Ingress

FEATURE STATE: Kubernetes v1.19 [stable]

An API object that manages external access to the services in a cluster, typically HTTP.

Ingress may provide load balancing, SSL termination and name-based virtual hosting.

Terminology

For clarity, this guide defines the following terms:

  • Node: A worker machine in Kubernetes, part of a cluster.
  • Cluster: A set of Nodes that run containerized applications managed by Kubernetes. For this example, and in most common Kubernetes deployments, nodes in the cluster are not part of the public internet.
  • Edge router: A router that enforces the firewall policy for your cluster. This could be a gateway managed by a cloud provider or a physical piece of hardware.
  • Cluster network: A set of links, logical or physical, that facilitate communication within a cluster according to the Kubernetes networking model.
  • Service: A Kubernetes Service that identifies a set of Pods using label selectors. Unless mentioned otherwise, Services are assumed to have virtual IPs only routable within the cluster network.

What is Ingress?

Ingress exposes HTTP and HTTPS routes from outside the cluster to services within the cluster. Traffic routing is controlled by rules defined on the Ingress resource.

Here is a simple example where an Ingress sends all its traffic to one Service:

graph LR; client([client])-. Ingress-managed
load balancer .->ingress[Ingress]; ingress-->|routing rule|service[Service]; subgraph cluster ingress; service-->pod1[Pod]; service-->pod2[Pod]; end classDef plain fill:#ddd,stroke:#fff,stroke-width:4px,color:#000; classDef k8s fill:#326ce5,stroke:#fff,stroke-width:4px,color:#fff; classDef cluster fill:#fff,stroke:#bbb,stroke-width:2px,color:#326ce5; class ingress,service,pod1,pod2 k8s; class client plain; class cluster cluster;

An Ingress may be configured to give Services externally-reachable URLs, load balance traffic, terminate SSL / TLS, and offer name-based virtual hosting. An Ingress controller is responsible for fulfilling the Ingress, usually with a load balancer, though it may also configure your edge router or additional frontends to help handle the traffic.

An Ingress does not expose arbitrary ports or protocols. Exposing services other than HTTP and HTTPS to the internet typically uses a service of type Service.Type=NodePort or Service.Type=LoadBalancer.

Prerequisites

You must have an Ingress controller to satisfy an Ingress. Only creating an Ingress resource has no effect.

You may need to deploy an Ingress controller such as ingress-nginx. You can choose from a number of Ingress controllers.

Ideally, all Ingress controllers should fit the reference specification. In reality, the various Ingress controllers operate slightly differently.

Note: Make sure you review your Ingress controller's documentation to understand the caveats of choosing it.

The Ingress resource

A minimal Ingress resource example:

apiVersion: networking.k8s.io/v1
kind: Ingress
metadata:
  name: minimal-ingress
  annotations:
    nginx.ingress.kubernetes.io/rewrite-target: /
spec:
  rules:
  - http:
      paths:
      - path: /testpath
        pathType: Prefix
        backend:
          service:
            name: test
            port:
              number: 80

As with all other Kubernetes resources, an Ingress needs apiVersion, kind, and metadata fields. The name of an Ingress object must be a valid DNS subdomain name. For general information about working with config files, see deploying applications, configuring containers, managing resources. Ingress frequently uses annotations to configure some options depending on the Ingress controller, an example of which is the rewrite-target annotation. Different Ingress controller support different annotations. Review the documentation for your choice of Ingress controller to learn which annotations are supported.

The Ingress spec has all the information needed to configure a load balancer or proxy server. Most importantly, it contains a list of rules matched against all incoming requests. Ingress resource only supports rules for directing HTTP(S) traffic.

Ingress rules

Each HTTP rule contains the following information:

  • An optional host. In this example, no host is specified, so the rule applies to all inbound HTTP traffic through the IP address specified. If a host is provided (for example, foo.bar.com), the rules apply to that host.
  • A list of paths (for example, /testpath), each of which has an associated backend defined with a service.name and a service.port.name or service.port.number. Both the host and path must match the content of an incoming request before the load balancer directs traffic to the referenced Service.
  • A backend is a combination of Service and port names as described in the Service doc or a custom resource backend by way of a CRD. HTTP (and HTTPS) requests to the Ingress that matches the host and path of the rule are sent to the listed backend.

