statefulset-update

StatefulSet Updates

Author: kow3ns@

Status: Proposal

Abstract

Currently (as of Kubernetes 1.6), .Spec.Replicas and .Spec.Template.Containers are the only mutable fields of the StatefulSet API object. Updating .Spec.Replicas will scale the number of Pods in the StatefulSet. Updating .Spec.Template.Containers causes all subsequently created Pods to have the specified containers. In order to cause the StatefulSet controller to apply its updated .Spec, users must manually delete each Pod. This manual method of applying updates is error prone. The implementation of this proposal will add the capability to perform ordered, automated, sequential updates.

Affected Components

  1. API Server
  2. Kubectl
  3. StatefulSet Controller
  4. StatefulSetSpec API object
  5. StatefulSetStatus API object

Use Cases

Upon implementation, this design will support the following in scope use cases, and it will not rule out the future implementation of the out of scope use cases.

In Scope

  • As the administrator of a stateful application, in order to vertically scale my application, I want to update resource limits or requested resources.
  • As the administrator of a stateful application, in order to deploy critical security updates, break fix patches, and feature releases, I want to update container images.
  • As the administrator of a stateful application, in order to update my application’s configuration, I want to update environment variables, container entry point commands or parameters, or configuration files.
  • As the administrator of the logging and monitoring infrastructure for my organization, in order to add logging and monitoring side cars, I want to patch a Pods’ containers to add images.

Out of Scope

  • As the administrator of a stateful application, in order to increase the applications storage capacity, I want to update PersistentVolumes.
  • As the administrator of a stateful application, in order to update the network configuration of the application, I want to update Services and container ports in a consistent way.
  • As the administrator of a stateful application, when I scale my application horizontally, I want associated PodDisruptionBudgets to be adjusted to compensate for the application’s scaling.

Assumptions

  • StatefulSet update must support singleton StatefulSets. However, an update in this case will cause a temporary outage. This is acceptable as a single process application is, by definition, not highly available.
  • Disruption in Kubernetes is controlled by PodDisruptionBudgets. As StatefulSet updates progress one Pod at a time, and only occur when all other Pods have a Status of Running and a Ready Condition, they can not violate reasonable PodDisruptionBudgets.
  • Without priority and preemption, there is no guarantee that an update will not block due to a loss of capacity or due to the scheduling of another Pod between Pod termination and Pod creation. This is mitigated by blocking the update when a Pod fails to schedule. Remediation will require operator intervention. This implementation is no worse than the current behavior with respect to eviction.
  • We will eventually implement a signal that is delivered to Pods to indicate the reason for termination.
  • StatefulSet updates will use the methodology outlined in the controller history proposal for version tracking, update detection, and rollback detection. This will be a general implementation, usable for any Pod in a Kubernetes cluster. It is, therefore, out of scope to design such a mechanism here.
  • Kubelet does not support resizing a container’s resources without terminating the Pod. In place resource reallocation is out of scope for this design. Vertical scaling must be performed destructively.
  • The primary means of configuration update will be configuration files, command line flags, environment variables, or ConfigMaps consumed as the one of the former.
  • In place configuration update via SIGHUP is not universally supported, and Kubelet provides no mechanism to perform this currently. Pod reconfiguration will be performed destructively.
  • Stateful applications are likely to evolve wire protocols and storage formats between versions. In most cases, when updating the application’s Pod’s containers, it will not be safe to roll back or forward to an arbitrary version. Controller based Pod update should work well when rolling out an update, or performing a rollback, between two specific revisions of the controlled API object. This is how Deployment functions, and this property is, perhaps, even more critical for stateful applications.

Requirements

This design is based on the following requirements. - Users must be able to update the containers of a StatefulSet’s Pods. - Updates to container commands, images, resources and configuration must be supported. - The update must progress in a sequential, deterministic order and respect the StatefulSet identity, deployment, and scaling guarantees. - A failed update must halt. - Users must be able to roll back an update. - Users must be able to roll forward to fix a failing/failed update. - Users must be able to view the status of an update. - Users should be able to view a bounded history of the updates that have been applied to the StatefulSet.

API Objects

The following modifications will be made to the StatefulSetSpec API object.

