Kuryr Kubernetes Port Manager Design


The purpose of this document is to present Kuryr Kubernetes Port Manager, capturing the design decision currently taken by the kuryr team.

The main purpose of the Port Manager is to perform Neutron resources handling, i.e., ports creation and deletion. The main idea behind is to try to minimize the amount of calls to Neutron by ensuring port reuse as well as performing bulk actions, e.g., creating/deleting several ports within the same Neutron call.


Interactions between Kuryr and Neutron may take more time than desired from the container management perspective.

Some of these interactions between Kuryr and Neutron can be optimized. For instance, by maintaining pre-created pools of Neutron port resources instead of asking for their creation during pod lifecycle pipeline.

As an example, every time a container is created or deleted, there is a call from Kuryr to Neutron to create/remove the port used by the container. To optimize this interaction and speed up both container creation and deletion, the Kuryr-Kubernetes Port Manager will take care of both: Neutron ports creation beforehand, and Neutron ports deletion afterwards. This will consequently remove the waiting time for:

  • Creating ports and waiting for them to become active when booting containers

  • Deleting ports when removing containers

Proposed Solution

The Port Manager will be in charge of handling Neutron ports. The main difference with the current implementation resides on when and how these ports are managed. The idea behind is to minimize the amount of calls to the Neutron server by reusing already created ports as well as by creating/deleting them in bulk requests.

This design focuses on Neutron ports management, but similar optimization can be done for other Neutron resources, and consequently new resource managers can be added.

Ports Manager

The Port Manager will handle different pool of Neutron ports:

  • Available pools: There will be a pool of ports for each tenant, host (or trunk port for the nested case) and security group, ready to be used by the pods. Note at the beginning there are no pools. Once a pod is created at a given host/VM by a tenant, with a specific security group, a corresponding pool gets created and populated with the desired minimum amount of ports. Note the Neutron port quota needs to be considered when configuring the parameters of the pool, i.e., the minimum and/or maximum size of the pools as well as the size of the bulk creation requests.

  • Recyclable pool: Instead of deleting the port during pods removal it will just be included into this pool. The ports in this pool will be later recycled by the Port Manager and put back into the corresponding available pool.

The Port Manager will handle the available pools ensuring that at least X ports are ready to be used at each existing pool, i.e., for each security group and tenant which already has a pod on it. The port creation at each available_pool will be handled in batches, i.e., instead of creating one port at a time, a configurable amount of them will be created altogether. The Port Manager will check for each pod creation that the remaining number of ports in the specific pool is above X. Otherwise it creates Y extra ports for that pool (with the specific tenant and security group). Note both X and Y are configurable.

Thanks to having the available ports pool, during the container creation process, instead of calling Neutron port_create and then waiting for the port to become active, a port will be taken from the right available_pool (hence, no need to call Neutron) and then the port info will be updated with the proper container name (i.e., call to Neutron port_update). Thus, thanks to the Port Manager, at least two calls to Neutron are skipped (port create and pooling waiting for port to become ACTIVE), while doing an extra one (update) which is faster than the other ones. Similarly, for the port deletion we save the call to remove the port as it is just included in the recyclable pool.

The port cleanup actions return ports to the corresponding available_pool after re-applying security groups and changing the device name to ‘available-port’. A maximum limit for the pool can be specified to ensure that once the corresponding available_pool reach a certain size, the ports gets deleted instead of recycled. Note this upper limit can be disabled by setting it to 0. In addition, a Time-To-Live (TTL) could be set to the ports at the pool, so that if they are not used during a certain period of time, they are removed – if and only if the available_pool size is still larger than the target minimum.

Recovery of pool ports upon Kuryr-Controller restart

If the Kuryr-Controller is restarted, the pre-created ports will still exist on the Neutron side but the Kuryr-controller will be unaware of them, thus pre-creating more upon pod allocation requests. To avoid having these existing but unused ports a mechanisms is needed to either delete them after controller’s reboot, or obtain their information and re-include them into their corresponding pool.

For the baremetal (NeutronVIF) case, as the ports are not attached to any hosts (at least not until CNI support is included) there is not enough information to decide which pool should be selected for adding the port. For simplicity, and as a temporal solution until CNI support is developed, the implemented mechanism will find the previously created ports by looking at the existing neutron ports and filtering them by device_owner and name, which should be compute:kuryr and available-port, respectively. Once these ports are obtained, they are deleted to release unused Neutron resources and avoid problems related to ports quota limits.

By contrast, it is possible to obtain all the needed information for the subports previously created for the nested (VLAN+Trunk) case as they are still attached to their respective trunk ports. Therefore, these ports instead of being deleted will be re-added to their corresponding pools. To do this, the Neutron ports are filtered by device_owner (trunk:subport in this case) and name (available-port), and then we iterate over the subports attached to each existing trunk port to find where the filtered ports are attached and then obtain all the needed information to re-add them into the corresponding pools.

Kuryr Controller Impact

A new VIF Pool driver is created to manage the ports pools upon pods creation and deletion events. It will ensure that a pool with at least X ports is available for each tenant, host or trunk port, and security group, when the first request to create a pod with these attributes happens. Similarly, it will ensure that ports are recycled from the recyclable pool after pods deletion and are put back in the corresponding available_pool to be reused. Thanks to this Neutron calls are skipped and the ports of the pools are used instead. If the corresponding pool is empty, a ResourceNotReady exception will be triggered and the pool will be repopulated.

In addition to the handler modification and the new pool drivers there are changes related to the VIF drivers. The VIF drivers (neutron-vif and nested) will be extended to support bulk ports creation of Neutron ports and similarly for the VIF objects requests.

Future enhancement

The VIFHandler needs to be aware of the new Pool driver, which will load the respective VIF driver to be used. In a sense, the Pool Driver will be a proxy to the VIF Driver, but also managing the pools. When a mechanism to load and set the VIFHandler drivers is in place, this will be reverted so that the VIFHandlers becomes unaware of the pool drivers.

Kuryr CNI Impact

For the nested vlan case, the subports at the different pools are already attached to the VMs trunk ports, therefore they are already in ACTIVE status. However, for the generic case the ports are not really bond to anything (yet), therefore their status will be DOWN. In order to keep these ports returned to the pool in ACTIVE status, we will implement another pool at the CNI side for the generic case. This solution could be different for different SDN controllers. The main idea is that they should keep the port in ACTIVE state without allowing network traffic through them. For instance, for the Neutron reference implementation, this pool will maintain a pool of veth devices at each host, by connecting them to a recyclable namespace so that the OVS agent sees them as ‘still connected’ and maintains their ACTIVE status. This modification must ensure the OVS (br-int) ports where these veth devices are connected are not deleted after container deletion by the CNI.

Future enhancement

The CNI modifications will be implemented in a second phase.