You can create a different machine set to serve a specific purpose in your OKD cluster on Amazon Web Services (AWS). For example, you might create infrastructure machine sets and related machines so that you can move supporting workloads to the new machines.

This process is not applicable for clusters with manually provisioned machines. You can use the advanced machine management and scaling capabilities only in clusters where the Machine API is operational.

Machine API overview

The Machine API is a combination of primary resources that are based on the upstream Cluster API project and custom OKD resources.

For OKD 4.8 clusters, the Machine API performs all node host provisioning management actions after the cluster installation finishes. Because of this system, OKD 4.8 offers an elastic, dynamic provisioning method on top of public or private cloud infrastructure.

The two primary resources are:


A fundamental unit that describes the host for a node. A machine has a providerSpec specification, which describes the types of compute nodes that are offered for different cloud platforms. For example, a machine type for a worker node on Amazon Web Services (AWS) might define a specific machine type and required metadata.

Machine sets

MachineSet resources are groups of machines. Machine sets are to machines as replica sets are to pods. If you need more machines or must scale them down, you change the replicas field on the machine set to meet your compute need.

Control plane machines cannot be managed by machine sets.

The following custom resources add more capabilities to your cluster:

Machine autoscaler

The MachineAutoscaler resource automatically scales machines in a cloud. You can set the minimum and maximum scaling boundaries for nodes in a specified machine set, and the machine autoscaler maintains that range of nodes. The MachineAutoscaler object takes effect after a ClusterAutoscaler object exists. Both ClusterAutoscaler and MachineAutoscaler resources are made available by the ClusterAutoscalerOperator object.

Cluster autoscaler

This resource is based on the upstream cluster autoscaler project. In the OKD implementation, it is integrated with the Machine API by extending the machine set API. You can set cluster-wide scaling limits for resources such as cores, nodes, memory, GPU, and so on. You can set the priority so that the cluster prioritizes pods so that new nodes are not brought online for less important pods. You can also set the scaling policy so that you can scale up nodes but not scale them down.

Machine health check

The MachineHealthCheck resource detects when a machine is unhealthy, deletes it, and, on supported platforms, makes a new machine.

In OKD version 3.11, you could not roll out a multi-zone architecture easily because the cluster did not manage machine provisioning. Beginning with OKD version 4.1, this process is easier. Each machine set is scoped to a single zone, so the installation program sends out machine sets across availability zones on your behalf. And then because your compute is dynamic, and in the face of a zone failure, you always have a zone for when you must rebalance your machines. The autoscaler provides best-effort balancing over the life of a cluster.

Sample YAML for a machine set custom resource on AWS

This sample YAML defines a machine set that runs in the us-east-1a Amazon Web Services (AWS) zone and creates nodes that are labeled with node-role.kubernetes.io/<role>: "".

In this sample, <infrastructure_id> is the infrastructure ID label that is based on the cluster ID that you set when you provisioned the cluster, and <role> is the node label to add.

apiVersion: machine.openshift.io/v1beta1
kind: MachineSet
    machine.openshift.io/cluster-api-cluster: <infrastructure_id> (1)
  name: <infrastructure_id>-<role>-<zone> (2)
  namespace: openshift-machine-api
  replicas: 1
      machine.openshift.io/cluster-api-cluster: <infrastructure_id> (1)
      machine.openshift.io/cluster-api-machineset: <infrastructure_id>-<role>-<zone> (2)
        machine.openshift.io/cluster-api-cluster: <infrastructure_id> (1)
        machine.openshift.io/cluster-api-machine-role: <role> (3)
        machine.openshift.io/cluster-api-machine-type: <role> (3)
        machine.openshift.io/cluster-api-machineset: <infrastructure_id>-<role>-<zone> (2)
          node-role.kubernetes.io/<role>: "" (3)
            id: ami-046fe691f52a953f9 (4)
          apiVersion: awsproviderconfig.openshift.io/v1beta1
            - ebs:
                iops: 0
                volumeSize: 120
                volumeType: gp2
            name: aws-cloud-credentials
          deviceIndex: 0
            id: <infrastructure_id>-worker-profile (1)
          instanceType: m4.large
          kind: AWSMachineProviderConfig
            availabilityZone: <zone> (5)
            region: <region> (6)
            - filters:
                - name: tag:Name
                    - <infrastructure_id>-worker-sg (1)
              - name: tag:Name
                  - <infrastructure_id>-private-<zone> (7)
            - name: kubernetes.io/cluster/<infrastructure_id> (1)
              value: owned
            name: worker-user-data
1 Specify the infrastructure ID that is based on the cluster ID that you set when you provisioned the cluster. If you have the OpenShift CLI installed, you can obtain the infrastructure ID by running the following command:
$ oc get -o jsonpath='{.status.infrastructureName}{"\n"}' infrastructure cluster
2 Specify the infrastructure ID, node label, and zone.
3 Specify the node label to add.
4 Specify a valid Fedora CoreOS (FCOS) AMI for your AWS zone for your OKD nodes. If you want to use an AWS Marketplace image, you must complete the OKD subscription from the AWS Marketplace to obtain an AMI ID for your region.
5 Specify the zone, for example, us-east-1a.
6 Specify the region, for example, us-east-1.
7 Specify the infrastructure ID and zone.

