SPDX-License-Identifier: Apache-2.0
Copyright (c) 2021 Intel Corporation



Edge deployments consist of both network functions and applications. Cloud-native solutions such as Kubernetes* typically expose only one interface to the application or network function pods. These interfaces are typically bridged interfaces. This means that network functions like Base station or Core network User plane functions and applications such as CDN are limited by the default interface. To address this, two key networking features must be enabled: 1) Enable a Kubernetes like orchestration environment to provision more than one interface to the application and network function pods. 2) Enable the allocation of dedicated hardware interfaces to application and network function pods.

To enable multiple interface support in pods, Intel® Smart Edge Open uses the Multus* container network interface. Multus CNI is a container network interface (CNI) plugin for Kubernetes that enables the attachment of multiple network interfaces to pods.

How It Works

Typically, in Kubernetes, each pod only has one network interface (apart from a loopback). With Multus, user can create a multi-homed pod that has multiple interfaces. To accomplish this, Multus acts as a “meta-plugin”, a CNI plugin that can call multiple other CNI plugins. The Multus CNI follows the Kubernetes Network Custom Resource Definition De-facto Standard to provide a standardized method by which to specify the configurations for additional network interfaces. This standard is put forward by the Kubernetes Network Plumbing Working Group.

The figure below illustrates the network interfaces attached to a pod, as provisioned by the Multus CNI. The diagram shows the pod with three interfaces: eth0, net0, and net1. eth0 connects to the Kubernetes cluster network to connect with the Kubernetes server/services (kubernetes api-server, kubelet, etc.). net0 and net1 are additional network attachments and they connect to other networks by using other CNI plugins (e.g., vlan/vxlan/ptp).

Multus overview

Figure - Multus Overview

How To

Create and list NetworkAttachmentDefinition

The following example creates a NetworkAttachmentDefinition that can be used to provide an additional macvlan interface to a pod:

cat <<EOF | kubectl create -f -
apiVersion: ""
kind: NetworkAttachmentDefinition
  name: macvlan
  config: '{
    "name": "mynet",
    "type": "macvlan",
    "master": "virbr0",
    "ipam": {
      "type": "host-local",
      "subnet": "",
      "rangeStart": "",
      "rangeEnd": ""

To list defined configurations, use:

  kubectl get network-attachment-definitions

Create a pod that uses the previously created interface

Add an annotation to pod definition:

  apiVersion: v1
  kind: Pod
    name: samplepod
    annotations: macvlan
    - name: multitoolcont
      image: praqma/network-multitool

NOTE: More networks can be added after a comma in the same annotation.

Verify that the additional interface is configured

Run ip a in the deployed pod. The output should look similar to the following:

  1: lo: <LOOPBACK,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 65536 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN qlen 1000
    link/loopback 00:00:00:00:00:00 brd 00:00:00:00:00:00
    inet scope host lo
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
  2: net1@if178: <NO-CARRIER,BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP> mtu 1500 qdisc noqueue state LOWERLAYERDOWN
    link/ether 06:3d:10:e3:34:a4 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff link-netnsid 0
    inet scope global net1
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
  308: eth0@if309: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1400 qdisc noqueue state UP
    link/ether 0a:00:00:10:00:12 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff link-netnsid 0
    inet brd scope global eth0
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever