Scale down / "pause" Kubernetes workload (
CronJobs too !) during non-work hours.
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Deploymentsare interchangeable by any kind of supported workload for this whole guide unless explicitly stated otherwise.
The complete list of supported workload is defined here.
Kube-downscaler will scale down the deployment's replicas if all of the following
conditions are met:
current time is not part of the "uptime" schedule or is part of the "downtime" schedule.
If true, the schedules are evaluated in the following order:
downscaler/downtimeannotation on the workload definition
downscaler/uptimeannotation on the workload definition
downscaler/downtimeannotation on the workload's namespace
downscaler/uptimeannotation on the workload's namespace
The workload's namespace is not part of the exclusion list:
- If you provide an exclusion list, it will be used in place
of the default (which includes only
- If you provide an exclusion list, it will be used in place of the default (which includes only
The workload's name is not part of the exclusion list
The workload is not marked for exclusion (annotation
There are no active pods that force the whole cluster into uptime (annotation
The deployment, by default, will be scaled down to zero replicas. This can
be configured with a deployment or its namespace's annotation of
or via CLI with
In case of
minReplicas field cannot be set to zero and thus
downscaler/downtime-replicas should be at least
-> See later in #Usage notes
CronJobs, their state will be defined to
suspend: true as you might expect.
Example use cases
- Deploy the downscaler to a test (non-prod) cluster with a default uptime or downtime time range to scale down all deployments during the night and weekend.
- Deploy the downscaler to a production cluster without any default
uptime/downtime setting and scale down specific deployments by
downscaler/downtime) annotation. This might be useful for internal tooling frontends which are only needed during work time.
You need to combine the downscaler with an elastic cluster autoscaler to actually save cloud costs. The official cluster autoscaler and the kube-aws-autoscaler were tested to work fine with the downscaler.
$ kubectl apply -f deploy/
In case you are deploying
kube-downscaler to another namespace than
default, for example if your context is pointing to
Make sure you change the
deploy/rbac.yaml Service Account
namespace: default to the destination namespace
my-namespace, instead of
The example configuration uses the
--dry-run as a safety flag to
prevent downscaling --- remove it to enable the downscaler, e.g. by
editing the deployment:
$ kubectl edit deploy kube-downscaler
The example deployment manifests come with a configured uptime
deploy/config.yaml sets it to "Mon-Fri 07:30-20:30 CET"), you can
overwrite this per namespace or deployment, e.g.:
$ kubectl run nginx --image=nginx $ kubectl annotate deploy nginx 'downscaler/uptime=Mon-Fri 09:00-17:00 America/Buenos_Aires'
Note that the default grace period of 15 minutes applies to the new nginx deployment, i.e.
- if the current time is not within
Mon-Fri 9-17 (Buenos Aires timezone), it will downscale not immediately, but after 15 minutes. The downscaler will eventually log something like:
INFO: Scaling down Deployment default/nginx from 1 to 0 replicas (uptime: Mon-Fri 09:00-17:00 America/Buenos_Aires, downtime: never)
Note that in cases where a
HorizontalPodAutoscaler (HPA) is used along
with Deployments, consider the following:
- If downscale to 0 replicas is desired, the annotation should be
applied on the
Deployment. This is a special case, since
minReplicasof 0 on HPA is not allowed. Setting Deployment replicas to 0 essentially disables the HPA. In such a case, the HPA will emit events like
failed to get memory utilization: unable to get metrics for resource memory: no metrics returned from resource metrics APIas there is no Pod to retrieve metrics from.
- If downscale greater than 0 is desired, the annotation should be
applied on the HPA. This allows for dynamic scaling of the Pods even
during downtime based upon the external traffic as well as maintain
minReplicasduring downtime if there is no/low traffic. If the Deployment is annotated instead of the HPA, it leads to a race condition where
kube-downscalerscales down the Deployment and HPA upscales it as its
To enable Downscaler on HPA with
ensure to add the following annotations to Deployment and HPA.
$ kubectl annotate deploy nginx 'downscaler/exclude=true' $ kubectl annotate hpa nginx 'downscaler/downtime-replicas=1' $ kubectl annotate hpa nginx 'downscaler/uptime=Mon-Fri 09:00-17:00 America/Buenos_Aires'
Uptime / downtime spec
The downscaler is configured via command line args, environment variables and/or Kubernetes annotations.
Time definitions (e.g.
