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Workload management

Common tasks for managing workloads.

1 - Deploy test workload

How to deploy a workload to check that your cluster is working properly

We’ve created a simple test application for you to verify your cluster is working properly. You can deploy it with the following command:

kubectl apply -f ""

To see the new pod running in your cluster, type:

kubectl get pods -l app=hello-eks-a

Example output:

NAME                                     READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
hello-eks-a-745bfcd586-6zx6b   1/1     Running   0          22m

To check the logs of the container to make sure it started successfully, type:

kubectl logs -l app=hello-eks-a

There is also a default web page being served from the container. You can forward the deployment port to your local machine with

kubectl port-forward deploy/hello-eks-a 8000:80

Now you should be able to open your browser or use curl to http://localhost:8000 to view the page example application.

curl localhost:8000

Example output:


Thank you for using

███████╗██╗  ██╗███████╗
██╔════╝██║ ██╔╝██╔════╝
█████╗  █████╔╝ ███████╗
██╔══╝  ██╔═██╗ ╚════██║
███████╗██║  ██╗███████║
╚══════╝╚═╝  ╚═╝╚══════╝

 █████╗ ███╗   ██╗██╗   ██╗██╗    ██╗██╗  ██╗███████╗██████╗ ███████╗
██╔══██╗████╗  ██║╚██╗ ██╔╝██║    ██║██║  ██║██╔════╝██╔══██╗██╔════╝
███████║██╔██╗ ██║ ╚████╔╝ ██║ █╗ ██║███████║█████╗  ██████╔╝█████╗  
██╔══██║██║╚██╗██║  ╚██╔╝  ██║███╗██║██╔══██║██╔══╝  ██╔══██╗██╔══╝  
██║  ██║██║ ╚████║   ██║   ╚███╔███╔╝██║  ██║███████╗██║  ██║███████╗
╚═╝  ╚═╝╚═╝  ╚═══╝   ╚═╝    ╚══╝╚══╝ ╚═╝  ╚═╝╚══════╝╚═╝  ╚═╝╚══════╝

You have successfully deployed the hello-eks-a pod hello-eks-a-c5b9bc9d8-qp6bg

For more information check out


If you would like to expose your applications with an external load balancer or an ingress controller, you can follow the steps in Adding an external load balancer .

2 - Add an external load balancer

How to deploy a load balancer controller to expose a workload running in EKS Anywhere

While you are free to use any load balancer you like with your EKS Anywhere cluster, AWS currently only supports the MetalLB load balancer. For information on how to configure a MetalLB curated package for EKS Anywhere, see the Add MetalLB page.

3 - Add an ingress controller

How to deploy an ingress controller for simple host or URL-based HTTP routing into workload running in EKS-A

A production-quality Kubernetes cluster requires planning and preparation for various networking features.

The purpose of this document is to walk you through getting set up with a recommended Kubernetes Ingress Controller for EKS Anywhere. Ingress Controller is essential in order to have routing rules that decide how external users access services running in a Kubernetes cluster. It enables efficient distribution of incoming network traffic among multiple backend services.

Current Recommendation: Emissary-ingress

We currently recommend using Emissary-ingress Kubernetes Ingress Controller by Ambassador. Emissary-ingress allows you to route and secure traffic to your cluster with an Open Source Kubernetes-native API Gateway. Detailed information about Emissary-ingress can be found here .

Setting up Emissary-ingress for Ingress Controller

  1. Deploy the Hello EKS Anywhere test application.

    kubectl apply -f ""
  2. Set up a load balancer: Set up MetalLB Load Balancer by following the instructions here

  3. Install Ambassador CRDs and ClusterRoles and RoleBindings

    kubectl apply -f ""
    kubectl apply -f ""
  4. Create Ambassador Service with Type LoadBalancer.

    kubectl apply -f - <<EOF
    apiVersion: v1
    kind: Service
      name: ambassador
      type: LoadBalancer
      externalTrafficPolicy: Local
      - port: 80
        targetPort: 8080
        service: ambassador
  5. Create a Mapping on your cluster. This Mapping tells Emissary-ingress to route all traffic inbound to the /backend/ path to the quote Service.

