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The Kubernetes Metrics Server is a cluster-wide aggregator of resource usage data. Its work is to collect metrics from the Summary API, exposed by Kubelet on each node. Resource usage metrics, such as container CPU and memory usage are helpful when troubleshooting weird resource utilization. All these metrics are available in Kubernetes through the Metrics API.

The Metrics API has the amount of resource currently used by a given node or a given pod. Since it doesn’t store the metric values, Metrics Server is used for this purpose. The deployment yamls files are provided for installation in the Metrics Server project source code.

Download project source code from Github:

git clone

Navigate to the project folder:

cd metrics-server

Setting Flags

Metrics Server supports all the standard Kubernetes API server flags, as well as the standard Kubernetes glog logging flags. The most commonly-used ones are:

  • --logtostderr: log to standard error instead of files in the container. You generally want this on.
  • --v=<X>: set log verbosity. It’s generally a good idea to run a log level 1 or 2 unless you’re encountering errors. At log level 10, large amounts of diagnostic information will be reported, include API request and response bodies, and raw metric results from Kubelet.
  • --secure-port=<port>: set the secure port. If you’re not running as root, you’ll want to set this to something other than the default (port 443).
  • --tls-cert-file, --tls-private-key-file: the serving certificate and key files. If not specified, self-signed certificates will be generated. Use non-self-signed certificates in production.
  • --kubelet-certificate-authority: the path of the CA certificate to use for validate the Kubelet’s serving certificates.

Other flags to change Metrics Server behavior are:

  • --metric-resolution=<duration>: Interval at which metrics are scraped from Kubelets (defaults to 60s).
  • --kubelet-insecure-tls: skip verifying Kubelet CA certificates.
  • --kubelet-port: Port used to connect to the Kubelet (defaults to the default secure Kubelet port, 10250).
  • --kubelet-preferred-address-types: Order to consider Kubelet node address types when connecting to Kubelet.

Specify node address types order

I’ll modify the deployment manifest file to add the order in which to consider different Kubelet node address types when connecting to Kubelet.

vim deploy/1.8+/metrics-server-deployment.yaml

Modify like below:

      - name: metrics-server
          - --cert-dir=/tmp
          - --secure-port=4443
          - --kubelet-preferred-address-types=InternalIP,ExternalIP,Hostname

Disabling insecure CA certificates verification

If you’re using self signed certificates, you can use –kubelet-insecure-tls flag to skip verifying Kubelet CA certificates.

      - name: metrics-server
          - --cert-dir=/tmp
          - --secure-port=4443
          - --kubelet-insecure-tls
          - --kubelet-preferred-address-types=InternalIP,ExternalIP,Hostname

Deploy Metrics Server to Kubernetes

Once you have made the customization you need, deploy metrics-server in your Kubernetes cluster by running the following command from the top-level directory of this repository:

Switch to correct cluster if you have multiple Kubernetes clusters: Easily Manage Multiple Kubernetes Clusters with kubectl & kubectx.

Then run the command:

$ kubectl apply -f deploy/1.8+/ created created created created
serviceaccount/metrics-server created
deployment.apps/metrics-server created
service/metrics-server created created created

Check deployment, pod and service status:

$ kubectl get deployments metrics-server -n kube-system
metrics-server   1/1     1            1           72m

$ kubectl get pods  -A | grep  metrics-server 
kube-system   metrics-server-7bd949b8b6-mpmk9                             1/1     Running   0          33m

$ kubectl get svc metrics-server -n kube-system
NAME             TYPE        CLUSTER-IP    EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)   AGE
metrics-server   ClusterIP   <none>        443/TCP   74m

Test Metrics server installation

Lets display resource usage of Nodes – CPU/Memory/Storage:

$ kubectl top nodes
NAME                                  CPU(cores)   CPU%   MEMORY(bytes)   MEMORY%     196m         4%     1053Mi          14%     107m         2%     2080Mi          27%     107m         2%     2080Mi          27%     107m         2%     2080Mi          27%  

We can do same for pods – Show metrics for all pods in the default namespace

$ kubectl top pods
NAMESPACE     NAME                                                        CPU(cores)   MEMORY(bytes)   
kube-system   calico-kube-controllers-5c45f5bd9f-dk8jp                    1m           11Mi            
kube-system   calico-node-4h67w                                           32m          27Mi            
kube-system   calico-node-99vkm                                           35m          27Mi            
kube-system   calico-node-qdqb8                                           21m          27Mi            
kube-system   calico-node-sd9r8                                           21m          43Mi            
kube-system   coredns-6955765f44-d4g99                                    2m           12Mi            
kube-system   coredns-6955765f44-hqc4q                                    2m           11Mi            
kube-system   kube-proxy-h87zf                                            1m           12Mi            
kube-system   kube-proxy-lcnvx                                            1m           14Mi            
kube-system   kube-proxy-x6tfx                                            1m           16Mi            
kube-system   kube-proxy-xplz4                                            1m           16Mi            
kube-system   metrics-server-7bd949b8b6-mpmk9                             1m           10Mi        

Fore more command options check:

kubectl top pod --help
kubectl top node --help

Kubernetes mastery courses:

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Check other Kubernetes guides:

How To Manually Pull Container images used by Kubernetes kubeadm

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Create Kubernetes Service / User Account and restrict it to one Namespace with RBAC

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