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Kubernetes Orchestration of High Availability Distributed Control Systems


Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


23rd IEEE International Conference on Industrial Technology


Distributed control systems transform with the Industry 4.0 paradigm shift. A mesh-like, network-centric topology replaces the traditional controller-centered architecture, enforcing the interest of cloud-, fog-, and edge-computing, where lightweight container-based virtualization is a cornerstone. Kubernetes is a well-known container management system for container orchestration in cloud computing. It is gaining traction in edge- and fog-computing due to its elasticity and failure recovery properties. Orchestrator failure recovery can complement the manual replacement of a failed controller and, combined with controller redundancy, provide a pseudo-one-out-of-many redundancy. This paper investigates the failure recovery performance obtained from an out-of-the-box Kubernetes installation in a distributed control system scenario. We describe a Kubernetes based virtualized controller architecture and the software needed to set up a bare-metal cluster for control systems. Further, we deploy single and redundant configured containerized controllers based on an OPC UA compatible industry middleware software on the bare-metal cluster. The controllers expose variables with OPC UA PubSub. A script-based daemon introduces node failures, and a verification controller measures the downtime when using Kubernetes with an industry redundancy solution.


author = {Bjarne Johansson and Mats R{\aa}gberger and Thomas Nolte and Alessandro Papadopoulos},
title = {Kubernetes Orchestration of High Availability Distributed Control Systems},
month = {August},
year = {2022},
booktitle = {23rd IEEE International Conference on Industrial Technology},
url = {}