Dependent Watches

This document describes the watchDependentResources option in watches.yaml file. It delves into what dependent resources are, why the option is required, how it is achieved and finally gives an example.

What are dependent resources?

In most cases, an operator creates a bunch of Kubernetes resources in the cluster, that helps deploy and manage the application. For instance, the etcd-operator creates two services and a number of pods for a single EtcdCluster CR. In this case, all the Kubernetes resources created by the operator for a CR is defined as dependent resources.

Why the watchDependentResources option?

Often, an operator needs to watch dependent resources. To achieve this, a developer would set the field, watchDependentResources to True in the watches.yaml file. If enabled, a change in a dependent resource will trigger the reconciliation loop causing Ansible code to run.

For example, since the etcd-operator needs to ensure that all the pods are up and running, it needs to know when a pod changes. Enabling the dependent watches option would trigger the reconciliation loop to run. The Ansible logic needs to handle these cases and make sure that all the dependent resources are in the desired state as declared by the CR spec

Note: By default it is enabled when using ansible-operator

How is this achieved?

The ansible-operator base image achieves this by leveraging the concept of owner-references. Whenever a Kubernetes resource is created by Ansible code, the ansible-operator's proxy module injects owner-references into the resource being created. The owner-references means the resource is owned by the CR for which reconciliation is taking place.

Whenever the watchDependentResources field is enabled, the ansible-operator will watch all the resources owned by the CR, registering callbacks to their change events. Upon a change, the callback will enqueue a ReconcileRequest for the CR. The enqueued reconciliation request will trigger the Reconcile function of the controller which will execute the ansible logic for reconciliation.


This is an example of a watches file with the watchDependentResources field set to True

- version: v1alpha1
  kind: AppService
  playbook: playbook.yml
  maxRunnerArtifacts: 30
  reconcilePeriod: 5s
  manageStatus: False
  watchDependentResources: True