Interfaces and Networks

Connecting a virtual machine to a network consists of two parts. First, networks are specified in spec.networks. Then, interfaces backed by the networks are added to the VM by specifying them in spec.domain.devices.interfaces.

Each interface must have a corresponding network with the same name.

An interface defines a virtual network interface of a virtual machine (also called a frontend). A network specifies the backend of an interface and declares which logical or physical device it is connected to (also called as backend).

There are multiple ways of configuring an interface as well as a network.

All possible configuration options are available in the Interface API Reference and Network API Reference.

Backend

Network backends are configured in spec.networks. A network must have a unique name. Additional fields declare which logical or physical device the network relates to.

Each network should declare its type by defining one of the following fields:

Type Description

pod

Default Kubernetes network

multus

Secondary network provided using Multus

pod

A pod network represents the default pod eth0 interface configured by cluster network solution that is present in each pod.

kind: VM
spec:
  domain:
    devices:
      interfaces:
        - name: default
          masquerade: {}
  networks:
  - name: default
    pod: {} # Stock pod network

multus

It is also possible to connect VMIs to secondary networks using Multus. This assumes that multus is installed across your cluster and a corresponding NetworkAttachmentDefinition CRD was created.

The following example defines a network which uses the ovs-cni plugin, which will connect the VMI to Open vSwitch's bridge br1 and VLAN 100. Other CNI plugins such as ptp, bridge, macvlan or Flannel might be used as well. For their installation and usage refer to the respective project documentation.

First the NetworkAttachmentDefinition needs to be created. That is usually done by an administrator. Users can then reference the definition.

apiVersion: "k8s.cni.cncf.io/v1"
kind: NetworkAttachmentDefinition
metadata:
  name: ovs-vlan-100
spec:
  config: '{
      "cniVersion": "0.3.1",
      "type": "ovs",
      "bridge": "br1",
      "vlan": 100
    }'

With following definition, the VMI will be connected to the default pod network and to the secondary Open vSwitch network.

kind: VM
spec:
  domain:
    devices:
      interfaces:
        - name: default
          masquerade: {}
          bootOrder: 1   # attempt to boot from an external tftp server
          dhcpOptions:
            bootFileName: default_image.bin
            tftpServerName: tftp.example.com
        - name: ovs-net
          bridge: {}
          bootOrder: 2   # if first attempt failed, try to PXE-boot from this L2 networks
  networks:
  - name: default
    pod: {} # Stock pod network
  - name: ovs-net
    multus: # Secondary multus network
      networkName: ovs-vlan-100

It is also possible to define a multus network as the default pod network with Multus. A version of multus after this Pull Request is required (currently master).

Note the following:

  • A multus default network and a pod network type are mutually exclusive.

  • The virt-launcher pod that starts the VMI will not have the pod network configured.

  • The multus delegate chosen as default must return at least one IP address.

Create a NetworkAttachmentDefinition with IPAM.

apiVersion: "k8s.cni.cncf.io/v1"
kind: NetworkAttachmentDefinition
metadata:
  name: macvlan-test
spec:
  config: '{
      "type": "macvlan",
      "master": "eth0",
      "mode": "bridge",
      "ipam": {
        "type": "host-local",
        "subnet": "10.250.250.0/24"
      }
    }'

Define a VMI with a Multus network as the default.

kind: VM
spec:
  domain:
    devices:
      interfaces:
        - name: test1
          bridge: {}
  networks:
  - name: test1
    multus: # Multus network as default
      default: true
      networkName: macvlan-test

Invalid CNIs for secondary networks

The following list of CNIs is known not to work for bridge interfaces - which are most common for secondary interfaces.

The reason is similar: the bridge interface type moves the pod interface MAC address to the VM, leaving the pod interface with a different address. The aforementioned CNIs require the pod interface to have the original MAC address.

These issues are tracked individually:

Feel free to discuss and / or propose fixes for them; we'd like to have these plugins as valid options on our ecosystem.

Frontend

Network interfaces are configured in spec.domain.devices.interfaces. They describe properties of virtual interfaces as "seen" inside guest instances. The same network backend may be connected to a virtual machine in multiple different ways, each with their own connectivity guarantees and characteristics.

