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Vantage Kubernetes Agent

The Vantage Kubernetes agent is the default, recommended configuration to ingest cost and usage data from Kubernetes clusters to Vantage. The agent is a Docker container that's run in your Kubernetes cluster. The agent collects metrics and uploads them to Vantage.

Agent Functionality

The Vantage Kubernetes agent relies on native Kubernetes APIs, such as kube-apiserver for metadata and kubelet for container data. Access to these APIs is controlled via Kubernetes RBAC using a Service Account and ClusterRole, included in the Vantage Kubernetes agent Helm chart.

Data is periodically collected and stored for aggregation, then sent directly to the Vantage service through an API, with your Vantage API token for authentication. This process avoids extra storage costs incurred by the OpenCost integration. The agent's architecture eliminates the need for deploying OpenCost-specific Prometheus pods, which makes scaling easier.

Vantage Kubernetes agent architecture diagram

Service Compatibility

The Vantage Kubernetes agent is compatible with the following services:

  • Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)
  • Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)
  • Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)

At this time, the agent does not support custom rates for on-premises servers. Note that this is a planned future feature. If you have an on-premises cluster and would like to track these costs, see the OpenCost documentation.

As long as the cost data for an underlying cluster instance is ingested into Vantage via a cloud integration, it is possible to calculate the corresponding pod costs.

Install Vantage Kubernetes Agent


The following prerequisites are required before you install the Vantage Kubernetes agent:

  • The Helm package manager for Kubernetes

  • kubectl

  • A running Kubernetes cluster

  • A Vantage API token with READ and WRITE scopes enabled

  • If you do not already have an integration enabled, navigate to the Kubernetes Integration page in the Vantage console, and click the Enable Kubernetes Agent button (you won't need to do this for subsequent integrations)

Create a Connection


The following steps are also provided in the Vantage Kubernetes agent Helm chart repository. See the Helm chart repository for all value configurations.

To set up a new Kubernetes agent connection:

  1. Add the repository for the Vantage Kubernetes agent Helm chart.

    helm repo add vantage
  2. Install the vantage-kubernetes-agent Helm chart. Ensure you update the values for VANTAGE_API_TOKEN (obtained in the Prerequisites above) and CLUSTER_ID (the unique value for your cluster).

    helm upgrade -n vantage vka vantage/vantage-kubernetes-agent --install --set agent.token=$VANTAGE_API_TOKEN,agent.clusterID=$CLUSTER_ID --create-namespace

(Optional) Enable Collection of Annotations and Namespace Labels

You can optionally enable the collection of Annotations and Namespace labels.

  • Annotations. The agent accepts a comma-separated list of annotation keys, called VANTAGE_ALLOWED_ANNOTATIONS, as an environment variable at startup. To enable collection of Annotations, configure the agent.allowedAnnotations parameter of the Helm chart with a list of Annotations to be sent to Vantage. Note there is a max of 10 annotations, and values are truncated after 100 characters.
  • Namespace labels. The agent accepts VANTAGE_COLLECT_NAMESPACE_LABELS as an environment variable at startup. To enable collection of Namespace labels, configure the agent.collectNamespaceLabels parameter of the Helm chart.

Resource Usage

The limits provided within the Helm chart are set low to support small clusters (approximately 10 nodes) and should be considered the minimum values for deploying an agent.

Estimates for larger clusters are roughly:

  • ~1 CPU/1000 node
  • ~2 MB/node

For example, a 100-node cluster would be approximately 200 MB and 100 mCPU. These amounts are estimates, which will vary based on node density, label usage, cluster activity, etc. The agent should reach an approximate steady state after about one hour of uptime and can be tuned accordingly after the fact.

To set these options, extend the --set flag. You can also include the values using one of the many options Helm supports:

--set agent.token=$VANTAGE_API_TOKEN,agent.clusterID=$CLUSTER_ID,resources.limits.memory=100Mi,resources.requests.memory=100Mi

Validate Installation

Follow the steps below to validate the agent's installation.

  1. Once installed, the agent's pod should become READY:
    ➜ kubectl -n vantage get po
    vka-vantage-kubernetes-agent-0 1/1 Running 0 54m
  2. Logs should be free of ERROR messages:
    ➜  containers kubectl -n vantage logs -f vka-vantage-kubernetes-agent-0
    {"time":"2023-10-23T22:01:12.065481528Z","level":"INFO","msg":"found nodes","nodes":231}
    {"time":"2023-10-23T22:01:15.471399742Z","level":"INFO","msg":"finished initializing"}
  3. Agent reporting should occur once per hour at the start of the hour and should not generate an ERROR log line. It should also attempt a report soon after the initial start:
    {"time":"2023-10-23T22:01:00.015243974Z","level":"INFO","msg":"reporting now"}
    {"time":"2023-10-23T22:01:01.168390414Z","level":"INFO","msg":"finished reporting"}
    {"time":"2023-10-23T22:01:01.169876296Z","level":"INFO","msg":"next report window","start":"2023-10-23T22:00:00Z","end":"2023-10-23T23:00:00Z","sleeping_seconds":3598.830199804}

Costs are exported from the cluster hourly and then made available nightly. It's important to note that these costs might encounter delays based on their associated cloud integration's cost data. For instance, if there is a one-day delay in an AWS Cost and Usage Report, the clusters dependent on that data will experience a similar delay.


You can view and manage your Kubernetes integration on Kubernetes Integration page in the console. Hover over the integration in the list, and click Manage.

Common Errors

DNS Lookup Error

The agent uses the node status addresses to determine what hostname to look up for the node's stats, which are available via the /metrics/resource endpoint. This can be configured with the VANTAGE_NODE_ADDRESS_TYPES environment variable, which is controlled by the agent.nodeAddressTypes in the Helm chart. By default, the priority order is Hostname,InternalDNS,InternalIP,ExternalDNS,ExternalIP.

To understand which type to use for your cluster, you can look at the available addresses for one of your nodes. The type corresponds to one of the configurable nodeAddressTypes.

➜  kubectl get nodes -o=jsonpath='{.items[0].status.addresses}'

Migrate Costs from OpenCost to Vantage Kubernetes Agent

If you are moving from an OpenCost integration to the agent-based integration, you can contact to have your previous integration data maintained. Any overlapping data will be removed from the agent data by the Vantage team.

Maintaining OpenCost Filters

If you previously used the OpenCost integration and are transitioning to the new agent-based integration, your existing filters will be retained. It's important to note that in situations where labels contained characters excluded from Prometheus labels, such as -, the OpenCost integration received the normalized versions of those labels from Prometheus. The Vantage Kubernetes agent, on the other hand, directly retrieves labels from the kube-apiserver, resulting in more precise data. However, this change may necessitate updates to filters that previously relied on the normalized values. You can contact to have these filters converted for you.