The OKD cluster uses a virtualized network for pod and service networks. The OVN-Kubernetes Container Network Interface (CNI) plug-in is a network provider for the default cluster network. OVN-Kubernetes is based on Open Virtual Network (OVN) and provides an overlay-based networking implementation. A cluster that uses the OVN-Kubernetes network provider also runs Open vSwitch (OVS) on each node. OVN configures OVS on each node to implement the declared network configuration.

OVN-Kubernetes features

The OVN-Kubernetes Container Network Interface (CNI) cluster network provider implements the following features:

  • Uses OVN (Open Virtual Network) to manage network traffic flows. OVN is a community developed, vendor-agnostic network virtualization solution.

  • Implements Kubernetes network policy support, including ingress and egress rules.

  • Uses the Geneve (Generic Network Virtualization Encapsulation) protocol rather than VXLAN to create an overlay network between nodes.

Supported default CNI network provider feature matrix

OKD offers two supported choices, OpenShift SDN and OVN-Kubernetes, for the default Container Network Interface (CNI) network provider. The following table summarizes the current feature support for both network providers:

Table 1. Default CNI network provider feature comparison
Feature OVN-Kubernetes OpenShift SDN

Egress IPs



Egress firewall [1]



Egress router

Supported [2]


IPsec encryption


Not supported


Supported [3]

Not supported

Kubernetes network policy


Partially supported [4]

Kubernetes network policy logs


Not supported




  1. Egress firewall is also known as egress network policy in OpenShift SDN. This is not the same as network policy egress.

  2. Egress router for OVN-Kubernetes supports only redirect mode.

  3. IPv6 is supported only on bare metal clusters.

  4. Network policy for OpenShift SDN does not support egress rules and some ipBlock rules.

OVN-Kubernetes limitations

The OVN-Kubernetes Container Network Interface (CNI) cluster network provider has the following limitations:

  • OVN-Kubernetes does not support setting the external traffic policy or internal traffic policy for a Kubernetes service to local. The default value, cluster, is supported for both parameters. This limitation can affect you when you add a service of type LoadBalancer, NodePort, or add a service with an external IP.

  • The sessionAffinityConfig.clientIP.timeoutSeconds service has no effect in an OpenShift OVN environment, but does in an OpenShift SDN environment. This incompatibility can make it difficult for users to migrate from OpenShift SDN to OVN.

  • For clusters configured for dual-stack networking, both IPv4 and IPv6 traffic must use the same network interface as the default gateway. If this requirement is not met, pods on the host in the ovnkube-node daemon set enter the CrashLoopBackOff state. If you display a pod with a command like oc get pod -n openshift-ovn-kubernetes -l app=ovnkube-node -o yaml, the status field contains more than one message about the default gateway, as shown in the following output:

    I1006 16:09:50.985852   60651 helper_linux.go:73] Found default gateway interface br-ex
    I1006 16:09:50.985923   60651 helper_linux.go:73] Found default gateway interface ens4 fe80::5054:ff:febe:bcd4
    F1006 16:09:50.985939   60651 ovnkube.go:130] multiple gateway interfaces detected: br-ex ens4

    The only resolution is to reconfigure the host networking so that both IP families use the same network interface for the default gateway.