Kubernetes v1.28: Planternetes
Authors: Kubernetes v1.28 Release Team
Announcing the release of Kubernetes v1.28 Planternetes, the second release of 2023!
This release consists of 45 enhancements. Of those enhancements, 19 are entering Alpha, 14 have graduated to Beta, and 12 have graduated to Stable.
Release Theme And Logo
Kubernetes v1.28: Planternetes
The theme for Kubernetes v1.28 is Planternetes.
Each Kubernetes release is the culmination of the hard work of thousands of individuals from our community. The people behind this release come from a wide range of backgrounds, some of us industry veterans, parents, others students and newcomers to open-source. We combine our unique experience to create a collective artifact with global impact.
Much like a garden, our release has ever-changing growth, challenges and opportunities. This theme celebrates the meticulous care, intention and efforts to get the release to where we are today. Harmoniously together, we grow better.
What's New (Major Themes)
Changes to supported skew between control plane and node versions
Kubernetes v1.28 expands the supported skew between core node and control plane components by one minor version, from n-2 to n-3, so that node components (kubelet and kube-proxy) for the oldest supported minor version work with control plane components (kube-apiserver, kube-scheduler, kube-controller-manager, cloud-controller-manager) for the newest supported minor version.
Some cluster operators avoid node maintenance and especially changes to node behavior, because nodes are where the workloads run. For minor version upgrades to a kubelet, the supported process includes draining that node, and hence disruption to any Pods that had been executing there. For Kubernetes end users with very long running workloads, and where Pods should stay running wherever possible, reducing the time lost to node maintenance is a benefit.
The Kubernetes yearly support period already made annual upgrades possible. Users can upgrade to the latest patch versions to pick up security fixes and do 3 sequential minor version upgrades once a year to "catch up" to the latest supported minor version.
Previously, to stay within the supported skew, a cluster operator planning an annual upgrade would have needed to upgrade their nodes twice (perhaps only hours apart). Now, with Kubernetes v1.28, you have the option of making a minor version upgrade to nodes just once in each calendar year and still staying within upstream support.
If you'd like to stay current and upgrade your clusters more often, that's fine and is still completely supported.
Generally available: recovery from non-graceful node shutdown
If a node shuts down unexpectedly or ends up in a non-recoverable state (perhaps due to hardware failure or unresponsive OS), Kubernetes allows you to clean up afterward and allow stateful workloads to restart on a different node. For Kubernetes v1.28, that's now a stable feature.
This allows stateful workloads to fail over to a different node successfully after the original node is shut down or in a non-recoverable state, such as the hardware failure or broken OS.
Versions of Kubernetes earlier than v1.20 lacked handling for node shutdown on Linux, the kubelet integrates with systemd and implements graceful node shutdown (beta, and enabled by default). However, even an intentional shutdown might not get handled well that could be because:
- the node runs Windows
- the node runs Linux, but uses a different
- the shutdown does not trigger the system inhibitor locks mechanism
- because of a node-level configuration error
(such as not setting appropriate values for
When a node shutdowns or fails, and that shutdown was not detected by the kubelet, the pods that are part
of a StatefulSet will be stuck in terminating status on the shutdown node. If the stopped node restarts, the
kubelet on that node can clean up (
DELETE) the Pods that the Kubernetes API still sees as bound to that node.
However, if the node stays stopped - or if the kubelet isn't able to start after a reboot - then Kubernetes may
not be able to create replacement Pods. When the kubelet on the shut-down node is not available to delete
the old pods, an associated StatefulSet cannot create a new pod (which would have the same name).
There's also a problem with storage. If there are volumes used by the pods, existing VolumeAttachments will
not be disassociated from the original - and now shut down - node so the PersistentVolumes used by these
pods cannot be attached to a different, healthy node. As a result, an application running on an
affected StatefulSet may not be able to function properly. If the original, shut down node does come up, then
their pods will be deleted by its kubelet and new pods can be created on a different running node.
If the original node does not come up (common with an immutable infrastructure design), those pods would be stuck in a
Terminating status on the shut-down node forever.
For more information on how to trigger cleanup after a non-graceful node shutdown, read non-graceful node shutdown.