A defaultBackend is often configured in an Ingress controller to service any requests that do not match a path in the spec.

DefaultBackend

An Ingress with no rules sends all traffic to a single default backend. The defaultBackend is conventionally a configuration option of the Ingress controller and is not specified in your Ingress resources.

If none of the hosts or paths match the HTTP request in the Ingress objects, the traffic is routed to your default backend.

Resource backends

A Resource backend is an ObjectRef to another Kubernetes resource within the same namespace as the Ingress object. A Resource is a mutually exclusive setting with Service, and will fail validation if both are specified. A common usage for a Resource backend is to ingress data to an object storage backend with static assets.

apiVersion: networking.k8s.io/v1
kind: Ingress
metadata:
  name: ingress-resource-backend
spec:
  defaultBackend:
    resource:
      apiGroup: k8s.example.com
      kind: StorageBucket
      name: static-assets
  rules:
    - http:
        paths:
          - path: /icons
            pathType: ImplementationSpecific
            backend:
              resource:
                apiGroup: k8s.example.com
                kind: StorageBucket
                name: icon-assets

After creating the Ingress above, you can view it with the following command:

kubectl describe ingress ingress-resource-backend
Name:             ingress-resource-backend
Namespace:        default
Address:
Default backend:  APIGroup: k8s.example.com, Kind: StorageBucket, Name: static-assets
Rules:
  Host        Path  Backends
  ----        ----  --------
  *
              /icons   APIGroup: k8s.example.com, Kind: StorageBucket, Name: icon-assets
Annotations:  <none>
Events:       <none>

Path types

Each path in an Ingress is required to have a corresponding path type. Paths that do not include an explicit pathType will fail validation. There are three supported path types:

  • ImplementationSpecific: With this path type, matching is up to the IngressClass. Implementations can treat this as a separate pathType or treat it identically to Prefix or Exact path types.

  • Exact: Matches the URL path exactly and with case sensitivity.

  • Prefix: Matches based on a URL path prefix split by /. Matching is case sensitive and done on a path element by element basis. A path element refers to the list of labels in the path split by the / separator. A request is a match for path p if every p is an element-wise prefix of p of the request path.

    Note: If the last element of the path is a substring of the last element in request path, it is not a match (for example: /foo/bar matches/foo/bar/baz, but does not match /foo/barbaz).

Examples

KindPath(s)Request path(s)Matches?
Prefix/(all paths)Yes
Exact/foo/fooYes
Exact/foo/barNo
Exact/foo/foo/No
Exact/foo//fooNo
Prefix/foo/foo, /foo/Yes
Prefix/foo//foo, /foo/Yes
Prefix/aaa/bb/aaa/bbbNo
Prefix/aaa/bbb/aaa/bbbYes
Prefix/aaa/bbb//aaa/bbbYes, ignores trailing slash
Prefix/aaa/bbb/aaa/bbb/Yes, matches trailing slash
Prefix/aaa/bbb/aaa/bbb/cccYes, matches subpath
Prefix/aaa/bbb/aaa/bbbxyzNo, does not match string prefix
Prefix/, /aaa/aaa/cccYes, matches /aaa prefix
Prefix/, /aaa, /aaa/bbb/aaa/bbbYes, matches /aaa/bbb prefix
Prefix/, /aaa, /aaa/bbb/cccYes, matches / prefix
Prefix/aaa/cccNo, uses default backend
Mixed/foo (Prefix), /foo (Exact)/fooYes, prefers Exact

Multiple matches

In some cases, multiple paths within an Ingress will match a request. In those cases precedence will be given first to the longest matching path. If two paths are still equally matched, precedence will be given to paths with an exact path type over prefix path type.

Hostname wildcards

Hosts can be precise matches (for example “foo.bar.com”) or a wildcard (for example “*.foo.com”). Precise matches require that the HTTP host header matches the host field. Wildcard matches require the HTTP host header is equal to the suffix of the wildcard rule.

