Scheduling (Taints and Labels)


  • In k8s, labels on nodes are used to influence pod scheduling (e.g. confine pods to certain nodes)

  • Taints are used to prevent pods from scheduling on nodes unless they specifically tolerate a taint

  • We want to be able to confine certain services we provide (e.g. Rook and Monitoring) away from the worker nodes


Kubernetes labels and taints are key-value pairs. Per key and type (label/taint), there can be only one value on a node. In addition to the key and value, taints also have an effect, which defines what the taint does. Typically, it is NoSchedule (which prevents pods from being scheduled there unless they tolerate that specific taint or the NoSchedule effect in general).

See also:

Assigning labels and taints

Labels and taints of a node are parsed, processed and passed to its kubeadm InitConfiguration if it is the first control-plane node which initializes the cluster or to its kubeadm JoinConfiguration if it is a subsequent node which joins the Kubernetes cluster.

Once a node joined the cluster, its labels and taints do not get updated via the LCM anymore. Once a node joined the cluster, changing its labels/taints can lead to disruption if the workload is not immediately reconfigured as well. A more detailed explanation can be found in the respective commit which reworked this behavior.

For details on how to configure labels and taints for nodes, please refer to Node-Scheduling: Labels and Taints Configuration

Defining a common Scheduling-Key-Prefix

It is often desirable to use a common prefix for self-defined labels and taints for consistency. Yaook/k8s allows to define such a scheduling-key-prefix and then use it in the label and taint definitions.

Please refer to the Node-Scheduling: Labels and Taints Configuration for details on how to label and taint nodes with a common scheduling-key-prefix.

Use scheduling keys for Services

Scheduling keys control where services may run. A scheduling key corresponds to both, a node label and to a taint. It is often desirable to configure a service such that its workload is spawned on specific nodes. In especially, it often makes sense to use dedicated monitoring and storage nodes.

For details on how to use scheduling keys for our supported storage solution rook, please refer to the Rook Configuration

For details on how to use scheduling keys for our supported monitoring solution, an extended prometheus stack, please refer to the Prometheus-based Monitoring Configuration