provider in the target cluster. Then projected service accounts tokens from the runtime cluster can be used to authenticate against the target cluster. The needed steps are as follows:

  1. Deploy OWA and establish the needed trust.
  2. Set true and Note: username value will depend on the trust configuration, e.g., <prefix>:system:serviceaccount:<namespace>:<serviceaccount>
  3. Set true and Note: audience value will depend on the trust configuration, e.g., <cliend-id-from-trust-config>.
  4. Craft a kubeconfig (see example below).
  5. Deploy the application part of the charts in the target cluster.
  6. Deploy the runtime part of the charts in the runtime cluster.
apiVersion: v1
kind: Config
- cluster:
    certificate-authority-data: <CA-DATA>
    server: https://virtual-garden.api
  name: virtual-garden
- context:
    cluster: virtual-garden
    user: virtual-garden
  name: virtual-garden
current-context: virtual-garden
- name: virtual-garden
    tokenFile: /var/run/secrets/projected/serviceaccount/token

3 - Local Setup


admission-gcp is an admission webhook server which is responsible for the validation of the cloud provider (GCP in this case) specific fields and resources. The Gardener API server is cloud provider agnostic and it wouldn’t be able to perform similar validation.

Follow the steps below to run the admission webhook server locally.

  1. Start the Gardener API server.

    For details, check the Gardener local setup.

  2. Start the webhook server

    Make sure that the KUBECONFIG environment variable is pointing to the local garden cluster.

    make start-admission
  3. Setup the ValidatingWebhookConfiguration.

    hack/ will configure the webhook Service which will allow the kube-apiserver of your local cluster to reach the webhook server. It will also apply the ValidatingWebhookConfiguration manifest.


You are now ready to experiment with the admission-gcp webhook server locally.

4 - Usage As End User

Using the GCP provider extension with Gardener as end-user

The resource declares a few fields that are meant to contain provider-specific configuration.

This document describes the configurable options for GCP and provides an example Shoot manifest with minimal configuration that can be used to create a GCP cluster (modulo the landscape-specific information like cloud profile names, secret binding names, etc.).

GCP Provider Credentials

In order for Gardener to create a Kubernetes cluster using GCP infrastructure components, a Shoot has to provide credentials with sufficient permissions to the desired GCP project. Every shoot cluster references a SecretBinding which itself references a Secret, and this Secret contains the provider credentials of the GCP project. The SecretBinding is configurable in the Shoot cluster with the field secretBindingName.

The required credentials for the GCP project are a Service Account Key to authenticate as a GCP Service Account. A service account is a special account that can be used by services and applications to interact with Google Cloud Platform APIs. Applications can use service account credentials to authorize themselves to a set of APIs and perform actions within the permissions granted to the service account.

Make sure to enable the Google Identity and Access Management (IAM) API. Create a Service Account that shall be used for the Shoot cluster. Grant at least the following IAM roles to the Service Account.

  • Service Account Admin
  • Service Account Token Creator
  • Service Account User
  • Compute Admin

Create a JSON Service Account key for the Service Account. Provide it in the Secret (base64 encoded for field serviceaccount.json), that is being referenced by the SecretBinding in the Shoot cluster configuration.

This Secret must look as follows:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
  name: core-gcp
  namespace: garden-dev
type: Opaque
  serviceaccount.json: base64(serviceaccount-json)

⚠️ Depending on your API usage it can be problematic to reuse the same Service Account Key for different Shoot clusters due to rate limits. Please consider spreading your Shoots over multiple Service Accounts on different GCP projects if you are hitting those limits, see


The infrastructure configuration mainly describes how the network layout looks like in order to create the shoot worker nodes in a later step, thus, prepares everything relevant to create VMs, load balancers, volumes, etc.

An example InfrastructureConfig for the GCP extension looks as follows:

kind: InfrastructureConfig
# vpc:
#   name: my-vpc
#   cloudRouter:
#     name: my-cloudrouter
# internal:
# cloudNAT:
#   minPortsPerVM: 2048
#   natIPNames:
#   - name: manualnat1
#   - name: manualnat2
# flowLogs:
#   aggregationInterval: INTERVAL_5_SEC
#   flowSampling: 0.2

The networks.vpc section describes whether you want to create the shoot cluster in an already existing VPC or whether to create a new one:

  • If is given then you have to specify the VPC name of the existing VPC that was created by other means (manually, other tooling, …). If you want to get a fresh VPC for the shoot then just omit the networks.vpc field.

