How to get Loadbalancer Health Checks to work with externalTrafficPolicy: Local

Posted February 10, 2020 4.7k views
Load BalancingKubernetes

Hi there,

I am trying to set up a Loadbalancer/Nginx-ingress. Everything works good so far.
But there is one Problem. Following some tutorials and hints on DO a recommended setting for the loadbalancer is externalTrafficPolicy: Local. With this set the DO-Loadbalancer fails Health-Checks.

What I researched so far is when I switch to Cluster (health checks work then), I will loose the client IP and maybe get an additional hop inside the cluster and also the LB maybe forwards traffic to a node with less or no pods, but the ingress will route correctly.

With my current setup everything works quite good and I also have the forwarded headers with the correct IP but I wonder if setting externalTraffic to cluster will impact performance and scaling.

Any hints on this would be great, even if the answer is that it is currently not possible :)


apiVersion: v1
  name: ingress-nginx
  namespace: ingress-nginx
  labels: ingress-nginx ingress-nginx
  annotations: 'true'
  externalTrafficPolicy: Cluster
  type: LoadBalancer
  selector: ingress-nginx ingress-nginx
    - name: http
      port: 80
      protocol: TCP
      targetPort: http
    - name: https
      port: 443
      protocol: TCP
      targetPort: https


kind: Ingress
  name: ingress-name
  annotations: 'nginx' 'true'
    - hosts:
      secretName: some-cert
    - host:
          - backend:
              serviceName: service-name
              servicePort: 3000

and the ingress config map:

kind: ConfigMap
apiVersion: v1
  name: nginx-configuration
  namespace: ingress-nginx
  labels: ingress-nginx ingress-nginx
  proxy-hide-headers: 'Server'
  server-tokens: 'False'
  use-forwarded-headers: 'true'
  compute-full-forwarded-for: 'true'
  use-proxy-protocol: 'true'

edited by MattIPv4

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2 answers

I’m happy you got this working, also it may not always be a necessary for all of your nodes to field traffic. That could end up being quite significant overhead for the cluster. Could perhaps a deployment with a few replicas could also suffice and not require X replicas for X Nodes.


John Kwiatkoski
Senior Developer Support Engineer - Kubernetes

  • Hi John.

    So if I understand correctly, It’s completely normal to have some nodes reporting failing health checks?

    Let’s say I have a cluster of 4 nodes and only two instances of the nginx-ingress controller running on nodes 1 and 2, so I’ll have 2 failing health checks on nodes 3 and 4.

    This is an acceptable state for a production application?

    • Whether that is acceptable for your application is up to you. The alternative is switching the service’s externalTrafficPolicy: Cluster

      That will allow all nodes to accept traffic for the service and forward it along.

    • This caught me out too - I would have expected the default behaviour to be that health checks only ever run on nodes which the deployment pod(s) are scheduled on. Using externalTrafficPolicy: Cluster works but, at least in my case, it’s an ugly solution, causing unnecessary hops and IP Address masking.

      If it helps the DO team to understand what situations this comes up in - my use case is I have a few subdomains that each link to simple exposed http deployments on my cluster. Each deployment only has max 2 replicas at any time. Some nodes in the cluster are reserved for certain loads and so the http services are never loaded onto those nodes. I now see the reserved nodes on my health check and, frankly, it stresses me out when I see ‘Issue’ and 'Down’ on these critical nodes every time I go to the Load Balancers page!

      It’s also on the DO recommended configuration for externalTrafficPolicy to be 'Local’ on under Sticky Sessions - perhaps it should explain that issues will be reported if you use this setting.

      • I agree that the current view for DOKS load balancers is misleading. We do have plans to ensure this is more easily understood by our users perhaps using different LB status indicators for DOKS LB’s versus normal LB’s. I have relayed this information to engineering.

Ok after playing around and have a deep look at my deployments I realized that my nginx-ingress-controller was only available at one node.

In this case the LB was totally correct to fail health checks with externalTrafficPolicy: Local.
I know applied a DeamonSet for the controller and now everything seems to work fine.