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Installing MetalLB load balancers: Red Hat OpenShift with NetApp

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This page lists the installation and configuration instructions for the MetalLB load balancer.

MetalLB is a self-hosted network load balancer installed on your OpenShift cluster that allows the creation of OpenShift services of type load balancer in clusters that do not run on a cloud provider. The two main features of MetalLB that work together to support LoadBalancer services are address allocation and external announcement.

MetalLB configuration options

Based on how MetalLB announces the IP address assigned to LoadBalancer services outside of the OpenShift cluster, it operates in two modes:

  • Layer 2 mode. In this mode, one node in the OpenShift cluster takes ownership of the service and responds to ARP requests for that IP to make it reachable outside of the OpenShift cluster. Because only the node advertises the IP, it has a bandwidth bottleneck and slow failover limitations. For more information, see the documentation here.

  • BGP mode. In this mode, all nodes in the OpenShift cluster establish BGP peering sessions with a router and advertise the routes to forward traffic to the service IPs. The prerequisite for this is to integrate MetalLB with a router in that network. Owing to the hashing mechanism in BGP, it has certain limitation when IP-to-Node mapping for a service changes. For more information, refer to the documentation here.

Note For the purpose of this document, we are configuring MetalLB in layer-2 mode.

Installing The MetalLB Load Balancer

  1. Download the MetalLB resources.

    [netapp-user@rhel7 ~]$ wget
    [netapp-user@rhel7 ~]$ wget
  2. Edit file metallb.yaml and remove spec.template.spec.securityContext from controller Deployment and the speaker DaemonSet.

    Lines to be deleted:

      runAsNonRoot: true
      runAsUser: 65534
  3. Create the metallb-system namespace.

    [netapp-user@rhel7 ~]$ oc create -f namespace.yaml
    namespace/metallb-system created
  4. Create the MetalLB CR.

    [netapp-user@rhel7 ~]$ oc create -f metallb.yaml
    podsecuritypolicy.policy/controller created
    podsecuritypolicy.policy/speaker created
    serviceaccount/controller created
    serviceaccount/speaker created created created created created created created created created created created
    daemonset.apps/speaker created
    deployment.apps/controller created
  5. Before configuring the MetalLB speaker, grant the speaker DaemonSet elevated privileges so that it can perform the networking configuration required to make the load balancers work.

    [netapp-user@rhel7 ~]$ oc adm policy add-scc-to-user privileged -n metallb-system -z speaker added: "speaker"
  6. Configure MetalLB by creating a ConfigMap in the metallb-system namespace.

    [netapp-user@rhel7 ~]$ vim metallb-config.yaml
    apiVersion: v1
    kind: ConfigMap
      namespace: metallb-system
      name: config
      config: |
        - name: default
          protocol: layer2
    [netapp-user@rhel7 ~]$ oc create -f metallb-config.yaml
    configmap/config created
  7. Now when loadbalancer services are created, MetalLB assigns an externalIP to the services and advertises the IP address by responding to ARP requests.

    Note If you wish to configure MetalLB in BGP mode, skip step 6 above and follow the procedure in the MetalLB documentation here.