Each interface should declare its type by defining on of the following fields:

Type Description

bridge

Connect using a linux bridge

slirp

Connect using QEMU user networking mode

sriov

Pass through a SR-IOV PCI device via vfio

masquerade

Connect using Iptables rules to nat the traffic

Each interface may also have additional configuration fields that modify properties "seen" inside guest instances, as listed below:

Name Format Default value Description

model

One of: e1000, e1000e, ne2k_pci, pcnet, rtl8139, virtio

virtio

NIC type

macAddress

ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff or FF-FF-FF-FF-FF-FF

MAC address as seen inside the guest system, for example: de:ad:00:00:be:af

ports

empty

List of ports to be forwarded to the virtual machine.

pciAddress

0000:81:00.1

Set network interface PCI address, for example: 0000:81:00.1

kind: VM
spec:
  domain:
    devices:
      interfaces:
        - name: default
          model: e1000 # expose e1000 NIC to the guest
          masquerade: {} # connect through a masquerade
          ports:
           - name: http
             port: 80
  networks:
  - name: default
    pod: {}

Note: For secondary interfaces, when a MAC address is specified for a virtual machine interface, it is passed to the underlying CNI plugin which is, in turn, expected to configure the backend to allow for this particular MAC. Not every plugin has native support for custom MAC addresses.

Note: For some CNI plugins without native support for custom MAC addresses, there is a workaround, which is to use the tuning CNI plugin to adjust pod interface MAC address. This can be used as follows:

apiVersion: "k8s.cni.cncf.io/v1"
kind: NetworkAttachmentDefinition
metadata:
  name: ptp-mac
spec:
  config: '{
      "cniVersion": "0.3.1",
      "name": "ptp-mac",
      "plugins": [
        {
          "type": "ptp",
          "ipam": {
            "type": "host-local",
            "subnet": "10.1.1.0/24"
          }
        },
        {
          "type": "tuning"
        }
      ]
    }'

This approach may not work for all plugins. For example, OKD SDN is not compatible with tuning plugin.

  • Plugins that handle custom MAC addresses natively: ovs, bridge.

  • Plugins that are compatible with tuning plugin: flannel, ptp.

  • Plugins that don't need special MAC address treatment: sriov (in vfio mode).

Ports

Declare ports listen by the virtual machine

Note: When using the slirp interface only the configured ports will be forwarded to the virtual machine.

Name Format Required Description

name

no

Name

port

1 - 65535

yes

Port to expose

protocol

TCP,UDP

no

Connection protocol

Tip: Use e1000 model if your guest image doesn't ship with virtio drivers.

Note: Windows machines need the latest virtio network driver to configure the correct MTU on the interface.

If spec.domain.devices.interfaces is omitted, the virtual machine is connected using the default pod network interface of bridge type. If you'd like to have a virtual machine instance without any network connectivity, you can use the autoattachPodInterface field as follows:

kind: VM
spec:
  domain:
    devices:
      autoattachPodInterface: false

bridge

In bridge mode, virtual machines are connected to the network backend through a linux "bridge". The pod network IPv4 address is delegated to the virtual machine via DHCPv4. The virtual machine should be configured to use DHCP to acquire IPv4 addresses.

Note: If a specific MAC address is not configured in the virtual machine interface spec the MAC address from the relevant pod interface is delegated to the virtual machine.

kind: VM
spec:
  domain:
    devices:
      interfaces:
        - name: red
          bridge: {} # connect through a bridge
  networks:
  - name: red
    multus:
      networkName: red

At this time, bridge mode doesn't support additional configuration fields.

Note: due to IPv4 address delegation, in bridge mode the pod doesn't have an IP address configured, which may introduce issues with third-party solutions that may rely on it. For example, Istio may not work in this mode.

Note: admin can forbid using bridge interface type for pod networks via a designated configuration flag. To achieve it, the admin should set the following option to false:

apiVersion: kubevirt.io/v1
kind: Kubevirt
metadata:
  name: kubevirt
  namespace: kubevirt
spec:
  configuration:
    network:
      permitBridgeInterfaceOnPodNetwork: false

Note: binding the pod network using bridge interface type may cause issues. Other than the third-party issue mentioned in the above note, live migration is not allowed with a pod network binding of bridge interface type, and also some CNI plugins might not allow to use a custom MAC address for your VM instances. If you think you may be affected by any of issues mentioned above, consider changing the default interface type to masquerade, and disabling the bridge type for pod network, as shown in the example above.

slirp

In slirp mode, virtual machines are connected to the network backend using QEMU user networking mode. In this mode, QEMU allocates internal IP addresses to virtual machines and hides them behind NAT.

kind: VM
spec:
  domain:
    devices:
      interfaces:
        - name: red
          slirp: {} # connect using SLIRP mode
  networks:
  - name: red
    pod: {}

At this time, slirp mode doesn't support additional configuration fields.

