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Deploying pods with multiple custom interfaces

By default, each k8s pod in Contiv-VPP is connected to the VPP vswitch via a single tap network interface. Some cloud-native networking use cases may however require multiple interfaces connected to each pod, or interfaces of different types.

Contiv-VPP supports unlimited number of interfaces per pod. Each interface can be one of the 3 supported types:

  • tap interface
  • Linux veth (virtual ethernet) interface
  • memif interface (requires memif-compatible application running in the pod)

Custom interfaces can be requested using annotations in pod definition. The name of the annotation is contivpp.io/custom-if and its value can be a comma-separated list of custom interfaces in the <custom-interface-name>/<interface-type>/<network> format.

The <network> part is optional, leaving it unspecified means the default pod network. Apart from the default pod network, there is another special network with the name stub, which leaves the interface without any IP address and routes pointing to it. The stub interfaces may be used together with service function chaining. Apart form default and stub, you can reference any other L2 or L3 custom network defined via CRDs.

K8s service traffic can be also redirected towards custom interfaces using the contivpp.io/service-endpoint-if pod annotation, where the value should refer to the name of a custom interface in the default pod network. An example of this feature can be found in the k8s example folder.

In order to use this feature, the Kubelet feature gate KubeletPodResources needs to be enabled, e.g. add the following into in the KUBELET_EXTRA_ARGS in the /etc/default/kubelet file:

KUBELET_EXTRA_ARGS=--feature-gates KubeletPodResources=true

An example of a pod definition that connects a pod with a default interface plus one extra tap interface with the name tap1 and one extra veth interface with the name veth1:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
  name: multi-if-pod
  annotations:
    contivpp.io/custom-if: tap1/tap, veth1/veth
spec:
  containers:
    - name: nginx
      image: nginx

Exploring the network namespace of this pod would reveal 4 interfaces: lo and eth0 are default pod interfaces, veth1 and tap1 are the interfaces requested by the contivpp.io/custom-if annotation:

1: lo: <LOOPBACK,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 65536 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN group default qlen 1
    link/loopback 00:00:00:00:00:00 brd 00:00:00:00:00:00
    inet 127.0.0.1/8 scope host lo
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
    inet6 ::1/128 scope host 
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
126: eth0: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1450 qdisc pfifo_fast state UNKNOWN group default qlen 1000
    link/ether 02:fe:6c:e4:80:52 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
    inet 10.1.1.5/32 brd 10.1.1.5 scope global eth0
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
    inet6 fe80::894:8fff:fe0c:3dac/64 scope link 
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
127: veth1@if128: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1450 qdisc noqueue state UP group default qlen 1000
    link/ether 02:fe:6c:e4:80:52 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff link-netnsid 0
    inet6 fe80::28b1:ccff:fef0:3e81/64 scope link 
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
129: tap1: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1450 qdisc pfifo_fast state UNKNOWN group default qlen 1000
    link/ether 02:fe:6c:e4:80:52 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
    inet6 fe80::a4d5:c0ff:fef4:edba/64 scope link 
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever

Memif interfaces

Due to specifics of the memif interface, requests for memif interfaces using the contivpp.io/custom-if annotation need to be extended with a memif resource specification, listing the count of the memif interfaces that the pod requests:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
  name: vnf-pod
  annotations:
    contivpp.io/custom-if: memif1/memif
spec:
  containers:
    - name: vnf-memif
      image: ligato/vpp-agent:v2.1.1
      resources:
        limits:
          contivpp.io/memif: 1

After this pod is started, it automatically gets a mount of a memif socket waiting for a slave connection request. The socket file location and the key used for authentication of the slave can be found in the following environment variables inside of the pod:

root@vnf-pod:~# env | grep MEMIF
MEMIF_SECRET=fh99pwvrkvd7n2kjvmtv
MEMIF_SOCKET=/run/vpp/memif.sock

In this case, it is a responsibility of the application running in the pod to configure the pod-side of the memif.

Memif pod auto-configuration

In case that the pod runs its own copy of VPP with the ligato VPP Agent (ligato/vpp-agent Docker image), it is also possible to request auto-configuration of the pod-side of the memif. In this case, the CNI plugin puts the pod-side memif configuration into the contiv ETCD, from where the local Agent would read it and configure the pod-local VPP.

To request auto-configuration, the pod definition needs to be extended with the contivpp.io/microservice-label annotation, with the value of microsevice label that the vpp-agent running inside of the pod uses to identify its config subtree in ETCD.

The following is a complex example of a pod which runs VPP + agent inside of it, requests 1 memif interface and its auto-configuration:

apiVersion: v1
kind: ConfigMap
metadata:
  name: etcd-cfg
  labels:
    name: etcd-cfg
  namespace: default
data:
  etcd.conf: |
    insecure-transport: true
    dial-timeout: 10000000000
    allow-delayed-start: true
    endpoints:
      - "192.168.56.101:32379"

---

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
  name: vnf-pod
  annotations:
    contivpp.io/custom-if: memif1/memif
    contivpp.io/microservice-label: vnf1
spec:
  containers:
    - name: vnf-memif
      image: ligato/vpp-agent:latest
      env:
        - name: ETCD_CONFIG
          value: "/etc/etcd/etcd.conf"
        - name: MICROSERVICE_LABEL
          value: vnf1
      resources:
        limits:
          contivpp.io/memif: 1
      volumeMounts:
        - name: etcd-cfg
          mountPath: /etc/etcd
  volumes:
    - name: etcd-cfg
      configMap:
        name: etcd-cfg

Exploring the VPP state of this pod using vppctl would show an auto-configured memif interface connected to the vswitch VPP:

$ kubectl exec -it vnf-pod -- vppctl -s :5002
    _______    _        _   _____  ___ 
 __/ __/ _ \  (_)__    | | / / _ \/ _ \
 _/ _// // / / / _ \   | |/ / ___/ ___/
 /_/ /____(_)_/\___/   |___/_/  /_/    

vpp# sh inter
              Name               Idx    State  MTU (L3/IP4/IP6/MPLS)     Counter          Count     
local0                            0     down          0/0/0/0       
memif0/0                          1      up          9000/0/0/0      
vpp#