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Cluster Audit

Last updated: 2022-05-11 15:33:52


    From now to December 31, 2021, users are exempt from CLS service fees incurred by audit log/event data generated by EKS for auto-created log topics. For details, see Note on Free Log Storage for TKE Audit and Event Center.


    Cluster audit is a feature based on Kubernetes Audit that can store and search the records of kube-apiserver JSON logs to generate configurable policies. This feature records the access events of kube-apiserver and records the activities of each user, admin, or system component that has an impact on the cluster in sequence.


    The cluster audit feature provides a different cluster monitoring dimension from metrics. After cluster audit is enabled, Kubernetes can record the log of every audit operation on the cluster. An audit log is a structured record in JSON format and consists of three parts: metadata, requestObject, and responseObject. The metadata (containing request context information, such as who initiated the request, where it was initiated, and the accessed URI) component is required, whereas requestObject and responseObject are optional, depending on the audit level. You can obtain the following information from logs:

    • Activities that occur in the cluster
    • Activity occurrence times and objects
    • Activity triggering times, triggering positions, and observation points
    • Activity results and subsequent processing

    Reading the audit log

      // What happened?
      // Who initiated the request?
      // Where was it initiated?
      "userAgent":"kubectl/v1.16.3 (linux/amd64) kubernetes/ald64d8",
      // What happened?
      // What is the result?
      // Request and response details
      // When did it start/end?
      // Reason for accepting/rejecting the request

    TKE Cluster Audit Policies

    Audit levels (levels)

    Unlike common logs, the level of a Kubernetes audit log is more like a verbose configuration, which is used to indicate the degree of detail of the recorded information. There are four audit levels, as described in the following table:

    Parameter Description
    None Nothing is recorded
    Metadata The metadata of the request (for example, the user, time, resources, and operation) is recorded, excluding the message bodies of the request and response
    Request The metadata and request message body are recorded, excluding the response message body
    RequestResponse All information is recorded, including the metadata and the message bodies of the request and response

    Audit stages (stages)

    Logs can be recorded at different stages, as described in the following table:

    Parameter Description
    RequestReceived The log is recorded when the request is received
    ResponseStarted The log is recorded after the message header of the response is sent. This parameter is applicable only to persistent connection requests, such as watch.
    ResponseComplete The log is recorded after the response is fully sent
    Panic The request is not completed due to an internal server error

    TKE audit policies

    By default, TKE records audit logs when receiving requests. For most operations, audit logs of the RequestResponse level are recorded, except for the following cases:

    • For get, list, and watch, logs of the Request level are recorded.
    • For requests of secrets resources, configmaps resources, or tokenreviews resources, logs of the Metadata level are recorded.

    Logs will not be recorded for the following requests:

    • Requests sent by system:kube-proxy for monitoring endpoints resources, services resources, or services/status resources.
    • get requests sent by system:unsecured for configmaps resources in the kube-system namespace.
    • get requests sent by kubelet for nodes resources or nodes/status resources.
    • get requests sent by any identity in system:nodes for nodes resources or nodes/status resources.
    • get and update requests sent by system:kube-controller-manager, system:kube-scheduler, or system:serviceaccount:endpoint-controller for endpoint resources in the kube-system namespace.
    • get requests sent by system:apiserver for namespaces resources, namespaces/status resources, or namespaces/finalize resources.
    • Requests sent to URLs that match /healthz*, /version, or /swagger*.


    Enabling cluster audit


    • To enable the cluster audit feature, you need to restart kube-apiserver. We recommend that you do not frequently enable and disable the feature.
    • A self-deployed cluster consumes about 1 GB of local storage on the master node. Therefore, ensure that the storage of the master node is sufficient.
    1. Log in to the TKE console.
    2. Choose Cluster OPS > Feature Management in the left sidebar to go to the Feature Management page.
    3. At the top of the "Feature Management" page, select the region. Click Set for the cluster that you want to enable cluster audit, as shown in the figure below:
    4. In the "Configure a Feature" window that appears, click Edit for the "Cluster Audit" feature.
    5. Select Enable Cluster Audit and select the logset and log topic for storing audit logs. We recommend that you select Automatically Create a Log Topic.
    6. Click OK to enable the cluster audit feature.
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