HostHost headerMatch?
*.foo.combar.foo.comMatches based on shared suffix
*.foo.combaz.bar.foo.comNo match, wildcard only covers a single DNS label
*.foo.comfoo.comNo match, wildcard only covers a single DNS label
apiVersion: networking.k8s.io/v1
kind: Ingress
metadata:
  name: ingress-wildcard-host
spec:
  rules:
  - host: "foo.bar.com"
    http:
      paths:
      - pathType: Prefix
        path: "/bar"
        backend:
          service:
            name: service1
            port:
              number: 80
  - host: "*.foo.com"
    http:
      paths:
      - pathType: Prefix
        path: "/foo"
        backend:
          service:
            name: service2
            port:
              number: 80

Ingress class

Ingresses can be implemented by different controllers, often with different configuration. Each Ingress should specify a class, a reference to an IngressClass resource that contains additional configuration including the name of the controller that should implement the class.

apiVersion: networking.k8s.io/v1
kind: IngressClass
metadata:
  name: external-lb
spec:
  controller: example.com/ingress-controller
  parameters:
    apiGroup: k8s.example.com
    kind: IngressParameters
    name: external-lb

IngressClass resources contain an optional parameters field. This can be used to reference additional configuration for this class.

Deprecated annotation

Before the IngressClass resource and ingressClassName field were added in Kubernetes 1.18, Ingress classes were specified with a kubernetes.io/ingress.class annotation on the Ingress. This annotation was never formally defined, but was widely supported by Ingress controllers.

The newer ingressClassName field on Ingresses is a replacement for that annotation, but is not a direct equivalent. While the annotation was generally used to reference the name of the Ingress controller that should implement the Ingress, the field is a reference to an IngressClass resource that contains additional Ingress configuration, including the name of the Ingress controller.

Default IngressClass

You can mark a particular IngressClass as default for your cluster. Setting the ingressclass.kubernetes.io/is-default-class annotation to true on an IngressClass resource will ensure that new Ingresses without an ingressClassName field specified will be assigned this default IngressClass.

Caution: If you have more than one IngressClass marked as the default for your cluster, the admission controller prevents creating new Ingress objects that don't have an ingressClassName specified. You can resolve this by ensuring that at most 1 IngressClass is marked as default in your cluster.

Types of Ingress

Ingress backed by a single Service

There are existing Kubernetes concepts that allow you to expose a single Service (see alternatives). You can also do this with an Ingress by specifying a default backend with no rules.

apiVersion: networking.k8s.io/v1
kind: Ingress
metadata:
  name: test-ingress
spec:
  defaultBackend:
    service:
      name: test
      port:
        number: 80

If you create it using kubectl apply -f you should be able to view the state of the Ingress you just added:

kubectl get ingress test-ingress
NAME           CLASS         HOSTS   ADDRESS         PORTS   AGE
test-ingress   external-lb   *       203.0.113.123   80      59s

Where 203.0.113.123 is the IP allocated by the Ingress controller to satisfy this Ingress.

Note: Ingress controllers and load balancers may take a minute or two to allocate an IP address. Until that time, you often see the address listed as <pending>.

Simple fanout

A fanout configuration routes traffic from a single IP address to more than one Service, based on the HTTP URI being requested. An Ingress allows you to keep the number of load balancers down to a minimum. For example, a setup like:

graph LR; client([client])-. Ingress-managed
load balancer .->ingress[Ingress, 178.91.123.132]; ingress-->|/foo|service1[Service service1:4200]; ingress-->|/bar|service2[Service service2:8080]; subgraph cluster ingress; service1-->pod1[Pod]; service1-->pod2[Pod]; service2-->pod3[Pod]; service2-->pod4[Pod]; end classDef plain fill:#ddd,stroke:#fff,stroke-width:4px,color:#000; classDef k8s fill:#326ce5,stroke:#fff,stroke-width:4px,color:#fff; classDef cluster fill:#fff,stroke:#bbb,stroke-width:2px,color:#326ce5; class ingress,service1,service2,pod1,pod2,pod3,pod4 k8s; class client plain; class cluster cluster;

would require an Ingress such as:

apiVersion: networking.k8s.io/v1
kind: Ingress
metadata:
  name: simple-fanout-example
spec:
  rules:
  - host: foo.bar.com
    http:
      paths:
      - path: /foo
        pathType: Prefix
        backend:
          service:
            name: service1
            port:
              number: 4200
      - path: /bar
        pathType: Prefix
        backend:
          service:
            name: service2
            port:
              number: 8080

