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Forest-L, Sherlock
Published on:2021-02-03    The number of views:

KubeEye: An Automatic Diagnostic Tool that Provides a Holistic View of Your Kubernetes Cluster

KubeEye is an open-source diagnostic tool for identifying various Kubernetes cluster issues automatically, such as misconfigurations, unhealthy components and node failures. It empowers cluster operators to manage and troubleshoot clusters in a timely and graceful manner. Developed in Go on the basis of Polaris and Node Problem Detector, KubeEye is equipped with a series of built-in rules for exception detection. Besides pre-defined rules, KubeEye also supports customized rules.


Why Open Source

As the de facto standard in container orchestration, Kubernetes features a powerful and flexible architecture which supports various cloud-native add-ons. That said, there are some obstacles and problems which have haunted cluster operators and engineers for so long, such as:

  • CPU, memory or disk exceptions

  • Kernel deadlock and filesystem damage

  • Container runtime daemon not responding

  • Unhealthy etcd

  • Request and limit blackbox

  • Pod failures

  • Certificates expiring

  • Docker service failures

  • OOM (Out of Memory)

In fact, the problems listed here are just the tip of the iceberg. The majority of the cluster issues lies below the surface as they are not directly detectable from the cluster control plane. In other words, even with these potential issues, Kubernetes may continue to schedule Pods onto malfunctioning nodes, thus posing a greater threat to the stability and security of your cluster.

To identify these issues in time, the KubeSphere team developed KubeEye with over three years of expertise in Kubernetes cluster management and maintenance in production for both community users and commercial customers.

What Can KubeEye Do

  • Identify and detect problems in your Kubernetes cluster control plane, including kube-apiserver, kube-controller-manager and etcd.

  • Identify and detect various node problems, including memory, CPU and disk pressure, and unexpected kernel issues.

  • Validate YAML specifications of your workloads for best practices and compliance in the industry, thus improving cluster stability.

KubeEye Architecture

By calling the Kubernetes API, KubeEye gets diagnostic data as it matches key error messages in logs with rules of container syntax on a regular basis. See the architecture graph below:



Here is a list including built-in items that will be checked by KubeEye. Unmarked items are still in development.

Yes ETCDHealthStatus If etcd is up and running
Yes ControllerManagerHealthStatus If Kubernetes kube-controller-manager is up and running
Yes SchedulerHealthStatus If Kubernetes kube-scheduler is up and running
Yes NodeMemory If node memory usage is above the threshold
Yes DockerHealthStatus If Docker is up and running
Yes NodeDisk If node disk usage is above the threshold
Yes KubeletHealthStatus If kubelet is active and running normally
Yes NodeCPU If node cpu usage is above the threshold
Yes NodeCorruptOverlay2 Overlay2 is not available
Yes NodeKernelNULLPointer The node displays NotReady
Yes NodeDeadlock A deadlock happens when two or more processes are waiting for each other as they compete for resources
Yes NodeOOM Monitor processes that consume too much memory, especially those consuming plenty of memory very quickly. The kernel kills them to prevent them from running out of memory
Yes NodeExt4Error Ext4 mounting error
Yes NodeTaskHung Check if there is a process in state D for more than 120s
Yes NodeUnregisterNetDevice Check the corresponding network
Yes NodeCorruptDockerImage Check Docker images
Yes NodeAUFSUmountHung Check storage
Yes NodeDockerHung As Docker hangs, you can check Docker logs
Yes PodSetLivenessProbe If the liveness probe is set for every container in a Pod
Yes PodSetTagNotSpecified The mirror address does not declare a tag or the tag is latest
Yes PodSetRunAsPrivileged Running a Pod in a privileged mode means that the Pod can access the host’s resources and kernel capabilities
Yes PodSetImagePullBackOff The Pod cannot pull the image properly, so it can be pulled manually on the corresponding node
Yes PodSetImageRegistry Check if the image form is in the corresponding registry
Yes PodSetCpuLimitsMissing No CPU resource limit is declared
Yes PodNoSuchFileOrDirectory Check if the corresponding file exists inside the container
Yes PodIOError Caused by file IO performance bottlenecks
Yes PodNoSuchDeviceOrAddress Check the corresponding network
Yes PodInvalidArgument Check the corresponding storage
Yes PodDeviceOrResourceBusy Check the corresponding directory and PID
Yes PodFileExists Check existing files
Yes PodTooManyOpenFiles The number of open files or socket connections exceeds the system set value
Yes PodNoSpaceLeftOnDevice Check disk and inode usage
Yes NodeApiServerExpiredPeriod Check if the apiserver certificate expires in less than 30 days
Yes PodSetCpuRequestsMissing No CPU resource request is declared
Yes PodSetHostIPCSet Set the host IP
Yes PodSetHostNetworkSet Set the host network
Yes PodHostPIDSet Set the host PID
Yes PodMemoryRequestsMiss No memory resource request is declared
Yes PodSetHostPort Set the host port
Yes PodSetMemoryLimitsMissing No memory resource limit is declared
Yes PodNotReadOnlyRootFiles The file system is not set to read-only
Yes PodSetPullPolicyNotAlways The image pulling policy is not Always
Yes PodSetRunAsRootAllowed Executed as the root user
Yes PodDangerousCapabilities You have the dangerous option in capabilities such as ALL, SYS_ADMIN and NET_ADMIN
Yes PodlivenessProbeMissing The readiness probe is not set
Yes privilegeEscalationAllowed Privilege escalation is allowed
NodeNotReadyAndUseOfClosedNetworkConnection http2-max-streams-per-connection
NodeNotReady Fail to start ContainerManager; cannot set the property TasksAccounting, or unknown properties

