Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Authors Eugenio Marzo, Sourcesense
Some months ago, I released my latest project called KubeInvaders. The first time I shared it with the community was during an Openshift Commons Briefing session. Kubenvaders is a Gamified Chaos Engineering tool for Kubernetes and Openshift and helps test how resilient your Kubernetes cluster is, in a fun way.
It is like Space Invaders, but the aliens are pods.
During my presentation at Codemotion Milan 2019, I started saying “of course you can do it with few lines of Bash, but it is boring.”
Using the code above you can kill random pods across a Kubernetes cluster, but I think it is much more fun with the spaceship of KubeInvaders.
I published the code at https://github.com/lucky-sideburn/KubeInvaders and there is a little community that is growing gradually. Some people love to use it for demo sessions killing pods on a big screen.
How to install KubeInvaders
I defined multiples modes to install it:
Manual Installation for Openshift using a template https://github.com/lucky-sideburn/KubeInvaders#install-kubeinvaders-on-openshift
Manual Installation for Kubernetes https://github.com/lucky-sideburn/KubeInvaders#install-kubeinvaders-on-kubernetes
The preferred way, of course, is with a Helm chart:
# Please set target_namespace to set your target namespace! helm install --set-string target_namespace="namespace1,namespace2" \ --name kubeinvaders --namespace kubeinvaders ./helm-charts/kubeinvaders
How to use KubeInvaders
Once it is installed on your cluster you can use the following functionalities:
- Key ‘a’ — Switch to automatic pilot
- Key ’m’ — Switch to manual pilot
- Key ‘i’ — Show pod’s name. Move the ship towards an alien
- Key ‘h’ — Print help
- Key ‘n’ — Jump between different namespaces (my favorite feature!)
At Codemotion Milan 2019, my colleagues and I organized a desk with a game station for playing KubeInvaders. People had to fight with Kubernetes to win a t-shirt.
If you have pods that require a few seconds to start, you may lose. It is possible to set the complexity of the game with these parameters as environmment variables in the Kubernetes deployment:
- ALIENPROXIMITY — Reduce this value to increase the distance between aliens;
- HITSLIMIT — Seconds of CPU time to wait before shooting;
- UPDATETIME — Seconds to wait before updating pod status (you can set also 0.x Es: 0.5);
The result is a harder game experience against the machine.
Adopting chaos engineering strategies for your production environment is really useful, because it is the only way to test if a system supports unexpected destructive events.
KubeInvaders is a game — so please do not take it too seriously! — but it demonstrates some important use cases:
- Test how resilient Kubernetes clusters are on unexpected pod deletion
- Collect metrics like pod restart time
- Tune readiness probes
I want to continue to add some cool features and integrate it into a Kubernetes dashboard because I am planning to transform it into a “Gamified Chaos Engineering and Development Tool for Kubernetes”, to help developer to interact with deployments in a Kubernetes environment. For example:
- Point to the aliens to get pod logs
- Deploy Helm charts by shooting some particular objects
- Read messages stored in a specific label present in a deployment