Routing Applications in Kubernetes with Nginx-Ingress

By Anish Nath, Alibaba Cloud Tech Share Author. Tech Share is Alibaba Cloud’s incentive program to encourage the sharing of technical knowledge and best practices within the cloud community.

This tutorial explains how to use nginx-ingress as an Ingress controller for a Kubernetes cluster and covers topic like

  • Setting up nginx-ingress
  • Define Name based Routing
  • Define Path Based routing

Before You Begin

You only need to have running Kubernetes cluster. In case you are new to Alibaba Cloud, you can get $10 worth in credit through my referral link to get started. Then, head on to this tutorial to learn how you can set up a fully functioning Kubernetes cluster.

Exposing Services to External Clients

These are the defined ways to make service accessible externally in Kubernetes.

  • NodePort: Exposes the service on each Node’s IP at a static port (the NodePort)
  • Loadbalancer: Exposes the service externally using a cloud provider’s load balancer. NodePort and ClusterIP services, to which the external load balancer will route, are automatically created.
  • Ingress Resource: This operates on the at the application layer7, in TCP/IP stack, the HTTP level and offer more feature than layer4 service.

This tutorial is dedicated to using Ingress Resource through the nginx-ingress Kubernetes Ingress Controller.

About nginx-ingress

An Ingress Controller is a daemon, deployed as a Kubernetes Pod, that watches the apiserver’s /ingresses endpoint for updates to the Ingress resource. Its job is to satisfy requests for Ingresses.

Setting Up nginx-ingress

Helm is a tool for managing Kubernetes charts. Charts are packages of pre-configured Kubernetes resources. so before setting up nginx-ingress, we need to setup helm first install helm and then configure it on k8 cluster, you can ignore these steps and jump directly to helm nginx-ingress installation if the helm is already configured.

Download the latest version of helm

root@kube-master:# gunzip helm-v2.8.1-linux-amd64.tar.gz**
root@kube-master:# tar -xvf helm-v2.8.1-linux-amd64.tar**
root@kube-master:# sudo mv l*/helm /usr/local/bin/.**

Then, initialize helm to both set up the local environment and to install the server portion, Tiller, on your cluster

root@kube-master:# helm init 
root@kube-master:# kubectl create serviceaccount --namespace kube-system tiller
root@kube-master:# kubectl create clusterrolebinding tiller-cluster-rule --clusterrole=cluster-admin --serviceaccount=kube-system:tiller
root@kube-master:# kubectl patch deploy --namespace kube-system tiller-deploy -p '{"spec":{"template":{"spec":{"serviceAccount":"tiller"}}}}'

Make sure Tiller, on your cluster is up and running.

root@kube-master:# kubectl get pods -n kube-system 
NAME READY STATUS RESTARTS AGE
coredns-78fcdf6894-jvmlb 1/1 Running 0 1h
coredns-78fcdf6894-xstbn 1/1 Running 0 1h
etcd-kube-master 1/1 Running 0 1h
kube-apiserver-kube-master 1/1 Running 0 1h
kube-controller-manager-kube-master 1/1 Running 0 1h
kube-flannel-ds-5gzn9 1/1 Running 0 1h
kube-flannel-ds-tlc8j 1/1 Running 0 1h
kube-proxy-kl4fg 1/1 Running 0 1h
kube-proxy-krt6n 1/1 Running 0 1h
kube-scheduler-kube-master 1/1 Running 0 1h
tiller-deploy-85744d9bfb-wh98g 1/1 Running 0 1h

Install nginx-ingress Using Helm

The below command will setup the nginx-ingress in the kube-system namespace, and setup necessary RBAC in k8 cluster to operated ingress correctly

root@kube-master:#  helm install stable/nginx-ingress --name nginx-ingress --set controller.stats.enabled=true --namespace kube-system

This command produces a lot of output, so let’s take it one step at a time. First, we get information about the release that’s been deployed

NAME: nginx-ingress
LAST DEPLOYED: Thu Jan 24 14:00:16 2019
NAMESPACE: kube-system
STATUS: DEPLOYED

Next, we get the resources that were actually deployed by the stable/nginx-ingress chart