// StatefulSetUpdateStrategy indicates the strategy that the StatefulSet 
// controller will use to perform updates. It includes any additional parameters 
// necessary to preform the update for the indicated strategy.
type StatefulSetUpdateStrategy struct {
    // Type indicates the type of the StatefulSetUpdateStrategy.
    Type StatefulSetUpdateStrategyType
    // Partition is used to communicate the ordinal at which to partition 
    // the StatefulSet when Type is PartitionStatefulSetStrategyType. This 
    // value must be set when Type is PartitionStatefulSetStrategyType, 
    // and it must be nil otherwise.
    Partition *PartitionStatefulSetStrategy

// StatefulSetUpdateStrategyType is a string enumeration type that enumerates 
// all possible update strategies for the StatefulSet controller.
type StatefulSetUpdateStrategyType string

const (
    // PartitionStatefulSetStrategyType indicates that updates will only be 
    // applied to a partition of the StatefulSet. This is useful for canaries 
    // and phased roll outs. When a scale operation is performed with this 
    // strategy, new Pods will be created from the updated specification.
    PartitionStatefulSetStrategyType StatefulSetUpdateStrategyType = "Partition"
    // RollingUpdateStatefulSetStrategyType indicates that update will be 
    // applied to all Pods in the StatefulSet with respect to the StatefulSet 
    // ordering constraints. When a scale operation is performed with this 
    // strategy, new Pods will be created from the updated specification.
    RollingUpdateStatefulSetStrategyType = "RollingUpdate"
    // OnDeleteStatefulSetStrategyType triggers the legacy behavior. Version 
    // tracking and ordered rolling restarts are disabled. Pods are recreated 
    // from the StatefulSetSpec when they are manually deleted. When a scale 
    // operation is performed with this strategy, new Pods will be created 
    // from the current specification.
    OnDeleteStatefulSetStrategyType = "OnDelete"
)

// PartitionStatefulSetStrategy contains the parameters used with the 
// PartitionStatefulSetStrategyType.
type PartitionStatefulSetStrategy struct {
    // Ordinal indicates the ordinal at which the StatefulSet should be 
    // partitioned.
    Ordinal int32
}

type StatefulSetSpec struct {
    // Replicas, Selector, Template, VolumeClaimsTemplate, and ServiceName 
    // omitted for brevity.
    
    // UpdateStrategy indicates the StatefulSetUpdateStrategy that will be 
    // employed to update Pods in the StatefulSet when a revision is made to 
    // Template or VolumeClaimsTemplate.
    UpdateStrategy StatefulSetUpdateStrategy `json:"updateStrategy,omitempty`
    
    // RevisionHistoryLimit is the maximum number of revisions that will 
    // be maintained in the StatefulSet's revision history. The revision history
    // consists of all revisions not represented by a currently applied 
    // StatefulSetSpec version. The default value is 2.
    RevisionHistoryLimit *int32 `json:revisionHistoryLimit,omitempty`
}

The following modifications will be made to the StatefulSetStatus API object.

 type StatefulSetStatus struct {
    // ObservedGeneration and Replicas fields are omitted for brevity.
    
    // CurrentRevision, if not empty, indicates the version of PodSpecTemplate, 
    // VolumeClaimsTemplate tuple used to generate Pods in the sequence
    // [0,CurrentReplicas).
    CurrentRevision string `json:"currentRevision,omitempty"`
    
    // UpdateRevision, if not empty, indicates the version of PodSpecTemplate, 
    // VolumeClaimsTemplate tuple used to generate Pods in the sequence
    // [Replicas-UpdatedReplicas,Replicas)
    UpdateRevision string `json:"updateRevision,omitempty"`
    
    // ReadyReplicas is the current number of Pods, created by the StatefulSet
    // controller, that have a Status of Running and a Ready Condition.
    ReadyReplicas int32 `json:"readyReplicas,omitempty"`
    
    // CurrentReplicas is the number of Pods created by the StatefulSet 
    // controller from the PodTemplateSpec, VolumeClaimsTemplate tuple indicated 
    // by CurrentRevision.
    CurrentReplicas int32 `json:"currentReplicas,omitempty"`
    
    // UpdatedReplicas is the number of Pods created by the StatefulSet
    // controller from the PodTemplateSpec, VolumeClaimsTemplate tuple indicated 
    // by UpdateRevision.
    UpdatedReplicas int32 `json:"updatedReplicas,omitempty"`
}

Additionally we introduce the following constant.

