Scale Workload Clusters

This topic explains how to scale a workload cluster in two ways:

Note: To scale nodes in a node pool, see Update Node Pools in Manage Node Pools of Different VM Types.

Scale a Cluster Horizontally

You can horizontally scale a workload cluster in two ways:

  • Run the tanzu cluster scale command.

    • The --controlplane-machine-count and --worker-machine-count options set the new number of control plane and worker nodes, respectively.
    • Examples:

      • To scale a cluster to 5 control plane nodes and 10 worker nodes:

        tanzu cluster scale MY-CLUSTER --controlplane-machine-count 5 --worker-machine-count 10

        If you deployed a cluster with --controlplane-machine-count 1 and then you scale it up to 3 control plane nodes, Tanzu Kubernetes Grid automatically enables stacked HA on the control plane.

      • If the cluster is running in a namespace other than default, you must include the --namespace option:

        tanzu cluster scale MY-CLUSTER --controlplane-machine-count 5 --worker-machine-count 10 --namespace=MY-NAMESPACE
    • Note: On clusters that run in vSphere with Tanzu, you can only run either 1 control plane node or 3 control plane nodes. You can scale up the number of control plane nodes from 1 to 3, but you cannot scale down the number from 3 to 1.

    Important: Do not change context or edit the .kube-tkg/config file while Tanzu Kubernetes Grid operations are running.

  • Class-based clusters: Follow the Configuring Cluster Topology procedure to change the replicas settings under controlPlane and workers in the cluster definition.

Scale a Cluster Vertically

How to vertically scale a workload cluster depends on the cluster type:

  • Class-based Clusters: Follow the Configuring Cluster Topology procedure to change the vmClass settings in the cluster definition.

  • TKC Clusters: Follow the Updating Infrastructure Machine Templates procedure in The Cluster API Book, which changes the cluster’s machine template.

    The procedure downloads the cluster’s existing machine template, with a kubectl get command that you can construct as follows:



      • VsphereMachineTemplate on vSphere
      • AWSMachineTemplate on Amazon Web Services (AWS)
      • AzureMachineTemplate on Azure
    • MACHINE-TEMPLATE-NAME is the name of the machine template for the cluster nodes that you are scaling, which follows the form:
      • CLUSTER-NAME-control-plane for control plane nodes
      • CLUSTER-NAME-worker for worker nodes

    For example:

    kubectl get VsphereMachineTemplate monitoring-cluster-worker -o yaml
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