Note: in slirp mode, the only supported protocols are TCP and UDP. ICMP is not supported.

More information about SLIRP mode can be found in QEMU Wiki.

masquerade

In masquerade mode, KubeVirt allocates internal IP addresses to virtual machines and hides them behind NAT. All the traffic exiting virtual machines is "NAT'ed" using pod IP addresses. A guest operating system should be configured to use DHCP to acquire IPv4 addresses.

To allow traffic of specific ports into virtual machines, the template ports section of the interface should be configured as follows. If the ports section is missing, all ports forwarded into the VM.

kind: VM
spec:
  domain:
    devices:
      interfaces:
        - name: red
          masquerade: {} # connect using masquerade mode
          ports:
            - port: 80 # allow incoming traffic on port 80 to get into the virtual machine
  networks:
  - name: red
    pod: {}

Note: Masquerade is only allowed to connect to the pod network.

Note: The network CIDR can be configured in the pod network section using the vmNetworkCIDR attribute.

masquerade - IPv4 and IPv6 dual-stack support

masquerade mode can be used in IPv4 and IPv6 dual-stack clusters to provide a VM with an IP connectivity over both protocols.

As with the IPv4 masquerade mode, the VM can be contacted using the pod's IP address - which will be in this case two IP addresses, one IPv4 and one IPv6. Outgoing traffic is also "NAT'ed" to the pod's respective IP address from the given family.

Unlike in IPv4, the configuration of the IPv6 address and the default route is not automatic; it should be configured via cloud init, as shown below:

kind: VM
spec:
  domain:
    devices:
      disks:
        - disk:
          bus: virtio
          name: cloudinitdisk
      interfaces:
        - name: red
          masquerade: {} # connect using masquerade mode
          ports:
            - port: 80 # allow incoming traffic on port 80 to get into the virtual machine
  networks:
  - name: red
    pod: {}
  volumes:
  - cloudInitNoCloud:
      networkData: |
        version: 2
        ethernets:
          eth0:
            dhcp4: true
            addresses: [ fd10:0:2::2/120 ]
            gateway6: fd10:0:2::1
      userData: |-
        #!/bin/bash
        echo "fedora" |passwd fedora --stdin

Note: The IPv6 address for the VM and default gateway must be the ones shown above.

masquerade - IPv6 single-stack support

masquerade mode can be used in IPv6 single stack clusters to provide a VM with an IPv6 only connectivity.

As with the IPv4 masquerade mode, the VM can be contacted using the pod's IP address - which will be in this case the IPv6 one. Outgoing traffic is also "NAT'ed" to the pod's respective IPv6 address.

As with the dual-stack cluster, the configuration of the IPv6 address and the default route is not automatic; it should be configured via cloud init, as shown in the dual-stack section.

Unlike the dual-stack cluster, which has a DHCP server for IPv4, the IPv6 single stack cluster has no DHCP server at all. Therefore, the VM won't have the search domains information and reaching a destination using its FQDN is not possible. Tracking issue - https://github.com/kubevirt/kubevirt/issues/7184

passt

passt is a new approach for user-mode networking which can be used as a simple replacement for Slirp (which is practically dead).

passt is a universal tool which implements a translation layer between a Layer-2 network interface and native Layer -4 sockets (TCP, UDP, ICMP/ICMPv6 echo) on a host.

Its main benefits are: - doesn't require extra network capabilities as CAP_NET_RAW and CAP_NET_ADMIN. - allows integration with service meshes (which expect applications to run locally) out of the box. - supports IPv6 out of the box (in contrast to the existing bindings which require configuring IPv6 manually).

