Sniff Kubernetes Pod requests and headers using tpcdump

When your fancy observability tools have failed you there’s still trusty tpcdump

The was done on Ubuntu. YMMV on other distros.

Exec into a pod

kubectl exec -it my-pod-name sh


cat /sys/class/net/eth0/iflink
> 588 # container eth id

It should return a number, the container eth id

Now run

kubectl describe po my-pod-name | grep Node

To find out the node it’s running on

SSH into the node then run below to find the eni id

ip link | grep 588
> eni89aabc12345

Now use tcpdump to sniff the requests coming in

tcpdump -A -i eni89aabc12345

To capture a specific header

tcpdump -A -i eni89aabc12345 | grep -i X-Real-IP -C 5

AWS Double Charges Cross AZ Traffic and Two Solutions

Recently I saw an intriguing article by Corey Quinn of His finding was that although AWS lists cross AZ traffic as costing $0.10 / GB on their documentation, cross AZ traffic actually costs $0.20 / GB; they double charge – charging you for data going out of an AZ and again for going into the other AZ.

This pricing is the same as cross region traffic – $0.20 / GB !

When I read this, it was hard to believe! For the last couple of years, I’ve always thought that cross AZ traffic is cheaper than cross region. Many of my co-workers believed the same as well.

I just had to recreate the cross AZ tests in the post to convince my self.

The test is simple as Corey was kind enough to detail the steps. I’ve added some additional details below to make it even easier to recreate.

I chose a region where I had absolutely nothing running in it to factor out any external factors.

The Bill

Per the test, I sent 10GB of traffic from an EC2 in us-west-2a to another in us-west-2b. Once the bill came in, I was charged for 20GB of data. So every 1GB transferred counted as 2.

Cross AZ bills

Talking to AWS Support

After reaching out to AWS, they confirmed the results I saw. While the docs do not expliclity state that cross AZ costs are “double charged”, it does state that data “is charged at $0.01/GB each direction.”
Ingress egress price

Reducing cross AZ data costs

As most organizations today deploy their services across multiple AZs for high availability, it’s difficult to reduce cross AZ data without the right architecture.

Here are two concepts being used today to combat rising cloud costs (note: implementing either is not easy!)

Service mesh (Envoy, Istio, etc.)

By adopting service mesh architecture, it’s possible to force service to service communication to be within the same AZ.

For example, if a service A container is running in us-east-1a, a service mesh sidecar container running alongside it can ensure all requests goto services also running in 1a.

Implementing this with Envoy can be done through the zone aware routing feature or by using the Endpoint Discovery Service to dynamically send instances of your service endpoints (IP addresses) that are in the same AZ.

Cluster per AZ

This is a model being adopted by companies at scale like Tinder, Lyft and Reddit. They’re making it possible by using Kubernetes. The idea here is to have a production cluster per AZ, where each cluster has a complete replica of all your services – each cluster is an independent copy.

Cluster / AZ. Image taken from Reddit k8s talk

All communication within each cluster is done in the same AZ as the traffic is pinned inside.

Of course, any shared data stores must be located outside the clusters. Managed data stores such as S3, DynamoDB and ElastiCache make a good fit.

Using AWS ElastiCache Redis with Spinnaker

To productionalize a Spinnaker installation for high availability, one of the recommendations is to use an external Redis store, such as AWS ElasticCache. This guide will go over how to migrate a Kubernetes installation of Spinnaker to an AWS ElasticCache Redis instance using Halyard.

All config files (with the proper directory structure) used in this guide can be found in this this repo: ysawa0/spinnaker-elasticcache-redis

spinnaker logo elasticcache logo

Create the ElastiCache instance


Keep Cluster Mode unchecked.

Node type will depend on your needs and budget, here we chose a m5.large

For Engine Version choose 3.2.10.

Configure Halyard and update Spinnaker


After the instance is created, copy the Primary Endpoint for the cluster.

If you want to update all Spinnaker services at once, place this snippet into ~/.hal/default/service-settings/redis.yml, and replace $REDIS_PRIMARY_ENDPOINT with your endpoint.

overrideBaseUrl: redis://$REDIS_PRIMARY_ENDPOINT
skipLifeCycleManagement: true

To update each Spinnaker service at a time, place the below into ~/.hal/default/profile-settings/$SERVICE-local.yml

Where $SERVICE would be orca, clouddriver, gate, etc.

services.redis.baseUrl: redis://$REDIS_PRIMARY_ENDPOINT

Lastly, after updating the base URLs, place this into ~/.hal/default/profiles/gate-local.yml.

secure: true

Now update Spinnaker by running hal deploy apply.

After you confirm that everything is working as expected, it’s time to disable the spin-redis service.

Update ~/.hal/default/service-settings/redis.yml by inserting enabled: false

overrideBaseUrl: redis://$REDIS_PRIMARY_ENDPOINT
skipLifeCycleManagement: true
enabled: false

And scale down the Redis Deployment to 0 replicas in Kubernetes.

kubectl scale deploy spin-redis -n spinnaker --replicas=0

Now sit back, relax and enjoy having to monitor one less data store.