Improvements to CustomResourceDefinition validation rules
The Common Expression Language (CEL) can be used to validate custom resources. The primary goal is to allow the majority of the validation use cases that might once have needed you, as a CustomResourceDefinition (CRD) author, to design and implement a webhook. Instead, and as a beta feature, you can add validation expressions directly into the schema of a CRD.
CRDs need direct support for non-trivial validation. While admission webhooks do support CRDs validation, they significantly complicate the development and operability of CRDs.
In 1.28, two optional fields
fieldPath were added to allow user to specify the failure reason and fieldPath when validation failed.
For more information, read validation rules in the CRD documentation.
ValidatingAdmissionPolicies graduate to beta
Common Expression language for admission control is customizable, in-process validation of requests to the Kubernetes API server as an alternative to validating admission webhooks.
This builds on the capabilities of the CRD Validation Rules feature that graduated to beta in 1.25 but with a focus on the policy enforcement capabilities of validating admission control.
This will lower the infrastructure barrier to enforcing customizable policies as well as providing primitives that help the community establish and adhere to the best practices of both K8s and its extensions.
To use ValidatingAdmissionPolicies, you need to enable both the
admissionregistration.k8s.io/v1beta1 API group and the
ValidatingAdmissionPolicy feature gate in your cluster's control plane.
Match conditions for admission webhooks
Kubernetes v1.27 lets you specify match conditions for admission webhooks,
which lets you narrow the scope of when Kubernetes makes a remote HTTP call at admission time.
matchCondition field for ValidatingWebhookConfiguration and MutatingWebhookConfiguration
is a CEL expression that must evaluate to true for the admission request to be sent to the webhook.
In Kubernetes v1.28, that field moved to beta, and it's enabled by default.
To learn more, see
matchConditions in the Kubernetes documentation.
Beta support for enabling swap space on Linux
This adds swap support to nodes in a controlled, predictable manner so that Kubernetes users can perform testing and provide data to continue building cluster capabilities on top of swap.
There are two distinct types of users for swap, who may overlap:
Node administrators, who may want swap available for node-level performance tuning and stability/reducing noisy neighbor issues.
Application developers, who have written applications that would benefit from using swap memory.
Mixed version proxy (alpha)
When a cluster has multiple API servers at mixed versions (such as during an upgrade/downgrade or when runtime-config changes and a rollout happens), not every apiserver can serve every resource at every version.
For Kubernetes v1.28, you can enable the mixed version proxy within the API server's aggregation layer. The mixed version proxy finds requests that the local API server doesn't recognize but another API server inside the control plan is able to support. Having found a suitable peer, the aggregation layer proxies the request to a compatible API server; this is transparent from the client's perspective.
When an upgrade or downgrade is performed on a cluster, for some period of time the API servers within the control plane may be at differing versions; when that happens, different subsets of the API servers are able to serve different sets of built-in resources (different groups, versions, and resources are all possible). This new alpha mechanism lets you hide that skew from clients.
Source code reorganization for control plane components
Kubernetes contributors have begun to reorganize the code for the kube-apiserver to build on a new staging repository that consumes k/apiserver but has a bigger, carefully chosen subset of the functionality of kube-apiserver such that it is reusable.
This is a gradual reorganization; eventually there will be a new git repository with generic functionality abstracted from Kubernetes' API server.
Support for CDI injection into containers (alpha)
CDI provides a standardized way of injecting complex devices into a container (i.e. devices that logically require more than just a single /dev node to be injected for them to work). This new feature enables plugin developers to utilize the CDIDevices field added to the CRI in 1.27 to pass CDI devices directly to CDI enabled runtimes (of which containerd and crio-o are in recent releases).
API awareness of sidecar containers (alpha)
Kubernetes 1.28 introduces an alpha
restartPolicy field for init containers,
and uses that to indicate when an init container is also a sidecar container.
The kubelet will start init containers with
restartPolicy: Always in the order
they are defined, along with other init containers.
Instead of waiting for that sidecar container to complete before starting the main
container(s) for the Pod, the kubelet only waits for the sidecar init container to have started.
The kubelet will consider the startup for the sidecar container as being completed if the startup probe succeeds and the postStart handler is completed. This condition is represented with the field Started of ContainerStatus type. If you do not define a startup probe, the kubelet will consider the container startup to be completed immediately after the postStart handler completion.