Get Started with KubeEye

  1. Clone the KubeEye GitHub repository and install the tool.

    git clone https://github.com/kubesphere/kubeeye.git
    cd kubeeye
    make install


    You can also download the executable file from the GitHub release page of KubeEye.
  2. Install Node Problem Detector (Optional), which will run as a DaemonSet in your cluster. You only need to install NPD when you want detailed reports.

    ke install npd
  3. Use KubeEye to make a diagnosis of your cluster.

    $ ke diag
    NODENAME        SEVERITY     HEARTBEATTIME               REASON              MESSAGE
    node18          Fatal        2020-11-19T10:32:03+08:00   NodeStatusUnknown   Kubelet stopped posting node status.
    node19          Fatal        2020-11-19T10:31:37+08:00   NodeStatusUnknown   Kubelet stopped posting node status.
    node2           Fatal        2020-11-19T10:31:14+08:00   NodeStatusUnknown   Kubelet stopped posting node status.
    node3           Fatal        2020-11-27T17:36:53+08:00   KubeletNotReady     Container runtime not ready: RuntimeReady=false reason:DockerDaemonNotReady message:docker: failed to get docker version: Cannot connect to the Docker daemon at unix:///var/run/docker.sock. Is the docker daemon running?
    NAME            SEVERITY     TIME                        MESSAGE
    scheduler       Fatal        2020-11-27T17:09:59+08:00   Get dial tcp connect: connection refused
    etcd-0          Fatal        2020-11-27T17:56:37+08:00   Get dial tcp connect: connection refused
    NAMESPACE       SEVERITY     PODNAME                                          EVENTTIME                   REASON                MESSAGE
    default         Warning      node3.164b53d23ea79fc7                           2020-11-27T17:37:34+08:00   ContainerGCFailed     rpc error: code = Unknown desc = Cannot connect to the Docker daemon at unix:///var/run/docker.sock. Is the docker daemon running?
    default         Warning      node3.164b553ca5740aae                           2020-11-27T18:03:31+08:00   FreeDiskSpaceFailed   failed to garbage collect required amount of images. Wanted to free 5399374233 bytes, but freed 416077545 bytes
    default         Warning      nginx-b8ffcf679-q4n9v.16491643e6b68cd7           2020-11-27T17:09:24+08:00   Failed                Error: ImagePullBackOff
    default         Warning      node3.164b5861e041a60e                           2020-11-27T19:01:09+08:00   SystemOOM             System OOM encountered, victim process: stress, pid: 16713
    default         Warning      node3.164b58660f8d4590                           2020-11-27T19:01:27+08:00   OOMKilling            Out of memory: Kill process 16711 (stress) score 205 or sacrifice child Killed process 16711 (stress), UID 0, total-vm:826516kB, anon-rss:819296kB, file-rss:0kB, shmem-rss:0kB
    insights-agent  Warning      workloads-1606467120.164b519ca8c67416            2020-11-27T16:57:05+08:00   DeadlineExceeded      Job was active longer than specified deadline
    kube-system     Warning      calico-node-zvl9t.164b3dc50580845d               2020-11-27T17:09:35+08:00   DNSConfigForming      Nameserver limits were exceeded, some nameservers have been omitted, the applied nameserver line is:
    kube-system     Warning      kube-proxy-4bnn7.164b3dc4f4c4125d                2020-11-27T17:09:09+08:00   DNSConfigForming      Nameserver limits were exceeded, some nameservers have been omitted, the applied nameserver line is:
    kube-system     Warning      nodelocaldns-2zbhh.164b3dc4f42d358b              2020-11-27T17:09:14+08:00   DNSConfigForming      Nameserver limits were exceeded, some nameservers have been omitted, the applied nameserver line is:
    NAMESPACE       SEVERITY     NAME                      KIND         TIME                        MESSAGE
    kube-system     Warning      node-problem-detector     DaemonSet    2020-11-27T17:09:59+08:00   [livenessProbeMissing runAsPrivileged]
    kube-system     Warning      calico-node               DaemonSet    2020-11-27T17:09:59+08:00   [runAsPrivileged cpuLimitsMissing]
    kube-system     Warning      nodelocaldns              DaemonSet    2020-11-27T17:09:59+08:00   [cpuLimitsMissing runAsPrivileged]
    default         Warning      nginx                     Deployment   2020-11-27T17:09:59+08:00   [cpuLimitsMissing livenessProbeMissing tagNotSpecified]
    insights-agent  Warning      workloads                 CronJob      2020-11-27T17:09:59+08:00   [livenessProbeMissing]
    insights-agent  Warning      cronjob-executor          Job          2020-11-27T17:09:59+08:00   [livenessProbeMissing]
    kube-system     Warning      calico-kube-controllers   Deployment   2020-11-27T17:09:59+08:00   [cpuLimitsMissing livenessProbeMissing]
    kube-system     Warning      coredns                   Deployment   2020-11-27T17:09:59+08:00   [cpuLimitsMissing]   

