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About the Poison Pill Operator

The Poison Pill Operator runs on the cluster nodes and reboots nodes that are identified as unhealthy. The Operator uses the MachineHealthCheck controller to detect the health of a node in the cluster. When a node is identified as unhealthy, the MachineHealthCheck resource creates the PoisonPillRemediation custom resource (CR), which triggers the Poison Pill Operator.

The Poison Pill Operator minimizes downtime for stateful applications and restores compute capacity if transient failures occur. You can use this Operator regardless of the management interface, such as IPMI or an API to provision a node, and regardless of the cluster installation type, such as installer-provisioned infrastructure or user-provisioned infrastructure.

Understanding the Poison Pill Operator configuration

The Poison Pill Operator creates the PoisonPillConfig CR with the name poison-pill-config in the Poison Pill Operator’s namespace. You can edit this CR. However, you cannot create a new CR for the Poison Pill Operator.

A change in the PoisonPillConfig CR re-creates the Poison Pill daemon set.

The PoisonPillConfig CR resembles the following YAML file:

apiVersion: poison-pill.medik8s.io/v1alpha1
kind: PoisonPillConfig
metadata:
  name: poison-pill-config
  namespace: openshift-operators
spec:
  safeTimeToAssumeNodeRebootedSeconds: 180 (1)
  watchdogFilePath: /test/watchdog1 (2)
  isSoftwareRebootEnabled: true (3)
  apiServerTimeout: 15s (4)
  apiCheckInterval: 5s (5)
  maxApiErrorThreshold: 3 (6)
  peerApiServerTimeout: 5s (7)
  peerDialTimeout: 5s (8)
  peerRequestTimeout: 5s (9)
  peerUpdateInterval: 15m (10)
1 Specify the timeout duration for the surviving peer, after which the Operator can assume that an unhealthy node has been rebooted. The Operator automatically calculates the lower limit for this value. However, if different nodes have different watchdog timeouts, you must change this value to a higher value.
2 Specify the file path of the watchdog device in the nodes. If you enter an incorrect path to the watchdog device, the Poison Pill Operator automatically detects the softdog device path.

If a watchdog device is unavailable, the PoisonPillConfig CR uses a software reboot.

3 Specify if you want to enable software reboot of the unhealthy nodes. By default, the value of isSoftwareRebootEnabled is set to true. To disable the software reboot, set the parameter value to false.
4 Specify the timeout duration to check connectivity with each API server. When this duration elapses, the Operator starts remediation.
5 Specify the frequency to check connectivity with each API server.
6 Specify a threshold value. After reaching this threshold, the node starts contacting its peers.
7 Specify the timeout duration for the peer to connect the API server.
8 Specify the timeout duration for establishing connection with the peer.
9 Specify the timeout duration to get a response from the peer.
10 Specify the frequency to update peer information, such as IP address.

Understanding the Poison Pill Remediation Template configuration

The Poison Pill Operator also creates the PoisonPillRemediationTemplate CR with the name poison-pill-default-template in the Poison Pill Operator’s namespace. This CR defines the remediation strategy for the nodes.

The default remediation strategy is NodeDeletion that removes the node object. In OKD 4.10, the Poison Pill Operator introduces a new remediation strategy called ResourceDeletion. The ResourceDeletion remediation strategy removes the pods and associated volume attachments on the node rather than the node object. This strategy helps to recover workloads faster.

The PoisonPillRemediationTemplate CR resembles the following YAML file:

apiVersion: poison-pill.medik8s.io/v1alpha1
kind: PoisonPillRemediationTemplate
metadata:
creationTimestamp: "2022-03-02T08:02:40Z"
generation: 1
name: poison-pill-default-template
namespace: openshift-operators
resourceVersion: "596469"
uid: 5d29e437-c485-48fa-ba9e-0354649afd31
spec:
template:
spec:
remediationStrategy: NodeDeletion (1)
1 Specifies the remediation strategy. The default remediation strategy is NodeDeletion.

About watchdog devices

Watchdog devices can be any of the following:

  • Independently powered hardware devices

  • Hardware devices that share power with the hosts they control

  • Virtual devices implemented in software, or softdog

Hardware watchdog and softdog devices have electronic or software timers, respectively. These watchdog devices are used to ensure that the machine enters a safe state when an error condition is detected. The cluster is required to repeatedly reset the watchdog timer to prove that it is in a healthy state. This timer might elapse due to fault conditions, such as deadlocks, CPU starvation, and loss of network or disk access. If the timer expires, the watchdog device assumes that a fault has occurred and the device triggers a forced reset of the node.