When you create the Ingress with kubectl apply -f:

kubectl describe ingress simple-fanout-example
Name:             simple-fanout-example
Namespace:        default
Address:          178.91.123.132
Default backend:  default-http-backend:80 (10.8.2.3:8080)
Rules:
  Host         Path  Backends
  ----         ----  --------
  foo.bar.com
               /foo   service1:4200 (10.8.0.90:4200)
               /bar   service2:8080 (10.8.0.91:8080)
Events:
  Type     Reason  Age                From                     Message
  ----     ------  ----               ----                     -------
  Normal   ADD     22s                loadbalancer-controller  default/test

The Ingress controller provisions an implementation-specific load balancer that satisfies the Ingress, as long as the Services (service1, service2) exist. When it has done so, you can see the address of the load balancer at the Address field.

Note: Depending on the Ingress controller you are using, you may need to create a default-http-backend Service.

Name based virtual hosting

Name-based virtual hosts support routing HTTP traffic to multiple host names at the same IP address.

graph LR; client([client])-. Ingress-managed
load balancer .->ingress[Ingress, 178.91.123.132]; ingress-->|Host: foo.bar.com|service1[Service service1:80]; ingress-->|Host: bar.foo.com|service2[Service service2:80]; subgraph cluster ingress; service1-->pod1[Pod]; service1-->pod2[Pod]; service2-->pod3[Pod]; service2-->pod4[Pod]; end classDef plain fill:#ddd,stroke:#fff,stroke-width:4px,color:#000; classDef k8s fill:#326ce5,stroke:#fff,stroke-width:4px,color:#fff; classDef cluster fill:#fff,stroke:#bbb,stroke-width:2px,color:#326ce5; class ingress,service1,service2,pod1,pod2,pod3,pod4 k8s; class client plain; class cluster cluster;

The following Ingress tells the backing load balancer to route requests based on the Host header.

apiVersion: networking.k8s.io/v1
kind: Ingress
metadata:
  name: name-virtual-host-ingress
spec:
  rules:
  - host: foo.bar.com
    http:
      paths:
      - pathType: Prefix
        path: "/"
        backend:
          service:
            name: service1
            port:
              number: 80
  - host: bar.foo.com
    http:
      paths:
      - pathType: Prefix
        path: "/"
        backend:
          service:
            name: service2
            port:
              number: 80

If you create an Ingress resource without any hosts defined in the rules, then any web traffic to the IP address of your Ingress controller can be matched without a name based virtual host being required.

For example, the following Ingress routes traffic requested for first.bar.com to service1, second.foo.com to service2, and any traffic to the IP address without a hostname defined in request (that is, without a request header being presented) to service3.

apiVersion: networking.k8s.io/v1
kind: Ingress
metadata:
  name: name-virtual-host-ingress-no-third-host
spec:
  rules:
  - host: first.bar.com
    http:
      paths:
      - pathType: Prefix
        path: "/"
        backend:
          service:
            name: service1
            port:
              number: 80
  - host: second.bar.com
    http:
      paths:
      - pathType: Prefix
        path: "/"
        backend:
          service:
            name: service2
            port:
              number: 80
  - http:
      paths:
      - pathType: Prefix
        path: "/"
        backend:
          service:
            name: service3
            port:
              number: 80

TLS

You can secure an Ingress by specifying a Secret that contains a TLS private key and certificate. The Ingress resource only supports a single TLS port, 443, and assumes TLS termination at the ingress point (traffic to the Service and its Pods is in plaintext). If the TLS configuration section in an Ingress specifies different hosts, they are multiplexed on the same port according to the hostname specified through the SNI TLS extension (provided the Ingress controller supports SNI). The TLS secret must contain keys named tls.crt and tls.key that contain the certificate and private key to use for TLS. For example:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
metadata:
  name: testsecret-tls
  namespace: default
data:
  tls.crt: base64 encoded cert
  tls.key: base64 encoded key
type: kubernetes.io/tls

Referencing this secret in an Ingress tells the Ingress controller to secure the channel from the client to the load balancer using TLS. You need to make sure the TLS secret you created came from a certificate that contains a Common Name (CN), also known as a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) for https-example.foo.com.

