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Calico CNI

Gardener extension controller for the Calico CNI network plugin

Gardener Extension for Calico Networking

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This controller operates on the Network resource in the extensions.gardener.cloud/v1alpha1 API group. It manages those objects that are requesting Calico Networking configuration (.spec.type=calico):

---
apiVersion: extensions.gardener.cloud/v1alpha1
kind: Network
metadata:
  name: calico-network
  namespace: shoot--core--test-01
spec:
  type: calico
  clusterCIDR: 192.168.0.0/24
  serviceCIDR:  10.96.0.0/24
  providerConfig:
    apiVersion: calico.networking.extensions.gardener.cloud/v1alpha1
    kind: NetworkConfig
    overlay:
      enabled: false

Please find a concrete example in the example folder. All the Calico specific configuration should be configured in the providerConfig section. If additional configuration is required, it should be added to the networking-calico chart in controllers/networking-calico/charts/internal/calico/values.yaml and corresponding code parts should be adapted (for example in controllers/networking-calico/pkg/charts/utils.go).

Once the network resource is applied, the networking-calico controller would then create all the necessary managed-resources which should be picked up by the gardener-resource-manager which will then apply all the network extensions resources to the shoot cluster.

Finally after successful reconciliation an output similar to the one below should be expected.

  status:
    lastOperation:
      description: Successfully reconciled network
      lastUpdateTime: "..."
      progress: 100
      state: Succeeded
      type: Reconcile
    observedGeneration: 1
    providerStatus:
      apiVersion: calico.networking.extensions.gardener.cloud/v1alpha1
      kind: NetworkStatus

Compatibility

The following table lists known compatibility issues of this extension controller with other Gardener components.

Calico ExtensionGardenerActionNotes
>= v1.30.0< v1.63.0Please first update Gardener components to >= v1.63.0.Without the mentioned minimum Gardener version, Calico Pods are not only scheduled to dedicated system component nodes in the shoot cluster.

How to start using or developing this extension controller locally

You can run the controller locally on your machine by executing make start. Please make sure to have the kubeconfig pointed to the cluster you want to connect to. 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 - Deployment

Deployment of the networking Calico extension

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

gardener-extension-admission-calico

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-calico 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
clusters:
- cluster:
    certificate-authority-data: <CA-DATA>
    server: https://default.kubernetes.svc.cluster.local
  name: garden
contexts:
- context:
    cluster: garden
    user: garden
  name: garden
current-context: garden
users:
- name: garden
  user:
    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 .Values.global.serviceAccountTokenVolumeProjection.enabled: true and .Values.global.kubeconfig 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 .Values.global.virtualGarden.enabled: 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 .Values.global.virtualGarden.enabled: true and .Values.global.virtualGarden.user.name, 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 .Values.global.virtualGarden.enabled: true and .Values.global.virtualGarden.user.name. Note: username value will depend on the trust configuration, e.g., <prefix>:system:serviceaccount:<namespace>:<serviceaccount>
  3. Set .Values.global.serviceAccountTokenVolumeProjection.enabled: true and .Values.global.serviceAccountTokenVolumeProjection.audience. 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
clusters:
- cluster:
    certificate-authority-data: <CA-DATA>
    server: https://virtual-garden.api
  name: virtual-garden
contexts:
- context:
    cluster: virtual-garden
    user: virtual-garden
  name: virtual-garden
current-context: virtual-garden
users:
- name: virtual-garden
  user:
    tokenFile: /var/run/secrets/projected/serviceaccount/token

2 - Operations

Using the Calico networking extension with Gardener as operator

This document explains configuration options supported by the networking-calico extension.

Run calico-node in non-privileged and non-root mode

Feature State: Alpha

Motivation

Running containers in privileged mode is not recommended as privileged containers run with all linux capabilities enabled and can access the host’s resources. Running containers in privileged mode opens number of security threats such as breakout to underlying host OS.

Support for non-privileged and non-root mode

The Calico project has a preliminary support for running the calico-node component in non-privileged mode (see this guide). Similar to Tigera Calico operator the networking-calico extension can also run calico-node in non-privileged and non-root mode. This feature is controller via feature gate named NonPrivilegedCalicoNode. The feature gates are configured in the ControllerConfiguration of networking-calico. The corresponding ControllerDeployment configuration that enables the NonPrivilegedCalicoNode would look like:

apiVersion: core.gardener.cloud/v1beta1
kind: ControllerDeployment
metadata:
  name: networking-calico
type: helm
providerConfig:
  values:
    chart: <omitted>
    config:
      featureGates:
        NonPrivilegedCalicoNode: false
Limitations
  • The support for the non-privileged mode in the Calico project is not ready for productive usage. The upstream documentation states that in non-privileged mode the support for features added after Calico v3.21 is not guaranteed.
  • Calico in non-privileged mode does not support eBPF dataplane. That’s why when eBPF dataplane is enabled, calico-node has to run in privileged mode (even when the NonPrivilegedCalicoNode feature gate is enabled).
  • (At the time of writing this guide) there is the following issue projectcalico/calico#5348 that is not addressed.
  • (At the time of writing this guide) the upstream adoptions seems to be low. The Calico charts and manifest in projectcalico/calico run calico-node in privileged mode.

