Azure, Cloud Computing, Kubernetes

4 Mins Read

Manage Inbound Traffic for Kubernetes Workloads using Azure Ingress Controller

Overview

This blog will discuss the Native Ingress controller of Azure Cloud Platform. An ingress controller is a software that provides reverse proxy, configurable traffic routing, and TLS termination for Kubernetes services.

Introduction

As businesses migrate their workloads to the cloud, they need a dependable and secure way to direct traffic from external clients to their cloud-based applications.

Ingress controllers are useful in situations like these. Managing incoming traffic and directing it to the appropriate service within a cluster is the responsibility of an Ingress controller, a crucial Kubernetes component.

Microsoft’s cloud computing platform Azure provides an Azure native Ingress controller, making it simpler to manage inbound traffic for Kubernetes workloads running on Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). This blog will look at the native Azure Ingress controller’s features.

AKS uses the NGINX Ingress Controller, a popular open-source controller with features like SSL termination, name-based virtual hosting, and path-based routing.

Azure also supports other Ingress Controllers, such as the Application Gateway Ingress Controller, which provides additional features such as Web Application Firewall (WAF) and autoscaling.

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What is an Azure Ingress controller?

  • A Kubernetes resource called an Azure native Ingress controller routes traffic from external clients to the appropriate service within a Kubernetes cluster.
  • It runs as a component of the AKS control plane and is deployed as a Kubernetes pod.
  • The Azure native Ingress controller is built on the open-source NGINX web server, a popular reverse proxy and load balancer.

Features of Azure Ingress controller

  1. TLS Termination.
  • Azure load balancer is a layer 3 and layer 4 load balancer that does not support the TLS termination.
  • We must use the Ingress controller for the TLS termination and the Azure Load Balancer.
  • Another option is to use the application gateway, layer 7 load balancer, which will take care of the TLS termination.
  1. Single IP address is used to route the traffic to multiple services.
  • Traffic Routing:
    1. Path Based Routing: If we have a domain named app.com. We have two applications named app1 and app2. If we want to route to app1, we use app.com/app1. For app2, app.com/app2.
    2. Host based Routing: If we are using app1.project.com and app2.project.com. Then the routing will be done based on the name of the host.
  1. Automatic SSL/TLS certificate management:
  • The Azure native Ingress controller automatically manages SSL/TLS certificates to ensure secure communication between external clients and Kubernetes services.
  • Without any manual intervention, the controller can request and renew certificates from Let’s Encrypt, a free and open certificate authority
  1. Path-based routing:
  • The Azure native Ingress controller supports path-based routing, which allows different paths to be mapped to different services within a Kubernetes cluster.
  • This is useful when multiple services need to be exposed through a single IP address.
  1. Load balancing:
  • NGINX is used as a reverse proxy and load balancer by the Azure native Ingress controller to ensure that traffic is evenly distributed across multiple service instances.
  • This contributes to increased availability and scalability of Kubernetes workloads.
  1. URL rewriting:
  • URL rewriting is supported by the Azure native Ingress controller, which allows URLs to be rewritten or redirected to a different path or domain.
  • This is beneficial when migrating legacy applications to Kubernetes or integrating with third-party services.
  1. Custom annotations:
  • Custom annotations are supported by the Azure native Ingress controller and can be used to add additional configuration options or to customize the controller’s behavior.
  • This provides flexibility to meet specific requirements.

Steps to Deploy an Azure Ingress Controller

To deploy an Azure native Ingress controller, you need an AKS cluster running Kubernetes version 1.19 or later. You can deploy the controller using the following steps:

Step 1: Execute the below commands to get the Nodes

step1

step1b

Execute the below commands to create an Ingress controller in a different namespace:

step1c

Once the execution is completed, the Ingress controller will be deployed as a Kubernetes pod within the ingress-nginx namespace.

step1d

You can create Ingress resources to define the routing rules for your Kubernetes services.

Step 2:  Run the below command to deploy one sample nginx pod

step2

Step 3: Create a file named nginx_ingress.yaml and copy the code below.

Execute the below command to create nginx Pod and Services

step3

kubectl get ingress

step3b

Copy the IP address put into the browser with the /nginx route

You will get the page

step3c

Conclusion

An Azure native Ingress controller is a powerful tool for managing inbound traffic for Kubernetes workloads running on AKS. It provides automatic SSL/TLS certificate management, path-based routing, load balancing, URL rewriting, and custom annotations. By deploying an Azure native Ingress controller, organizations can simplify the inbound traffic management and improve the availability and scalability of their Kubernetes workloads.

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FAQs

1. Can an Ingress controller be used to expose non-HTTP services?

ANS: – Yes, an Ingress controller can expose non-HTTP services, although this depends on the specific Ingress controller implementation and configuration. To expose a non-HTTP service using an Ingress controller, you must create an Ingress resource with the appropriate configuration.

2. How do I secure my Ingress controller and resources against attacks?

ANS: – Here are some steps you can take to secure your Ingress controller and Ingress resources against attacks: Utilize TLS: To encrypt communication between clients and your Kubernetes cluster, use Transport Layer Security (TLS). Install role-based access control (RBAC): Kubernetes RBAC may restrict access to Ingress resources based on user or group permissions. Utilize Network Policies: Network Policies may be used to determine how traffic within your Kubernetes cluster is permitted to flow. Install logging and monitoring technologies to detect and track suspicious activity, such as failed login attempts or strange traffic patterns. Keep Ingress Controller Updated: Keep your Ingress controller up-to-date with the latest security patches and software updates.

3. What are some popular Ingress controllers?

ANS: – Here are some of the most widely used Ingress controllers:

  • NGNIX Ingress controller
  • Istio
  • Kong
  • Traefik
  • Contour

WRITTEN BY Karthik Kumar P V

Karthik Kumar Patro Voona is a Research Associate (Kubernetes) at CloudThat Technologies. He Holds Bachelor's degree in Information and Technology and has good programming knowledge of Python. He has experience in both AWS and Azure. He has a passion for Cloud-computing and DevOps. He has good working experience in Kubernetes and DevOps Tools like Terraform, Ansible, and Jenkins. He is a very good Team player, Adaptive and interested in exploring new technologies.

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