Concepts

Detailed explanations of Kubernetes system concepts and abstractions.

Edit This Page

Service Catalog

An extension API that enables applications running in Kubernetes clusters to easily use external managed software offerings, such as a datastore service offered by a cloud provider.

Service Catalog provides a way to list, provision, and bind with external Managed ServicesA software offering maintained by a third-party provider. from Service BrokersAn endpoint for a set of Managed Services offered and maintained by a third-party. without needing detailed knowledge about how those services are created or managed.

A Service Broker, as defined by the Open Service Broker API spec, is an endpoint for a set of Managed Services offered and maintained by a third-party, which could be a cloud provider such as AWS, GCP, or Azure. Some examples of Managed Services are Microsoft Azure Cloud Queue, Amazon Simple Queue Service, and Google Cloud Pub/Sub, but they can be any software offering that can be used by an application.

Using Service Catalog, a Cluster OperatorA person who configures, controls, and monitors clusters. can browse the list of Managed ServicesA software offering maintained by a third-party provider. offered by a Service BrokersAn endpoint for a set of Managed Services offered and maintained by a third-party., provision an instance of a Managed Service, and bind with it to make it available to an application within the Kubernetes cluster.

Example use case

An Application DeveloperA person who writes an application that runs in a Kubernetes cluster. wants to use message queuing as part of their application running in a Kubernetes cluster. However, they do not want to deal with the overhead of setting such a service up and administering it themselves. Fortunately, there is a cloud provider that offers message queuing as a Managed Service through their Service Broker.

A Cluster OperatorA person who configures, controls, and monitors clusters. can setup Service Catalog and use it to communicate with the cloud provider’s Service BrokerAn endpoint for a set of Managed Services offered and maintained by a third-party. to provision an instance of the message queuing service and make it available to the application within the Kubernetes cluster. The Application DeveloperA person who writes an application that runs in a Kubernetes cluster. therefore does not need to concern themselves with the implementation details or management of the message queue. Their application can simply use it as a service.

Architecture

Service Catalog uses the Open Service Broker API to communicate with Service Brokers, acting as an intermediary for the Kubernetes API Server in order to negotiate the initial provisioning and retrieve the credentials necessary for the application to use a Managed Service.

It is implemented as an extension API server and a controller manager, using Etcd for storage. It also uses the aggregation layer available in Kubernetes 1.7+ to present its API.


Service Catalog Architecture

API Resources

Service Catalog installs the servicecatalog.k8s.io API and provides the following Kubernetes resources:

Authentication

Service Catalog supports these methods of authentication:

Usage

A Cluster OperatorA person who configures, controls, and monitors clusters. can use the Service Catalog API Resources to provision Managed Services and make them available within a Kubernetes cluster. The steps involved are:

  1. Listing the Managed Services and Service Plans available from a Service Broker.
  2. Provisioning a new instance of the Managed Service.
  3. Binding to the Managed Service, which returns the connection credentials.
  4. Mapping the connection credentials into the application.

Listing Managed Services and Service Plans

First, a Cluster OperatorA person who configures, controls, and monitors clusters. must create a ClusterServiceBroker resource within the servicecatalog.k8s.io group. This resource contains the URL and connection details necessary to access a Service Broker endpoint.

This is an example of a ClusterServiceBroker resource:

apiVersion: servicecatalog.k8s.io/v1beta1
kind: ClusterServiceBroker
metadata:
  name: cloud-broker
spec:
  # Points to the endpoint of a Service Broker. (This example is not a working URL.)
  url:  https://servicebroker.somecloudprovider.com/v1alpha1/projects/service-catalog/brokers/default
  #####
  # Additional values can be added here, which may be used to communicate
  # with the Service Broker, such as bearer token info or a caBundle for TLS.
  #####

The following is a sequence diagram illustrating the steps involved in listing Managed Services and Plans available from a Service Broker:

List Services

  1. Once the ClusterServiceBroker resource is added to Service Catalog, it triggers a List Services call to the external Service Broker.
  2. The Service Broker returns a list of available Managed Services and Service Plans, which are cached locally in ClusterServiceClass and ClusterServicePlan resources.
  3. A Cluster OperatorA person who configures, controls, and monitors clusters. can then get the list of available Managed Services using the following command:

     kubectl get clusterserviceclasses -o=custom-columns=SERVICE\ NAME:.metadata.name,EXTERNAL\ NAME:.spec.externalName
    

    It should output a list of service names with a format similar to:

     SERVICE NAME                           EXTERNAL NAME
     4f6e6cf6-ffdd-425f-a2c7-3c9258ad2468   cloud-provider-service
     ...                                    ...
    