3 - Shoot Overlay Network

Enable / disable overlay network for shoots with Calico

Gardener can be used with or without the overlay network.

Starting versions:

The default configuration of shoot clusters is without overlay network.

Understanding overlay network

The Overlay networking permits the routing of packets between multiples pods located on multiple nodes, even if the pod and the node network are not the same.

This is done through the encapsulation of pod packets in the node network so that the routing can be done as usual. We use ipip encapsulation with calico in case the overlay network is enabled. This (simply put) sends an IP packet as workload in another IP packet.

In order to simplify the troubleshooting of problems and reduce the latency of packets traveling between nodes, the overlay network is disabled by default as stated above for all new clusters.

This means that the routing is done directly through the VPC routing table. Basically, when a new node is created, it is assigned a slice (usually a /24) of the pod network. All future pods in that node are going to be in this slice. Then, the cloud-controller-manager updates the cloud provider router to add the new route (all packets within the network slice as destination should go to that node).

This has the advantage of:

  • Doing less work for the node as encapsulation takes some CPU cycles.
  • The maximum transmission unit (MTU) is slightly bigger resulting in slightly better performance, i.e. potentially more workload bytes per packet.
  • More direct and simpler setup, which makes the problems much easier to troubleshoot.

In the case where multiple shoots are in the same VPC and the overlay network is disabled, if the pod’s network is not configured properly, there is a very strong chance that some pod IP address might overlap, which is going to cause all sorts of funny problems. So, if someone asks you how to avoid that, they need to make sure that the podCIDRs for each shoot do not overlap with each other.

Enabling the overlay network

In certain cases, the overlay network might be preferable if, for example, the customer wants to create multiple clusters in the same VPC without ensuring there’s no overlap between the pod networks.

To enable the overlay network, add the following to the shoot’s YAML:

apiVersion: core.gardener.cloud/v1beta1
kind: Shoot
metadata:
...
spec:
...
  networking:
    type: calico
    providerConfig:
      apiVersion: calico.networking.extensions.gardener.cloud/v1alpha1
      kind: NetworkConfig
      overlay:
        enabled: true
  ...

Disabling the overlay network

Inversely, here is how to disable the overlay network:

apiVersion: core.gardener.cloud/v1beta1
kind: Shoot
metadata:
...
spec:
...
  networking:
    type: calico
    providerConfig:
      apiVersion: calico.networking.extensions.gardener.cloud/v1alpha1
      kind: NetworkConfig
      overlay:
        enabled: false
  ...

How to know if a cluster is using overlay or not?

You can look at any of the old nodes. If there are tunl0 devices at least at some point in time the overlay network was used. Another way is to look into the Network object in the shoot’s control plane namespace on the seed (see example above).

Do we have some documentation somewhere on how to do the migration?

No, not yet. The migration from no overlay to overlay is fairly simply by just setting the configuration as specified above. The other way is more complicated as the Network configuration needs to be changed AND the local routes need to be cleaned. Unfortunately, the change will be rolled out slowly (one calico-node at a time). Hence, it implies some network outages during the migration.

AWS implementation

On AWS, it is not possible to use the cloud-controller-manager for managing the routes as it does not support multiple route tables, which Gardener creates. Therefore, a custom controller is created to manage the routes.

4 - Usage

Using the Networking Calico extension with Gardener as end-user

The core.gardener.cloud/v1beta1.Shoot resource declares a networking field that is meant to contain network-specific configuration.

In this document we are describing how this configuration looks like for Calico and provide an example Shoot manifest with minimal configuration that you can use to create a cluster.

Calico Typha

Calico Typha is an optional component of Project Calico designed to offload the Kubernetes API server. The Typha daemon sits between the datastore (such as the Kubernetes API server which is the one used by Gardener managed Kubernetes) and many instances of Felix. Typha’s main purpose is to increase scale by reducing each node’s impact on the datastore. You can opt-out Typha via .spec.networking.providerConfig.typha.enabled=false of your Shoot manifest. By default the Typha is enabled.

EBPF Dataplane

Calico can be run in ebpf dataplane mode. This has several benefits, calico scales to higher troughput, uses less cpu per GBit and has native support for kubernetes services (without needing kube-proxy). To switch to a pure ebpf dataplane it is recommended to run without an overlay network. The following configuration can be used to run without an overlay and without kube-proxy.