Masquerade Bridge Passt
Supports migration Yes No No
(will be supported in the future)
VM uses Pod IP No Yes Yes
(in the future it will be possible to configure the VM IP. Currently the default is the pod IP)
Service Mesh out of the box No
(only ISTIO is supported, adjustmets on both ISTIO and kubevirt had to be done to make it work)
No Yes
Doesn’t require extra capabilities on the virt-launcher pod Yes
(multiple workarounds had to be added to kuebivrt to make it work)
No
(Multiple workarounds had to be added to kuebivrt to make it work)
Yes
Doesn't require extra network devices on the virt-launcher pod No
(bridge and tap device are created)
No
(bridge and tap device are created)
Yes
Supports IPv6 Yes
(requires manual configuration on the VM)
No Yes
kind: VM
spec:
  domain:
    devices:
      interfaces:
        - name: red
          passt: {} # connect using passt mode
          ports:
            - port: 8080 # allow incoming traffic on port 8080 to get into the virtual machine
  networks:
    - name: red
      pod: {}

Requirements/Recommendations:

  1. To get better performance the node should be configured with:
sysctl -w net.core.rmem_max = 33554432
sysctl -w net.core.wmem_max = 33554432
  1. To run multiple passt VMs with no explicit ports, the node's fs.file-max should be increased (for a VM forwards all IPv4 and IPv6 ports, for TCP and UDP, passt needs to create ~2^18 sockets):
sysctl -w fs.file-max = 9223372036854775807

NOTE: To achieve optimal memory consumption with Passt binding, specify ports required for your workload. When no ports are explicitly specified, all ports are forwarded, leading to memory overhead of up to 800 Mi.

Temporary restrictions:

  1. passt currently only supported as primary network and doesn't allow extra multus networks to be configured on the VM.

passt interfaces are feature gated; to enable the feature, follow these instructions, in order to activate the Passt feature gate (case sensitive).

More information about passt mode can be found in passt Wiki.

virtio-net multiqueue

Setting the networkInterfaceMultiqueue to true will enable the multi-queue functionality, increasing the number of vhost queue, for interfaces configured with a virtio model.

kind: VM
spec:
  domain:
    devices:
      networkInterfaceMultiqueue: true

Users of a Virtual Machine with multiple vCPUs may benefit of increased network throughput and performance.

Currently, the number of queues is being determined by the number of vCPUs of a VM. This is because multi-queue support optimizes RX interrupt affinity and TX queue selection in order to make a specific queue private to a specific vCPU.

Without enabling the feature, network performance does not scale as the number of vCPUs increases. Guests cannot transmit or retrieve packets in parallel, as virtio-net has only one TX and RX queue.

Virtio interfaces advertise on their status.interfaces.interface entry a field named queueCount.
The queueCount field indicates how many queues were assigned to the interface.
Queue count value is derived from the domain XML.
In case the number of queues can't be determined (i.e interface that is reported by quest-agent only), it will be omitted.

NOTE: Although the virtio-net multiqueue feature provides a performance benefit, it has some limitations and therefore should not be unconditionally enabled

Some known limitations

  • Guest OS is limited to ~200 MSI vectors. Each NIC queue requires a MSI vector, as well as any virtio device or assigned PCI device. Defining an instance with multiple virtio NICs and vCPUs might lead to a possibility of hitting the guest MSI limit.

  • virtio-net multiqueue works well for incoming traffic, but can occasionally cause a performance degradation, for outgoing traffic. Specifically, this may occur when sending packets under 1,500 bytes over the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) stream.

  • Enabling virtio-net multiqueue increases the total network throughput, but in parallel it also increases the CPU consumption.

  • Enabling virtio-net multiqueue in the host QEMU config, does not enable the functionality in the guest OS. The guest OS administrator needs to manually turn it on for each guest NIC that requires this feature, using ethtool.

  • MSI vectors would still be consumed (wasted), if multiqueue was enabled in the host, but has not been enabled in the guest OS by the administrator.

  • In case the number of vNICs in a guest instance is proportional to the number of vCPUs, enabling the multiqueue feature is less important.

  • Each virtio-net queue consumes 64 KiB of kernel memory for the vhost driver.

NOTE: Virtio-net multiqueue should be enabled in the guest OS manually, using ethtool. For example: ethtool -L <NIC> combined #num_of_queues

More information please refer to KVM/QEMU MultiQueue.

sriov

In sriov mode, virtual machines are directly exposed to an SR-IOV PCI device, usually allocated by Intel SR-IOV device plugin. The device is passed through into the guest operating system as a host device, using the vfio userspace interface, to maintain high networking performance.

