Load Balancing in AKS Tutorial


Load balancing is a critical component of any production-grade application deployment. In Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), load balancing ensures that incoming traffic is evenly distributed across multiple application pods, improving scalability, availability, and performance. In this tutorial, we will explore how to implement load balancing in AKS using an ingress controller to efficiently route traffic to your application.

Step 1: Deploy an Ingress Controller

To enable load balancing in AKS, you need to deploy an ingress controller. An ingress controller acts as an entry point for external traffic and directs it to the appropriate services within your cluster. There are several ingress controllers available for AKS, such as Nginx Ingress Controller and Azure Application Gateway. In this example, we will deploy the Nginx Ingress Controller using Helm. First, add the Nginx Ingress Helm repository:

helm repo add ingress-nginx https://kubernetes.github.io/ingress-nginx

Next, install the Nginx Ingress Controller:

helm install my-ingress-controller ingress-nginx/ingress-nginx

Step 2: Define an Ingress Resource

After deploying the ingress controller, you can define an Ingress resource to configure the routing rules for your application. The Ingress resource specifies the hostnames, paths, and backend services for incoming traffic. Here's an example of an Ingress YAML:

apiVersion: networking.k8s.io/v1 kind: Ingress metadata: name: my-ingress annotations: kubernetes.io/ingress.class: nginx spec: rules: - host: example.com http: paths: - path: / pathType: Prefix backend: service: name: my-service port: number: 80

Replace "example.com" with your domain or desired hostname. Save this YAML manifest as "my-ingress.yaml" and apply it using the following command:

kubectl apply -f my-ingress.yaml

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Incorrect ingress controller configuration: Ensure that you deploy the correct ingress controller and configure it properly for your AKS cluster.
  • Missing or incorrect hostnames and paths: Double-check the hostname and path configurations in the Ingress resource to ensure traffic is correctly routed.
  • Forgetting to expose the service: The backend service specified in the Ingress resource should be exposed as a Kubernetes Service to receive incoming traffic.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can I use multiple ingress controllers in AKS?

    Yes, you can use multiple ingress controllers in AKS. Each ingress controller can be associated with different routing rules or serve different applications.

  2. What is the difference between an Ingress and a Service in AKS?

    An Ingress defines the routing rules and load balancing configuration for incoming traffic, while a Service exposes a set of pods and provides a stable network endpoint to access them.

  3. Can I use SSL/TLS certificates with AKS load balancing?

    Yes, AKS supports SSL/TLS termination at the ingress controller level. You can configure SSL/TLS certificates to secure the traffic between the client and the ingress controller.

  4. Can I configure path-based routing with AKS load balancing?

    Yes, you can configure path-based routing using the "path" and "pathType" properties in the Ingress resource. This allows you to route traffic to different services based on the requested path.

  5. Can I use an external load balancer with AKS?

    Yes, you can integrate an external load balancer with AKS, such as Azure Load Balancer or Application Gateway, to distribute traffic before it reaches the ingress controller.


Load balancing in Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is essential for distributing incoming traffic across application pods, ensuring scalability, availability, and performance. By deploying an ingress controller and defining an Ingress resource, you can configure the routing rules and load balancing behavior for your application. Avoid common mistakes, such as misconfiguration of the ingress controller or missing service exposure, to ensure successful load balancing. Regularly monitor and fine-tune your load balancing configuration to optimize your application's performance in AKS.