Vitess Operator provides automation that simplifies the administration of Vitess clusters on Kubernetes.
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Vitess Operator

The Vitess Operator provides automation that simplifies the administration of Vitess clusters on Kubernetes.

The Operator installs a custom resource for objects of the custom type VitessCluster. This custom resource allows you to configure the high-level aspects of your Vitess deployment, while the details of how to run Vitess on Kubernetes are abstracted and automated.

Vitess Components

A typical VitessCluster object might expand to the following tree once it's fully deployed. Objects in bold are custom resource kinds defined by this Operator.

  • VitessCluster: The top-level specification for a Vitess cluster. This is the only one the user creates.
    • VitessCell: Each Vitess cell represents an independent failure domain (e.g. a Zone or Availability Zone).
      • EtcdCluster (etcd-operator): Vitess needs its own etcd cluster to coordinate its built-in load-balancing and automatic shard routing.
      • Deployment (orchestrator): An optional automated failover tool that works with Vitess.
      • Deployment (vtctld): A pool of stateless Vitess admin servers, which serve a dashboard UI as well as being an endpoint for the Vitess CLI tool (vtctlclient).
      • Deployment (vtgate): A pool of stateless Vitess query routers. The client application can use any one of these vtgate Pods as the entry point into Vitess, through a MySQL-compatible interface.
      • VitessKeyspace (db1): Each Vitess keyspace is a logical database that may be composed of many MySQL databases (shards).
        • VitessShard (db1/0): Each Vitess shard is a single-master tree of replicating MySQL instances.
          • Pod(s) (vttablet): Within a shard, there may be many Vitess tablets (individual MySQL instances). VitessShard acts like an app-specific replacement for StatefulSet, creating both Pods and PersistentVolumeClaims.
          • PersistentVolumeClaim(s)
        • VitessShard (db1/1)
          • Pod(s) (vttablet)
          • PersistentVolumeClaim(s)
      • VitessKeyspace (db2)
        • VitessShard (db2/0)
          • Pod(s) (vttablet)
          • PersistentVolumeClaim(s)


  • Kubernetes 1.8+ is required for its improved CRD support, especially garbage collection.
    • This config currently requires a dynamic PersistentVolume provisioner and a default StorageClass.
    • The example my-vitess.yaml config results in a lot of Pods. If the Pods don't schedule due to resource limits, you can try lowering the limits, lowering replicas values, or removing the batch config under tablets.
  • Install Metacontroller.
  • Install etcd-operator in the namespace where you plan to create a VitessCluster.

Deploy the Operator

You can technically install the Operator into any namespace, but the references in this example are hard-coded to vitess because some explicit namespace must be specified to ensure the webhooks can be reached across namespaces.

Note that once the Operator is installed, you can create VitessCluster objects in any namespace. The example below loads my-vitess.yaml into the default namespace for your kubectl context. That's the namespace where etcd-operator also needs to be enabled, not necessarily the vitess namespace.

kubectl create namespace vitess
kubectl create configmap vitess-operator-hooks -n vitess --from-file=hooks
kubectl apply -f vitess-operator.yaml

Create a VitessCluster

kubectl apply -f my-vitess.yaml

View the Vitess Dashboard

Wait until the cluster is ready:

kubectl get vitessclusters -o ',READY:.status.conditions[?(@.type=="Ready")].status'

You should see:

vitess    True

Start a kubectl proxy:

kubectl proxy --port=8001

Then visit:


Clean Up

# Delete the VitessCluster object.
kubectl delete -f my-vitess.yaml
# Uninstall the Vitess Operator.
kubectl delete -f vitess-operator.yaml
kubectl delete -n vitess configmap vitess-operator-hooks
# Delete the namespace for the Vitess Operator,
# assuming you created it just for this example.
kubectl delete namespace vitess