Hardware watchdog devices are more reliable than softdog devices.

Understanding Poison Pill Operator behavior with watchdog devices

The Poison Pill Operator determines the remediation strategy based on the watchdog devices that are present.

If a hardware watchdog device is configured and available, the Operator uses it for remediation. If a hardware watchdog device is not configured, the Operator enables and uses a softdog device for remediation.

If neither watchdog devices are supported, either by the system or by the configuration, the Operator remediates nodes by using software reboot.

Additional resources

Configuring a watchdog

Installing the Poison Pill Operator by using the web console

You can use the OKD web console to install the Poison Pill Operator.

Prerequisites
  • Log in as a user with cluster-admin privileges.

Procedure
  1. In the OKD web console, navigate to OperatorsOperatorHub.

  2. Search for the Poison Pill Operator from the list of available Operators, and then click Install.

  3. Keep the default selection of Installation mode and namespace to ensure that the Operator is installed to the openshift-operators namespace.

  4. Click Install.

Verification

To confirm that the installation is successful:

  1. Navigate to the OperatorsInstalled Operators page.

  2. Check that the Operator is installed in the openshift-operators namespace and its status is Succeeded.

If the Operator is not installed successfully:

  1. Navigate to the OperatorsInstalled Operators page and inspect the Status column for any errors or failures.

  2. Navigate to the WorkloadsPods page and check the logs in any pods in the poison-pill-controller-manager project that are reporting issues.

Installing the Poison Pill Operator by using the CLI

You can use the OpenShift CLI (oc) to install the Poison Pill Operator.

You can install the Poison Pill Operator in your own namespace or in the openshift-operators namespace.

To install the Operator in your own namespace, follow the steps in the procedure.

To install the Operator in the openshift-operators namespace, skip to step 3 of the procedure because the steps to create a new Namespace custom resource (CR) and an OperatorGroup CR are not required.

Prerequisites
  • Install the OpenShift CLI (oc).

  • Log in as a user with cluster-admin privileges.

Procedure
  1. Create a Namespace custom resource (CR) for the Poison Pill Operator:

    1. Define the Namespace CR and save the YAML file, for example, poison-pill-namespace.yaml:

      apiVersion: v1
      kind: Namespace
      metadata:
        name: poison-pill
    2. To create the Namespace CR, run the following command:

      $ oc create -f poison-pill-namespace.yaml
  2. Create an OperatorGroup CR:

    1. Define the OperatorGroup CR and save the YAML file, for example, poison-pill-operator-group.yaml:

      apiVersion: operators.coreos.com/v1
      kind: OperatorGroup
      metadata:
        name: poison-pill-manager
        namespace: poison-pill
    2. To create the OperatorGroup CR, run the following command:

      $ oc create -f poison-pill-operator-group.yaml
  3. Create a Subscription CR:

    1. Define the Subscription CR and save the YAML file, for example, poison-pill-subscription.yaml:

      apiVersion: operators.coreos.com/v1alpha1
      kind: Subscription
      metadata:
          name: poison-pill-manager
          namespace: poison-pill (1)
      spec:
          channel: stable
          installPlanApproval: Manual (2)
          name: poison-pill-manager
          source: redhat-operators
          sourceNamespace: openshift-marketplace
          package: poison-pill-manager
      1 Specify the Namespace where you want to install the Poison Pill Operator. To install the Poison Pill Operator in the openshift-operators namespace, specify openshift-operators in the Subscription CR.
      2 Set the approval strategy to Manual in case your specified version is superseded by a later version in the catalog. This plan prevents an automatic upgrade to a later version and requires manual approval before the starting CSV can complete the installation.
    2. To create the Subscription CR, run the following command:

      $ oc create -f poison-pill-subscription.yaml
Verification
  1. Verify that the installation succeeded by inspecting the CSV resource:

    $ oc get csv -n poison-pill
    Example output
    NAME                   DISPLAY                 VERSION   REPLACES    PHASE
    poison-pill.v.0.2.0     Poison Pill Operator    0.2.0                 Succeeded
  2. Verify that the Poison Pill Operator is up and running:

    $ oc get deploy -n poison-pill
    Example output
    NAME                                 READY   UP-TO-DATE   AVAILABLE   AGE
    poison-pill-controller-manager       1/1     1            1           10d
  3. Verify that the Poison Pill Operator created the PoisonPillConfig CR:

    $ oc get PoisonPillConfig -n poison-pill
    Example output
    NAME                 AGE
    poison-pill-config   10d
  4. Verify that each poison pill pod is scheduled and running on each worker node:

    $ oc get daemonset -n poison-pill
    Example output
    NAME             DESIRED   CURRENT   READY   UP-TO-DATE   AVAILABLE   NODE SELECTOR   AGE
    poison-pill-ds   2         2         2       2            2           <none>          10d

    This command is unsupported for the control plane nodes.

Configuring machine health checks to use the Poison Pill Operator

Use the following procedure to configure the machine health checks to use the Poison Pill Operator as a remediation provider.

Prerequisites
  • Install the OpenShift CLI (oc).

  • Log in as a user with cluster-admin privileges.

Procedure
  1. Create a PoisonPillRemediationTemplate CR:

    1. Define the PoisonPillRemediationTemplate CR:

      apiVersion: poison-pill.medik8s.io/v1alpha1
      kind: PoisonPillRemediationTemplate
      metadata:
        namespace: openshift-machine-api
        name: poisonpillremediationtemplate-sample
      spec:
        template:
          spec: {}
    2. To create the PoisonPillRemediationTemplate CR, run the following command:

      $ oc create -f <ppr-name>.yaml
  2. Create or update the MachineHealthCheck CR to point to the PoisonPillRemediationTemplate CR:

    1. Define or update the MachineHealthCheck CR:

      apiVersion: machine.openshift.io/v1beta1
      kind: MachineHealthCheck
      metadata:
        name: machine-health-check
        namespace: openshift-machine-api
      spec:
        selector:
          matchLabels:
            machine.openshift.io/cluster-api-machine-role: "worker"
            machine.openshift.io/cluster-api-machine-type: "worker"
        unhealthyConditions:
        - type:    "Ready"
          timeout: "300s"
          status: "False"
        - type:    "Ready"
          timeout: "300s"
          status: "Unknown"
        maxUnhealthy: "40%"
        nodeStartupTimeout: "10m"
        remediationTemplate: (1)
          kind: PoisonPillRemediationTemplate
          apiVersion: poison-pill.medik8s.io/v1alpha1
          name: <poison-pill-remediation-template-sample>
      1 Specify the details for the remediation template.
    2. To create a MachineHealthCheck CR, run the following command:

      $ oc create -f <file-name>.yaml
    3. To update a MachineHealthCheck CR, run the following command:

      $ oc apply -f <file-name>.yaml

Troubleshooting the Poison Pill Operator

General troubleshooting

Issue

You want to troubleshoot issues with the Poison Pill Operator.

Resolution

Check the Operator logs.

Checking the daemon set

Issue

The Poison Pill Operator is installed but the daemon set is not available.

Resolution

Check the Operator logs for errors or warnings.

Unsuccessful remediation

Issue

An unhealthy node was not remediated.

Resolution

Verify that the PoisonPillRemediation CR was created by running the following command:

$ oc get ppr -A

If the MachineHealthCheck controller did not create the PoisonPillRemediation CR when the node turned unhealthy, check the logs of the MachineHealthCheck controller. Additionally, ensure that the MachineHealthCheck CR includes the required specification to use the remediation template.

If the PoisonPillRemediation CR was created, ensure that its name matches the unhealthy node or the machine object.

Daemon set and other Poison Pill Operator resources exist even after uninstalling the Poison Pill Operator

Issue

The Poison Pill Operator resources, such as the daemon set, configuration CR, and the remediation template CR, exist even after after uninstalling the Operator.

Resolution

To remove the Poison Pill Operator resources, delete the resources by running the following commands for each resource type:

$ oc delete ds <poison-pill-ds> -n <namespace>
$ oc delete ppc <poison-pill-config> -n <namespace>
$ oc delete pprt <poison-pill-remediation-template> -n <namespace>

Gathering data about the Poison Pill Operator

To collect debugging information about the Poison Pill Operator, use the must-gather tool. For information about the must-gather image for the Poison Pill Operator, see Gathering data about specific features.

Additional resources