Introduction to Services

In Kubernetes, while Pods are assigned their own unique IP addresses within the cluster, these IPs are not accessible from outside the Kubernetes environment. Given the dynamic nature of Pods—being terminated, deleted, or replaced—there needs to be a mechanism for continuous and automatic discovery among Pods and applications. This is where Kubernetes Services come into play, acting as an abstraction layer that groups Pods and allows for their exposure to external traffic, load balancing, and service discovery.

Key Concepts of Services

  • External Traffic Exposure: Services enable the exposure of Pods to traffic coming from outside the cluster.
  • Load Balancing: Services distribute incoming traffic among all the Pods that match its configuration, ensuring high availability and reliability.
  • Service Discovery: Services allow for the automatic discovery of Pods within the cluster, facilitating communication between different services, like a frontend webserver and a backend database.

Types of Services

  • LoadBalancer: Offers a public IP address for the service, making it accessible from outside the Kubernetes cluster. This is commonly used in cloud environments like Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) or AWS.
  • NodePort: Exposes the service on a specific port across all Nodes of the cluster using Network Address Translation (NAT). This type is available on all Kubernetes clusters, including Minikube, and is useful for development and testing environments.

Pods in Kubernetes

Exposing Pods Using Services

To expose your Pods to the outside world, you can create a Service. There are several ways to do this, depending on your requirements and the environment in which your Kubernetes cluster is running.

  • In Lab03, you don't need to expose an app; we already did it for you, as we are using NodePort to expose the app.

Creating a Service

You can expose your application by creating a Service. This is done using the kubectl command line. For example, to create a NodePort Service, you would use:

kubectl expose deployment <deployment-name> --type=NodePort --name=<service-name>

This command creates a Service that exposes your Deployment on a specific port on each Node of the cluster.

Finding the Service IP and Port

After creating your Service, you can find the IP address and the port exposed by the Service using:

kubectl get services/<service-name>

This will list the details of your service, including the NodePort assigned to your service if you've used the NodePort type.

Port Forwarding (Without Ingress or Load Balancer)

In cases where you don't have an Ingress controller or a LoadBalancer available, you can use port forwarding to access your application:

kubectl port-forward services/<service-name> <local-port>:<service-port>

This command forwards traffic from a local port on your machine to the service port on the cluster, allowing you to access the application via localhost:<local-port>.

Using Labels for Organization and Selection

Labels are key/value pairs attached to Kubernetes objects, like Pods, which can be used for organizing and selecting subsets of objects.

Attaching labels to Kubernetes objects and filtering those objects based on labels are powerful features that help manage and organize resources within a cluster. Here’s a breakdown of how to do both:

Attaching Labels

Labels are key-value pairs that can be attached to Kubernetes objects, such as Pods, Deployments, and Services. They allow you to organize and select subsets of objects based on these labels. You can attach labels at the time of creation or add them to existing objects.

At Creation Time: You can specify labels when creating an object using the kubectl command by including the --labels (or -l for short) option. For example, to create a Pod with specific labels, you might use:

kubectl run nginx --image=nginx --labels=environment=production,app=nginx

This command creates an nginx Pod with labels environment=production and app=nginx.

Adding to Existing Objects: To add labels to existing Kubernetes objects, you can use the kubectl label command. For example, to add a label to a Pod, you would use:

kubectl label pods <pod-name> environment=dev

This command adds the label environment=dev to the specified Pod. If the label already exists, you need to add the --overwrite flag to change its value.

Selecting Pods with Services Using Labels

Services in Kubernetes use label selectors to determine which Pods to include in the service. This makes it possible for a Service to dynamically select Pods based on their labels, allowing for loose coupling between Pods and the Services that expose them.

When defining a Service, you specify a selector that matches the labels of the Pods you want the Service to manage. Here is an example Service definition that selects Pods based on their labels:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
  name: frontend-service
    app: frontend
    - protocol: TCP
      port: 80
      targetPort: 8080

In this example, the Service frontend-service will select any Pod with the label app=frontend and route traffic to port 8080 on those Pods.

Filtering Using Labels

You can filter the output of kubectl get commands by label. This is useful for quickly finding resources that match specific criteria. For example, to list all Pods with a particular label:

kubectl get pods -l environment=production

This command lists all Pods that have the label environment=production.

Using labels and label selectors effectively can greatly simplify the management of resources in a Kubernetes cluster, allowing for more flexible and dynamic configurations.

Pods in Kubernetes