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Kubernetes Service-type Load Balancer with Kube-Vip

Kube-Vip is a load balancer that takes a lightweight and multi-architecture approach.

Kubernetes Service-type Load Balancer with Kube-Vip

Want a streamlined service type: LoadBalancer solution with a focus on high availability for your Kubernetes cluster on metal? Kube-Vip might just be the answer you’ve been looking for.

Kube-Vip takes a lightweight and multi-architecture approach to Kubernetes load balancing. It focuses on providing both highly available (HA) networking endpoints and additional functionality for underlying network services by creating support for not only a HA control plane but also service type: LoadBalancer functionality.

What’s in this guide?

Kube-Vip provides various solutions for load balancing inside and outside a Kubernetes cluster. This guide will be focused on the features and integrations of Kube-Vip Kubernetes service type: LoadBalancer that work with Equinix Metal. We will be exploring Kube-Vip’s key features and deployment considerations.

Understanding Kube-Vip

Kube-Vip provides a decoupled centralized type: LoadBalancer solution for Kubernetes. It enables you to handle both the life cycles of Virtual IPs (VIPs) for high availability (HA) and for Kubernetes load balancing. Being able to handle load balancing within and outside of a cluster using one tool can streamline your load balancing solution.

While Kube-Vip does provide solutions for load balancing inside and outside a Kubernetes cluster this guide will be focused on the features and integrations of Kube-Vip Kubernetes service type: LoadBalancer that work with Equinix Metal.

So, why use Kube-Vip for service type: LoadBalancer on metal? Well, here are a couple key reasons to consider:

  • Easy manifest deployment.

  • Supports management via BGP or ARP functionality.

  • Supported by core Equinix Metal integration (CCM, Packet API).

  • It currently powers both Google Anthos Bare-Metal and VMware Tanzu Grid.

Kube-Vip type: LoadBalancer


For more information on Kube-Vip architecture, see the official in-depth Kube-Vip architecture guide. Please note that you can find the type: LoadBalancer instructions under the Load Balancing (Inside a cluster) section in the architecture guide.

Kube-Vip Service type: LoadBalancer features

Kube-Vip provides a high availability solution for Kubernetes service type: LoadBalancer on metal by providing key features such as:

  • Leader election for ARP (Layer 2)

  • Multiple nodes with BGP

  • Address pools per namespace or global

  • Addresses via an existing network DHCP

  • Address exposure to gateway via UPNP

  • Manifest generation

  • Vender API Integrations

For more information on Kube-Vip features find more information on the features section of the Kube-Vip official github project.

Kube-Vip BGP support

Kube-Vip was updated to support BGP as a VIP failover mechanism in version 0.1.8. This allows nodes that are selected as leaders to update their peers in order for traffic to be routed through the newly elected node. Flags have been added in order to enable functionality such as:

  • Enabling BGP support within Kube-Vip

  • Showing local AS number

  • Showing the local router address

  • Showing the AS number for a BGP peer

  • Showing the address of a BGP peer

Kube-Vip has Equinix-Metal-specific integration support that allows the usage of the Equinix Metal API to determine the BGP configuration being used for the nodes in the cluster. As long as the BGP flag is enabled, --bgp in Kube-Vip you can pass the following Equinix-Metal-specific flags:

  • packet

  • packetKey

  • packetProject

The example below, taken from the Kube-Vip documentation, shows the flags being used to start all pods in active mode, which will allow nodes to advertise the VIP to the routers when a service is exposed.

- name: vip_packet
  value: "true"
- name: vip_packetproject
  value: "My Project"
  value: "XXYZZYVVY"

Alternatively, when coupled with the Equinix Metal integration, Cloud Controller Manager (CCM), Kube-Vip can read the node annotations written by the CCM (the Equinix Metal BGP configuration). This allows Kube-Vip to inherit the BGP configuration with minimal or no input from whomever is deploying Kube-Vip.

Kube-Vip also offers additional BGP features that are key to any metal setup. Features such as:

  • Multi-hop support

  • Password support

  • Equinix Metal CCM config maps support

For more information on Kube-Vip BGP support please visit the Kube-Vip official documentation.

Equinix Metal Support

Deploying Kube-Vip

You will need

So, what do you need to get started? Kube-VIP works on all core Linux-based operating systems, though for reference, most of its official documentation uses Ubuntu as the example OS.

While Kube-Vip offers a few ways to deploy a service type: LoadBalancer, you can find a general getting started guide for getting a sample Kube-Vip type: LoadBalancer, please see the Kube-Vip official documentation.


The simplest way to deploy Kube-Vip is by using the subcommand manifest pod|daemonset to deploy a pod/daemonset. You can find additional information on deploying Kube-Vip manifests on the official Kube-Vip installation guide.

Kube-Vip type: LoadBalancer deployments:

  • Layer2/ARP Deployment

  • Layer3/BGP Deployment

Layer2/ARP Deployment

Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) is a protocol that enables us to find out the layer 2 link or MAC address that is associated with the given IP Address. You can find additional information about using ARP with Kube-Vip’s official ARP deployment guide.

In order to get ARP up and running on Kube-Vip, ipvs has to have strict ARP enabled. You can do this by following the commands listed on the Kube-Vip ARP deployment guide or shown below:

Checking the strict ARP value:

$ kubectl describe configmap -n kube-system kube-proxy | grep ARP

strictARP: false

Then enabling the strictARP value if false:

$ kubectl get configmap kube-proxy -n kube-system -o yaml | \
  sed -e "s/strictARP: false/strictARP: true/" | \
  kubectl apply -f - -n kube-system

Layer3/BGP Deployment

Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is an industry standard for exchanging routing and reachability information among systems. Using BGP opens up a lot of possibilities for your Kubernetes network such as routable pod and service IPs which wouldn't be available in most cloud environments.

You can find Kube-Vip’s official BGP deployment guide on their website

So, what's next?

Kube-Vip provides a flexible solution for your HA service type: LoadBalancer needs. You can find additional resources and information on Kube-Vip and Kubernetes load balancing below.

Last updated

03 June, 2024



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