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Improving Kubernetes Performance with Event Analysis

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Introduction

Too much monitoring and alert fatigue is a serious issue for today’s engineering teams. Nowadays, there are several open-source and third-party solutions available to help you sort through the noise. It always seems too good to be true, and it probably is. However, as Kubernetes deployments have grown in complexity and size, performance optimization and observability have become critical to guaranteeing optimal resource usage and early issue identification.

Kubernetes events give unique and unambiguous information about cluster health and performance. And in these days of too much data, they also give clear insight with minimal noise. In this article, we will learn about Kubernetes events and their importance, their types, and how to access them.

What is a Kubernetes Event?

A Kubernetes event is an object that displays what is going on inside a cluster, node, pod, or container. These items are typically created in reaction to changes that occur inside your K8s system. The Kubernetes API Server allows all key components to generate these events. In general, each event includes a log message. However, they are quite different and have no other effect on one another.

Importance of Kubernetes Events

When any of the resources that Kubernetes manages changes, it broadcasts an event. These events frequently provide crucial metadata about the object that caused them, such as the event category (Normal, Warning, Error), as well as the reason. This data is often saved in etcd and made available by running specific kubectl commands. These events help us understand what happened behind the scenes when an entity entered a given state. You may also obtain an aggregated list of all events by running kubectl get events.

Events are produced by every part of a cluster, therefore as your Kubernetes environment grows, so will the amount of events your system produces. Furthermore, every change in your system generates events, and even healthy and normal operations require changes in a perfectly running system. This means that a big proportion of the events created by your clusters are purely informative and may not be relevant when debugging an issue.

Monitoring Kubernetes Events

Monitoring Kubernetes events can help you identify issues with pod scheduling, resource limits, access to external volumes, and other elements of your Kubernetes setup. Events give rich contextual hints that will assist you in troubleshooting these issues and ensuring system health, allowing you to keep your Kubernetes-based apps and infrastructure stable, reliable, and efficient.

How to Identify Which Kubernetes Events are Important

Naturally, there are a variety of events that may be relevant to your Kubernetes setup, and various issues may arise when Kubernetes or your cloud platform executes basic functions. Let’s get into each main event.

Failed Events

The kube-scheduler in Kubernetes schedules pods, which contain containers that operate your application on available nodes. The kubelet monitors the node’s resource use and guarantees that containers execute as intended. The building of the underlying container fails when the kube-scheduler fails to schedule a pod, causing the kubelet to generate a warning event.

Eviction Events

Eviction events are another crucial event to keep track of since they indicate when a node removes running pods. The most typical reason for an eviction event is a node’s insufficient incompressible resources, such as RAM or storage. The kubelet generates resource-exhaustion eviction events on the affected node. In case Kubernetes determines that a pod is utilizing more incompressible resources than what its runtime permits, it can remove the pod from its node and arrange for a new time slot.

Volume Events

A directory holding data (like an external library) that a pod may access and expose to its containers so they can carry out their workloads with any necessary dependencies is known as a Kubernetes volume.

Separating this linked data from the pod offers a failsafe way for retaining information if the pod breaks, as well as facilitating data exchange amongst containers on the same pod. When Kubernetes assigns a volume to a new pod, it first detaches it from the node it is presently on, attaches it to the required node, and then mounts it onto a pod.

Unready Node Events

Node readiness is one of the requirements that the node’s kubelet consistently returns as true or false. The kubelet creates unready node events when a node transitions from ready to not ready, indicating that it is not ready for pod scheduling

How to Access Kubernetes Events

Metrics, logs, and events may be exported from Kubernetes for observability. With a variety of methods at your fingertips, events may be a valuable source of information about what’s going on in your services. Kubernetes does not have built-in functionality for accessing, storing, or forwarding long-term events. It stores it for a brief period of time before cleaning it up. However, Kubernetes event logs may be retrieved directly from the cluster using Kubectl and collected or monitored using a logging tool.

Running the kubectl describe command on a given cluster resource will provide a list of its events. A more general approach is to use the kubectl get events command, which lists the events of specified resources or the whole cluster. Many free and commercial third-party solutions assist in providing visibility and reporting Kubernetes cluster events. Let’s look at some free, open-source tools and how they may be used to monitor your Kubernetes installation:

KubeWatch

KubeWatch is an excellent open-source solution for monitoring and broadcasting K8s events to third-party applications and webhooks. You may set it up to deliver notifications to Slack channels when major status changes occur. You may also use it to transmit events to analytics and alerting systems such as Prometheus.

Events Exporter

The Kubernetes Events Exporter is a good alternative to K8s’ native observing mechanisms. It allows you to constantly monitor K8s events and list them as needed. It also extracts a number of metrics from the data it collects, such as event counts and unique event counts, and offers a simple monitoring configuration.

EventRouter

EventRouter is another excellent open-source solution for gathering Kubernetes events. It is simple to build up and seeks to stream Kubernetes events to numerous sources, as described in its documentation. However, like KubeWatch, it does not have querying or persistent capabilities. To get the full experience, you should link it to a third-party storage and analysis tool.

Conclusion

Kubernetes events provide an excellent approach to monitor and improve the performance of your K8s clusters. They become more effective when combined with realistic tactics and vast toolsets. I hope this article helps you to understand the importance of Kubernetes events and how to get the most out of them.

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