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Contract: DNSRecord resources

Every shoot cluster requires external DNS records that are publicly resolvable. The management of these DNS records requires provider-specific knowledge which is to be developed outside the Gardener’s core repository.

Currently, Gardener uses DNSProvider and DNSEntry resources. However, this introduces undesired coupling of Gardener to a controller that does not adhere to the Gardener extension contracts. Because of this, we plan to stop using DNSProvider and DNSEntry resources for Gardener DNS records in the future and use the DNSRecord resources described here instead.

What does Gardener create DNS records for?

Internal domain name

Every shoot cluster’s kube-apiserver running in the seed is exposed via a load balancer that has a public endpoint (IP or hostname). This endpoint is used by end-users and also by system components (that are running in another network, e.g., the kubelet or kube-proxy) to talk to the cluster. In order to be robust against changes of this endpoint (e.g., caused due to re-creation of the load balancer or move of the DNS record to another seed cluster) Gardener creates a so-called internal domain name for every shoot cluster. The internal domain name is a publicly resolvable DNS record that points to the load balancer of the kube-apiserver. Gardener uses this domain name in the kubeconfigs of all system components, instead of using directly the load balancer endpoint. This way Gardener does not need to recreate all kubeconfigs if the endpoint changes - it just needs to update the DNS record.

External domain name

The internal domain name is not configurable by end-users directly but configured by the Gardener administrator. However, end-users usually prefer to have another DNS name, maybe even using their own domain sometimes to access their Kubernetes clusters. Gardener supports that by creating another DNS record, named external domain name, that actually points to the internal domain name. The kubeconfig handed out to end-users does contain this external domain name, i.e., users can access their clusters with the DNS name they like to.

As not every end-user has an own domain it is possible for Gardener administrators to configure so-called default domains. If configured, shoots that do not specify a domain explicitly get an external domain name based on a default domain (unless explicitly stated that this shoot should not get an external domain name (.spec.dns.provider=unmanaged).

Ingress domain name (deprecated)

Gardener allows to deploy a nginx-ingress-controller into a shoot cluster (deprecated). This controller is exposed via a public load balancer (again, either IP or hostname). Gardener creates a wildcard DNS record pointing to this load balancer. Ingress resources can later use this wildcard DNS record to expose underlying applications.

What needs to be implemented to support a new DNS provider?

As part of the shoot flow Gardener will create a number of DNSRecord resources in the seed cluster (one for each of the DNS records mentioned above) that need to be reconciled by an extension controller. This resource contains the following information:

  • The DNS provider type (e.g., aws-route53, google-clouddns, …)
  • A reference to a Secret object that contains the provider-specific credentials used to communicate with the provider’s API.
  • The fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the DNS record, e.g. “api.<shoot domain>”.
  • The DNS record type, one of A, CNAME, or TXT.
  • The DNS record values, that is a list of IP addresses for A records, a single hostname for CNAME records, or a list of texts for TXT records.

Optionally, the DNSRecord resource may contain also the following information:

  • The region of the DNS record. If not specified, the region specified in the referenced Secret shall be used. If that is also not specified, the extension controller shall use a certain default region.
  • The DNS hosted zone of the DNS record. If not specified, it shall be determined automatically by the extension controller by getting all hosted zones of the account and searching for the longest zone name that is a suffix of the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) mentioned above.
  • The TTL of the DNS record in seconds. If not specified, it shall be set by the extension controller to 120.

Example DNSRecord:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
  name: dnsrecord-bar-external
  namespace: shoot--foo--bar
type: Opaque
  # aws-route53 specific credentials here
apiVersion: extensions.gardener.cloud/v1alpha1
kind: DNSRecord
  name: dnsrecord-external
  namespace: default
  type: aws-route53
    name: dnsrecord-bar-external
    namespace: shoot--foo--bar
# region: eu-west-1
# zone: ZFOO
  name: api.bar.foo.my-fancy-domain.com
  recordType: A
# ttl: 600

In order to support a new DNS record provider you need to write a controller that watches all DNSRecords with .spec.type=<my-provider-name>. You can take a look at the below referenced example implementation for the AWS route53 provider.

Key names in secrets containing provider-specific credentials

For compatibility with existing setups, extension controllers shall support two different namings of keys in secrets containing provider-specific credentials:

  • The naming used by the external-dns-management DNS controller. For example on AWS, the key names are AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID, AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY, and AWS_REGION.
  • The naming used by other provider-specific extension controllers, e.g. for infrastructure. For example on AWS, the key names are accessKeyId, secretAccessKey, and region.

Avoiding reading the DNS hosted zones

If the DNS hosted zone is not specified in the DNSRecord resource, during the first reconciliation the extension controller shall determine the correct DNS hosted zone for the specified FQDN and write it to the status of the resource:

apiVersion: extensions.gardener.cloud/v1alpha1
kind: DNSRecord
  name: dnsrecord-external
  namespace: shoot--foo--bar
  lastOperation: ...
  zone: ZFOO

On subsequent reconciliations, the extension controller shall use the zone from the status and avoid reading the DNS hosted zones from the provider. If the DNSRecord resource specifies a zone in .spec.zone and the extension controller has written a value to .status.zone, the first one shall be considered with higher priority by the extension controller.

Non-provider specific information required for DNS record creation

Some providers might require further information that is not provider specific but already part of the shoot resource. As Gardener cannot know which information is required by providers it simply mirrors the Shoot, Seed, and CloudProfile resources into the seed. They are part of the Cluster extension resource and can be used to extract information that is not part of the DNSRecord resource itself.

Using DNSRecord resources

gardenlet manages DNSRecord resources for all three DNS records mentioned above (internal, external, and ingress). In order to successfully reconcile a shoot with the feature gate enabled, extension controllers for DNSRecord resources for types used in the default, internal and custom domain secrets should be registered via ControllerRegistration resources.

Note: For compatibility reasons, the spec.dns.providers section is still used to specify additional providers. Only the one marked as primary: true will be used for DNSRecord. All others are considered by the shoot-dns-service extension only (if deployed).

Support for DNSRecord resources in the provider extensions

The following table contains information about the provider extension version that adds support for DNSRecord resources:


References and additional resources