Offloading a Service

In this tutorial you will learn how to create a multi-cluster Service and how to consume it from each connected cluster.

Specifically, you will deploy an application in a first cluster (London) and then offload the corresponding Service and transparently consume it from a second cluster (New York).

Provision the playground

First, check that you are compliant with the requirements.

Then, let’s open a terminal on your machine and launch the following script, which creates the two above-mentioned clusters with KinD and installs Liqo on them. Each cluster is made by a single combined control-plane + worker node.

git clone
cd liqo
git checkout master
cd examples/service-offloading

Export the kubeconfigs environment variables to use them in the rest of the tutorial:

export KUBECONFIG="$PWD/liqo_kubeconf_london"
export KUBECONFIG_NEWYORK="$PWD/liqo_kubeconf_newyork"


We suggest exporting the kubeconfig of the first cluster as default (i.e., KUBECONFIG), since it will be the entry point of the virtual cluster and you will mainly interact with it.

At this point, you should have two clusters with Liqo installed on them. The setup script named them london and newyork.

Peer the clusters

Once Liqo is installed in your clusters, you can establish new peerings. In this example, since the two API Servers are mutually reachable, you will use the out-of-band peering approach.

To implement the desired scenario, let’s first retrieve the peer command from the New York cluster:

PEER_NEW_YORK=$(liqoctl generate peer-command --only-command --kubeconfig $KUBECONFIG_NEWYORK)

Then, establish the peering from the London cluster:

echo "$PEER_NEW_YORK" | bash

When the above command returns successfully, you can check the peering status by running:

kubectl get foreignclusters

The output should look like the following, indicating that an outgoing peering is currently active towards the New York cluster, as well as that the cross-cluster network tunnel has been established:

newyork   Established        None               Established   Established      61s

Offload a service

Now, let’s deploy a simple application composed of a Deployment and a Service in the London cluster.

First, you should create a hosting namespace in the London cluster:

kubectl create namespace liqo-demo

Then, deploy the application in the London cluster:

kubectl apply -f manifests/app.yaml -n liqo-demo

At this moment, you have an HTTP application serving JSON data through a Service, and running in the London cluster (i.e., locally). If you look at the New York cluster, you will not see the application yet.

To make it visible, you need to enable the Liqo offloading of the Services in the desired namespace to the New York cluster:

liqoctl offload namespace liqo-demo \
    --namespace-mapping-strategy EnforceSameName \
    --pod-offloading-strategy Local

This command enables the offloading of the Services in the London cluster to the New York cluster and sets:

  • the namespace mapping strategy to EnforceSameName, which means that the namespace in the remote cluster is created with the same name as of the local one. This is particularly useful when you want to consume the Services in the remote cluster using the Kubernetes DNS service discovery (i.e. with svc-name.namespace-name.svc.cluster.local).

  • the pod offloading strategy to Local, which means that the pods running in this namespace will be kept local and not scheduled on virtual nodes (i.e., no pod is offloaded to remote clusters).

Refer to the dedicated usage page for additional information concerning namespace offloading configurations.

Some seconds later, you should see that the Service has been replicated by the resource reflection process, and is now available in the New York cluster:

kubectl get services --namespace liqo-demo --kubeconfig "$KUBECONFIG_NEWYORK"
flights-service   ClusterIP   <none>        7999/TCP   14s   run=flights-service

The Service is characterized by a different ClusterIP address in the two clusters, since each cluster handles it independently. Additionally, you can also check that there is no application pod running in the New York cluster:

kubectl get pods --namespace liqo-demo --kubeconfig "$KUBECONFIG_NEWYORK"
No resources found in liqo-demo namespace.

Consume the service

Let’s now consume the Service from both clusters from a different pod (e.g., a temporary shell).

Starting from the London cluster:

kubectl run consumer --rm -i --tty --image dwdraju/alpine-curl-jq -- /bin/sh

When the shell is ready, you can access the Service with curl:

curl -s -H 'accept: application/json' http://flights-service.liqo-demo:7999/schedule | jq .

A similar result is obtained executing the same command in a shell running in the New York cluster, although the backend pod is effectively running in the London cluster:

kubectl run consumer --rm -i --tty --image dwdraju/alpine-curl-jq \
    --kubeconfig $KUBECONFIG_NEWYORK -- /bin/sh
curl -s -H 'accept: application/json' http://flights-service.liqo-demo:7999/schedule | jq .

This quick example demonstrated how Liqo can upgrade ClusterIP Services to multi-cluster Services, allowing your local pods to transparently serve traffic originating from remote clusters with no additional configuration neither in the local cluster and/or applications nor in the remote ones.

Tear down the playground

Unoffload namespaces

Before starting the uninstallation process, make sure that all namespaces are unoffloaded:

liqoctl unoffload namespace liqo-demo

Every pod that was offloaded to a remote cluster is going to be rescheduled onto the local cluster.

Revoke peerings

Similarly, make sure that all the peerings are revoked:

liqoctl unpeer out-of-band newyork

At the end of the process, the virtual node is removed from the local cluster.

Uninstall Liqo

Now you can uninstall Liqo from your clusters with liqoctl:

liqoctl uninstall
liqoctl uninstall --kubeconfig="$KUBECONFIG_NEWYORK"


By default the Liqo CRDs will remain in the cluster, but they can be removed with the --purge flag:

liqoctl uninstall --purge
liqoctl uninstall --kubeconfig="$KUBECONFIG_NEWYORK" --purge

Destroy clusters

To teardown the KinD clusters, you can issue:

kind delete cluster --name london
kind delete cluster --name newyork