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Managing worker nodes

Managing Worker Nodes#

When using your cluster there may be times when you need to change aspects of your worker nodes. Things like scaling, changing the type, adding labels or taints to name a few. Most of these things are done through the use of machine pools in ROSA. Think of a machine pool as a “template” for the kinds of machines that make up the worker nodes of your cluster. A machine pool allows users to manage many machines as a single entity.

Scaling worker nodes#

  1. To scale the number of worker nodes we need to edit the machine pool they belong to. The default machine pool is called “default” which is created with every cluster.
  2. We should see the “default” pool that is created with each cluster.

    rosa list machinepools --cluster=<cluster-name>

    You will see a response like:

    default    No           2         m5.xlarge                         us-east-1a
  3. To scale this out to 3 nodes run

    rosa edit machinepool --cluster=<cluster-name> --replicas <number-worker-nodes> <machinepool-name>

    For example:

    rosa edit machinepool --cluster=my-rosa-cluster --replicas 3 default

  4. Run the following to see that it has taken effect

    rosa describe cluster --cluster=<cluster-name>

    You will see a response showing 3 compute nodes:

    $ rosa describe cluster --cluster=my-rosa-cluster
    Name:                       my-rosa-cluster
    ID:                         1jgpoh4jm5jjiu12k12h000000000000
    External ID:                a3fa460d-6405-48aa-ad24-000000000000
    OpenShift Version:          4.7.2
    Channel Group:              stable
    AWS Account:                000000000000
    API URL:          
    Console URL:      
    Region:                     us-east-1
    Multi-AZ:                   false
     - Master:                  3
     - Infra:                   2
     - Compute:                 3 (m5.xlarge)
     - Service CIDR:  
     - Machine CIDR:  
     - Pod CIDR:      
     - Host Prefix:             /23
    State:                      ready 
    Private:                    No
    Created:                    Mar 19 2021 00:03:19 UTC
    Details Page:     
  5. One can also confirm this by accessing OCM ( and selecting the cluster


  6. On the overview tab, scroll down to the middle section under details you will see Compute listing "3/3".


Adding node labels#

  1. Sometimes it is beneficial to add a node label(s). One use case is to target certain workloads to specific nodes. Let’s say we want to run our database on specific nodes. We can create a new machine pool to add the node labels to the worker nodes created by it.
  2. Run the following command to create a new machine pool with node labels

    rosa create machinepool --cluster=<cluster-name> --name=<mp-name> --replicas=<number-nodes> --labels=’<key=pair>’

    For example:

    $ rosa create machinepool --cluster=my-rosa-cluster --name=db-nodes-mp --replicas=2 --labels='app=db','tier=backend'
    I: Machine pool 'db-nodes-mp' created successfully on cluster 'my-rosa-cluster'

    This will create an additional 2 nodes that can be managed as one unit and also assign them the labels shown.

  3. Now run rosa list machinepools --cluster=<cluster-name> to see the new machine pool created along with the labels we gave.


Using different node types#

  1. You can also mix different machine types for the worker nodes with new machine pools. You cannot change the node type of a machine pool once created, but we can create a new machine pool with the larger nodes by adding the --instance-type flag.
  2. If we take the use case above but instead wanted to have a different node type when creating it, we would have ran

    rosa create machinepool --cluster=<cluster-name> --name=<mp-name> --replicas=<number-nodes> --labels=’<key=pair>’ --instance-type=<type>

    For example:

    rosa create machinepool --cluster=my-rosa-cluster --name=db-nodes-large-mp --replicas=2 --labels='app=db','tier=backend' --instance-type=m5.2xlarge

  3. If you’d like to see all the instance types available, or to make the decisions step-by-step, then use the --interactive flag:

    rosa create machinepool -c <cluster-name> --interactive


  4. List the machine pools to see the new larger instance type