Kubernetes – Application scheduling

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Now that we understand how to run containers in pods and even recover from failure, it may be useful to understand how new containers are scheduled on our cluster nodes.

As mentioned earlier, the default behavior for the Kubernetes scheduler is to spread container replicas across the nodes in our cluster. In the absence of all other constraints, the scheduler will place new pods on nodes with the least number of other pods belonging to matching services or replication controllers.

Additionally, the scheduler provides the ability to add constraints based on resources available to the node. Today, this includes minimum CPU and memory allocations. In terms of Docker, these use the CPU-shares and memory limit flags under the covers.

When additional constraints are defined, Kubernetes will check a node for available resources. If a node does not meet all the constraints, it will move to the next. If no nodes can be found that meet the criteria, then we will see a scheduling error in the logs.

The Kubernetes road map also has plans to support networking and storage. Because scheduling is such an important piece of overall operations and management for containers, we should expect to see many additions in this area as the project grows.

Scheduling example

Let’s take a look at a quick example of setting some resource limits. If we look at our K8s dashboard, we can get a quick snapshot of the current state of resource usage on our cluster using https://<your master ip>/api/v1/proxy/namespaces/kube-system/services/kubernetes-dashboard and clicking on Nodes on the left-hand side menu.

We’ll see a dashboard, as shown in the following screenshot:

Kube node dashboard

This view shows the aggregate CPU and memory across the whole cluster, nodes, and Master. In this case, we have fairly low CPU utilization, but a decent chunk of memory in use.

Let’s see what happens when I try to spin up a few more pods, but this time, we’ll request 512 Mi for memory and 1500 m for the CPU. We’ll use 1500 m to specify 1.5 CPUs; since each node only has 1 CPU, this should result in failure. Here’s an example of the RC definition. Save this file as nodejs-constraints-controller.yaml:

apiVersion: v1 
kind: ReplicationController 
  name: node-js-constraints 
    name: node-js-constraints 
  replicas: 3 
    name: node-js-constraints 
        name: node-js-constraints 
      - name: node-js-constraints 
        image: jonbaier/node-express-info:latest 
        - containerPort: 80 
            memory: "512Mi" 
            cpu: "1500m"

To open the preceding file, use the following command:

$ kubectl create -f nodejs-constraints-controller.yaml

The replication controller completes successfully, but if we run a get pods command, we’ll note the node-js-constraints pods are stuck in a pending state. If we look a little closer with the describe pods/<pod-id> command, we’ll note a scheduling error (for pod-id use one of the pod names from the first command):

$ kubectl get pods
$ kubectl describe pods/<pod-id>

The following screenshot is the result of the preceding command:

Pod description

Note, in the bottom events section, that the WarningFailedScheduling pod error listed in Events is accompanied by fit failure on node....Insufficient cpu after the error. As you can see, Kuberneftes could not find a fit in the cluster that met all the constraints we defined.

If we now modify our CPU constraint down to 500 m, and then recreate our replication controller, we should have all three pods running within a few moments.

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