// StatefulSetRevisionLabel is the label used by StatefulSet controller to track
// which version of StatefulSet's StatefulSetSpec was used generate a Pod.
const StatefulSetRevisionLabel = "statefulset.kubernetes.io/revision"

StatefulSet Controller

The StatefulSet controller will watch for modifications to StatefulSet and Pod API objects. When a StatefulSet is created or updated, or when one of the Pods in a StatefulSet is updated or deleted, the StatefulSet controller will attempt to create, update, or delete Pods to conform the current state of the system to the user declared target state.

Revised Controller Algorithm

The StatefulSet controller will use the following algorithm to continue to make progress toward the user declared target state while respecting the controller’s identity, deployment, and scaling guarantees. The StatefulSet controller will use the technique proposed in Controller History to snapshot and version its target Object state.

  1. The controller will reconstruct the revision history of the StatefulSet.
  2. The controller will process any updates to its StatefulSetSpec to ensure that the StatefulSet’s revision history is consistent with the user declared desired state.
  3. The controller will select all Pods in the StatefulSet, filter any Pods not owned by the StatefulSet, and sort the remaining Pods in ordinal order.
  4. For all created Pods, the controller will perform any necessary non-destructive state reconciliation.
  5. If any Pods with ordinals in the sequence [0,.Spec.Replicas) have not been created, for the Pod corresponding to the lowest such ordinal, the controller will create the Pod with declared target Pod state.
  6. If all Pods in the sequence [0,.Spec.Replicas) have been created, but if any do not have a Ready Condition, the StatefulSet controller will wait for these Pods to either become Ready, or to be completely deleted.
  7. If all Pods in the sequence [0,.Spec.Replicas) have a Ready Condition, and if .Spec.Replicas is less than .Status.Replicas, the controller will delete the Pod corresponding to the largest ordinal. This implies that scaling takes precedence over Pod updates.
  8. If all Pods in the sequence [0,.Spec.Replicas) have a Status of Running and a Ready Condition, if .Spec.Replicas is equal to .Status.Replicas, and if there are Pods that do not match their target Pod state, the Pod with the largest ordinal in that set will be deleted.
  9. If the StatefulSet controller has achieved the declared target state the StatefulSet controller will complete any in progress updates.
  10. The controller will report its status.
  11. The controller will perform any necessary maintenance of its revision history.

Target State

The target state of the StatefulSet controller with respect to an individual StatefulSet is defined as follows.

  1. The StatefulSet contains exactly [0,.Spec.Replicas) Pods.
  2. All Pods in the StatefulSet have the correct target Pod state.

Target Pod State

As in the Controller History proposal we define the target Object state of StatefulSetSpec specification type object to be the .Template and .VolumeClaimsTemplate. The latter is currently immutable, but we will version it as one day this constraint may be lifted. This state provides enough information to generate a Pod and its associated PersistentVolumeClaims. The target Pod State for a Pod in a StatefulSet is as follows. 1. The Pods PersistentVolumeClaims have been created. - Note that we do not currently delete PersistentVolumeClaims. 1. If the Pod’s ordinal is in the sequence [0,.Spec.Replicas) the Pod should have a Ready Condition. This implies the Pod is Running. 1. If Pod’s ordinal is greater than or equal to .Spec.Replicas, the Pod should be completely terminated and deleted. 1. If the StatefulSet’s Spec.UpdateStrategy.Type is equal to OnDeleteStatefulSetStrategyType, no version tracking is performed, Pods can be at an arbitrary version, and they will be recreated from the current .Spec.Template and .Spec.VolumeClaimsTemplate when the are deleted. 1. If StatefulSet’s Spec.UpdateStrategy.Type is equal to RollingUpdateStatefulSetStrategyType then the version of the Pod should be as follows. 1. If the Pod’s ordinal is in the sequence [0,.Status.CurrentReplicas), the Pod should be consistent with version indicated by Status.CurrentRevision. 1. If the Pod’s ordinal is in the sequence [.Status.Replicas - .Status.UpdatedReplicas, .Status.Replicas) the Pod should be consistent with the version indicated by Status.UpdateRevision. 1. If the StatefulSet’s .Spec.UpdateStrategy.Type is equal to PartitionStatefulSetStrategyType then the version of the Pod should be as follows. 1. If the Pod’s ordinal is in the sequence [0,.Status.CurrentReplicas), the Pod should be consistent with version indicated by Status.CurrentRevision. 1. If the Pod’s ordinal is in the sequence [.Status.Replicas - .Status.UpdatedReplicas, .Status.Replicas) the Pod should be consistent with the version indicated by Status.UpdateRevision. 1. If the Pod does not meet either of the prior two conditions, and if ordinal is in the sequence [0, .Spec.UpdateStrategy.Partition.Ordinal), it should be consistent with the version indicated by Status.CurrentRevision. 1. Otherwise, the Pod should be consistent with the version indicated by Status.UpdateRevision.

