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Dual-Stack (IPv4 + IPv6) Networking

Feature Overview

Dual Stack is a technology preview feature, some limitations may apply depending on the chosen provider. Please read the provider-specific information below for more information.

Since Kubernetes 1.20, Kubernetes clusters can run in dual-stack mode, which allows simultaneous usage of both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses in the cluster. In dual-stack clusters, Kubernetes nodes and pods have both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, and Kubernetes services can use IPv4, IPv6, or both address families, which can be indicated in service’s spec.ipFamilies.

While upstream Kubernetes now supports dual-stack networking as a GA or stable feature, each provider’s support of dual-stack Kubernetes may vary.

KKP supports dual-stack networking for KKP-managed user clusters for the following providers:

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Microsoft Azure
  • BYO / kubeadm
  • DigitalOcean
  • Equinix Metal
  • Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
  • Hetzner
  • OpenStack
  • VMware vSphere

Dual-stack specifics & limitations of individual cloud-providers are listed below.

Compatibility Matrix

The following table lists the provider / operating system combinations compatible with dual-stack clusters on KKP:

UbuntuCentOS 7FlatcarRHELRocky Linux
Amazon Web Services (AWS)x
Microsoft Azure
DigitalOcean--✓ *
Equinix Metal✓ *-✓ *
Google Cloud Platform (GCP)----
Hetzner--
Openstackx
VMware vSphere----

NOTES:

  • A hyphen(-) denotes that the operating system is available / not tested on the given platform.
  • An asterisk (*) denotes a minor issue described in specifics & limitations of individual cloud-providers.
  • Cilium CNI is not compatible with CentOS 7 on any platform.
  • CentOS 8 is past end of life, so it was not tested.

Enabling Dual-Stack Networking for a User Cluster

Dual-stack networking can be enabled for each user-cluster across one of the supported cloud providers. Please refer to provider-specific documentation below to see if it is supported globally, or it needs to be enabled on the datacenter level.

Dual-stack can be enabled for each supported CNI (both Canal and Cilium). In case of Canal CNI, the minimal supported version is 3.22.

Enabling Dual-Stack Networking from KKP UI

If dual-stack networking is available for the given provider and datacenter, an option for choosing between IPv4 and IPv4 and IPv6 (Dual Stack) becomes automatically available on the cluster details page in the cluster creation wizard:

Cluster Settings - Network Configuration - IPv4 vs. Dual-Stack

Cluster Settings - Network Configuration - IPv4 vs. Dual-Stack

After clicking on the ADVANCED NETWORKING CONFIGURATION button, more detailed networking configuration can be provided. In case of a dual-stack cluster, the pods & services CIDRs, the node CIDR mask size and the allowed IP range for nodePorts can be configured separately for each address family:

Cluster Settings - Network Configuration - Advanced Dual-Stack Configuration

Cluster Settings - Network Configuration - Advanced Dual-Stack Configuration

The rest of the cluster creation process remains the same as for single-stack user clusters.

Enabling Dual-Stack Networking from KKP API

Dual-Stack networking can be enabled in two ways from the KKP API:

  1. The easy way relies on defaulting of the pods & services CIDRs. To enable dual-stack networking for a user cluster without specifying pod / services CIDRs for individual address families, just set the cluster’s spec.clusterNetwork.ipFamily to IPv4+IPv6 and leave spec.clusterNetwork.pods and spec.clusterNetwork.services empty. They will be defaulted as described on the CNI & Cluster Network Configuration page.

  2. The other option is to specify both IPv4 and IPv6 CIDRs in spec.clusterNetwork.pods and spec.clusterNetwork.services. For example, a valid clusterNetwork configuration excerpt may look like:

spec:
  clusterNetwork:
    pods:
      cidrBlocks:
      - 172.25.0.0/16
      - fd01::/48
    services:
      cidrBlocks:
      - 10.240.16.0/20
      - fd02::/120
    nodeCidrMaskSizeIPv4: 24
    nodeCidrMaskSizeIPv6: 64

Please note that the order of address families in the cidrBlocks is important and KKP right now only supports IPv4 as the primary IP family (meaning that IPv4 address must always be the first in the cidrBlocks list).

