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Auto Scaling

Enable Auto Scaling

You can create a cluster (or nodegroup in an existing cluster) with IAM role that will allow use of cluster autoscaler:

eksctl create cluster --asg-access

This flag also sets k8s.io/cluster-autoscaler/enabled and k8s.io/cluster-autoscaler/<clusterName> tags, so nodegroup discovery should work.

Once the cluster is running, you will need to install Cluster Autoscaler itself.

You should also add the following to your managed or unmanaged nodegroup definition(s) to add the tags required for the Cluster Autoscaler to scale the nodegroup:

nodeGroups:
  - name: ng1-public
    iam:
      withAddonPolicies:
        autoScaler: true

Scaling up from 0

If you would like to be able to scale your node group up from 0 and you have labels and/or taints defined on your nodegroups, you will need to propagate these as tags on your Auto Scaling Groups (ASGs).

One way to do this is by setting the ASG tags in the tags field of your nodegroup definitions. Note that, for unmanaged nodegroups only, tags are propagated to the ASG by default.

For example, given a nodegroup with the following labels and taints:

nodeGroups:
  - name: ng1-public
    ...
    labels:
      my-cool-label: pizza
    taints:
      key: feaster
      value: "true"
      effect: NoSchedule

You would need to add the following ASG tags:

nodeGroups:
  - name: ng1-public
    ...
    labels:
      my-cool-label: pizza
    taints:
      feaster: "true:NoSchedule"
    tags:
      k8s.io/cluster-autoscaler/node-template/label/my-cool-label: pizza
      k8s.io/cluster-autoscaler/node-template/taint/feaster: "true:NoSchedule"

For unmanaged nodegroups, this can be done automatically by setting propagateASGTags to true, which will add the labels and taints as tags to the Auto Scaling group:

nodeGroups:
  - name: ng1-public
    ...
    labels:
      my-cool-label: pizza
    taints:
      feaster: "true:NoSchedule"
    propagateASGTags: true

For managed nodegroups, setting propagateASGTags to true will only propagate the tags to the ASG as tags. Propagating the labels and taints in a similar way to how this is done with unmanaged nodegroups is not supported yet.

managedNodeGroups:
  - name: ng1-public
    ...
    labels:
      my-cool-label: pizza
    taints:
      feaster: "true:NoSchedule"
    tags:
      k8s.io/cluster-autoscaler/node-template/label/my-cool-label: pizza
      k8s.io/cluster-autoscaler/node-template/taint/feaster: "true:NoSchedule"
    propagateASGTags: true

Zone-aware Auto Scaling

If your workloads are zone-specific you'll need to create separate nodegroups for each zone. This is because the cluster-autoscaler assumes that all nodes in a group are exactly equivalent. So, for example, if a scale-up event is triggered by a pod which needs a zone-specific PVC (e.g. an EBS volume), the new node might get scheduled in the wrong AZ and the pod will fail to start.

You won't need a separate nodegroup for each AZ if your environment meets the following criteria:

  • No zone-specific storage requirements.
  • No required podAffinity with topology other than host.
  • No required nodeAffinity on zone label.
  • No nodeSelector on a zone label.

(Read more here and here.)

If you meet all of the above requirements (and possibly others) then you should be safe with a single nodegroup which spans multiple AZs. Otherwise you'll want to create separate, single-AZ nodegroups:

BEFORE:

nodeGroups:
  - name: ng1-public
    instanceType: m5.xlarge
    # availabilityZones: ["eu-west-2a", "eu-west-2b"]

AFTER:

nodeGroups:
  - name: ng1-public-2a
    instanceType: m5.xlarge
    availabilityZones: ["eu-west-2a"]
  - name: ng1-public-2b
    instanceType: m5.xlarge
    availabilityZones: ["eu-west-2b"]
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