For init containers, you can either omit the
restartPolicy field, or set it to
Always. Omitting the field
means that you want a true init container that runs to completion before application startup.
Sidecar containers do not block Pod completion: if all regular containers are complete, sidecar containers in that Pod will be terminated.
Once the sidecar container has started (process running,
postStart was successful, and
any configured startup probe is passing), and then there's a failure, that sidecar container will be
restarted even when the Pod's overall
Furthermore, sidecar containers will be restarted (on failure or on normal exit)
even during Pod termination.
To learn more, read API for sidecar containers.
Automatic, retroactive assignment of a default StorageClass graduates to stable
Kubernetes automatically sets a
storageClassName for a PersistentVolumeClaim (PVC) if you don't provide
a value. The control plane also sets a StorageClass for any existing PVC that doesn't have a
Previous versions of Kubernetes also had this behavior; for Kubernetes v1.28 it is automatic and always
active; the feature has graduated to stable (general availability).
To learn more, read about StorageClass in the Kubernetes documentation.
Pod replacement policy for Jobs (alpha)
Kubernetes 1.28 adds a new field for the Job API that allows you to specify if you want the control plane to make new Pods as soon as the previous Pods begin termination (existing behavior), or only once the existing pods are fully terminated (new, optional behavior).
Many common machine learning frameworks, such as Tensorflow and JAX, require unique pods per index.
With the older behaviour, if a pod that belongs to an
Indexed Job enters a terminating state (due to preemption, eviction or other external factors), a replacement pod is created but then immediately fails to start due
to the clash with the old pod that has not yet shut down.
Having a replacement Pod appear before the previous one fully terminates can also cause problems in clusters with scarce resources or with tight budgets. These resources can be difficult to obtain so pods may only be able to find nodes once the existing pods have been terminated. If cluster autoscaler is enabled, early creation of replacement Pods might produce undesired scale-ups.
To learn more, read Delayed creation of replacement pods in the Job documentation.
Job retry backoff limit, per index (alpha)
This extends the Job API to support indexed jobs where the backoff limit is per index, and the Job can continue execution despite some of its indexes failing.
Currently, the indexes of an indexed job share a single backoff limit. When the job reaches this shared backoff limit, the job controller marks the entire job as failed, and the resources are cleaned up, including indexes that have yet to run to completion.
As a result, the existing implementation did not cover the situation where the workload is truly embarrassingly parallel: each index is fully independent of other indexes.
For instance, if indexed jobs were used as the basis for a suite of long-running integration tests, then each test run would only be able to find a single test failure.
For more information, read Handling Pod and container failures in the Kubernetes documentation.
Correction: the feature CRI container and pod statistics without cAdvisor has been removed as it did not make the release. The original release announcement stated that Kubernetes 1.28 included the new feature.
Feature graduations and deprecations in Kubernetes v1.28
Graduations to stable
This release includes a total of 12 enhancements promoted to Stable:
- Retroactive default StorageClass assignment
- Non-graceful node shutdown
- Support 3rd party device monitoring plugins
- Auth API to get self-user attributes
- Proxy Terminating Endpoints
- Expanded DNS Configuration
- Cleaning up IPTables Chain Ownership
- Minimizing iptables-restore input size
- Graduate the kubelet pod resources endpoint to GA
- Extend podresources API to report allocatable resources
- Move EndpointSlice Reconciler into Staging
Deprecations and removals
The complete details of the Kubernetes v1.28 release are available in our release notes.
Kubernetes is only possible with the support, commitment, and hard work of its community. Each release team is comprised of dedicated community volunteers who work together to build the many pieces that make up the Kubernetes releases you rely on. This requires the specialized skills of people from all corners of our community, from the code itself to its documentation and project management.
We would like to thank the entire release team for the hours spent hard at work to ensure we deliver a solid Kubernetes v1.28 release for our community.
Special thanks to our release lead, Grace Nguyen, for guiding us through a smooth and successful release cycle.
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Join members of the Kubernetes v1.28 release team on Wednesday, September 6th, 2023, at 9 A.M. PDT to learn about the major features of this release, as well as deprecations and removals to help plan for upgrades. For more information and registration, visit the event page on the CNCF Online Programs site.
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