Note: Keep in mind that TLS will not work on the default rule because the certificates would have to be issued for all the possible sub-domains. Therefore, hosts in the tls section need to explicitly match the host in the rules section.
apiVersion: networking.k8s.io/v1
kind: Ingress
metadata:
  name: tls-example-ingress
spec:
  tls:
  - hosts:
      - https-example.foo.com
    secretName: testsecret-tls
  rules:
  - host: https-example.foo.com
    http:
      paths:
      - path: /
        pathType: Prefix
        backend:
          service:
            name: service1
            port:
              number: 80
Note: There is a gap between TLS features supported by various Ingress controllers. Please refer to documentation on nginx, GCE, or any other platform specific Ingress controller to understand how TLS works in your environment.

Load balancing

An Ingress controller is bootstrapped with some load balancing policy settings that it applies to all Ingress, such as the load balancing algorithm, backend weight scheme, and others. More advanced load balancing concepts (e.g. persistent sessions, dynamic weights) are not yet exposed through the Ingress. You can instead get these features through the load balancer used for a Service.

It's also worth noting that even though health checks are not exposed directly through the Ingress, there exist parallel concepts in Kubernetes such as readiness probes that allow you to achieve the same end result. Please review the controller specific documentation to see how they handle health checks (for example: nginx, or GCE).

Updating an Ingress

To update an existing Ingress to add a new Host, you can update it by editing the resource:

kubectl describe ingress test
Name:             test
Namespace:        default
Address:          178.91.123.132
Default backend:  default-http-backend:80 (10.8.2.3:8080)
Rules:
  Host         Path  Backends
  ----         ----  --------
  foo.bar.com
               /foo   service1:80 (10.8.0.90:80)
Annotations:
  nginx.ingress.kubernetes.io/rewrite-target:  /
Events:
  Type     Reason  Age                From                     Message
  ----     ------  ----               ----                     -------
  Normal   ADD     35s                loadbalancer-controller  default/test
kubectl edit ingress test

This pops up an editor with the existing configuration in YAML format. Modify it to include the new Host:

spec:
  rules:
  - host: foo.bar.com
    http:
      paths:
      - backend:
          service:
            name: service1
            port:
              number: 80
        path: /foo
        pathType: Prefix
  - host: bar.baz.com
    http:
      paths:
      - backend:
          service:
            name: service2
            port:
              number: 80
        path: /foo
        pathType: Prefix
..

After you save your changes, kubectl updates the resource in the API server, which tells the Ingress controller to reconfigure the load balancer.

Verify this:

kubectl describe ingress test
Name:             test
Namespace:        default
Address:          178.91.123.132
Default backend:  default-http-backend:80 (10.8.2.3:8080)
Rules:
  Host         Path  Backends
  ----         ----  --------
  foo.bar.com
               /foo   service1:80 (10.8.0.90:80)
  bar.baz.com
               /foo   service2:80 (10.8.0.91:80)
Annotations:
  nginx.ingress.kubernetes.io/rewrite-target:  /
Events:
  Type     Reason  Age                From                     Message
  ----     ------  ----               ----                     -------
  Normal   ADD     45s                loadbalancer-controller  default/test

You can achieve the same outcome by invoking kubectl replace -f on a modified Ingress YAML file.

Failing across availability zones

Techniques for spreading traffic across failure domains differ between cloud providers. Please check the documentation of the relevant Ingress controller for details.

Alternatives

You can expose a Service in multiple ways that don't directly involve the Ingress resource:

What's next

Last modified August 28, 2020 at 3:31 PM PST: Updated ingress.md TLS section (73780ca1b)