  • If a VPC name is not given then we will create the cloud router + NAT gateway to ensure that worker nodes don’t get external IPs.

  • If a VPC name is given then a cloud router name must also be given, failure to do so would result in validation errors and possibly clusters without egress connectivity.

  • If a VPC name is given and calico shoot clusters are created without a network overlay within one VPC make sure that the pod CIDR specified in shoot.spec.networking.pods is not overlapping with any other pod CIDR used in that VPC. Overlapping pod CIDRs will lead to disfunctional shoot clusters.

The networks.workers section describes the CIDR for a subnet that is used for all shoot worker nodes, i.e., VMs which later run your applications.

The networks.internal section is optional and can describe a CIDR for a subnet that is used for internal load balancers,

The networks.cloudNAT.minPortsPerVM is optional and is used to define the minimum number of ports allocated to a VM for the CloudNAT

The networks.cloudNAT.natIPNames is optional and is used to specify the names of the manual ip addresses which should be used by the nat gateway

The specified CIDR ranges must be contained in the VPC CIDR specified above, or the VPC CIDR of your already existing VPC. You can freely choose these CIDRs and it is your responsibility to properly design the network layout to suit your needs.

The networks.flowLogs section describes the configuration for the VPC flow logs. In order to enable the VPC flow logs at least one of the following parameters needs to be specified in the flow log section:

  • networks.flowLogs.aggregationInterval an optional parameter describing the aggregation interval for collecting flow logs. For more details, see aggregation_interval reference.

  • networks.flowLogs.flowSampling an optional parameter describing the sampling rate of VPC flow logs within the subnetwork where 1.0 means all collected logs are reported and 0.0 means no logs are reported. For more details, see flow_sampling reference.

  • networks.flowLogs.metadata an optional parameter describing whether metadata fields should be added to the reported VPC flow logs. For more details, see metadata reference.

Apart from the VPC and the subnets the GCP extension will also create a dedicated service account for this shoot, and firewall rules.


The control plane configuration mainly contains values for the GCP-specific control plane components. Today, the only component deployed by the GCP extension is the cloud-controller-manager.

An example ControlPlaneConfig for the GCP extension looks as follows:

kind: ControlPlaneConfig
zone: europe-west1-b
    CustomResourceValidation: true

The zone field tells the cloud-controller-manager in which zone it should mainly operate. You can still create clusters in multiple availability zones, however, the cloud-controller-manager requires one “main” zone. ⚠️ You always have to specify this field!

The cloudControllerManager.featureGates contains a map of explicitly enabled or disabled feature gates. For production usage it’s not recommend to use this field at all as you can enable alpha features or disable beta/stable features, potentially impacting the cluster stability. If you don’t want to configure anything for the cloudControllerManager simply omit the key in the YAML specification.


The worker configuration contains:

  • Local SSD interface for the additional volumes attached to GCP worker machines.

    If you attach the disk with SCRATCH type, either an NVMe interface or a SCSI interface must be specified. It is only meaningful to provide this volume interface if only SCRATCH data volumes are used.

  • Service Account with their specified scopes, authorized for this worker.

    Service accounts created in advance that generate access tokens that can be accessed through the metadata server and used to authenticate applications on the instance.

  • GPU with its type and count per node. This will attach that GPU to all the machines in the worker grp


    • A rolling upgrade of the worker group would be triggered in case the acceleratorType or count is updated.
    • Some machineTypes like a2 family come with already attached gpu of a100 type and pre-defined count. If your workerPool consists of those machineTypes, please do not specify any GPU configuration.
    • Sufficient quota of gpu is needed in the GCP project. This includes quota to support autoscaling if enabled.
    • GPU-attached machines can’t be live migrated during host maintenance events. Find out how to handle that in your application here
    • GPU count specified here is considered for forming node template during scale-from-zero in Cluster Autoscaler

    An example WorkerConfig for the GCP looks as follows:

kind: WorkerConfig
  interface: NVME
  acceleratorType: nvidia-tesla-t4
  count: 1

