At the moment we are setting up Kubernetes at store2be. We are a company from Germany and most of our business is taking place in Germany. Therefore, we want our AWS servers to be in Frankfurt.

We use kops for our Kubernetes cluster management and we want our cluster to be a multi availability zone (AZ) deployment. With this in mind we tried out the following command:

$ kops create cluster \
    --node-count 4 \
    --zones eu-central-1a,eu-central-1b \
    --master-zones eu-central-1a,eu-central-1b \
    --node-size t2.medium \
    --master-size m3.medium \
    --yes \

But the result was not that promising:

There should be an odd number of master-zones, for etcd's quorum.  Hint: Use --zones and
--master-zones to declare node zones and master zones separately.

So unfortunately, at the moment it seems that it is not possible to use kops out of the box in an AWS region with only 2 AZ. But after some digging we found a Github issue that described our problem and even had a work around for that! So the following steps are based on the solution provided by Kamil Hristov.

1. Create a cluster.yml for a AWS region with 3 AZ

Create a cluster in eu-west (because it has 3 AZ):

$ kops create cluster \
    --node-count 4 \
    --zones eu-west-1a,eu-west-1b,eu-west-1c \
    --master-zones eu-west-1a,eu-west-1b,eu-west-1c \
    --node-size t2.medium \
    --master-size m3.medium \
    --yes \

Dump the cluster and instancegroup configuration and append it:

$ kops get cluster --output yaml > cluster.yml && \
  echo "\n---\n" >> cluster.yml && \
  kops get instancegroups --output yaml >> cluster.yml

2. Adjust the cluster.yml

  • Replace all the occurrences of eu-west with eu-central
  • Replace all the zone definitions of eu-central-1c with eu-central-1a
  • Replace all the name definitions of eu-central-1c with something different than eu-central-1a like for example eu-central-1a2 (otherwise there will be name conflicts)

3. Create the cluster by using the adjusted cluster.yml

# We have to use replace here, because the cluster spec already has
# been created in step 1.
$ kops replace -f cluster.yml
$ kops create secret --name sshpublickey admin -i ~/.ssh/
$ kops update cluster --yes

And ✨, there is the multi AZ cluster in Frankfurt 🎉

I created this article because it took us a while to find out about this solution and I hope we could help someone with it. Thanks to Kamil Hristov for sharing the solution. Thanks to Tom Houlé for reviewing the article.

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Peter Gundel