How to expose SR-IOV VFs to KubeVirt

To simplify procedure, please use OpenShift SR-IOV operator to deploy and configure SR-IOV components in your cluster. On how to use the operator, please refer to their respective documentation.

Note: KubeVirt relies on VFIO userspace driver to pass PCI devices into VMI guest. Because of that, when configuring SR-IOV operator policies, make sure you define a pool of VF resources that uses driver: vfio.

Once the operator is deployed, an SriovNetworkNodePolicy must be provisioned, in which the list of SR-IOV devices to expose (with respective configurations) is defined.

Please refer to the following SriovNetworkNodePolicy for an example:

apiVersion: sriovnetwork.openshift.io/v1
kind: SriovNetworkNodePolicy
metadata:
  name: policy-1
  namespace: sriov-network-operator
spec:
  deviceType: vfio-pci
  mtu: 9000
  nicSelector:
    pfNames:
    - ens1f0
  nodeSelector:
    sriov: "true"
  numVfs: 8
  priority: 90
  resourceName: sriov-nic

The policy above will configure the SR-IOV device plugin, allowing the PF named ens1f0 to be exposed in the SRIOV capable nodes as a resource named sriov-nic.

Start an SR-IOV VM

Once all the SR-IOV components are deployed, it is needed to indicate how to configure the SR-IOV network. Refer to the following SriovNetwork for an example:

apiVersion: sriovnetwork.openshift.io/v1
kind: SriovNetwork
metadata:
  name: sriov-net
  namespace: sriov-network-operator
spec:
  ipam: |
    {}
  networkNamespace: default
  resourceName: sriov-nic
  spoofChk: "off"

Finally, to create a VM that will attach to the aforementioned Network, refer to the following VMI spec:

---
apiVersion: kubevirt.io/v1
kind: VirtualMachineInstance
metadata:
  labels:
    special: vmi-perf
  name: vmi-perf
spec:
  domain:
    cpu:
      sockets: 2
      cores: 1
      threads: 1
      dedicatedCpuPlacement: true
    resources:
      requests:
        memory: "4Gi"
      limits:
        memory: "4Gi"
    devices:
      disks:
      - disk:
          bus: virtio
        name: containerdisk
      - disk:
          bus: virtio
        name: cloudinitdisk
      interfaces:
      - masquerade: {}
        name: default
      - name: sriov-net
        sriov: {}
      rng: {}
    machine:
      type: ""
  networks:
  - name: default
    pod: {}
  - multus:
      networkName: default/sriov-net
    name: sriov-net
  terminationGracePeriodSeconds: 0
  volumes:
  - containerDisk:
      image: docker.io/kubevirt/fedora-cloud-container-disk-demo:latest
    name: containerdisk
  - cloudInitNoCloud:
      userData: |
        #!/bin/bash
        echo "centos" |passwd centos --stdin
        dhclient eth1
    name: cloudinitdisk

Note: for some NICs (e.g. Mellanox), the kernel module needs to be installed in the guest VM.

Note: Placement on dedicated CPUs can only be achieved if the Kubernetes CPU manager is running on the SR-IOV capable workers. For further details please refer to the dedicated cpu resources documentation.

Macvtap

In macvtap mode, virtual machines are directly exposed to the Kubernetes nodes L2 network. This is achieved by 'extending' an existing network interface with a virtual device that has its own MAC address.

Macvtap interfaces are feature gated; to enable the feature, follow these instructions, in order to activate the Macvtap feature gate (case sensitive).

Limitations

How to expose host interface to the macvtap device plugin

To simplify the procedure, please use the Cluster Network Addons Operator to deploy and configure the macvtap components in your cluster.

The aforementioned operator effectively deploys the macvtap-cni cni / device plugin combo.

There are two different alternatives to configure which host interfaces get exposed to the user, enabling them to create macvtap interfaces on top of:

  • select the host interfaces: indicates which host interfaces are exposed.
  • expose all interfaces: all interfaces of all hosts are exposed.

Both options are configured via the macvtap-deviceplugin-config ConfigMap, and more information on how to configure it can be found in the macvtap-cni repo.

