Node Affinity

- By: Thomas Jungbauer ( Lastmod: 2021-09-03 )

Node Affinity allows to place a pod to a specific group of nodes. For example, it is possible to run a pod only on nodes with a specific CPU or disktype. The disktype was used as an example for the nodeSelector and yes …​ Node Affinity is conceptually similar to nodeSelector but allows a more granular configuration.

Using Node Affinity

Currently two types of affinity settings are known:

  • requiredDuringSchedulingIgnoreDuringExecuption (short required) - a hard requirement which must be met before a pod can be scheduled

  • preferredDuringSchedulingIgnoredDuringExecution (short preferred) - a soft requirement the scheduler tries to meet, but does not guarantee it

Both types can be specified. In such case the node must first meet the required rule and then attempt to meet the preferred rule.

Preparing node labels

Remember the prerequisites explained in the . Pod Placement - Introduction. We have 4 compute nodes and an example web application up and running.

Before we start with affinity rules we need to label all nodes. Let’s create 2 zones (east and west) for our compute nodes.

You can skip this, if these labels are still set.
Node Zones
Figure 1. Node Zones
oc label nodes compute-0 compute-1

oc label nodes compute-2 compute-3

Configure node affinity rule

Like pod affinity the node affinity is defined on the pod specification:

kind: DeploymentConfig
  name: django-psql-example
  namespace: podtesting
              - matchExpressions:
                  - key:
                    operator: In
                      - west

In this example the pods are started only on nodes of the zone "West". Since the value is an array, multiple zones can be defined letting the web application be executed on West and East for example. With this setup you can control on which node a specific application shall be executed. For example: you have a group of nodes which provide a GPU and your GPU application must be started only on this group of nodes.

Like with pod affinity you can combine required and preferred settings.

What happened to Node Anti-Affinity?

Unlike Pod Anti-Affinity, there is no concept to define a node Anti-Affinity. Instead you can use the NotIn and DoesNotExist operators to achieve this bahaviour.


As cleanup simply remove the affinity specification from the DeploymentConf. The node labels can stay as they are since they do not hurt.


This concludes the quick overview of the node affinity. Further information can be found at Node Affinity