Pod State Reconciliation

In order to reconcile a Pod with declared desired target state the StatefulSet controller will do the following.

  1. If the Pod is already consistent with its target state the controller will do nothing.
  2. If the Pod is labeled with a StatefulSetRevisionLabel that indicates the Pod was generated from a version of the StatefulSetSpec that is semantically equivalent to, but not equal to, the target version, the StatefulSet controller will update the Pod with a StatefulSetRevisionLabel indicating the new semantically equivalent version. This form of reconciliation is non-destructive.
  3. If the Pod was not created from the target version, the Pod will be deleted and recreated from that version. This form of reconciliation is destructive.

Specification Updates

The StatefulSet controller will snapshot its target Object state when mutations are made to its .Spec.Template or .Spec.VolumeClaimsTemplate (Note that the latter is currently immutable).

  1. When the StatefulSet controller observes a mutation to a StatefulSet’s .Spec.Template it will snapshot its target Object state and compare the snapshot with the version indicated by its .Status.UpdateRevision.
  2. If the current state is equivalent to the version indicated by .Status.UpdateRevision no update has occurred.
  3. If the Status.CurrentRevision field is empty, then the StatefulSet has no revision history. To initialize its revision history, the StatefulSet controller will set both .Status.CurrentRevision and .Status.UpdateRevision to the version of the current snapshot.
  4. If the .Status.CurrentRevision is not empty, and if the .Status.UpdateRevision is not equal to the version of the current snapshot, the StatefulSet controller will set the .Status.UpdateRevision to the version indicated by the current snapshot.

StatefulSet Revision History

The StatefulSet controller will use the technique proposed in Controller History to snapshot and version its target Object state.

Snapshot Creation

In order to snapshot a version of its target Object state, it will serialize and store the .Spec.Template and .Spec.VolumesClaimsTemplate along with the .Generation in each snapshot. Each snapshot will be labeled with the StatefulSet’s .Selector.

History Reconstruction

As proposed in Controller History, in order to reconstruct the revision history of a StatefulSet, the StatefulSet controller will select all snapshots based on its Spec.Selector and sort them by the contained .Generation. This will produce an ordered set of revisions to the StatefulSet’s target Object state.

History Maintenance

In order to prevent the revision history of the StatefulSet from exceeding memory or storage limits, the StatefulSet controller will periodically prune its revision history so that no more that .Spec.RevisionHistoryLimit non-live versions of target Object state are preserved.

Update Completion

The criteria for update completion is as follows.

  1. If the StatefulSet’s .Spec.UpdateStrategy.Type is equal to OnDeleteStatefulSetStrategyType then no version tracking is performed. In this case, an update can never be in progress.
  2. If the StatefulSet’s .Spec.UpdateStrategy.Type is equal to PartitionStatefulSetStrategyType updates can not complete. The version indicated .Status.UpdateRevision will only be applied to Pods with ordinals in the sequence (.Spec.UpdateStrategy.Partition.Ordinal,.Spec.Replicas).
  3. If the StatefulSet’s .Spec.UpdateStrategy.Type is equal to RollingUpdateStatefulSetStrategyType, then an update is complete when the StatefulSet is at its target state. The StatefulSet controller will signal update completion as follows.
    1. The controller will set .Status.CurrentRevision to the value of .Status.UpdateRevision.
    2. The controller will set .Status.CurrentReplicas to .Status.UpdatedReplicas. Note that this value will be equal to .Status.Replicas.
    3. The controller will set .Status.UpdatedReplicas to 0.