RESOURCES:
==> v1beta1/ClusterRoleBinding
NAME AGE
nginx-ingress 4s
==> v1beta1/RoleBinding
NAME AGE
nginx-ingress 4s
==> v1/Service
NAME TYPE CLUSTER-IP EXTERNAL-IP PORT(S) AGE
nginx-ingress-controller LoadBalancer 10.98.81.209 <pending> 80:32437/TCP,443:30692/TCP 4s
nginx-ingress-controller-stats ClusterIP 10.96.0.80 <none> 18080/TCP 4s
nginx-ingress-default-backend ClusterIP 10.106.7.213 <none> 80/TCP 4s
==> v1beta1/ClusterRole
NAME AGE
nginx-ingress 4s
==> v1/ServiceAccount
NAME SECRETS AGE
nginx-ingress 1 4s
==> v1beta1/Role
NAME AGE
nginx-ingress 4s
==> v1beta1/Deployment
NAME DESIRED CURRENT UP-TO-DATE AVAILABLE AGE
nginx-ingress-controller 1 1 1 0 4s
nginx-ingress-default-backend 1 1 1 0 4s
==> v1/Pod(related)
NAME READY STATUS RESTARTS AGE
nginx-ingress-controller-ff7cb987-lj4j5 0/1 Pending 0 3s
nginx-ingress-default-backend-544cfb69fc-xtl2p 0/1 ContainerCreating 0 4s
==> v1/ConfigMap
NAME DATA AGE
nginx-ingress-controller 1 4s

The chart also enables the developer to add notes:

NOTES:
The nginx-ingress controller has been installed.
It may take a few minutes for the LoadBalancer IP to be available.
You can watch the status by running 'kubectl --namespace kube-system get services -o wide -w nginx-ingress-controller'

An example Ingress that makes use of the controller:

apiVersion: extensions/v1beta1
kind: Ingress
metadata:
annotations:
kubernetes.io/ingress.class: nginx
name: example
namespace: foo
spec:
rules:
- host: www.example.com
http:
paths:
- backend:
serviceName: exampleService
servicePort: 80
path: /
# This section is only required if TLS is to be enabled for the Ingress
tls:
- hosts:
- www.example.com
secretName: example-tls
If TLS is enabled for the Ingress, a Secret containing the certificate and key must also be provided: apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
metadata:
name: example-tls
namespace: foo
data:
tls.crt: <base64 encoded cert>
tls.key: <base64 encoded key>
type: kubernetes.io/tls

Well if everything goes well then, Check the nginx-ingress pods are running in the kube-system namespace

root@kube-master:# kubectl --namespace kube-system get services -o wide -w nginx-ingress-controller
NAME TYPE CLUSTER-IP EXTERNAL-IP PORT(S) AGE SELECTOR
nginx-ingress-controller LoadBalancer 10.98.81.209 172.16.2.13 80:32437/TCP,443:30692/TCP 3m app=nginx-ingress,component=controller,release=nginx-ingress

Once ‘EXTERNAL-IP’ is no longer ‘’: your nginx-ingress is ready for use

Up to this point we have successfully installed and configured nginx-ingress , now let’s define the routing (name based and path based ) of your application.

Launching Demo Application

We are going here to setup three sample nginx cheese web application, the docker images are located here .

  1. Docker image: errm/cheese:wensleydale
  2. Docker image: errm/cheese:cheddar
  3. Docker image: errm/cheese:stilton

Name Based Routing

The Name-Based Routing performs routing by name and support routing HTTP traffic to multiple host names at the same IP address but different domain names. Let’s start by launching the pods for the cheese websites.

Deployment of Cheese Web Application

The YAML file for the cheese application

---
kind: Deployment
apiVersion: extensions/v1beta1
metadata:
name: stilton
labels:
app: cheese
cheese: stilton
spec:
replicas: 2
selector:
matchLabels:
app: cheese
task: stilton
template:
metadata:
labels:
app: cheese
task: stilton
version: v0.0.1
spec:
containers:
- name: cheese
image: errm/cheese:stilton
resources:
requests:
cpu: 100m
memory: 50Mi
limits:
cpu: 100m
memory: 50Mi
ports:
- containerPort: 80

To provide some explanations about the file content:

  • We define a deployment (kind: Deployment)
  • The name of the object is “stilton” (name: stilton)
  • We want one replica (replicas: 2)
  • It will deploy pods that have the label app:cheese (selector: matchLabels: app:cheese)
  • Then we define the pods (template: ...)
  • The Pods will have the cheese label (metadata:labels:app:cheese)
  • The Pods will host a container using the image tag errm/cheese:stilton (image: errm/cheese:stilton)
  • The same deployment is repeated for cheddar and wensleydale