DEFAULT_UPTIME) accept a comma separated list
of specifications, e.g. the following configuration would downscale all
deployments for non-work hours:
DEFAULT_UPTIME="Mon-Fri 07:30-20:30 Europe/Berlin"
To only downscale during the weekend and Friday after 20:00:
DEFAULT_DOWNTIME="Sat-Sun 00:00-24:00 CET,Fri-Fri 20:00-24:00 CET'
Each time specification can be in one of two formats:
- Recurring specifications have the format
<WEEKDAY-FROM>-<WEEKDAY-TO-INCLUSIVE> <HH>:<MM>-<HH>:<MM> <TIMEZONE>. The timezone value can be any Olson timezone, e.g. "US/Eastern", "PST" or "UTC".
- Absolute specifications have the format
<TIME>is an ISO 8601 date and time of the format
Alternative logic, based on periods
Instead of strict uptimes or downtimes, you can chose time periods for upscaling or downscaling. The time definitions are the same. In this case, the upscale or downscale happens only on time periods, rest of times will be ignored.
If upscale or downscale periods are configured, uptime and downtime will
be ignored. This means that some options are mutually exclusive, e.g.
you can either use
--default-downtime, but not
This definition will downscale your cluster between 19:00 and 20:00. If you upscale your cluster manually, it won't be scaled down until next day 19:00-20:00.
DOWNSCALE_PERIOD="Mon-Sun 19:00-20:00 Europe/Berlin"
Command Line Options
Available command line options:
Dry run mode: do not change anything, just print what would be done
Debug mode: print more information
Run loop only once and exit
Loop interval (default: 30s)
Restrict the downscaler to work only in a single namespace (default: all namespaces). This is mainly useful for deployment scenarios where the deployer of kube-downscaler only has access to a given namespace (instead of cluster access). If used simultaneously with
--exclude-namespaces, none is applied.
Downscale resources of this kind as comma separated list. [deployments, statefulsets, stacks, horizontalpodautoscalers] (default: deployments)
Grace period in seconds for new deployments before scaling them down (default: 15min). The grace period counts from time of creation of the deployment, i.e. updated deployments will immediately be scaled down regardless of the grace period.
Alternative logic to scale up only in given period of time (default: never), can also be configured via environment variable
UPSCALE_PERIODor via the annotation
downscaler/upscale-periodon each deployment
Alternative logic to scale down only in given period of time (default: never), can also be configured via environment variable
DOWNSCALE_PERIODor via the annotation
downscaler/downscale-periodon each deployment
Default time range to scale up for (default: always), can also be configured via environment variable
DEFAULT_UPTIMEor via the annotation
downscaler/uptimeon each deployment
Default time range to scale down for (default: never), can also be configured via environment variable
DEFAULT_DOWNTIMEor via the annotation
downscaler/downtimeon each deployment
Exclude namespaces from downscaling (list of regex patterns, default: kube-system), can also be configured via environment variable
EXCLUDE_NAMESPACES. If used simultaneously with
--namespace, none is applied.
Exclude specific deployments/statefulsets/cronjobs from downscaling (default: kube-downscaler, downscaler), can also be configured via environment variable
EXCLUDE_DEPLOYMENTS. Despite its name, this option will match the name of any included resource type (Deployment, StatefulSet, CronJob, ..).
Default value of replicas to downscale to, the annotation
downscaler/downtime-replicastakes precedence over this value.
Optional: name of the annotation that would be used instead of the creation timestamp of the resource. This option should be used if you want the resources to be kept scaled up during a grace period (
--grace-period) after a deployment. The format of the annotation's timestamp value must be exactly the same as for Kubernetes'
%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%SZ. Recommended: set this annotation by your deployment tooling automatically.
FORCE_UPTIME and exclusion can
also be configured using Namespace annotations. Where configured these
values supersede the other global default values.
apiVersion: v1 kind: Namespace metadata: name: foo labels: name: foo annotations: downscaler/uptime: Mon-Sun 07:30-18:00 CET
The following annotations are supported on the Namespace level:
downscaler/uptime: set "uptime" for all resources in this namespace
downscaler/downtime: set "downtime" for all resources in this namespace
downscaler/force-uptime: force scaling up all resources in this namespace - can be
falseor a period
downscaler/exclude: set to
trueto exclude all resources in the namespace
downscaler/exclude-until: temporarily exclude all resources in the namespace until the given timestamp
downscaler/downtime-replicas: overwrite the default target replicas to scale down to (default: zero)
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