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Best Practices

Implementing a Reconciler


Reconcile is called for every event received from the Controller, which could be multiple times for the same resource. This includes listing all resources the first time the Operator starts or restarts. It is important that reconciliation is idempotent.

A function is said to be idempotent if it can be applied multiple times without changing the result beyond the initial application.

Reconcile All Resources All the Time

Reconciliation can be triggered from many different event sources. It could be tempting to check the event to try to figure out what needs reconciling, but this is considered to be an anti-pattern for Operators. Because of the distributed nature of Kubernetes, it's possible that the Operator did not receive all events and in this situation making assumptions about the current state could be dangerous. For this reason it is best practice to reconcile all resources all the time.

Owner References

Dependent objects created by the Reconciler should have an Owner Reference that references their owner resource. This will allow Kubernetes to clean up resources when the parent resource is deleted.


Cross-namespace owner references are disallowed by design. Namespaced dependents can specify cluster-scoped or namespaced owners. A namespaced owner must exist in the same namespace as the dependent. If it does not, the owner reference is treated as absent, and the dependent is subject to deletion once all owners are verified absent.

Cluster-scoped dependents can only specify cluster-scoped owners. In v1.20+, if a cluster-scoped dependent specifies a namespaced kind as an owner, it is treated as having an unresolvable owner reference, and is not able to be garbage collected.

For cross-namespace garbage collection, use a Finalizer.

Owner references can be created by calling the MakeOwnerReference() extension method on any resource.

var pod = new V1Pod().Initialize()