    kubectl apply -f - <<EOF
    kind: Mapping
      name: hello-backend
      prefix: /backend/
      service: hello-eks-a
  6. Store the Emissary-ingress load balancer IP address to a local environment variable. You will use this variable to test accessing your service.

    export EMISSARY_LB_ENDPOINT=$(kubectl get svc ambassador -o "go-template={{range .status.loadBalancer.ingress}}{{or .ip .hostname}}{{end}}")
  7. Test the configuration by accessing the service through the Emissary-ingress load balancer.

    curl -Lk http://$EMISSARY_LB_ENDPOINT/backend/

    NOTE: URL base path will need to match what is specified in the prefix exactly, including the trailing ‘/’

    You should see something like this in the output

    Thank you for using
    ███████╗██╗  ██╗███████╗                                             
    ██╔════╝██║ ██╔╝██╔════╝                                             
    █████╗  █████╔╝ ███████╗                                             
    ██╔══╝  ██╔═██╗ ╚════██║                                             
    ███████╗██║  ██╗███████║                                             
    ╚══════╝╚═╝  ╚═╝╚══════╝                                             
     █████╗ ███╗   ██╗██╗   ██╗██╗    ██╗██╗  ██╗███████╗██████╗ ███████╗
    ██╔══██╗████╗  ██║╚██╗ ██╔╝██║    ██║██║  ██║██╔════╝██╔══██╗██╔════╝
    ███████║██╔██╗ ██║ ╚████╔╝ ██║ █╗ ██║███████║█████╗  ██████╔╝█████╗  
    ██╔══██║██║╚██╗██║  ╚██╔╝  ██║███╗██║██╔══██║██╔══╝  ██╔══██╗██╔══╝  
    ██║  ██║██║ ╚████║   ██║   ╚███╔███╔╝██║  ██║███████╗██║  ██║███████╗
    ╚═╝  ╚═╝╚═╝  ╚═══╝   ╚═╝    ╚══╝╚══╝ ╚═╝  ╚═╝╚══════╝╚═╝  ╚═╝╚══════╝
    You have successfully deployed the hello-eks-a pod hello-eks-a-c5b9bc9d8-fx2fr
    For more information check out

4 - Secure connectivity with CNI and Network Policy

How to validate the setup of Cilium CNI and deploy network policies to secure workload connectivity.

EKS Anywhere uses Cilium for pod networking and security.

Cilium is installed by default as a Kubernetes CNI plugin and so is already running in your EKS Anywhere cluster.

This section provides information about:

  • Understanding Cilium components and requirements

  • Validating your Cilium networking setup.

  • Using Cilium to securing workload connectivity using Kubernetes Network Policy.

Cilium Components

The primary Cilium Agent runs as a DaemonSet on each Kubernetes node. Each cluster also includes a Cilium Operator Deployment to handle certain cluster-wide operations. For EKS Anywhere, Cilium is configured to use the Kubernetes API server as the identity store, so no etcd cluster connectivity is required.

In a properly working environment, each Kubernetes node should have a Cilium Agent pod (cilium-WXYZ) in “Running” and ready (1/1) state. By default there will be two Cilium Operator pods (cilium-operator-123456-WXYZ) in “Running” and ready (1/1) state on different Kubernetes nodes for high-availability.

Run the following command to ensure all cilium related pods are in a healthy state.

kubectl get pods -n kube-system | grep cilium

Example output for this command in a 3 node environment is:

kube-system   cilium-fsjmd                                1/1     Running           0          4m
kube-system   cilium-nqpkv                                1/1     Running           0          4m
kube-system   cilium-operator-58ff67b8cd-jd7rf            1/1     Running           0          4m
kube-system   cilium-operator-58ff67b8cd-kn6ss            1/1     Running           0          4m
kube-system   cilium-zz4mt                                1/1     Running           0          4m

Network Connectivity Requirements

To provide pod connectivity within an on-premises environment, the Cilium agent implements an overlay network using the GENEVE tunneling protocol. As a result, UDP port 6081 connectivity MUST be allowed by any firewall running between Kubernetes nodes running the Cilium agent.

