Kubernetes nodes are essentially the core building blocks of Kubernetes clusters. As a thumb rule, people say that more nodes in a cluster equal higher availability and performance. But, that doesn’t mean that enterprises should just add an excessive number of nodes on their K8s clusters. Such addition could lead to resource and cost wastage. 

The easiest way to determine the number of nodes is to assess performance and availability requirements in advance and deploy nodes accordingly. Here is a deeper look at the various parameters to consider in deciding the number of Kubernetes nodes to have in a cluster. 

Kubernetes Nodes and High Availability

The number of Kubernetes nodes in clusters has a direct relationship with the workload availability of the environment. For example, when there are only a few nodes to manage the workload, failure of a couple of them can lead to insufficient nodes to store the Kubernetes pods. Another example is when a master node (which manages all other ‘worker nodes’) fails, the entire cluster could collapse. 

How do you solve these issues? Although the number of nodes can vary, it’s safe to say that there should be at least two master nodes and a dozen or so worker nodes to ensure good availability and redundancy. The ideal number should be determined according to organizational needs.

Nodes and Performance

On any given node, parameters such as compute, memory, etc., can vary according to the creating server’s hardware profile and specifications. Teams need to determine how much resources each node delivers to the respective clusters. Therefore, in performance, the amount of resources plays a more significant role than the number of nodes. A few high-powered nodes can deliver better performance than a large number of low-powered nodes. 

It is always safe to keep a buffer above the performance you determine – say, about 20% – if there is a need to balance the cluster performance against sudden failures or peaks.

Physical or Virtual Machines 

Organizations must decide whether the Kubernetes nodes are based on physical, dedicated servers, virtual machines (VMs), or a combination of both. Compared to physical servers, VMs pose a greater risk to the nodes and clusters. Having a dedicated physical server for each node lessens the chance of multiple nodes failing together. On the other hand, it is slightly more expensive than VMs.Therefore, the ideal approach is using a mix physical of servers and VMs for Kubernetes nodes.

VEXXHOST Cloud Solutions

Kubernetes is evolving continuously, and enterprises need specialists to determine how their clusters should be run. VEXXHOST is Kubernetes certified and offers fully managed deployments with seamless integration, constant monitoring, and security. At VEXXHOST, we provide cloud solutions for a multitude of clients worldwide. We provide OpenStack-based clouds, including public clouds and dedicated and highly secure private cloud environments, ensuring utmost security and agility. 

VEXXHOST is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, and we have a special gift for you. Take advantage of our limited-time deal just to set up a one-time, OpenStack-based private cloud deployment – at just $15000! The cloud will be running on the latest OpenStack release, Wallaby, which allows you to run Kubernetes and VMs in the same environment, and can be deployed in your own data centers with your hardware. Furthermore, all these will be deployed and tested in under a month! 

What are you waiting for? Learn more!