The CRD-backed IPAM mode provides an extendable interface to control the IP address management via a Kubernetes Custom Resource Definition (CRD). This allows to delegate IPAM to external operators or make it user configurable per node.



When this mode is enabled, each Cilium agent will start watching for a Kubernetes custom resource with a name matching the Kubernetes node on which the agent is running.

Whenever the custom resource is updated, the per node allocation pool is updated with all addresses listed in the spec.ipam.available field. When an IP is removed that is currently allocated, the IP will continue to be used but will not be available for re-allocation after release.

Upon allocation of an IP in the allocation pool, the IP is added to the status.ipam.inuse field.


The node status update is limited to run at most once every 15 seconds. Therefore, if several pods are scheduled at the same time, the update of the status section can lag behind.


The CRD-backed IPAM mode is enabled by setting ipam: crd in the cilium-config ConfigMap or by specifying the option --ipam=crd. When enabled, the agent will wait for a CiliumNode custom resource matching the Kubernetes node name to become available with at least one IP address listed as available. When connectivity health-checking is enabled, at least two IP addresses must be available.

While waiting, the agent will print the following log message:

Waiting for initial IP to become available in '<node-name>' custom resource

For a practical tutorial on how to enable CRD IPAM mode with Cilium, see the section CRD-Backed IPAM.


In order for the custom resource to be functional, the following additional privileges are required. These privileges are automatically granted when using the standard Cilium deployment artifacts:

kind: ClusterRole
  name: cilium
- apiGroups:
  - ciliumnodes
  - ciliumnodes/status
  - '*'

CRD Definition

The CiliumNode custom resource is modeled after a standard Kubernetes resource and is split into a spec and status section:

type CiliumNode struct {

        // Spec is the specification of the node
        Spec NodeSpec `json:"spec"`

        // Status it the status of the node
        Status NodeStatus `json:"status"`

IPAM Specification

The spec section embeds an IPAM specific field which allows to define the list of all IPs which are available to the node for allocation:

// AllocationMap is a map of allocated IPs indexed by IP
type AllocationMap map[string]AllocationIP

// NodeSpec is the configuration specific to a node
type NodeSpec struct {
        // [...]

        // IPAM is the address management specification. This section can be
        // populated by a user or it can be automatically populated by an IPAM
        // operator
        // +optional
        IPAM IPAMSpec `json:"ipam,omitempty"`

// IPAMSpec is the IPAM specification of the node
type IPAMSpec struct {
        // Pool is the list of IPs available to the node for allocation. When
        // an IP is used, the IP will remain on this list but will be added to
        // Status.IPAM.InUse
        // +optional
        Pool AllocationMap `json:"pool,omitempty"`

// AllocationIP is an IP available for allocation or already allocated
type AllocationIP struct {
        // Owner is the owner of the IP, this field is set if the IP has been
        // allocated. It will be set to the pod name or another identifier
        // representing the usage of the IP
        // The owner field is left blank for an entry in Spec.IPAM.Pool
        // and filled out as the IP is used and also added to
        // Status.IPAM.InUse.
        // +optional
        Owner string `json:"owner,omitempty"`

        // Resource is set for both available and allocated IPs, it represents
        // what resource the IP is associated with, e.g. in combination with
        // AWS ENI, this will refer to the ID of the ENI
        // +optional
        Resource string `json:"resource,omitempty"`

IPAM Status

The status section contains an IPAM specific field. The IPAM status reports all used addresses on that node:

// NodeStatus is the status of a node
type NodeStatus struct {
        // [...]

        // IPAM is the IPAM status of the node
        // +optional
        IPAM IPAMStatus `json:"ipam,omitempty"`

// IPAMStatus is the IPAM status of a node
type IPAMStatus struct {
        // InUse lists all IPs out of Spec.IPAM.Pool which have been
        // allocated and are in use.
        // +optional
        InUse AllocationMap `json:"used,omitempty"`