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Working With ClusterIP Service Type In Kubernetes

Working with services in Kubernetes Using ClusterIP

In continuation to my last piece on working with services :

where we discussed how we can enable the external world application to talk to our internal pods deployed in the k8s cluster by making use of the NodePort type service. Today I am excited to discuss Kubernetes services in more detail by venturing into the role of ClusterIP as one of the prominent services to enable communications of multiple pods within the cluster.

But, before we jump into the ClusterIP type service, let’s again understand what is Services in K8s briefly

What Are Services in K8s?

In Kubernetes, a Service is an abstraction that defines a logical set of Pods and a policy by which to access them, this kind of patterns is also sometimes called a micro-service.

If you are from a programming background and have been an API developer you must be familiar with the term REST object, services in k8s is quite similar to this REST object.

  • One can POST a Service definition to the API server to create a new instance.
  • The name of a Service object must be a valid DNS label name.

Each pod in the Kubernetes cluster has got the cluster IP and Network IP, but these pods cannot be directly accessed externally as those IPs are not exposed outside the cluster without a Service.

Kubernetes services allow our applications to be exposed to receive external world traffic, and also helps these pods lying in the node cluster to communicate with each other internally.

Types of Kubernetes Service:

Kubernetes Services allows external connection to the internal cluster Pods and also manages internal communication among the Pods within the cluster via different Services type in defined int the ServiceSpec.

These service types are

  • ClusterIP
  • NodePort
  • LoadBalancer

NodePort we have already covered in my last article :

Let me today help you all, understand ClusterIP type and its implementation using YAML file definition and Kubectl commands.

What Is ClusterIP?

A Society Analogy :

If you have lived in the gated society in the metro cities, you would have experienced that this society comprises multiple high-rise towers with multiple flats belonging to individual towers. Multiple families reside within each flat of the given tower. Imagine each tower having its own common address which in turn has a gateway to multiple flats with their own unique address, so if one has to reach out to a particular flat in tower B, it has to first locate the tower B gate address and then will be getting the access of local flat address lying within the tower B.

The address of tower A & Tower B can be considered similar to ClusterIP, this cluster IP’s of each tower acts like a single endpoint/ gateway (Service)to connect to each pod (Family) living in the given cluster having their own local IP addresses.

Let’s Understand ClusterIP Further With One More Example:

In any given cluster node there can be multiple types of Pods viz

  • Front-end pod
  • Backend pods
  • Redis pods
  • Database MySQL pods


Each of these types of pods lying within an internal cluster will have a different internal network IP, which is liable to change. In order, to talk to each other. For example, the front-end pod may be talking to the backend pods, backend pods, in turn, may require to talk to Redis pods, there is the requirement for a more reliable and efficient mechanism, ClusterIP is our friend here.

Refer to the image below:

As can be clearly seen that whenever a front-end pod wants to communicate with backend pods, it has to simply communicate to a ClusterIP service named backend, which is a single endpoint service managing the communication to all backend pods. Similarly, if backend pods need to access the Redis cache service it has to make a service call to cluster IP service named Redis, which will allow the backend pods to communicate to respective Redis pods.

To summarize: These common backend / Redis services are the virtual IP’s also known as ClusterIP type service, which effectively allows one pod type to communicate to another Pod type in the given cluster Node.

Defining ClusterIP Service Type: (YAML)

Let’s put CluserIP to work, by defining the sample ClusterIP service YAML file:

my-cluster-ip-demo.yaml file:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
name: Backend
type: ClusterIP
- targetPort: 80
port: 80

Let’s Define A Sample Front-End Pod:

And bind it to our ClusterIP service defined in my-cluster-ip-demo.yaml file

my-demo-pod.yaml file :

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
name: my-demo-pod
app: my-test-pod
type: mobile-front-end-app
- name: nginx-container
image: nginx

Now we have a pod, with the label: my-demo-pod, let’s map this label to our service definition file to create our ClusterIP services, in order to do so we will have to define a new parameter called selector, in the spec section, and pull the label parameter and place it under selector field as shown below

Backend Service: (ClusterIP type )

my-cluster-ip-demo.yaml file:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
name: Backend
type: ClusterIP
- targetPort: 80
port: 80

name: my-demo-pod
type: front-end-app

Now that we have defined all the required YAML files it is time to create and compile those YAML file using kubectl command

So let’s first create a pod file as defined in our, my-demo-pod.yaml file above

Open your Kubernetes cluster terminal : (minikube cluster in case you are on the local machine )

  • Create my-demo-pod.yaml using vim command
  • Copy-paste the YAML code defined my-demo-pod.yaml file
  • create the pod using the command below
$ kubectl apply -f test-pod.yaml


Our pod file my-pod-demo has been created and running

Now that we have our pod file up and running, it’s time to create service as defined in our “my-cluster-ip-demo.yaml file “

  • create my-cluster-ip-demo.yaml using vim command
  • copy paste the YAML code defined in my-cluster-ip-demo.yaml file
  • create the service pod using the command below
$ kubectl create -f my-cluster-ip-demo.yaml


Our service of type ClusterIP has been successfully created and has been bound to our demo using pod using selector as shown below :

$ kubectl describe svc backend

What’s Next?

We have covered NodePort & ClusterIP services type in detail so far and understood how one can define and create such services using YAML file defintionn and Kubectl CLI. But still we have not covered one more important K8s service type called “LoadBalancer

We will look into this in our next piece of working with services in K8s , till then its time to sign-off with this

Food for Thought: #ChandrayanLogy

It will always be your desire to learn every single day something new from this life which will make your life worthy and fulfilling, so keep learning and keep growing and eventually you will find your true purpose to remain blissful no matter what

Thank you for reading and supporting my passion to write and share …




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