Verifying Dual-Stack Networking in a User Cluster

in order to verify the connectivity in a dual-stack enabled user cluster, please refer to the Validate IPv4/IPv6 dual-stack page in the Kubernetes documentation. Please note the cloud-provider specifics & limitations section below, as some features may not be supported on the given cloud-provider.

Cloud-Provider Specifics and Limitations

AWS

Dual-stack feature is available automatically for all new user clusters in AWS. Please note however, that the VPC and subnets used to host the worker nodes need to be dual-stack enabled - i.e. must have both IPv4 and IPv6 CIDR assigned.

Limitations:

  • Worker nodes do not have their IPv6 IP addresses published in k8s API (kubectl describe nodes), but have them physically applied on their network interfaces (can be seen after SSH-ing to the node). Because of this, pods in the host network namespace do not have IPv6 address assigned.
  • Dual-Stack services of type LoadBalancer are not yet supported by AWS cloud-controller-manager. Only NodePort services can be used to expose services outside the cluster via IPv6.
  • CentOS 7 has issues getting default route even though the interface gets the public IPv6 address. Restarting networking stack helps but is not reliable. Please also see the Centos Limitations section.

Related issues:

Docs:

Microsoft Azure

Dual-stack feature is available automatically for all new user clusters in Azure. Please note however that the VNet used to host the worker nodes needs to be dual-stack enabled - i.e. must have both IPv4 and IPv6 CIDR assigned. In case that you are not using a pre-created VNet, but leave the VNet creation on KKP, it will automatically create a dual-stack VNet for your dual-stack user clusters.

Limitations:

  • Dual-Stack services of type LoadBalancer are not yet supported by Azure cloud-controller-manager. Only NodePort services can be used to expose services outside the cluster via IPv6.

Related issues:

Docs:

BYO / kubeadm

Dual-stack feature is available automatically for all new Bring-Your-Own (kubeadm) user clusters.

Before joining a KKP user cluster, the worker node needs to have both IPv4 and IPv6 address assigned. Before joining, we need to make sure that both the IPv4 and the IPv6 address needs to be passed into the node-ip flag of the kubelet. This can be done as follows:

  • As instructed by KKP UI, run the kubeadm token --kubeconfig <your-kubeconfig> create --print-join-command command and use its output in the next step.
  • Create a yaml file with kubeadm JoinConfiguration, e.g. kubeadm-join-config.yaml with the content similar to this:
apiVersion: kubeadm.k8s.io/v1beta3
kind: JoinConfiguration
discovery:
  bootstrapToken:
    # change info below to match the actual api server endpoint, token and CA certificate hash of your cluster
    apiServerEndpoint: fghk7gd5tx.kubermatic.your-domain.io:30038
    token: "9xwn14.ktdfg3s3fqyj0dr9"
    caCertHashes:
    - "sha256:b36ebfbcf51e019e6c763dd95bbc307ee4e96e9534d3133a65cf185c0dd74551"
nodeRegistration:
  kubeletExtraArgs:
    # change the node-ip below to match your desired IPv4 and IPv6 addresses of the node
    node-ip: 10.0.6.114,2a05:d014:937:4500:a324:767b:38da:2bff
  • Join the node with the provided config file, e.g.: kubeadm join --config kubeadm-join-config.yaml.

Limitations:

  • Services of type LoadBalancer don’t work out of the box in BYO/kubeadm clusters. You can use additional addon software, such as MetalLB to make them work in your custom kubeadm setup.

Docs:

DigitalOcean

Dual-stack feature is available automatically for all new user clusters in DigitalOcean.

Limitations:

  • Services of type LoadBalancer are not yet supported in KKP on DigitalOcean (not even for IPv4-only clusters).
  • On some operating systems (e.g. Rocky Linux) IPv6 address assignment on the node may take longer time during the node provisioning. In that case, the IPv6 address may not be detected when the kubelet starts, and because of that, worker nodes may not have their IPv6 IP addresses published in k8s API (kubectl describe nodes). This can be work-arounded by restarting the kubelet manually / rebooting the node.

Related issues:

Equinix Metal

Dual-stack feature is available automatically for all new user clusters in Equinix Metal.