Status Reporting

After processing the creation, update, or deletion of a StatefulSet or Pod, the StatefulSet controller will record its status by persisting a StatefulSetStatus object. This has two purposes.

  1. It allows the StatefulSet controller to recreate the exact StatefulSet membership in the event of a hard restart of the entire system.
  2. It communicates the current state of the StatefulSet to clients. Using the .Status.ObserverGeneration, clients can construct a linearizable view of the operations performed by the controller.

When the StatefulSet controller records the status of a StatefulSet it will do the following.

  1. The controller will increment the .Status.ObservedGeneration to communicate the .Generation of the StatefulSet object that was observed.
  2. The controller will set the .Status.Replicas to the current number of created Pods.
  3. The controller will set the .Status.ReadyReplicas to the current number of Pods that have a Ready Condition.
  4. The controller will set the .Status.CurrentRevision and .Status.UpdateRevision in accordance with StatefulSet’s revision history and any complete updates.
  5. The controller will set the .Status.CurrentReplicas to the number of Pods that it has created from the version indicated by .Status.CurrentRevision.
  6. The controller will set the .Status.UpdatedReplicas to the number of Pods that it has created from the version indicated by .Status.UpdateRevision.
  7. The controller will then persist the StatefulSetStatus make it durable and communicate it to observers.

API Server

The API Server will perform validation for StatefulSet creation and updates.

StatefulSet Validation

As is currently implemented, the API Server will not allow mutation to any fields of the StatefulSet object other than .Spec.Replicas and .Spec.Template.Containers. This design imposes the following, additional constraints.

  1. If the .Spec.UpdateStrategy.Type is equal to PartitionStatefulSetStrategyType, the API Server should fail validation if any of the following conditions are true.
    1. .Spec.UpdateStrategy.Partition is nil.
    2. .Spec.UpdateStrategy.Partition is not nil, and .Spec.UpdateStrategy.Partition.Ordinal not in the sequence (0,.Spec.Replicas).
  2. The API Server will fail validation on any update to a StatefulSetStatus object if any of the following conditions are true.
    1. .Status.Replicas is negative.
    2. .Status.ReadyReplicas is negative or greater than .Status.Replicas.
    3. .Status.CurrentReplicas is negative or greater than .Status.Replicas.
    4. .Status.UpdateReplicas is negative or greater than .Status.Replicas.

Kubectl

Kubectl will use the rollout command to control and provide the status of StatefulSet updates.

  • kubectl rollout status statefulset <StatefulSet-Name>: displays the status of a StatefulSet update.
  • kubectl rollout undo statefulset <StatefulSet-Name>: triggers a rollback of the current update.
  • kubectl rollout history statefulset <StatefulSet-Name>: displays a the StatefulSets revision history.

Usage

This section demonstrates how the design functions in typical usage scenarios.

Initial Deployment

Users can create a StatefulSet using kubectl apply.

Given the following manifest web.yaml

apiVersion: apps/v1beta1
kind: StatefulSet
metadata:
  name: web
spec:
  serviceName: "nginx"
  replicas: 3
  template:
    metadata:
      labels:
        app: nginx
    spec:
      containers:
      - name: nginx
        image: k8s.gcr.io/nginx-slim:0.8
        ports:
        - containerPort: 80
          name: web
        volumeMounts:
        - name: www
          mountPath: /usr/share/nginx/html
  volumeClaimTemplates:
  - metadata:
      name: www
      annotations:
        volume.alpha.kubernetes.io/storage-class: anything
    spec:
      accessModes: [ "ReadWriteOnce" ]
      resources:
        requests:
          storage: 1Gi

Users can use the following command to create the StatefulSet.

kubectl apply -f web.yaml

The only difference between the proposed and current implementation is that the proposed implementation will initialize the StatefulSet’s revision history upon initial creation.

