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Setting Up a Frontend Load Balancer for the Kubernetes API

One way to manage access to the Kubernetes API across distributed control nodes is to use a load balancer. This activity will guide you through the process of setting up an Nginx load balancer to manage traffic to the Kubernetes API across multiple nodes. You’ll learn more about the relationship between the Kubernetes API and the different Kubernetes components, such as kubelet and kubectl. After completing this activity, you will have a basic understanding of how to load balance Kubernetes API traffic.

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Path Info

Clock icon Intermediate
Clock icon 1h 0m
Clock icon Sep 28, 2018

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Table of Contents

  1. Challenge

    Install Nginx on the load balancer server.

    You can install Nginx like this:

    sudo apt-get install -y nginx
    sudo systemctl enable nginx
  2. Challenge

    Configure Nginx to balance Kubernetes API traffic across the two controllers.

    Do the following to configure the Nginx load balancer:

    sudo mkdir -p /etc/nginx/tcpconf.d
    sudo vi /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

    Add the following configuration at the bottom of nginx.conf:

    include /etc/nginx/tcpconf.d/*;

    Create a config file to configure Kubernetes API load balancing:

    cat << EOF | sudo tee /etc/nginx/tcpconf.d/kubernetes.conf
    stream {
        upstream kubernetes {
            server <controller 0 private ip>:6443;
            server <controller 1 private ip>:6443;
        server {
            listen 6443;
            listen 443;
            proxy_pass kubernetes;

    Reload the Nginx configuration:

    sudo nginx -s reload

    You can verify that everything is working by making a request to the Kubernetes API through the load balancer:

    curl -k https://localhost:6443/version

    This request should return some Kubernetes version data.

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