Kubernetes 1.26: Introducing Validating Admission Policies
Authors: Joe Betz (Google), Cici Huang (Google)
In Kubernetes 1.26, the 1st alpha release of validating admission policies is available!
Validating admission policies use the Common Expression Language (CEL) to offer a declarative, in-process alternative to validating admission webhooks.
CEL was first introduced to Kubernetes for the Validation rules for CustomResourceDefinitions. This enhancement expands the use of CEL in Kubernetes to support a far wider range of admission use cases.
Admission webhooks can be burdensome to develop and operate. Webhook developers must implement and maintain a webhook binary to handle admission requests. Also, admission webhooks are complex to operate. Each webhook must be deployed, monitored and have a well defined upgrade and rollback plan. To make matters worse, if a webhook times out or becomes unavailable, the Kubernetes control plane can become unavailable. This enhancement avoids much of this complexity of admission webhooks by embedding CEL expressions into Kubernetes resources instead of calling out to a remote webhook binary.
For example, to set a limit on how many replicas a Deployment can have. Start by defining a validation policy:
apiVersion: admissionregistration.k8s.io/v1alpha1 kind: ValidatingAdmissionPolicy metadata: name: "demo-policy.example.com" spec: matchConstraints: resourceRules: - apiGroups: ["apps"] apiVersions: ["v1"] operations: ["CREATE", "UPDATE"] resources: ["deployments"] validations: - expression: "object.spec.replicas <= 5"
expression field contains the CEL expression that is used to validate
matchConstraints declares what types of requests this
ValidatingAdmissionPolicy is may validate.
Next bind the policy to the appropriate resources:
apiVersion: admissionregistration.k8s.io/v1alpha1 kind: ValidatingAdmissionPolicyBinding metadata: name: "demo-binding-test.example.com" spec: policyName: "demo-policy.example.com" matchResources: namespaceSelector: matchExpressions: - key: environment operator: In values: - test
ValidatingAdmissionPolicyBinding resource binds the above policy only to
namespaces where the
environment label is set to
test. Once this binding
is created, the kube-apiserver will begin enforcing this admission policy.
To emphasize how much simpler this approach is than admission webhooks, if this example
were instead implemented with a webhook, an entire binary would need to be
developed and maintained just to perform a
<= check. In our review of a wide
range of admission webhooks used in production, the vast majority performed
relatively simple checks, all of which can easily be expressed using CEL.
Validation admission policies are highly configurable, enabling policy authors to define policies that can be parameterized and scoped to resources as needed by cluster administrators.
For example, the above admission policy can be modified to make it configurable:
apiVersion: admissionregistration.k8s.io/v1alpha1 kind: ValidatingAdmissionPolicy metadata: name: "demo-policy.example.com" spec: paramKind: apiVersion: rules.example.com/v1 # You also need a CustomResourceDefinition for this API kind: ReplicaLimit matchConstraints: resourceRules: - apiGroups: ["apps"] apiVersions: ["v1"] operations: ["CREATE", "UPDATE"] resources: ["deployments"] validations: - expression: "object.spec.replicas <= params.maxReplicas"
paramKind defines the resources used to configure the policy and the
expression uses the
params variable to access the parameter resource.
This allows multiple bindings to be defined, each configured differently. For example:
apiVersion: admissionregistration.k8s.io/v1alpha1 kind: ValidatingAdmissionPolicyBinding metadata: name: "demo-binding-production.example.com" spec: policyName: "demo-policy.example.com" paramRef: name: "demo-params-production.example.com" matchResources: namespaceSelector: matchExpressions: - key: environment operator: In values: - production
apiVersion: rules.example.com/v1 # defined via a CustomResourceDefinition kind: ReplicaLimit metadata: name: "demo-params-production.example.com" maxReplicas: 1000
This binding and parameter resource pair limit deployments in namespaces with the
environment label set to
production to a max of 1000 replicas.
You can then use a separate binding and parameter pair to set a different limit
for namespaces in the
I hope this has given you a glimpse of what is possible with validating admission policies! There are many features that we have not yet touched on.
To learn more, read Validating Admission Policy.
We are working hard to add more features to admission policies and make the enhancement easier to use. Try it out, send us your feedback and help us build a simpler alternative to admission webhooks!
How do I get involved?
If you want to get involved in development of admission policies, discuss enhancement roadmaps, or report a bug, you can get in touch with developers at SIG API Machinery.