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Multi-cluster Services

Just as Kilo can connect a Kubernetes cluster to external services over WireGuard, it can connect multiple independent Kubernetes clusters. This enables clusters to provide services to other clusters over a secure connection. For example, a cluster on AWS with access to GPUs could run a machine learning service that could be consumed by workloads running in a another location, e.g. an on-prem cluster without GPUs. Unlike services exposed via Ingresses or NodePort Services, multi-cluster services can remain private and internal to the clusters.

Note: in order for connected clusters to be fully routable, the allowed IPs that they declare must be non-overlapping, i.e. the Kilo, pod, and service CIDRs.

Getting Started

Consider two clusters, cluster1 with:

  • kubeconfig: KUBECONFIG1; and
  • service CIDR: $SERVICECIDR1

and cluster2 with:

  • kubeconfig: KUBECONFIG2
  • service CIDR: $SERVICECIDR2; and

In order to give cluster2 access to a service running on cluster1, start by peering the nodes:

# Register the nodes in cluster1 as peers of cluster2.
for n in $(kubectl --kubeconfig $KUBECONFIG1 get no -o name | cut -d'/' -f2); do
# Specify the service CIDR as an extra IP range that should be routable.
kgctl --kubeconfig $KUBECONFIG1 showconf node $n --as-peer -o yaml --allowed-ips $SERVICECIDR1 | kubectl --kubeconfig $KUBECONFIG2 apply -f -
# Register the nodes in cluster2 as peers of cluster1.
for n in $(kubectl --kubeconfig $KUBECONFIG2 get no -o name | cut -d'/' -f2); do
# Specify the service CIDR as an extra IP range that should be routable.
kgctl --kubeconfig $KUBECONFIG2 showconf node $n --as-peer -o yaml --allowed-ips $SERVICECIDR2 | kubectl --kubeconfig $KUBECONFIG1 apply -f -

Now, Pods on cluster1 can ping, cURL, or otherwise make requests against Pods and Services in cluster2 and vice-versa.

Mirroring Services

At this point, Kilo has created a fully routable network between the two clusters. However, as it stands the external Services can only be accessed by using their clusterIPs directly. For example, a Pod in cluster2 would need to use the URL http://$CLUSTERIP_FROM_CLUSTER1 to make an HTTP request against a Service running in cluster1. In other words, the Services are not yet Kubernetes-native.

We can easily change that by creating a Kubernetes Service in cluster2 to mirror the Service in cluster1:

cat <<EOF | kubectl --kubeconfig $KUBECONFIG2 apply -f -
apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
name: important-service
- port: 80
apiVersion: v1
kind: Endpoints
name: important-service
- addresses:
- ip: $(kubectl --kubeconfig $KUBECONFIG1 get service important-service -o jsonpath='{.spec.clusterIP}') # The cluster IP of the important service on cluster1.
- port: 80

Now, important-service can be used and discovered on cluster2 just like any other Kubernetes Service. That means that a Pod in cluster2 could directly use the Kubernetes DNS name for the Service when making HTTP requests, for example: http://important-service.default.svc.cluster.local.

Notice that this mirroring is ad-hoc, requiring manual administration of each Service. This process can be fully automated using Service-Reflector to discover and mirror Kubernetes Services between connected clusters.