Creating a machine set

In addition to the ones created by the installation program, you can create your own machine sets to dynamically manage the machine compute resources for specific workloads of your choice.

  • Deploy an OKD cluster.

  • Install the OpenShift CLI (oc).

  • Log in to oc as a user with cluster-admin permission.

  1. Create a new YAML file that contains the machine set custom resource (CR) sample and is named <file_name>.yaml.

    Ensure that you set the <clusterID> and <role> parameter values.

    1. If you are not sure which value to set for a specific field, you can check an existing machine set from your cluster:

      $ oc get machinesets -n openshift-machine-api
      Example output
      NAME                                DESIRED   CURRENT   READY   AVAILABLE   AGE
      agl030519-vplxk-worker-us-east-1a   1         1         1       1           55m
      agl030519-vplxk-worker-us-east-1b   1         1         1       1           55m
      agl030519-vplxk-worker-us-east-1c   1         1         1       1           55m
      agl030519-vplxk-worker-us-east-1d   0         0                             55m
      agl030519-vplxk-worker-us-east-1e   0         0                             55m
      agl030519-vplxk-worker-us-east-1f   0         0                             55m
    2. Check values of a specific machine set:

      $ oc get machineset <machineset_name> -n \
           openshift-machine-api -o yaml
      Example output
              machine.openshift.io/cluster-api-cluster: agl030519-vplxk (1)
              machine.openshift.io/cluster-api-machine-role: worker (2)
              machine.openshift.io/cluster-api-machine-type: worker
              machine.openshift.io/cluster-api-machineset: agl030519-vplxk-worker-us-east-1a
      1 The cluster ID.
      2 A default node label.
  2. Create the new MachineSet CR:

    $ oc create -f <file_name>.yaml
  3. View the list of machine sets:

    $ oc get machineset -n openshift-machine-api
    Example output
    NAME                                DESIRED   CURRENT   READY   AVAILABLE   AGE
    agl030519-vplxk-infra-us-east-1a    1         1         1       1           11m
    agl030519-vplxk-worker-us-east-1a   1         1         1       1           55m
    agl030519-vplxk-worker-us-east-1b   1         1         1       1           55m
    agl030519-vplxk-worker-us-east-1c   1         1         1       1           55m
    agl030519-vplxk-worker-us-east-1d   0         0                             55m
    agl030519-vplxk-worker-us-east-1e   0         0                             55m
    agl030519-vplxk-worker-us-east-1f   0         0                             55m

    When the new machine set is available, the DESIRED and CURRENT values match. If the machine set is not available, wait a few minutes and run the command again.

Next steps

If you need machine sets in other availability zones, repeat this process to create more machine sets.

Machine sets that deploy machines as Spot Instances

You can save on costs by creating a machine set running on AWS that deploys machines as non-guaranteed Spot Instances. Spot Instances utilize unused AWS EC2 capacity and are less expensive than On-Demand Instances. You can use Spot Instances for workloads that can tolerate interruptions, such as batch or stateless, horizontally scalable workloads.

AWS EC2 can terminate a Spot Instance at any time. AWS gives a two-minute warning to the user when an interruption occurs. OKD begins to remove the workloads from the affected instances when AWS issues the termination warning.

Interruptions can occur when using Spot Instances for the following reasons:

  • The instance price exceeds your maximum price

  • The demand for Spot Instances increases

  • The supply of Spot Instances decreases

When AWS terminates an instance, a termination handler running on the Spot Instance node deletes the machine resource. To satisfy the machine set replicas quantity, the machine set creates a machine that requests a Spot Instance.

Creating Spot Instances by using machine sets

You can launch a Spot Instance on AWS by adding spotMarketOptions to your machine set YAML file.

  • Add the following line under the providerSpec field:

        spotMarketOptions: {}

    You can optionally set the spotMarketOptions.maxPrice field to limit the cost of the Spot Instance. For example you can set maxPrice: '2.50'.

    If the maxPrice is set, this value is used as the hourly maximum spot price. If it is not set, the maximum price defaults to charge up to the On-Demand Instance price.

    It is strongly recommended to use the default On-Demand price as the maxPrice value and to not set the maximum price for Spot Instances.

Machine sets that deploy machines as Dedicated Instances

You can create a machine set running on AWS that deploys machines as Dedicated Instances. Dedicated Instances run in a virtual private cloud (VPC) on hardware that is dedicated to a single customer. These Amazon EC2 instances are physically isolated at the host hardware level. The isolation of Dedicated Instances occurs even if the instances belong to different AWS accounts that are linked to a single payer account. However, other instances that are not dedicated can share hardware with Dedicated Instances if they belong to the same AWS account.

Instances with either public or dedicated tenancy are supported by the Machine API. Instances with public tenancy run on shared hardware. Public tenancy is the default tenancy. Instances with dedicated tenancy run on single-tenant hardware.

Creating Dedicated Instances by using machine sets

You can run a machine that is backed by a Dedicated Instance by using Machine API integration. Set the tenancy field in your machine set YAML file to launch a Dedicated Instance on AWS.

  • Specify a dedicated tenancy under the providerSpec field:

        tenancy: dedicated