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10 Kubernetes Namespace Best Practices

Kubernetes namespaces are a great way to organize and manage your resources, but there are some best practices to keep in mind. Here are 10 of the most important ones.

In Kubernetes, a namespace is a logical grouping of resources. By default, all resources in a Kubernetes cluster are in the same namespace. However, it is often useful to create multiple namespaces to group related resources together.

There are a few best practices to keep in mind when working with Kubernetes namespaces. In this article, we will discuss 10 of those best practices.

1. Namespaces should be used for multitenancy and access control

When you have multiple teams working in the same Kubernetes cluster, it’s important to isolate each team’s resources from the others. This way, one team can’t accidentally delete or modify another team’s resources.

Namespaces provide a logical boundary for resources in a Kubernetes cluster, and they can be used to control which users have access to which resources. For example, you could create a namespace for each team and then grant each team access to only their own namespace.

This is an important best practice because it helps prevent accidental deletion or modification of resources, and it also helps to keep your Kubernetes cluster organized.

2. Use a separate namespace for each environment (dev, test, prod)

When you use the same namespace for all environments, it’s difficult to keep track of which resources belong to which environment. This can lead to confusion and errors when you’re trying to manage or delete resources.

Using separate namespaces for each environment helps to avoid these problems by clearly delineating which resources belong to which environment.

3. Limit the number of namespaces per cluster to reduce complexity

As the number of namespaces in a cluster increases, so does the complexity of managing them. This is because each namespace must be managed individually, and there are only so many resources (such as CPU and memory) to go around.

Additionally, more namespaces means more potential for conflicts between them. For example, two namespaces may have objects with the same name but different configurations. This can lead to confusion and errors when trying to manage these objects.

Finally, having too many namespaces can make it difficult to find the one you’re looking for. This is especially true if they are not well organized.

For these reasons, it’s important to limit the number of namespaces in a Kubernetes cluster to reduce complexity and improve manageability.

4. Create a single namespace for all system components

When you create multiple namespaces, each with its own set of resources, it can quickly become difficult to manage. For example, if you have a development namespace and a production namespace, you might end up with two copies of the same resource in each namespace. This can lead to inconsistencies and errors.

By creating a single namespace for all system components, you can avoid these problems. All resources will be stored in a central location, making it easier to manage and update them. This also makes it easier to track changes and ensure that all resources are always up-to-date.

5. Don’t use namespaces as an alternative to RBAC

RBAC is the primary mechanism for authorization and access control in Kubernetes. It should be used to control which users or groups have access to which resources in a cluster.

Namespaces, on the other hand, are primarily used for resource isolation. They can be used to group related resources together, but they should not be used as the primary mechanism for controlling access to resources.

If you try to use namespaces as an alternative to RBAC, you’ll quickly run into problems. For example, let’s say you have two teams that need to access different parts of the same application. You could create a namespace for each team, but then you’d need to give each team access to the entire namespace. This would defeat the purpose of using namespaces for resource isolation.

The correct way to solve this problem is to use RBAC to control access to the resources in each namespace. This way, you can give each team the exact level of access they need, without giving them any more access than they need.

6. Avoid using default namespace

The default namespace is a catch-all for resources that are not explicitly placed in a namespace. This can quickly lead to resource contention and confusion, as multiple teams attempt to use the same resources.

Creating separate namespaces for each team or project is a much better way to organize your Kubernetes cluster. This will help to avoid any conflicts and make it easier to manage your resources.

7. Use labels to identify resources in different namespaces

When you have multiple namespaces, it can be difficult to keep track of which resources belong to which namespace. This is especially true if you have a lot of resources in each namespace. By using labels, you can quickly and easily identify the resources in each namespace, which makes managing your Kubernetes environment much easier.

Applying labels to resources is simple. Just add the label to the resource’s metadata:

metadata:
labels:
name: my-label

Now, when you view the resource in the Kubernetes dashboard, you’ll see the label displayed next to the resource name:

my-label

This makes it easy to see at a glance which resources belong to which namespace.

Using labels is an essential best practice for using Kubernetes namespaces effectively.

8. Use resource quotas to limit resource consumption

When you create a new namespace, Kubernetes sets no default resource limits for that namespace. This means that any containers created in that namespace can consume as much CPU and memory as they want, which could lead to contention with other containers in the same namespace or even on the same node.

To avoid this, it’s important to set resource quotas for each namespace. This will ensure that each container in that namespace only consumes the resources it needs, and that no one container can monopolize all of the resources.

Resource quotas can be set using the kubectl create quota command. For more information, see the official Kubernetes documentation.

9. Deploy network policies to isolate traffic between namespaces

When you have multiple namespaces in your Kubernetes cluster, you need a way to control the traffic between them. By default, all traffic is allowed between namespaces, but this can be a security risk.

Network policies give you fine-grained control over the traffic that is allowed into and out of a namespace. For example, you could allow only traffic from a specific namespace, or you could allow only traffic that is encrypted.

Isolating traffic between namespaces is a vital security measure, and it’s one that is easy to implement with network policies.

10. Use tools like kubens to switch between namespaces easily

Kubernetes namespaces help you organize your resources in the cluster and keep them separate from other resources. This is especially important when you have multiple teams working on the same cluster, or when you want to isolate certain resources for security or performance reasons.

However, dealing with multiple namespaces can be a pain, because you have to constantly specify the namespace when running commands. This is where kubens comes in. It’s a simple tool that allows you to switch between namespaces easily, so you don’t have to constantly remember which namespace you’re supposed to be using.

To use kubens, simply run the command kubens , and it will automatically switch to that namespace. You can also use the -l flag to list all of the available namespaces.

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