Add Custom Check Rules

In addition to the pre-defined diagnostic items and rules, KubeEye also supports customized rules. For example:

  1. Make sure you have installed NPD.

    ke install npd
  2. Edit its ConfigMap using Kubectl.

    kubectl edit cm -n kube-system node-problem-detector-config
  3. Add regular expression rules in the ConfigMap for exceptional logs.

Customize Best Practice Rules

  1. Create a rule in YAML. For example, the rule below checks your Pod specification to make sure images only come from the authorized registry.

      imageFromUnauthorizedRegistry: warning
        promptMessage: When the corresponding rule does not match, show that image from an unauthorized registry.
        category: Images
        target: Container
          '$schema': http://json-schema.org/draft-07/schema
          type: object
              type: string
                pattern: ^quay.io
  2. Save the file, such as rule.yaml.

  3. Run KubeEye with the YAML file.

    $ ke diag -f rule.yaml --kubeconfig ~/.kube/config
    NAMESPACE     SEVERITY    NAME                      KIND         TIME                        MESSAGE
    default       Warning     nginx                     Deployment   2020-11-27T17:18:31+08:00   [imageFromUnauthorizedRegistry]
    kube-system   Warning     node-problem-detector     DaemonSet    2020-11-27T17:18:31+08:00   [livenessProbeMissing runAsPrivileged]
    kube-system   Warning     calico-node               DaemonSet    2020-11-27T17:18:31+08:00   [cpuLimitsMissing runAsPrivileged]
    kube-system   Warning     calico-kube-controllers   Deployment   2020-11-27T17:18:31+08:00   [cpuLimitsMissing livenessProbeMissing]
    kube-system   Warning     nodelocaldns              DaemonSet    2020-11-27T17:18:31+08:00   [runAsPrivileged cpuLimitsMissing]
    default       Warning     nginx                     Deployment   2020-11-27T17:18:31+08:00   [livenessProbeMissing cpuLimitsMissing]
    kube-system   Warning     coredns                   Deployment   2020-11-27T17:18:31+08:00   [cpuLimitsMissing]


Going forward, KubeEye will add support for:

  • Fine-grained diagnostic items, such as the slow response time of Kubernetes clusters.

  • The diagnosis of KubeSphere components, such as DevOps and service mesh.

  • The diagnosis of cluster network and storage.


KubeEye GitHub repository

KubeEye FAQ

Node Problem Detector


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