Now provision these nginx cheese application.

root@kube-master:# kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/containous/traefik/master/examples/k8s/cheese-deployments.yaml
deployment.extensions/stilton created
deployment.extensions/cheddar created
deployment.extensions/wensleydale created

Make sure all the cheese deployment pods are up and running

root@kube-master:/home/ansible# kubectl get pods
NAME READY STATUS RESTARTS AGE
cheddar-6c895c7cc7-2qztp 1/1 Running 0 7m
cheddar-6c895c7cc7-mzq9v 1/1 Running 0 7m
stilton-7989d7c86f-62wrt 1/1 Running 0 7m
stilton-7989d7c86f-fjttz 1/1 Running 0 7m
wensleydale-58784fc6f7-f8szd 1/1 Running 0 7m
wensleydale-58784fc6f7-prb8z 1/1 Running 0 7m

Service the Cheese Web Application

Next we need to setup a Service for each of the cheese pods.

root@kube-master:# kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/containous/traefik/master/examples/k8s/cheese-services.yaml
service/stilton created
service/cheddar created
service/wensleydale created

All the necessary service is created in k8 cluster.

root@kube-master:/home/ansible# kubectl get svc
NAME TYPE CLUSTER-IP EXTERNAL-IP PORT(S) AGE
cheddar ClusterIP 10.108.200.238 <none> 80/TCP 30s
kubernetes ClusterIP 10.96.0.1 <none> 443/TCP 1h
stilton ClusterIP 10.102.20.8 <none> 80/TCP 30s
wensleydale ClusterIP 10.109.58.21 <none> 80/TCP 30s

At this point, we have deployment and Service ready in the K8 cluster, and we’re about to define the ingress rules so that the world can eat the required service.

root@kube-master:# echo "
apiVersion: extensions/v1beta1
kind: Ingress
metadata:
name: cheese
annotations:
kubernetes.io/ingress.class: nginx
spec:
rules:
- host: stilton.minikube
http:
paths:
- path: /
backend:
serviceName: stilton
servicePort: http
- host: cheddar.minikube
http:
paths:
- path: /
backend:
serviceName: cheddar
servicePort: http
- host: wensleydale.minikube
http:
paths:
- path: /
backend:
serviceName: wensleydale
servicePort: http
" | kubectl apply -f -

The command output

ingress.extensions/cheese created

To provide some explanations about the file content:

  • We define a Ingress (kind: Ingress) and add ingress class in the annotation
  • The name of the object is “cheese” (name: cheese)
  • Then we define the rules (rules: ...)
  • For each service there is hostname defined for example the hostname stilton.minikube is mapped to stilton service.
  • The rules are repeated for each service.

Verify the Ingress, all the hosts can be accessed with the ingress port 80

root@kube-master:/home/ansible# kubectl get ingress
NAME HOSTS ADDRESS PORTS AGE
cheese stilton.minikube,cheddar.minikube,wensleydale.minikube 80 31s

Open the web browser and start eating your favorite cheese

PATH Based Routing

Path based routing differ from Name based routing in a sense, we don’t have multiple domains names, all the URI is distinguished and routed from the PATH prefix under a single domain, for example the above cheese application can be access through the single URI.

Let’s create the PATH base routing for the cheese application

Let’s create the PATH base routing for the cheese application

root@kube-master:# echo "
apiVersion: extensions/v1beta1
kind: Ingress
metadata:
name: cheeses
annotations:
nginx.ingress.kubernetes.io/rewrite-target: /
spec:
rules:
- host: cheeses.minikube
http:
paths:
- path: /stilton
backend:
serviceName: stilton
servicePort: http
- path: /cheddar
backend:
serviceName: cheddar
servicePort: http
- path: /wensleydale
backend:
serviceName: wensleydale
servicePort: http
" | kubectl apply -f -

The command output

ingress.extensions/cheese created

You should now be able to visit the websites in your browser.

Final Notes

  • The above example does not use any SSL configuration.
  • It is advisable to install the nginx-ingress in the kube-system namespace.
  • Always measure your resource needs, and adjust requests and limits accordingly.

Reference:https://www.alibabacloud.com/blog/routing-applications-in-kubernetes-with-nginx-ingress_594719?spm=a2c41.12820826.0.0

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