An example ebpf dataplane NetworkingConfig manifest:

apiVersion: calico.networking.extensions.gardener.cloud/v1alpha1
kind: NetworkConfig
ebpfDataplane:
  enabled: true
overlay:
  enabled: false

To disable kube-proxy set the enabled field to false in the shoot manifest.

apiVersion: core.gardener.cloud/v1beta1
kind: Shoot
metadata:
  name: ebpf-shoot
  namespace: garden-dev
spec:
  kubernetes:
    kubeProxy:
      enabled: false

Know limitations of the EBPF Dataplane

Please note that the default settings for calico’s ebpf dataplane may interfere with accelerated networking in azure rendering nodes with accelerated networking unusable in the network. The reason for this is that calico does not ignore the accelerated networking interface enP... as it should, but applies its ebpf programs to it. A simple mitigation for this is to adapt the FelixConfiguration default and ensure that the bpfDataIfacePattern does not include enP.... Per default bpfDataIfacePattern is not set. The default value for this option can be found here. For example, you could apply the following change:

$ kubectl edit felixconfiguration default
...
apiVersion: crd.projectcalico.org/v1
kind: FelixConfiguration
metadata:
  ...
  name: default
  ...
spec:
  bpfDataIfacePattern: ^((en|wl|ww|sl|ib)[opsx].*|(eth|wlan|wwan).*|tunl0$|vxlan.calico$|wireguard.cali$|wg-v6.cali$)
  ...

AutoScaling

Autoscaling defines how the calico components are automatically scaled. It allows to use either vertical pod or cluster-proportional autoscaler (default: cluster-proportional).

The cluster-proportional autoscaling mode is preferable when conditions require minimimal disturbances and vpa mode for improved cluster resource utilization.

Please note VPA must be enabled on the shoot as a pre-requisite to enabling vpa mode.

An example AutoScaling NetworkingConfig manifest:

apiVersion: calico.networking.extensions.gardener.cloud/v1alpha1
kind: NetworkConfig
autoScaling:
  mode: "vpa"

Example NetworkingConfig manifest

An example NetworkingConfig for the Calico extension looks as follows:

apiVersion: calico.networking.extensions.gardener.cloud/v1alpha1
kind: NetworkConfig
ipam:
  type: host-local
  cidr: usePodCIDR
vethMTU: 1440
typha:
  enabled: true
overlay:
  enabled: true
autoScaling:
  mode: "vpa"

Example Shoot manifest

Please find below an example Shoot manifest with calico networking configratations:

apiVersion: core.gardener.cloud/v1beta1
kind: Shoot
metadata:
  name: johndoe-azure
  namespace: garden-dev
spec:
  cloudProfileName: azure
  region: westeurope
  secretBindingName: core-azure
  provider:
    type: azure
    infrastructureConfig:
      apiVersion: azure.provider.extensions.gardener.cloud/v1alpha1
      kind: InfrastructureConfig
      networks:
        vnet:
          cidr: 10.250.0.0/16
        workers: 10.250.0.0/19
      zoned: true
    controlPlaneConfig:
      apiVersion: azure.provider.extensions.gardener.cloud/v1alpha1
      kind: ControlPlaneConfig
    workers:
    - name: worker-xoluy
      machine:
        type: Standard_D4_v3
      minimum: 2
      maximum: 2
      volume:
        size: 50Gi
        type: Standard_LRS
      zones:
      - "1"
      - "2"
  networking:
    type: calico
    nodes: 10.250.0.0/16
    providerConfig:
      apiVersion: calico.networking.extensions.gardener.cloud/v1alpha1
      kind: NetworkConfig
      ipam:
        type: host-local
      vethMTU: 1440
      overlay:
        enabled: true
      typha:
        enabled: false
  kubernetes:
    version: 1.24.3
  maintenance:
    autoUpdate:
      kubernetesVersion: true
      machineImageVersion: true
  addons:
    kubernetesDashboard:
      enabled: true
    nginxIngress:
      enabled: true

Known Limitations in conjunction with NodeLocalDNS

If NodeLocalDNS is active in a shoot cluster, which uses calico as CNI without overlay network, it may be impossible to block DNS traffic to the cluster DNS server via network policy. This is due to FELIX_CHAININSERTMODE being set to APPEND instead of INSERT in case SNAT is being applied to requests to the infrastructure DNS server. In this scenario the iptables rules of NodeLocalDNS already accept the traffic before the network policies are checked.

This only applies to traffic directed to NodeLocalDNS. If blocking of all DNS traffic is desired via network policy the pod dnsPolicy should be changed to Default so that the cluster DNS is not used. Alternatives are usage of overlay network or disabling of NodeLocalDNS.