Example Shoot manifest

Please find below an example Shoot manifest:

kind: Shoot
  name: johndoe-gcp
  namespace: garden-dev
  cloudProfileName: gcp
  region: europe-west1
  secretBindingName: core-gcp
    type: gcp
      kind: InfrastructureConfig
      kind: ControlPlaneConfig
      zone: europe-west1-b
    - name: worker-xoluy
        type: n1-standard-4
      minimum: 2
      maximum: 2
        size: 50Gi
        type: pd-standard
      - europe-west1-b
    type: calico
    version: 1.24.3
      kubernetesVersion: true
      machineImageVersion: true
      enabled: true
      enabled: true

CSI volume provisioners

Every GCP shoot cluster will be deployed with the GCP PD CSI driver. It is compatible with the legacy in-tree volume provisioner that was deprecated by the Kubernetes community and will be removed in future versions of Kubernetes. End-users might want to update their custom StorageClasses to the new provisioner.

Kubernetes Versions per Worker Pool

This extension supports gardener/gardener’s WorkerPoolKubernetesVersion feature gate, i.e., having worker pools with overridden Kubernetes versions since gardener-extension-provider-gcp@v1.21.

Shoot CA Certificate and ServiceAccount Signing Key Rotation

This extension supports gardener/gardener’s ShootCARotation and ShootSARotation feature gates since gardener-extension-provider-gcp@v1.23.

5 - Usage As Operator

Using the GCP provider extension with Gardener as operator

The resource declares a providerConfig field that is meant to contain provider-specific configuration. The resource is structured similarly. Additionally, it allows configuring settings for the backups of the main etcds’ data of shoot clusters control planes running in this seed cluster.

This document explains the necessary configuration for this provider extension.

CloudProfile resource

This section describes, how the configuration for CloudProfiles looks like for GCP by providing an example CloudProfile manifest with minimal configuration that can be used to allow the creation of GCP shoot clusters.


The cloud profile configuration contains information about the real machine image IDs in the GCP environment (image URLs). You have to map every version that you specify in .spec.machineImages[].versions here such that the GCP extension knows the image URL for every version you want to offer. For each machine image version an architecture field can be specified which specifies the CPU architecture of the machine on which given machine image can be used.

An example CloudProfileConfig for the GCP extension looks as follows:

kind: CloudProfileConfig
- name: coreos
  - version: 2135.6.0
    image: projects/coreos-cloud/global/images/coreos-stable-2135-6-0-v20190801
    # architecture: amd64 # optional

Example CloudProfile manifest

If you want to allow that shoots can create VMs with local SSDs volumes then you have to specify the type of the disk with SCRATCH in the .spec.volumeTypes[] list. Please find below an example CloudProfile manifest:

kind: CloudProfile
  name: gcp
  type: gcp
    - version: 1.24.3
    - version: 1.23.8
      expirationDate: "2022-10-31T23:59:59Z"
  - name: coreos
    - version: 2135.6.0
  - name: n1-standard-4
    cpu: "4"
    gpu: "0"
    memory: 15Gi
  - name: pd-standard
    class: standard
  - name: pd-ssd
    class: premium
  - name: SCRATCH
    class: standard
  - region: europe-west1
    - europe-west1-b
    - europe-west1-c
    - europe-west1-d
    kind: CloudProfileConfig
    - name: coreos
      - version: 2135.6.0
        image: projects/coreos-cloud/global/images/coreos-stable-2135-6-0-v20190801
        # architecture: amd64 # optional

Seed resource

This provider extension does not support any provider configuration for the Seed’s .spec.provider.providerConfig field. However, it supports to managing of backup infrastructure, i.e., you can specify a configuration for the .spec.backup field.

Backup configuration

A Seed of type gcp can be configured to perform backups for the main etcds’ of the shoot clusters control planes using Google Cloud Storage buckets.

The location/region where the backups will be stored defaults to the region of the Seed (spec.provider.region), but can also be explicitly configured via the field spec.backup.region. The region of the backup can be different from where the seed cluster is running. However, usually it makes sense to pick the same region for the backup bucket as used for the Seed cluster.

Please find below an example Seed manifest (partly) that configures backups using Google Cloud Storage buckets.

kind: Seed
  name: my-seed
    type: gcp
    region: europe-west1
    provider: gcp
    region: europe-west1 # default region
      name: backup-credentials
      namespace: garden

An example of the referenced secret containing the credentials for the GCP Cloud storage can be found in the example folder.

Permissions for GCP Cloud Storage

Please make sure the service account associated with the provided credentials has the following IAM roles.