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Editor’s note: This post was originally published on the OpenShift blog.

As we work harder to automate cluster administration activities like OpenShift upgrades and OS patching, it becomes more difficult to ensure the availability requirements of applications. In large clusters, the Ops team may not have a detailed understanding of which pods represent an application. They also may not be able to ensure their minimum capacity requirements are maintained. Without that knowledge, you may inadvertently bring down or inhibit multiple applications through a simple rolling server restart during server maintenance.

Introduced as Tech Preview in OpenShift 3.4 and now fully supported in OpenShift 3.6, PodDisruptionBudgets (henceforth PDBs) provide a concise way for the application team to communicate enforceable operating requirements to the cluster. Simply put, a PDB allows the application owner to define a minimum number of pods that should be available for that application to operate in a stable manner. Any action that leverages the eviction API (such as drain) will provide that minimum at any given time.

Let’s take a look at how to create a PDB and what enforcement looks like from inside OpenShift.

The PodDisruptionBudget Object:

To illustrate this, we will use an Openshift Router as our example pod. What the below object tells us is that we are creating a PDB called “router-pdb that uses a selector to match pods with the label “router: router” and to ensure that there will be at least one pod available.

# cat router-pdb.yaml
apiVersion: policy/v1beta1
kind: PodDisruptionBudget
 name: router-pdb
     router: router
 minAvailable: 1

To create the PDB object, we need 2 pieces of information:

  1. The selector and
  2. An appropriate minimum

Note: minAvailable can be expressed as an integer or as a percentage of total pods. If an application had 2 replicas, minAvailable: 1 and minAvailable: 50% would achieve the same goal.

Take a look at the router DeploymentConfig for that information:

# oc describe deploymentconfig router
Name: router
Namespace: default
Labels: router=router
Selector: router=router
Replicas: 2

Here we find our label and that the current number of replicas is two. Setting minAvailable to one gives us a disruption budget of one. That means only one of the two pods can be unavailable at any given time.

PodDisruptionBudgets in Practice:

The first step is to create the PDB using the YAML we created above. Make sure you create the PDB in the project where the pods run:

# oc create -f router-pdb.yaml
poddisruptionbudget "router-pdb" created

Looking at the PDB we can see that, as noted above, the allowable-disruption is one and the minimum available is one.

# oc get poddisruptionbudget
router-pdb     1                             1                                              13m

In more detail, the created PDB object looks like this:

# oc describe poddisruptionbudget router-pdb
Name: router-pdb
Min available: 1
Selector: router=router
Allowed disruptions: 1
Current: 2
Desired: 1
Total: 2

Next, let’s drain a node and see what happens:

# oc adm drain --grace-period=10 --timeout=10s
node "" cordoned
pod "router-2-t0z9g" evicted
node "" drained

Our infra node was successfully cordoned, the router pod was evicted and the drain completed successfully.

Viewing the pods, we can see that one router is still running and one is pending.

# oc get pods
NAME                 READY   STATUS     RESTARTS    AGE
router-2-kjs96     1/1           Running     0                     42d
router-2-lbjbk      0/1           Pending     0                     <invalid>

The second router is pending because is still SchedulingDisabled from the drain.

# oc get nodes
NAME                                    STATUS                                  AGE       Ready,SchedulingDisabled    54d       Ready,SchedulingDisabled    54d       Ready,SchedulingDisabled    54d           Ready,SchedulingDisabled    54d           Ready                                     54d          Ready                                     54d          Ready                                     54d          Ready                                     54d          Ready                                     54d

Inspecting the PDB, we can see that our allowed disruptions has gone from one to zero, indicating the application or service can no longer tolerate additional pods being down.

# oc get poddisruptionbudget
router-pdb    1                           0                                              23m

What happens if we try to drain our other infrastructure node? I have added a grace period and timeout to show the failure:

# oc adm drain --grace-period=10 --timeout=10s
node "" cordoned
There are pending pods when an error occurred: Drain did not complete within 10s
error: Drain did not complete within 10s

The drain operation failed as there was no room in the PDB. If you look at the logs, you would see the eviction request return an HTTP 429 - Too Many Requests, which in the case of PDBs, means the request failed but may be retried and succeed at another time.

# journalctl -u atomic-openshift-node.service | grep 'router-8-1zm7k'
I0830 11:00:36.593260   12112 panics.go:76] POST /api/v1/namespaces/default/pods/router-8-1zm7k/eviction: (11.416163ms) 429

Running the same drain again with no timeout, you would see it waiting indefinitely to try complete:

# oc adm drain
node "" cordoned


pod "router-2-kjs96" evicted
node "" drained

While the above drain is waiting, make schedulable again:

# oc adm manage-node --schedulable
NAME                               STATUS    AGE      Ready       54d

Watching your pods as that happens, you see router-2-kjs96 is still running.  After that, router-2-lbjbk goes from pending to creating to running. Provided that the new pod is Running, the available disruption budget will go back to one and the drain will terminate router-2-kjs96. If the pod successfully terminates, the drain completes. When is marked schedulable again the second router replica will redeploy as well.

# oc get pods -o wide -w
NAME                  READY      STATUS                   RESTARTS   AGE    NODE
router-2-kjs96      1/1              Running                   0                    42d
router-2-lbjbk       0/1              Pending                   0                    5m      <none>
router-2-lbjbk       0/1              ContainerCreating   0                    6m
router-2-lbjbk       0/1              Running                   0                    6m
router-2-lbjbk       1/1              Running                   0                    6m
router-2-kjs96      1/1              Terminating              0                    42d
router-2-gqhh6    0/1              Pending                    0                    0s       <none>
router-2-kjs96      0/1             Terminating               0                    42d
router-2-gqhh6    0/1              Pending                    0                    31s     <none>
router-2-gqhh6    0/1              ContainerCreating    0                    31s
router-2-gqhh6    0/1              Running                    0                    37s
router-2-gqhh6    1/1              Running                    0                    51s

As clusters continue to grow, PDBs offer an elegant way to define the needs of the application as a first-class citizen. Now is a great time to start the discussion with your development teams!

gplus.jpgMatt Robson is a senior Middleware Technical Account Manager and OpenShift subject matter expert based in Toronto. He has spent the last 10+ years designing, implementing, testing and tuning large scale middleware and cloud infrastructure for large corporations.

Twitter: #RHTAM

Find more posts by Matt at

A Red Hat Technical Account Manager (TAM) is a specialized product expert who works collaboratively with IT organizations to strategically plan for successful deployments and help realize optimal performance and growth. The TAM is part of Red Hat’s world-class Customer Experience and Engagement organization and provides proactive advice and guidance to help you identify and address potential problems before they occur. Should a problem arise, your TAM will own the issue and engage the best resources to resolve it as quickly as possible with minimal disruption to your business.

Connect with TAMs at a Red Hat Convergence event near you! Red Hat Convergence is a free, invitation-only event offering technical users an opportunity to deepen their Red Hat product knowledge and discover new ways to apply open source technology to meet their business goals. These events travel to cities around the world to provide you with a convenient, local one-day experience to learn and connect with Red Hat experts and industry peers.



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