You can find a minimal example, in which the eth0 interface of the Kubernetes nodes is exposed, via the master attribute.

kind: ConfigMap
apiVersion: v1
metadata:
  name: macvtap-deviceplugin-config
data:
  DP_MACVTAP_CONF: |
    [
        {
            "name"     : "dataplane",
            "master"   : "eth0",
            "mode"     : "bridge",
            "capacity" : 50
        },
    ]

This step can be omitted, since the default configuration of the aforementioned ConfigMap is to expose all host interfaces (which is represented by the following configuration):

kind: ConfigMap
apiVersion: v1
metadata:
  name: macvtap-deviceplugin-config
data:
  DP_MACVTAP_CONF: '[]'

Start a VM with macvtap interfaces

Once the macvtap components are deployed, it is needed to indicate how to configure the macvtap network. Refer to the following NetworkAttachmentDefinition for a simple example:

---
kind: NetworkAttachmentDefinition
apiVersion: k8s.cni.cncf.io/v1
metadata:
  name: macvtapnetwork
  annotations:
    k8s.v1.cni.cncf.io/resourceName: macvtap.network.kubevirt.io/eth0
spec:
  config: '{
      "cniVersion": "0.3.1",
      "name": "macvtapnetwork",
      "type": "macvtap",
      "mtu": 1500
    }'

The requested k8s.v1.cni.cncf.io/resourceName annotation must point to an exposed host interface (via the master attribute, on the macvtap-deviceplugin-config ConfigMap).

Finally, to create a VM that will attach to the aforementioned Network, refer to the following VMI spec:

---
apiVersion: kubevirt.io/v1
kind: VirtualMachineInstance
metadata:
  labels:
    special: vmi-host-network
  name: vmi-host-network
spec:
  domain:
    devices:
      disks:
      - disk:
          bus: virtio
        name: containerdisk
      - disk:
          bus: virtio
        name: cloudinitdisk
      interfaces:
      - macvtap: {}
        name: hostnetwork
      rng: {}
    machine:
      type: ""
    resources:
      requests:
        memory: 1024M
  networks:
  - multus:
      networkName: macvtapnetwork
    name: hostnetwork
  terminationGracePeriodSeconds: 0
  volumes:
  - containerDisk:
      image: docker.io/kubevirt/fedora-cloud-container-disk-demo:devel
    name: containerdisk
  - cloudInitNoCloud:
      userData: |-
        #!/bin/bash
        echo "fedora" |passwd fedora --stdin
    name: cloudinitdisk

The requested multus networkName - i.e. macvtapnetwork - must match the name of the provisioned NetworkAttachmentDefinition.

Note: VMIs with macvtap interfaces can be migrated, but their MAC addresses must be statically set.

Security

MAC spoof check

MAC spoofing refers to the ability to generate traffic with an arbitrary source MAC address. An attacker may use this option to generate attacks on the network.

In order to protect against such scenarios, it is possible to enable the mac-spoof-check support in CNI plugins that support it.

The pod primary network which is served by the cluster network provider is not covered by this documentation. Please refer to the relevant provider to check how to enable spoofing check. The following text refers to the secondary networks, served using multus.

There are two known CNI plugins that support mac-spoof-check:

  • sriov-cni: Through the spoofchk parameter .
  • cnv-bridge: Through the macspoofchk.

Note: cnv-bridge is provided by CNAO. The bridge-cni is planned to support the macspoofchk options as well.

The configuration is to be done on the NetworkAttachmentDefinition by the operator and any interface that refers to it, will have this feature enabled.

Below is an example of using the cnv-bridge CNI with macspoofchk enabled:

apiVersion: "k8s.cni.cncf.io/v1"
kind: NetworkAttachmentDefinition
metadata:
  name: br-spoof-check
spec:
  config: '{
            "cniVersion": "0.3.1",
            "name": "br-spoof-check",
            "type": "cnv-bridge",
            "bridge": "br10",
            "macspoofchk": true
        }'

On the VMI, the network section should point to this NetworkAttachmentDefinition by name:

  networks:
  - name: default
    pod: {}
  - multus:
      networkName: br-spoof-check
    name: br10

Limitations

  • The cnv-bridge CNI supports mac-spoof-check through nftables, therefore the node must support nftables and have the nft binary deployed.