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Design of the Service Catalog
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This document covers the architecture and design of Service Catalog.

Table of Contents

Overview

The Service Catalog integrates with the Open Service Broker API (OSB API) to translate the Kubernetes resource model into OSB API calls to a service broker.

It has the following high level features:

  • Service Catalog users can register service brokers with Kubernetes
  • Service Catalog can fetch the services and plans (called the catalog) from each service broker, and make it available to Kubernetes users
  • Kubernetes users can request a new service from a broker by submitting a ServiceInstance resource to Service Catalog
  • Kubernetes users can link an application (i.e. one or more Pods) to a service by creating a new ServiceBinding resource

These features provide a loose-coupling between Applications running in Kubernetes and services that they use.

Generally, the services that applications use are external (i.e. "black box") to the Kubernetes cluster. For example, applications may decide to use a cloud database service.

Using Service Catalog and the appropriate service broker, application developers can focus on their own business logic, leave development and management of the service to someone else, and leave provisioning to the Service Catalog and broker.

Terminology

  • Application: Kubernetes uses the term "service" in a different way than Service Catalog does, so to avoid confusion the term Application will refer to the Kubernetes deployment artifact that will use a ServiceInstance.
  • ClusterServiceBroker: a Kubernetes resource that Service Catalog recognizes. This resource tells Service Catalog to fetch the catalog of a new broker, and merge the new catalog into the existing ClusterServiceClasses and ClusterServicePlans (see below). This resource is global - it doesn't have a namespace.
  • ClusterServiceClass: a Kubernetes resource that Service Catalog generates. After a user submits a ClusterServiceBroker, Service Catalog fetches the broker's catalog and merges the new catalog entries into ClusterServiceClasses in Kubernetes. Each ClusterServiceClass has one or more ClusterServicePlans (see below). This resource is global - it doesn't have a namespace.
  • ClusterServicePlan: a Kubernetes resource that Service Catalog generates. After a user submits a ClusterServiceBroker, Service Catalog fetches the broker's catalog and merges the new catalog entries into ClusterServiceClasses and ClusterServicePlans. Plans indicate variations on each ClusterServiceClass like cost, capacity, or quality of services (QoS). This resource is global - it doesn't have a namespace.
  • ServiceInstance: a Kubernetes resource that Service Catalog recognizes. A Kubernetes user may submit a ServiceInstance to provision a new instance of a service. The details of the service and the plan are listed in the resource, and ServiceCatalog passes that information to the broker that can provision the service. This resource is not global - it has a namespace.
  • ServiceBinding: a Kubernetes resource that Service Catalog recognizes. A Kubernetes user may submit a ServiceBinding to indicate their intent for their application to reference and use a ServiceInstance. Generally, a ServiceBinding will get credentials and a hostname that the application can use to talk to the service. After Service Catalog gets these credentials, it writes them into a Kubernetes Secret.
  • Credentials: after Service Catalog receives the binding response, it writes the response data into a Kubernetes Secret. This is the information needed for an application to talk to the service itself, and we call it "Credentials."

Open Service Broker API

The Service Catalog is an Open Service Broker API (OSB API) client. The OSB API specification is the evolution of the Cloud Foundry Service Broker API.

We're not going to detail the OSB API here; for more information, please see the Open Service Broker API Repository.

For the rest of this design document, we'll assume that you're familiar with the basic concepts of the OSB API.

Service Catalog Design

The above is the high level architecture of Service Catalog.

Service Catalog has two basic building blocks: an API server and a controller. This design is similar to the design of Kubernetes itself (in fact, Service Catalog borrows a lot of code from Kubernetes to implement this design).

API Server

The API Server is an HTTPS RESTful front-end for etcd (we can implement more storage backends, but we haven't done so)

Users and the Service Catalog controller interact with the API server (via the Kubernetes API aggregator to perform CRUD operations on Service Catalog resources (the ones listed in the previous section). For example, when a user runs kubectl get clusterservicebroker, they will be talking to the Service Catalog API server to get the list of ClusterServiceBroker resources.

The current version of all Service Catalog API resources is v1beta1. You can see the structure of each resource in detail at pkg/apis/servicecatalog/v1beta1/types.go.

Controller

The Service Catalog controller implements the behaviors of the service-catalog API. It monitors the API resources (by watching the stream of events from the API server) and takes the appropriate actions to reconcile the current state with the user's desired end state.

For example, if a user creates a ClusterServiceBroker, the Service Catalog API server will store the resource and emit an event. The Service Catalog controller will pick up the event and request the catalog from the broker listed in the resource.

For detailed information on a typical workflow, please see the walkthrough.

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