Deploy Multus on Tanzu Kubernetes Cluster

Multus CNI is a Container Network Interface (CNI) plugin for Kubernetes that lets you attach multiple network interfaces to a single pod and associate each with a different address range.

This topic explains how to install the Multus package onto a workload cluster and use it to create pods with multiple network interfaces. For example, Antrea or Calico as the primary CNI, and a secondary interface such as macvlan or ipvlan, or SR-IOV or DPDK devices for hardware or accelerated interfaces.

Binaries for macvlan and ipvlan are already installed in the workload cluster node template.


  • A bootstrap machine with the following installed:
  • A Tanzu Kubernetes Grid management cluster and workload cluster running on vSphere, Amazon Web Services (AWS), or Azure.
    • On vSphere with NSX Advanced Load Balancer, Multus CNI requires workload cluster worker nodes of size large or extra-large, as described in Predefined Node Sizes.

Install the Multus CNI Package

Note: Once the Multus CNI is installed in a cluster, it should not be deleted. See Deleting Multus Unsupported below.

To install the Multus CNI package on a workload cluster and configure the cluster to use it:

  1. (Optional) To configure Multus:

    1. Create a configuration file that retrieves the Multus parameters and deploys it as a Daemonset.

      tanzu package available get --generate-default-values-file

      Where PACKAGE-VERSION is the version of the Multus package that you want to install. The above command will create a configuration file named multus-cni-default-values.yaml containing the default values.

      See the Multus script for information about the settings for the configuration file.

    2. Run the tanzu package available list command to list the available versions of the Multus package, for example:

      tanzu package available list -A
       NAME                        VERSION              RELEASED-AT                   NAMESPACE 3.7.1+vmware.1-tkg.1 2021-06-04 18:00:00 +0000 UTC tanzu-package-repo-global 3.7.1+vmware.2-tkg.1 2021-06-04 18:00:00 +0000 UTC tanzu-package-repo-global 3.7.1+vmware.2-tkg.2 2021-06-04 18:00:00 +0000 UTC tanzu-package-repo-global

      Note: Make sure that your custom image registry can be reached if you are operating in a network-restricted environment.

    3. Run the tanzu package available get command with --values-schema to see which field values can be set:

      tanzu package available get --values-schema -o FORMAT

      Where: - VERSION is a version listed in the tanzu package available list output - FORMAT is either yaml or json

    4. Populate the multus-cni-default-values.yaml configuration file with your desired field values.

  2. Remove all comments from the multus-cni-default-values.yaml file:

    yq -i eval '... comments=""' multus-cni-default-values.yaml
  3. Run tanzu package install to install the package.

    tanzu package install INSTALLED_PACKAGE_NAME --package-name --version <version> -f  multus-cni-default-values.yaml
  4. Run tanzu package installed get to check the status of the installed package.

    tanzu package installed get INSTALLED_PACKAGE_NAME -o <json|yaml|table>
  5. Create a custom resource definition (CRD) for NetworkAttachmentDefinition that defines the CNI configuration for network interfaces to be used by Multus CNI.

    1. Create a CRD specification. For example, this multus-cni-crd.yaml specifies a NetworkAttachmentDefinition named macvlan-conf that configures a macvlan CNI:

      apiVersion: ""
      kind: NetworkAttachmentDefinition
        name: macvlan-conf
        config: '{
            "cniVersion": "0.3.0",
            "type": "macvlan",
            "master": "eth0",
            "mode": "bridge",
            "ipam": {
              "type": "host-local",
              "subnet": "",
              "rangeStart": "",
              "rangeEnd": "",
              "routes": [
                { "dst": "" }
              "gateway": ""
    2. Create the resource; for example kubectl create -f multus-cni-crd.yaml

  6. Create a pod with the annotation, which takes a comma-delimited list of the names of NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resource.

    1. Create the pod specification, for example my-multi-cni-pod.yaml:

      apiVersion: v1
      kind: Pod
        name: sample-pod
        - name: sample-pod
          command: ["/bin/ash", "-c", "trap : TERM INT; sleep infinity & wait"]
    2. Create the pod; for example kubectl create -f my-multi-cni-crd.yaml creates the pod sample-pod.

Once the pod is created, it will have three network interfaces:

  • lo the loopback interface
  • eth0 the default pod network managed by Antrea or Calico CNI
  • net1 the new interface created via the annotation macvlan-conf.

Note: The default network gets the name eth0 and additional network pod interfaces get the name as net1, net2, and so on.

Validating Multus

Run kubectl describe pod on the pod, and confirm that the annotation lists all network interfaces. For example:

$ kubectl describe pod sample-pod

Name:         sample-pod
Namespace:    default
Priority:     0
Node:         tcecluster-md-0-6476897f75-rl9vt/
Start Time:   Thu, 27 May 2021 15:31:20 +0000
Labels:       <none>
                    "name": "",
                    "interface": "eth0",
                    "ips": [
                    "mac": "66:39:dc:63:50:a3",
                    "default": true,
                    "dns": {}
                    "name": "default/macvlan-conf",
                    "interface": "net1",
                    "ips": [
                    "mac": "02:77:cb:a0:60:e3",
                    "dns": {}

Then run kubectl exec sample-pod -- ip a show dev net1 to check if the target interface is up and running with IP listed in annotations above.

Deleting Multus Unsupported

Once the Multus CNI is installed in a cluster, it should not be deleted.

Deleting Multus does not uninstall the the Multus configuration file /etc/cni/net.d/00-multus.conf from the CNI scripts directory, which prevents the cluster from creating new pods.

This is a known issue; see Issue #461 in the Multus repository.

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