Rolling out an Update

Users can create a rolling update using kubectl apply. If a user creates a StatefulSet as above, the user can trigger a rolling update by updating the image (as in the manifest as below).

apiVersion: apps/v1beta1
kind: StatefulSet
metadata:
  name: web
spec:
  serviceName: "nginx"
  replicas: 3
  template:
    metadata:
      labels:
        app: nginx
    spec:
      updateStrategy: 
        type: RollingUpdate
      containers:
      - name: nginx
        image: k8s.gcr.io/nginx-slim:0.9
        ports:
        - containerPort: 80
          name: web
        volumeMounts:
        - name: www
          mountPath: /usr/share/nginx/html
  volumeClaimTemplates:
  - metadata:
      name: www
      annotations:
        volume.alpha.kubernetes.io/storage-class: anything
    spec:
      accessModes: [ "ReadWriteOnce" ]
      resources:
        requests:
          storage: 1Gi

Users can use the following command to trigger a rolling update.

kubectl apply -f web.yaml

Canaries

Users can create a canary using kubectl apply. The only difference between a rolling update and a canary is that the .Spec.UpdateStrategy.Type is set to PartitionStatefulSetStrategyType and the .Spec.UpdateStrategy.Partition.Ordinal is set to .Spec.Replicas-1.

apiVersion: apps/v1beta1
kind: StatefulSet
metadata:
  name: web
spec:
  serviceName: "nginx"
  replicas: 3
  template:
    metadata:
      labels:
        app: nginx
    spec:
      updateStrategy: 
        type: Partition
        partition: 
          ordinal: 2
      containers:
      - name: nginx
        image: k8s.gcr.io/nginx-slim:0.9
        ports:
        - containerPort: 80
          name: web
        volumeMounts:
        - name: www
          mountPath: /usr/share/nginx/html
     
  volumeClaimTemplates:
  - metadata:
      name: www
      annotations:
        volume.alpha.kubernetes.io/storage-class: anything
    spec:
      accessModes: [ "ReadWriteOnce" ]
      resources:
        requests:
          storage: 1Gi

Users can also simultaneously scale up and add a canary. This reduces risk for some deployment scenarios by adding additional capacity for the canary. For example, in the manifest below, .Spec.Replicas is increased to 4 while .Spec.UpdateStrategy.Partition.Ordinal is set to .Spec.Replicas-1.

apiVersion: apps/v1beta1
kind: StatefulSet
metadata:
  name: web
spec:
  serviceName: "nginx"
  replicas: 4
  template:
    metadata:
      labels:
        app: nginx
    spec:
      updateStrategy: 
        type: Partition
        partition: 
          ordinal: 3
      containers:
      - name: nginx
        image: k8s.gcr.io/nginx-slim:0.9
        ports:
        - containerPort: 80
          name: web
        volumeMounts:
        - name: www
          mountPath: /usr/share/nginx/html
  volumeClaimTemplates:
  - metadata:
      name: www
      annotations:
        volume.alpha.kubernetes.io/storage-class: anything
    spec:
      accessModes: [ "ReadWriteOnce" ]
      resources:
        requests:
          storage: 1Gi

Phased Roll Outs

Users can create a canary using kubectl apply. The only difference between a canary and a phased roll out is that the .Spec.UpdateStrategy.Partition.Ordinal is set to a value less than .Spec.Replicas-1.

apiVersion: apps/v1beta1
kind: StatefulSet
metadata:
  name: web
spec:
  serviceName: "nginx"
  replicas: 4
  template:
    metadata:
      labels:
        app: nginx
    spec:
      updateStrategy: 
        type: Partition
        partition: 
          ordinal: 2
      containers:
      - name: nginx
        image: k8s.gcr.io/nginx-slim:0.9
        ports:
        - containerPort: 80
          name: web
        volumeMounts:
        - name: www
          mountPath: /usr/share/nginx/html
  volumeClaimTemplates:
  - metadata:
      name: www
      annotations:
        volume.alpha.kubernetes.io/storage-class: anything
    spec:
      accessModes: [ "ReadWriteOnce" ]
      resources:
        requests:
          storage: 1Gi

Phased roll outs can be used to roll out a configuration, image, or resource update to some portion of the fleet maintained by the StatefulSet prior to updating the entire fleet. It is useful to support linear, geometric, and exponential roll out of an update. Users can modify the .Spec.UpdateStrategy.Partition.Ordinal to allow the roll out to progress.

