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Exposing cluster

The Operator provides entry points for accessing the database by client applications in several scenarios. In either way the cluster is exposed with regular Kubernetes Service objects, configured by the Operator.

This document describes the usage of Custom Resource manifest options to expose the clusters deployed with the Operator.

Using single entry point in a sharded cluster

If Percona Server for MongoDB Sharding mode is turned on (default behavior), then database cluster runs special mongos Pods - query routers, which acts as an entry point for client applications,


If this feature is enabled, the URI looks like follows (taking into account the need in a proper password obtained from the Secret, and a proper namespace name instead of the <namespace name> placeholder):

$ mongo "mongodb://userAdmin:userAdminPassword@my-cluster-name-mongos.<namespace name>.svc.cluster.local/admin?ssl=false"

You can find more on sharding in the official MongoDB documentation.

Accessing replica set Pods

If Percona Server for MongoDB Sharding mode is turned off, the application needs access to all MongoDB Pods of the replica set:


When Kubernetes creates Pods, each Pod has an IP address in the internal virtual network of the cluster. Creating and destroying Pods is a dynamic process, therefore binding communication between Pods to specific IP addresses would cause problems as things change over time as a result of the cluster scaling, maintenance, etc. Due to this changing environment, you should connect to Percona Server for MongoDB via Kubernetes internal DNS names in URI (e.g. using mongodb+srv://userAdmin:userAdmin123456@<cluster-name>-rs0.<namespace>.svc.cluster.local/admin?replicaSet=rs0&ssl=false to access one of the Replica Set Pods).

In this case, the URI looks like follows (taking into account the need in a proper password obtained from the Secret, and a proper namespace name instead of the <namespace name> placeholder):

$ mongodb://databaseAdmin:databaseAdminPassword@my-cluster-name-rs0.<namespace name>.svc.cluster.local/admin?replicaSet=rs0&ssl=false"

Service per Pod

URI-based access is strictly recommended.

Still sometimes you cannot communicate with the Pods using the Kubernetes internal DNS names. To make Pods of the Replica Set accessible, Percona Operator for MongoDB can assign a Kubernetes Service to each Pod.

This feature can be configured in the replsets (for MondgoDB instances Pod) and sharding (for mongos Pod) sections of the deploy/cr.yaml file:

  • set expose.enabled option to true to allow exposing Pods via services,
  • set expose.exposeType option specifying the IP address type to be used:
    • ClusterIP - expose the Pod’s service with an internal static IP address. This variant makes MongoDB Pod only reachable from within the Kubernetes cluster.
    • NodePort - expose the Pod’s service on each Kubernetes node’s IP address at a static port. ClusterIP service, to which the node port will be routed, is automatically created in this variant. As an advantage, the service will be reachable from outside the cluster by node address and port number, but the address will be bound to a specific Kubernetes node.
    • LoadBalancer - expose the Pod’s service externally using a cloud provider’s load balancer. Both ClusterIP and NodePort services are automatically created in this variant.

If this feature is enabled, URI looks like mongodb://databaseAdmin:databaseAdminPassword@<ip1>:<port1>,<ip2>:<port2>,<ip3>:<port3>/admin?replicaSet=rs0&ssl=false All IP adresses should be directly reachable by application.

Controlling hostnames in replset configuration

Starting from v1.14, the Operator configures replica set members using local fully-qualified domain names (FQDN), which are resolvable and available only from inside the Kubernetes cluster. Exposing the replica set using the options described above will not affect hostname usage in the replica set configuration.


Before v1.14, the Operator used the exposed IP addresses in the replica set configuration in the case of the exposed replica set.

It is still possible to restore the old behavior. For example, it may be useful to have the replica set configured with external IP addresses for multi-cluster deployments. The clusterServiceDNSMode field in the Custom Resource controls this Operator behavior. You can set clusterServiceDNSMode to one of the following values:

  1. Internal: Use local FQDNs (i.e., cluster1-rs0-0.cluster1-rs0.psmdb.svc.cluster.local) in replica set configuration even if the replica set is exposed. This is the default value.
  2. ServiceMesh: Use a special FQDN using the Pod name (i.e., cluster1-rs0-0.psmdb.svc.cluster.local), assuming it’s resolvable and available in all clusters.
  3. External: Use exposed IP in replica set configuration if replica set is exposed; else, use local FQDN. This copies the behavior of the Operator v1.13.

If backups are enabled in your cluster, you need to restart replset and config servers after changing clusterServiceDNSMode. This option changes the hostnames inside the replset configuration and running pbm-agents don’t discover the change until they’re restarted. You may have errors in backup-agent container logs and your backups may not work until you restarted the agents.

Restart can be done manually with the kubectl rollout restart sts <clusterName>-<replsetName> command executed for each replica set in the spec.replsets; also, if sharding enabled, do the same for config servers with kubectl rollout restart sts <clusterName>-cfg. Alternatively, you can simply restart your cluster.


You should be careful with the clusterServiceDNSMode=External variant. Using IP addresses instead of DNS hostnames is discouraged in MongoDB. IP addresses make configuration changes and recovery more complicated. Also, they are particularly problematic in scenarios where IP addresses change (i.e., deleting and recreating the cluster).

Exposing replica set with split-horizon DNS

Split-horizon DNS provides each replica set Pod with a set of DNS URIs for external usage. This allows to communicate with replica set Pods both from inside the Kubernetes cluster and from outside of Kubernetes.

Split-horizon can be configured via the replset.horizons subsection in the Custom Resource options. Set it in the deploy/cr.yaml configuration file as follows:

      - name: rs0
          enabled: true
          exposeType: LoadBalancer

URIs for external usage are specified as key-value pairs, where the key is an arbitrary name and the value is the actual URI.

Split horizon has following limitations:

  • connecting with horizon domains is only supported if client connects using TLS certificates, and these TLS certificates need to be generated manually
  • duplicating domain names in horizons is not allowed by MongoDB
  • using IP addresses in horizons is not allowed by MongoDB
  • horizons should be set for all Pods of a replica set or not set at all
  • horizons should be configured on an existing cluster (creating a new cluster with pre-configured horizons is currently not supported)

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Last update: 2024-02-22