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Configure Minimum and Maximum CPU Constraints for a Namespace

This page shows how to set minimum and maximum values for the CPU resources used by Containers and Pods in a namespace. You specify minimum and maximum CPU values in a LimitRange object. If a Pod does not meet the constraints imposed by the LimitRange, it cannot be created in the namespace.

Before you begin

You need to have a Kubernetes cluster, and the kubectl command-line tool must be configured to communicate with your cluster. If you do not already have a cluster, you can create one by using Minikube, or you can use one of these Kubernetes playgrounds:

Each node in your cluster must have at least 1 CPU.

Create a namespace

Create a namespace so that the resources you create in this exercise are isolated from the rest of your cluster.

kubectl create namespace constraints-cpu-example

Create a LimitRange and a Pod

Here’s the configuration file for a LimitRange:

cpu-constraints.yaml
apiVersion: v1
kind: LimitRange
metadata:
  name: cpu-min-max-demo-lr
spec:
  limits:
  - max:
      cpu: "800m"
    min:
      cpu: "200m"
    type: Container

Create the LimitRange:

kubectl create -f https://k8s.io/docs/tasks/administer-cluster/cpu-constraints.yaml --namespace=constraints-cpu-example

View detailed information about the LimitRange:

kubectl get limitrange cpu-min-max-demo-lr --output=yaml --namespace=constraints-cpu-example

The output shows the minimum and maximum CPU constraints as expected. But notice that even though you didn’t specify default values in the configuration file for the LimitRange, they were created automatically.

limits:
- default:
    cpu: 800m
  defaultRequest:
    cpu: 800m
  max:
    cpu: 800m
  min:
    cpu: 200m
  type: Container

Now whenever a Container is created in the constraints-cpu-example namespace, Kubernetes performs these steps:

Here’s the configuration file for a Pod that has one Container. The Container manifest specifies a CPU request of 500 millicpu and a CPU limit of 800 millicpu. These satisfy the minimum and maximum CPU constraints imposed by the LimitRange.

cpu-constraints-pod.yaml
apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
  name: constraints-cpu-demo
spec:
  containers:
  - name: constraints-cpu-demo-ctr
    image: nginx
    resources:
      limits:
        cpu: "800m"
      requests:
        cpu: "500m"

Create the Pod:

kubectl create -f https://k8s.io/docs/tasks/administer-cluster/cpu-constraints-pod.yaml --namespace=constraints-cpu-example

Verify that the Pod’s Container is running:

kubectl get pod constraints-cpu-demo --namespace=constraints-cpu-example

View detailed information about the Pod:

kubectl get pod constraints-cpu-demo --output=yaml --namespace=constraints-cpu-example

The output shows that the Container has a CPU request of 500 millicpu and CPU limit of 800 millicpu. These satisfy the constraints imposed by the LimitRange.

resources:
  limits:
    cpu: 800m
  requests:
    cpu: 500m

Delete the Pod

kubectl delete pod constraints-cpu-demo --namespace=constraints-cpu-example

Attempt to create a Pod that exceeds the maximum CPU constraint

Here’s the configuration file for a Pod that has one Container. The Container specifies a CPU request of 500 millicpu and a cpu limit of 1.5 cpu.

cpu-constraints-pod-2.yaml
apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
  name: constraints-cpu-demo-2
spec:
  containers:
  - name: constraints-cpu-demo-2-ctr
    image: nginx
    resources:
      limits:
        cpu: "1.5"
      requests:
        cpu: "500m"

Attempt to create the Pod:

kubectl create -f https://k8s.io/docs/tasks/administer-cluster/cpu-constraints-pod-2.yaml --namespace=constraints-cpu-example

The output shows that the Pod does not get created, because the Container specifies a CPU limit that is too large:

Error from server (Forbidden): error when creating "docs/tasks/administer-cluster/cpu-constraints-pod-2.yaml":
pods "constraints-cpu-demo-2" is forbidden: maximum cpu usage per Container is 800m, but limit is 1500m.

Attempt to create a Pod that does not meet the minimum CPU request

Here’s the configuration file for a Pod that has one Container. The Container specifies a CPU request of 100 millicpu and a CPU limit of 800 millicpu.

cpu-constraints-pod-3.yaml
apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
  name: constraints-cpu-demo-4
spec:
  containers:
  - name: constraints-cpu-demo-4-ctr
    image: nginx
    resources:
      limits:
        cpu: "800m"
      requests:
        cpu: "100m"

Attempt to create the Pod:

kubectl create -f https://k8s.io/docs/tasks/administer-cluster/cpu-constraints-pod-3.yaml --namespace=constraints-cpu-example

The output shows that the Pod does not get created, because the Container specifies a CPU request that is too small:

Error from server (Forbidden): error when creating "docs/tasks/administer-cluster/cpu-constraints-pod-3.yaml":
pods "constraints-cpu-demo-4" is forbidden: minimum cpu usage per Container is 200m, but request is 100m.

Create a Pod that does not specify any CPU request or limit

Here’s the configuration file for a Pod that has one Container. The Container does not specify a CPU request, and it does not specify a CPU limit.

cpu-constraints-pod-4.yaml
apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
  name: constraints-cpu-demo-4
spec:
  containers:
  - name: constraints-cpu-demo-4-ctr
    image: vish/stress

Create the Pod:

kubectl create -f https://k8s.io/docs/tasks/administer-cluster/cpu-constraints-pod-4.yaml --namespace=constraints-cpu-example

View detailed information about the Pod:

kubectl get pod constraints-cpu-demo-4 --namespace=constraints-cpu-example --output=yaml

The output shows that the Pod’s Container has a CPU request of 800 millicpu and a CPU limit of 800 millicpu. How did the Container get those values?

resources:
  limits:
    cpu: 800m
  requests:
    cpu: 800m

Because your Container did not specify its own CPU request and limit, it was given the default CPU request and limit from the LimitRange.

At this point, your Container might be running or it might not be running. Recall that a prerequisite for this task is that your Nodes have at least 1 CPU. If each of your Nodes has only 1 CPU, then there might not be enough allocatable CPU on any Node to accommodate a request of 800 millicpu. If you happen to be using Nodes with 2 CPU, then you probably have enough CPU to accommodate the 800 millicpu request.

Delete your Pod:

kubectl delete pod constraints-cpu-demo-4 --namespace=constraints-cpu-example

Enforcement of minimum and maximum CPU constraints

The maximum and minimum CPU constraints imposed on a namespace by a LimitRange are enforced only when a Pod is created or updated. If you change the LimitRange, it does not affect Pods that were created previously.

Motivation for minimum and maximum CPU constraints

As a cluster administrator, you might want to impose restrictions on the CPU resources that Pods can use. For example:

Clean up

Delete your namespace:

kubectl delete namespace constraints-cpu-example

What’s next

For cluster administrators

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