Allowing ICMP Ping (type = 8, code = 0) as well as TCP port 4240 is also recommended in order for Cilium Agents to validate node-to-node connectivity as part of internal status reporting.

Validating Connectivity

Cilium includes a connectivity check YAML that can be deployed into a test namespace in order to validate proper installation and connectivity within a Kubernetes cluster. If the connectivity check passes, all pods created by the YAML manifest will reach “Running” and ready (1/1) state. We recommend running this test only once you have multiple worker nodes in your environment to ensure you are validating cross-node connectivity.

It is important that this test is run in a dedicated namespace, with no existing network policy. For example:

kubectl create ns cilium-test
kubectl apply -n cilium-test -f

Once all pods have started, simply checking the status of pods in this namespace will indicate whether the tests have passed:

kubectl get pods -n cilium-test

Successful test output will show all pods in a “Running” and ready (1/1) state:

NAME                                                     READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
echo-a-d576c5f8b-zlfsk                                   1/1     Running   0          59s
echo-b-787dc99778-sxlcc                                  1/1     Running   0          59s
echo-b-host-675cd8cfff-qvvv8                             1/1     Running   0          59s
host-to-b-multi-node-clusterip-6fd884bcf7-pvj5d          1/1     Running   0          58s
host-to-b-multi-node-headless-79f7df47b9-8mzbp           1/1     Running   0          58s
pod-to-a-57695cc7ff-6tqpv                                1/1     Running   0          59s
pod-to-a-allowed-cnp-7b6d5ff99f-4rhrs                    1/1     Running   0          59s
pod-to-a-denied-cnp-6887b57579-zbs2t                     1/1     Running   0          59s
pod-to-b-intra-node-hostport-7d656d7bb9-6zjrl            1/1     Running   0          57s
pod-to-b-intra-node-nodeport-569d7c647-76gn5             1/1     Running   0          58s
pod-to-b-multi-node-clusterip-fdf45bbbc-8l4zz            1/1     Running   0          59s
pod-to-b-multi-node-headless-64b6cbdd49-9hcqg            1/1     Running   0          59s
pod-to-b-multi-node-hostport-57fc8854f5-9d8m8            1/1     Running   0          58s
pod-to-b-multi-node-nodeport-54446bdbb9-5xhfd            1/1     Running   0          58s
pod-to-external-1111-56548587dc-rmj9f                    1/1     Running   0          59s
pod-to-external-fqdn-allow-google-cnp-5ff4986c89-z4h9j   1/1     Running   0          59s

Afterward, simply delete the namespace to clean-up the connectivity test:

kubectl delete ns cilium-test

Kubernetes Network Policy

By default, all Kubernetes workloads within a cluster can talk to any other workloads in the cluster, as well as any workloads outside the cluster. To enable a stronger security posture, Cilium implements the Kubernetes Network Policy specification to provide identity-aware firewalling / segmentation of Kubernetes workloads.

Network policies are defined as Kubernetes YAML specifications that are applied to a particular namespaces to describe that connections should be allowed to or from a given set of pods. These network policies are “identity-aware” in that they describe workloads within the cluster using Kubernetes metadata like namespace and labels, rather than by IP Address.

Basic network policies are validated as part of the above Cilium connectivity check test.

For next steps on leveraging Network Policy, we encourage you to explore:

Additional Cilium Features

Many advanced features of Cilium are not yet enabled as part of EKS Anywhere, including: Hubble observability, DNS-aware and HTTP-Aware Network Policy, Multi-cluster Routing, Transparent Encryption, and Advanced Load-balancing.

Please contact the EKS Anywhere team if you are interested in leveraging these advanced features along with EKS Anywhere.