apiVersion: apps/v1beta1
kind: StatefulSet
metadata:
  name: web
spec:
  serviceName: "nginx"
  replicas: 3
  template:
    metadata:
      labels:
        app: nginx
    spec:
      updateStrategy: 
        type: Partition
        partition: 
          ordinal: 1
      containers:
      - name: nginx
        image: k8s.gcr.io/nginx-slim:0.9
        ports:
        - containerPort: 80
          name: web
        volumeMounts:
        - name: www
          mountPath: /usr/share/nginx/html
  volumeClaimTemplates:
  - metadata:
      name: www
      annotations:
        volume.alpha.kubernetes.io/storage-class: anything
    spec:
      accessModes: [ "ReadWriteOnce" ]
      resources:
        requests:
          storage: 1Gi

Rollbacks

To rollback an update, users can use the kubectl rollout command.

The command below will roll back the web StatefulSet to the previous revision in its history. If a roll out is in progress, it will stop deploying the target revision, and roll back to the current revision.

kubectl rollout undo statefulset web

Rolling Forward

Rolling back is usually the safest, and often the fastest, strategy to mitigate deployment failure, but rolling forward is sometimes the only practical solution for stateful applications (e.g. A user has a minor configuration error but has already modified the storage format for the application). Users can use sequential kubectl apply’s to update the StatefulSet’s current target state. The StatefulSet’s .Spec.GenerationPartition will be respected, and it therefore interacts well with canaries and phased roll outs.

Tests

  • Updating a StatefulSet’s containers will trigger updates to the StatefulSet’s Pods respecting the identity and deployment, and scaling guarantees.
  • A StatefulSet update will block on failure.
  • A StatefulSet update can be rolled back.
  • A StatefulSet update can be rolled forward by applying another update.
  • A StatefulSet update’s status can be retrieved.
  • A StatefulSet’s revision history contains all updates with respect to the configured revision history limit.
  • A StatefulSet update can create a canary.
  • A StatefulSet update can be performed in stages.

Future Work

In the future, we may implement the following features to enhance StatefulSet updates.

Termination Reason

Without communicating a signal indicating the reason for termination to a Pod in a StatefulSet, as proposed here, the tenant application has no way to determine if it is being terminated due to a scale down operation or due to an update.

Consider a BASE distributed storage application like Cassandra, where 2 TiB of persistent data is not atypical, and the data distribution is not identical on every server. We want to enable two distinct behaviors based on the reason for termination.

  • If the termination is due to scale down, during the configured termination grace period, the entry point of the Pod should cause the application to drain its client connections, replicate its persisted data (so that the cluster is not left under replicated) and decommission the application to remove it from the cluster.
  • If the termination is due to a temporary capacity loss (e.g. an update or an image upgrade), the application should drain all of its client connections, flush any in memory data structures to the file system, and synchronize the file system with storage media. It should not redistribute its data.

If the application implements the strategy of always redistributing its data, we unnecessarily decrease recovery time during an update and incur the additional network and storage cost of two full data redistributions for every updated node. It should be noted that this is already an issue for Node cordon and Pod eviction (due to drain or taints), and applications can use the same mitigation as they would for these events for StatefulSet update.

VolumeTemplatesSpec Updates

While this proposal does not address VolumeTemplateSpec updates, this would be a valuable feature for production users of storage systems that use intermittent compaction as a form of garbage collection. Applications that use log structured merge trees with size tiered compaction (e.g Cassandra) or append only B(+/*) Trees (e.g Couchbase) can temporarily double their storage requirement during compaction. If there is insufficient space for compaction to progress, these applications will either fail or degrade until additional capacity is added. While, if the user is using AWS EBS or GCE PD, there are valid manual workarounds to expand the size of a PD, it would be useful to automate the resize via updates to the StatefulSet’s VolumeClaimsTemplate.

In Place Updates

Currently configuration, images, and resource request/limits updates are all performed destructively. Without a termination reason implementation, there is little value to implementing in place image updates, and configuration and resource request/limit updates are not possible. When termination reason is implemented we may modify the behavior of StatefulSet update to only update, rather than delete and create, Pods when the only mutated value is the container image, and if resizable resource request/limits is implemented, we may extend the above to allow for updates to Pod resources.