VirtualMachineInstance Node Eviction

Before removing a kubernetes node from the cluster, users will want to ensure that VirtualMachineInstances have been gracefully terminated before powering down the node. Since all VirtualMachineInstances are backed by a Pod, the recommended method of evicting VirtualMachineInstances is to use the kubectl drain command, or in the case of OpenShift the oc adm drain command.

How to Evict all VMs on a Node

Select the node you’d like to evict VirtualMachineInstances from by identifying the node from the list of cluster nodes.

kubectl get nodes

The following command will gracefully terminate all VMs on a specific node. Replace ** with the target node you want the eviction to occur on.

kubectl drain <node name> --delete-local-data --ignore-daemonsets=true --force

Below is a break down of why each argument passed to the drain command is required.

  • kubectl drain <node name> is selecting a specific node as a target for the eviction

  • --delete-local-data is a required flag that is necessary for removing any pod that utilizes an emptyDir volume. The VirtualMachineInstance Pod does use emptryDir volumes, however the data in those volumes are ephemeral which means it is safe to delete after termination.

  • --ignore-daemonsets=true is a required flag because every node running a VirtualMachineInstance will also be running our helper DaemonSet called virt-handler. DaemonSets are not allowed to be evicted using kubectl drain. By default, if this command encounters a DaemonSet on the target node, the command will fail. This flag tells the command it is safe to proceed with the eviction and to just ignore DaemonSets.

  • --force is a required flag because VirtualMachineInstance pods are not owned by a ReplicaSet or DaemonSet controller. This means kubectl can’t guarantee that the pods being terminated on the target node will get re-scheduled replacements placed else where in the cluster after the pods are evicted. KubeVirt has its own controllers which manage the underlying VirtualMachineInstance pods. Each controller behaves differently to a VirtualMachineInstance being evicted. That behavior is outlined futher down in this document.

  • means only VirtualMachineInstance pods managed by KubeVirt will be removed from the node.

How to Evict all VMs and Pods on a Node

By removing the –pod-selector argument from the previous command, we can issue the eviction of all Pods on a node. This command ensures Pods associated with VMs as well as all other Pods are evicted from the target node.

kubectl drain <node name> --delete-local-data --ignore-daemonsets=true --force

How to evacuate VMIs via Live Migration from a Node

If the LiveMigration feature gate is enabled, it is possible to specify an evictionStrategy on VMIs which will react with live-migrations on specific taints on nodes. The following snipped on a VMI ensures that the VMI is migrated if the taint is added to a nodes:

  evictionStrategy: LiveMigrate

Here a full VMI:

kind: VirtualMachineInstance
  name: testvmi-nocloud
  terminationGracePeriodSeconds: 30
  evictionStrategy: LiveMigrate
        memory: 1024M
      - name: containerdisk
          bus: virtio
      - disk:
          bus: virtio
        name: cloudinitdisk
  - name: containerdisk
      image: kubevirt/fedora-cloud-container-disk-demo:latest
  - name: cloudinitdisk
      userData: |-
        password: fedora
        chpasswd: { expire: False }

Once the VMI is created, taint the node with

kubectl taint nodes foo

which will trigger a migration.

Behind the scenes a PodDisruptionBudget is created for each VMI which has an evictionStrategy defined. This ensures that evictions are be blocked on these VMIs and that we can guarantee that a VMI will be migrated instead of shut off.

Note: While the evictionStrategy blocks the shutdown of VMIs during evictions, the live migration process is detached from the drain process itselve. Therefore it is necessary to add specified taints as part of the drain process explicitly, until we have a better integrated solution.

By default KubeVirt will rewact with live migrations if the taint is added to the node. It is possible to configure a different key in the kubevirt-config config map, by setting in the migration options the nodeDrainTaintKey:

apiVersion: v1
kind: ConfigMap
  name: kubevirt-config
  namespace: kubevirt
  labels: ""
  feature-gates: "LiveMigration"
  migrations: |-
    nodeDrainTaintKey: mytaint/drain

The default value is With the change above migrations can be triggered with

kubectl taint nodes foo mytaint/drain=draining:NoSchedule

Here a full drain flow for nodes which includes VMI live migrations with the default setting:

kubectl taint nodes foo
kubectl drain foo --delete-local-data --ignore-daemonsets=true --force

To make the node schedulable again, run

kubectl taint nodes foo
kubectl uncordon foo

Re-enabling a Node after Eviction

The kubectl drain will result in the target node being marked as unschedulable. This means the node will not be eligible for running new VirtualMachineInstances or Pods.

If it is decided that the target node should become schedulable again, the following command must be run.

kubectl uncordon <node name>

or in the case of OpenShift

oc adm uncordon <node name>

Shutting down a Node after Eviction

From KubeVirt’s perspective, a node is safe to shutdown once all VirtualMachineInstances have been evicted from the node. In a multi-use cluster where VirtualMachineInstances are being scheduled along side other containerized workloads, it is up to the cluster admin to ensure all other pods have been safely evicted before powering down the node.

VirtualMachine Evictions

The eviction of any VirtualMachineInstance that is owned by a VirtualMachine set to running=true will result in the VirtualMachineInstance being re-scheduled to another node.

The VirtualMachineInstance in this case will be forced to power down and restart on another node. In the future once KubeVirt introduces live migration support, the VM will be able to seamlessly migrate to another node during eviction.

VirtualMachineInstanceReplicaSet Eviction Behavior

The eviction of VirtualMachineInstances owned by a VirtualMachineInstanceReplicaSet will result in the VirtualMachineInstanceReplicaSet scheduling replacements for the evicted VirtualMachineInstances on other nodes in the cluster.

VirtualMachineInstance Eviction Behavior

VirtualMachineInstances not backed by either a VirtualMachineInstanceReplicaSet or an VirtualMachine object will not be re-scheduled after eviction.