Using a Microsoft AKS cluster to test Keydb's resilience with Python clients

Today's task: verifying that a Keydb cluster, when deployed via Helm with default values (apart from activating LoadBalancer Service and a custom password), could be resilient to the sudden death of any one of its composing Pods, with no client connection's disruption.

Also today's task: learn to interact with Redis/Keydb via Python.


Reusing an existing, test, AKS cluster

Here we are:

ferdi@DESKTOP-NL6I2OD:~/kind-python-keydb$ az aks list -o table
Name    Location       ResourceGroup             KubernetesVersion    CurrentKubernetesVersion    ProvisioningState    Fqdn
------  -------------  ------------------------  -------------------  --------------------------  -------------------  ------------------------------------------------------------------
keydb   francecentral  DefaultResourceGroup-PAR  1.23.12              1.23.12                     Succeeded  

Let's extract the related kubeconfig file

ferdi@DESKTOP-NL6I2OD:~/kind-python-keydb$ az aks get-credentials --admin --name keydb --resource-group DefaultResourceGroup-PAR --file ~/.kube/keydb.yml
The behavior of this command has been altered by the following extension: aks-preview
Merged "keydb-admin" as current context in /home/ferdi/.kube/keydb.yml

And making use of that, via Kubie multi-context manager.

ferdi@DESKTOP-NL6I2OD:~/kind-python-keydb$ sed -i 's/keydb-admin/keydb/g' /home/ferdi/.kube/keydb.yml
ferdi@DESKTOP-NL6I2OD:~/kind-python-keydb$ kubie ctx keydb
[keydb|default] ferdi@DESKTOP-NL6I2OD:~/kind-python-keydb$ kubectl get nodes
NAME                                STATUS   ROLES   AGE   VERSION
aks-nodepool1-21172355-vmss000000   Ready    agent   18d   v1.23.12
aks-nodepool1-21172355-vmss000001   Ready    agent   18d   v1.23.12
aks-nodepool1-21172355-vmss000002   Ready    agent   18d   v1.23.12

Installing Keydb cluster with default values (except for a password)

First of all, we need to add Keydb's Helm repo:

[kind|default] ferdi@DESKTOP-NL6I2OD:~/kind-python-keydb$ helm repo add enapter
"enapter" has been added to your repositories

Now we can perform a multi-master, active replica, three node Keydb cluster installation (with our carefully chosen password). Discovering what does our password mean is left as an exercise for the reader :-)

[kind|default] ferdi@DESKTOP-NL6I2OD:~/kind-python-keydb$ helm upgrade --install keydb enapter/keydb --set password="Savignone.2015" --set loadBalancer.enabled=true
Release "keydb" does not exist. Installing it now.
NAME: keydb
LAST DEPLOYED: Mon Nov 21 11:15:06 2022
NAMESPACE: default
STATUS: deployed

Reaching it

We're going to run our Python code from the local PC, so we need to discover the Public IP through which our Keydb cluster is exposed.

[keydb|default] ferdi@DESKTOP-NL6I2OD:~/kind-python-keydb$ kubectl get svc
NAME             TYPE           CLUSTER-IP    EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)             AGE
keydb            ClusterIP   <none>        6379/TCP,9121/TCP   19m
keydb-headless   ClusterIP      None          <none>        6379/TCP            19m
keydb-lb         LoadBalancer   EDITED        6379:31052/TCP      19m
kubernetes       ClusterIP      <none>        443/TCP             18d

Redis cluster support with Python

The go-to Python library redis-py to interact with Redis used to lack cluster support. In 2022, AWS people added this functionality (previously you had to choose another library to work with Redis clusters) to redis-py, as described here. However, when using this library against a KeyDB cluster, you should not instantiate a RedisCluster object: you should use the plain-and-simple Redis object, letting the internal KeyDB synchronization mechanism to work with your data. There is also a KeyDB-specific Python library but its development seems to have stopped 3 years ago.

A Python virtualenv

I'm assuming that your Linux environment already has Python (3.7+) installed, along with the customary python3-venv, python3-setuptools, python3-wheel packages. Let's create our virtual environment and proceed to install the Redis client library there.

ferdi@DESKTOP-NL6I2OD:~/kind-python-keydb$ python3 -m venv env
ferdi@DESKTOP-NL6I2OD:~/kind-python-keydb$ . env/bin/activate
(env) ferdi@DESKTOP-NL6I2OD:~/kind-python-keydb$ pip install redis
Collecting redis
  Downloading redis-4.3.4-py3-none-any.whl (246 kB)
     |████████████████████████████████| 246 kB 2.7 MB/s 
Collecting async-timeout>=4.0.2
  Using cached async_timeout-4.0.2-py3-none-any.whl (5.8 kB)
Collecting deprecated>=1.2.3
  Downloading Deprecated-1.2.13-py2.py3-none-any.whl (9.6 kB)
Collecting packaging>=20.4
  Using cached packaging-21.3-py3-none-any.whl (40 kB)
Collecting wrapt<2,>=1.10
  Downloading wrapt-1.14.1-cp38-cp38-manylinux_2_5_x86_64.manylinux1_x86_64.manylinux_2_17_x86_64.manylinux2014_x86_64.whl (81 kB)
     |████████████████████████████████| 81 kB 8.5 MB/s 
Collecting pyparsing!=3.0.5,>=2.0.2
  Using cached pyparsing-3.0.9-py3-none-any.whl (98 kB)
Installing collected packages: async-timeout, wrapt, deprecated, pyparsing, packaging, redis
Successfully installed async-timeout-4.0.2 deprecated-1.2.13 packaging-21.3 pyparsing-3.0.9 redis-4.3.4 wrapt-1.14.1
(env) ferdi@DESKTOP-NL6I2OD:~/kind-python-keydb$ pip freeze > requirements.txt
(env) ferdi@DESKTOP-NL6I2OD:~/kind-python-keydb$ cat requirements.txt 

