AWS VPC CNI plugin

This guide explains how to set up Cilium in combination with the AWS VPC CNI plugin. In this hybrid mode, the AWS VPC CNI plugin is responsible for setting up the virtual network devices as well as for IP address management (IPAM) via ENIs. After the initial networking is setup for a given pod, the Cilium CNI plugin is called to attach eBPF programs to the network devices set up by the AWS VPC CNI plugin in order to enforce network policies, perform load-balancing and provide encryption.

Note

Some advanced Cilium features may be limited when chaining with other CNI plugins, such as:

Important

Please ensure that you are running version 1.7.9 or newer of the AWS VPC CNI plugin to guarantee compatibility with Cilium.

$ kubectl -n kube-system get ds/aws-node -o json | jq -r '.spec.template.spec.containers[0].image'
602401143452.dkr.ecr.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/amazon-k8s-cni:v1.7.5-eksbuild.1

If you are running an older version, as in the above example, you can upgrade it with:

$ kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/aws/amazon-vpc-cni-k8s/v1.7.9/config/v1.7/aws-k8s-cni.yaml
../../_images/aws-cni-architecture.png

Setting up a cluster on AWS

Follow the instructions in the Quick Installation guide to set up an EKS cluster, or use any other method of your preference to set up a Kubernetes cluster on AWS.

Ensure that the aws-vpc-cni-k8s plugin is installed — which will already be the case if you have created an EKS cluster. Also, ensure the version of the plugin is up-to-date as per the above.

Note

Make sure you have Helm 3 installed. Helm 2 is no longer supported.

Setup Helm repository:

helm repo add cilium https://helm.cilium.io/

Deploy Cilium via Helm:

helm install cilium cilium/cilium --version 1.12.0 \
  --namespace kube-system \
  --set cni.chainingMode=aws-cni \
  --set enableIPv4Masquerade=false \
  --set tunnel=disabled

This will enable chaining with the AWS VPC CNI plugin. It will also disable tunneling, as it’s not required since ENI IP addresses can be directly routed in the VPC. For the same reason, masquerading can be disabled as well.

Restart existing pods

The new CNI chaining configuration will not apply to any pod that is already running in the cluster. Existing pods will be reachable, and Cilium will load-balance to them, but not from them. Policy enforcement will also not be applied. For these reasons, you must restart these pods so that the chaining configuration can be applied to them.

The following command can be used to check which pods need to be restarted:

for ns in $(kubectl get ns -o jsonpath='{.items[*].metadata.name}'); do
     ceps=$(kubectl -n "${ns}" get cep \
         -o jsonpath='{.items[*].metadata.name}')
     pods=$(kubectl -n "${ns}" get pod \
         -o custom-columns=NAME:.metadata.name,NETWORK:.spec.hostNetwork \
         | grep -E '\s(<none>|false)' | awk '{print $1}' | tr '\n' ' ')
     ncep=$(echo "${pods} ${ceps}" | tr ' ' '\n' | sort | uniq -u | paste -s -d ' ' -)
     for pod in $(echo $ncep); do
       echo "${ns}/${pod}";
     done
done

Validate the Installation

Install the latest version of the Cilium CLI. The Cilium CLI can be used to install Cilium, inspect the state of a Cilium installation, and enable/disable various features (e.g. clustermesh, Hubble).

CILIUM_CLI_VERSION=$(curl -s https://raw.githubusercontent.com/cilium/cilium-cli/master/stable.txt)
CLI_ARCH=amd64
if [ "$(uname -m)" = "aarch64" ]; then CLI_ARCH=arm64; fi
curl -L --fail --remote-name-all https://github.com/cilium/cilium-cli/releases/download/${CILIUM_CLI_VERSION}/cilium-linux-${CLI_ARCH}.tar.gz{,.sha256sum}
sha256sum --check cilium-linux-${CLI_ARCH}.tar.gz.sha256sum
sudo tar xzvfC cilium-linux-${CLI_ARCH}.tar.gz /usr/local/bin
rm cilium-linux-${CLI_ARCH}.tar.gz{,.sha256sum}

To validate that Cilium has been properly installed, you can run

$ cilium status --wait
   /¯¯\
/¯¯\__/¯¯\    Cilium:         OK
\__/¯¯\__/    Operator:       OK
/¯¯\__/¯¯\    Hubble:         disabled
\__/¯¯\__/    ClusterMesh:    disabled
   \__/

DaemonSet         cilium             Desired: 2, Ready: 2/2, Available: 2/2
Deployment        cilium-operator    Desired: 2, Ready: 2/2, Available: 2/2
Containers:       cilium-operator    Running: 2
                  cilium             Running: 2
Image versions    cilium             quay.io/cilium/cilium:v1.9.5: 2
                  cilium-operator    quay.io/cilium/operator-generic:v1.9.5: 2

Run the following command to validate that your cluster has proper network connectivity:

$ cilium connectivity test
ℹ️  Monitor aggregation detected, will skip some flow validation steps
✨ [k8s-cluster] Creating namespace for connectivity check...
(...)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
📋 Test Report
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
✅ 69/69 tests successful (0 warnings)

Congratulations! You have a fully functional Kubernetes cluster with Cilium. 🎉

Advanced

Enabling security groups for pods (EKS)

Cilium can be used alongside the security groups for pods feature of EKS in supported clusters when running in chaining mode. Follow the instructions below to enable this feature:

Important

The following guide requires jq and the AWS CLI to be installed and configured.

Make sure that the AmazonEKSVPCResourceController managed policy is attached to the IAM role associated with the EKS cluster:

export EKS_CLUSTER_NAME="my-eks-cluster" # Change accordingly
export EKS_CLUSTER_ROLE_NAME=$(aws eks describe-cluster \
     --name "${EKS_CLUSTER_NAME}" \
     | jq -r '.cluster.roleArn' | awk -F/ '{print $NF}')
aws iam attach-role-policy \
     --policy-arn arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/AmazonEKSVPCResourceController \
     --role-name "${EKS_CLUSTER_ROLE_NAME}"

Then, and as mentioned above, make sure that the version of the AWS VPC CNI plugin running in the cluster is up-to-date:

kubectl -n kube-system get ds/aws-node \
  -o jsonpath='{.spec.template.spec.containers[0].image}'
602401143452.dkr.ecr.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/amazon-k8s-cni:v1.7.10

Next, patch the kube-system/aws-node DaemonSet in order to enable security groups for pods:

kubectl -n kube-system patch ds aws-node \
  -p '{"spec":{"template":{"spec":{"initContainers":[{"env":[{"name":"DISABLE_TCP_EARLY_DEMUX","value":"true"}],"name":"aws-vpc-cni-init"}],"containers":[{"env":[{"name":"ENABLE_POD_ENI","value":"true"}],"name":"aws-node"}]}}}}'
kubectl -n kube-system rollout status ds aws-node

After the rollout is complete, all nodes in the cluster should have the vps.amazonaws.com/has-trunk-attached label set to true:

kubectl get nodes -L vpc.amazonaws.com/has-trunk-attached
NAME                                            STATUS   ROLES    AGE   VERSION              HAS-TRUNK-ATTACHED
ip-192-168-111-169.eu-west-2.compute.internal   Ready    <none>   22m   v1.19.6-eks-49a6c0   true
ip-192-168-129-175.eu-west-2.compute.internal   Ready    <none>   22m   v1.19.6-eks-49a6c0   true

From this moment everything should be in place. For details on how to actually associate security groups to pods, please refer to the official documentation.

Next Steps