    They can also view the Service Plans available using the following command:

     kubectl get clusterserviceplans -o=custom-columns=PLAN\ NAME:.metadata.name,EXTERNAL\ NAME:.spec.externalName
    

    It should output a list of plan names with a format similar to:

     PLAN NAME                              EXTERNAL NAME
     86064792-7ea2-467b-af93-ac9694d96d52   service-plan-name
     ...                                    ...
    

Provisioning a new instance

A Cluster OperatorA person who configures, controls, and monitors clusters. can initiate the provisioning of a new instance by creating a ServiceInstance resource.

This is an example of a ServiceInstance resource:

apiVersion: servicecatalog.k8s.io/v1beta1
kind: ServiceInstance
metadata:
  name: cloud-queue-instance
  namespace: cloud-apps
spec:
  # References one of the previously returned services
  clusterServiceClassExternalName: cloud-provider-service
  clusterServicePlanExternalName: service-plan-name
  #####
  # Additional parameters can be added here, 
  # which may be used by the Service Broker.
  #####

The following sequence diagram illustrates the steps involved in provisioning a new instance of a Managed Service:

Provision a Service

  1. When the ServiceInstance resource is created, Service Catalog initiates a Provision Instance call to the external Service Broker.
  2. The Service Broker creates a new instance of the Managed Service and returns an HTTP response.
  3. A Cluster OperatorA person who configures, controls, and monitors clusters. can then check the status of the instance to see if it is ready.

Binding to a Managed Service

After a new instance has been provisioned, a Cluster OperatorA person who configures, controls, and monitors clusters. must bind to the Managed Service to get the connection credentials and service account details necessary for the application to use the service. This is done by creating a ServiceBinding resource.

The following is an example of a ServiceBinding resource:

apiVersion: servicecatalog.k8s.io/v1beta1
kind: ServiceBinding
metadata:
  name: cloud-queue-binding
  namespace: cloud-apps
spec:
  instanceRef:
    name: cloud-queue-instance
  #####
  # Additional information can be added here, such as a secretName or 
  # service account parameters, which may be used by the Service Broker.
  #####

The following sequence diagram illustrates the steps involved in binding to a Managed Service instance:

Bind to a Managed Service

  1. After the ServiceBinding is created, Service Catalog makes a Bind Instance call to the external Service Broker.
  2. The Service Broker enables the application permissions/roles for the appropriate service account.
  3. The Service Broker returns the information necessary to connect and access the Managed Service instance. This is provider and service-specific so the information returned may differ between Service Providers and their Managed Services.

Mapping the connection credentials

After binding, the final step involves mapping the connection credentials and service-specific information into the application. These pieces of information are stored in secrets that the application in the cluster can access and use to connect directly with the Managed Service.


Map connection credentials

Pod Configuration File

One method to perform this mapping is to use a declarative Pod configuration.

The following example describes how to map service account credentials into the application. A key called sa-key is stored in a volume named provider-cloud-key, and the application mounts this volume at /var/secrets/provider/key.json. The environment variable GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS is mapped from the value of the mounted file.

...
    spec:
      volumes:
        - name: provider-cloud-key
          secret:
            secretName: sa-key
      containers:
...
          volumeMounts:
          - name: provider-cloud-key
            mountPath: /var/secrets/provider
          env:
          - name: PROVIDER_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS
            value: "/var/secrets/provider/key.json"

The following example describes how to map secret values into application environment variables. In this example, the messaging queue topic name is mapped from a secret named provider-queue-credentials with a key named topic to the environment variable TOPIC.

...
          env:
          - name: "TOPIC"
            valueFrom:
                secretKeyRef:
                   name: provider-queue-credentials
                   key: topic

What’s next

Analytics

Create an Issue Edit this Page