Poor man's Redis reader and writer

The goal is to verify the resilience of a KeyDB cluster, so there's nothing fancy in the code, apart from the retry_with_backoff function shamelessly stolen from the Best Practices's AWS link.

import redis
import random
from time import sleep
from redis.exceptions import ConnectionError, TimeoutError

def run_with_backoff(function, retries=5):
    base_backoff = 0.1
    max_backoff  = 10
    tries = 0
    while True:
            return function()
        except (ConnectionError,TimeoutError):
            if tries >= retries:
            backoff = min(max_backoff, base_backoff * (pow(2, tries) + random.random()))
            print(f"sleeping for {backoff:.2f}s")
            tries += 1

from library import *


pool = redis.BlockingConnectionPool(host='EDITED',port='6379',password='Savignone.2015',decode_responses=True)
r = redis.Redis(connection_pool=pool)

while True:
    for i in range(1000):
        valore = random.getrandbits(64)
        rs = run_with_backoff(lambda: r.set(f"chiave{i}",valore))
        print(f"{i} {valore} {rs}")

from library import *


pool = redis.BlockingConnectionPool(host='EDITED',port='6379',password='Savignone.2015',decode_responses=True)
r = redis.Redis(connection_pool=pool)

while True:
    chiave = random.randint(0,999)
    valore = run_with_backoff(lambda: r.get(f"chiave{chiave}"))
    print(f"{chiave} {valore}")

First results

I launched both and from within the virtual environment, and I noticed that often, deleting one of the Pods part of the KeyDB StatefulSet, my client's connection was interrupted (and therefore the retry mechanism kicked in).

The customer, however, reads and writes Redis data in a way that doesn't tolerate connectivity loss.

So, next step: remove LoadBalancer Service from KeyDB (actually, I'm lazy, I'm letting it in place for now) and put HAProxy in front of it, exposing the proxy instead.

Putting HAProxy at work

First of all: kudos to Yaniv Ben Hemo for putting it simple with HAProxy on Kubernetes: relying on Kubernetes' DNS capabilities to resolve the individual KeyDB Pod's IP addresses is effective.

I've modified only the ConfigMap to reflect the fact that KeyDB is multi-master active-replica by default, and thus the writes can be distributed freely on each active backend node.

Additionally, I'm looking for role:active-replica and not role:master for the same reason.

Below there's a screenshot of HAProxy's stats page taken when I went berserk and killed two out of three KeyDB pods. Both reader and writer Python scripts never noticed (after having been pointed to the new* public IP).

HAProxy Stats page

And then, the complete YAML (Service, ConfigMap, Deployment) for our marvellous HAProxy.

apiVersion: /v1
kind: Service
  name: haproxy-service
  namespace: default
  type: LoadBalancer
    - name: dashboard
      port: 8080
      targetPort: 8080
    - name: redis-write
      port: 6379
      targetPort: 6379
    app: haproxy
apiVersion: v1
kind: ConfigMap
  name: haproxy-config
  namespace: default
  haproxy.cfg: |
        maxconn 256

        mode tcp
        timeout connect 5000ms
        timeout client 50000ms
        timeout server 50000ms

    frontend http
        bind :8080
        default_backend stats    

    backend stats
        mode http
        stats enable

        stats enable
        stats uri /
        stats refresh 1s
        stats show-legends
        stats admin if TRUE

    resolvers k8s
      hold other           10s
      hold refused         10s
      hold nx              10s
      hold timeout         10s
      hold valid           10s
      hold obsolete        10s

    frontend redis-write
        bind *:6379
        default_backend redis-online

    backend redis-online
        mode tcp
        balance roundrobin
        option tcp-check
        tcp-check send AUTH\ Savignone.2015\r\n
        tcp-check expect string +OK
        tcp-check send PING\r\n
        tcp-check expect string +PONG
      tcp-check send info\ replication\r\n
        tcp-check expect string role:active-replica
      server-template keydb 3 server._tcp.keydb-headless.default.svc.cluster.local:6379 check inter 1s resolvers k8s init-addr none

apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
  name: haproxy-deployment
  namespace: default
    app: haproxy
  replicas: 2
      app: haproxy
      name: haproxy-pod
        app: haproxy
            - labelSelector:
                - key: app
                  operator: In
                    - haproxy
              topologyKey: ""
        - name: haproxy
          image: haproxy:2.3
            - containerPort: 8080
            - containerPort: 6379
            - containerPort: 6380
          - name: config
            mountPath: /usr/local/etc/haproxy/haproxy.cfg
            subPath: haproxy.cfg
            readOnly: true
      restartPolicy: Always
      - name: config
          name: haproxy-config