Limitations:

  • Services of type LoadBalancer are not yet supported in KKP on Equinix Metal (not even for IPv4-only clusters).
  • On some operating systems (e.g. Rocky Linux, Flatcar) IPv6 address assignment on the node may take longer time during the node provisioning. In that case, the IPv6 address may not be detected when the kubelet starts, and because of that, worker nodes may not have their IPv6 IP addresses published in k8s API (kubectl describe nodes). This can be work-arounded by restarting the kubelet manually / rebooting the node.

Related issues:

Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

Dual-stack feature is available automatically for all new user clusters in GCP. Please note however, that the subnet used to host the worker nodes need to be dual-stack enabled - i.e. must have both IPv4 and IPv6 CIDR assigned.

Limitations:

  • Worker nodes do not have their IPv6 IP addresses published in k8s API (kubectl describe nodes), but have them physically applied on their network interfaces (can be seen after SSH-ing to the node). Because of this, pods in the host network namespace do not have IPv6 address assigned.
  • Dual-Stack services of type LoadBalancer are not yet supported by GCP cloud-controller-manager. Only NodePort services can be used to expose services outside the cluster via IPv6.

Related issues:

Docs:

Hetzner

Dual-stack feature is available automatically for all new user clusters in Hetzner.

Please note that all services of type LoadBalancer in Hetzner need to have a network zone / location specified via an annotation, for example load-balancer.hetzner.cloud/network-zone: "eu-central" or load-balancer.hetzner.cloud/location: "fsn1". Without one of these annotations, the load-balancer will be stuck in the Pending state.

Limitations:

  • Due to the issue with node ExternalIP ordering, we recommend using dual-stack clusters on Hetzner only with Konnectivity enabled, otherwise errors can be seen when issuing kubectl logs / kubectl exec / kubectl cp commands on the cluster.

Related Issues:

OpenStack

As IPv6 support in OpenStack highly depends on the datacenter setup, dual-stack feature in KKP is available only in those OpenStack datacenters where it is explicitly enabled in the datacenter config of the KKP (datacenter’s spec.openstack.ipv6Enabled config flag is set to true).

Worker nodes of dual-stack clusters in OpenStack require networks with one IPv4 and one IPv6 subnet. These can be either pre-created and passed into the cluster’s spec.cloud.openstack.subnetID and spec.cloud.openstack.ipv6SubnetID, or unspecified, in which case KKP will automatically create them. If KKP is creating a new IPv6 subnet, it can bind it to an IPv6 subnet pool, if spec.cloud.openstack.ipv6SubnetPool is specified. If the IPv6 subnet pool is not specified, but a default IPv6 subnet pool exists in the datacenter, the default one will be used. If no IPv6 subnet pool has been specified and the default IPv6 subnet pool does not exist, the IPv6 subnet will be created with the CIDR fd00::/64.

Limitations:

Related Issues:

Docs:

VMware vSphere

As IPv6 support in VMware vSphere highly depends on the datacenter setup, dual-stack feature in KKP is available only in those vSphere datacenters where it is explicitly enabled in the datacenter config of the KKP (datacenter’s spec.vsphere.ipv6Enabled config flag is set to true).

Limitations:

  • Services of type LoadBalancer don’t work out of the box in vSphere clusters, as they are not implemented by the vSphere cloud-controller-manager. You can use additional addon software, such as MetalLB to make them work in your environment.

Operating System Specifics and Limitations

Although IPv6 is usually enabled by most modern operating systems by default, there can be cases when the particular provider’s IPv6 assignment method is not automatically enabled in the given operating system image. Even though we tried to cover most of the cases in the Machine Controller and Operating System Manager code, in some cases it was not possible to reliably do that in a generic way. These are documented in this section.

In case of such an incompatibility, the worker nodes would miss the IPv6 address and the CNI plugin would not start. These cases can be still addressed by introducing of custom Operating System Profile with proper OS- and environment- specific configuration (see Operating System Manager docs).

CentOS / RHEL / Rocky Linux

CentOS, RHEL & Rocky Linux provide an extensive set of IPv6 settings for NetworkManager (see “Table 22. ipv6 setting” in the NetworkManager ifcfg-rh settings plugin docs). Depending on the IPv6 assignment method used in the datacenter, you may need the proper combination of them - e.g. IPV6INIT, IPV6_AUTOCONF, IPV6_DEFROUTE, DHCPV6C, etc.

As mentioned above, this can be addressed by introducing of custom Operating System Profile with proper OS- and environment- specific configuration (see Operating System Manager docs).