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Provision Time

Provisioning times vary based on the operating system and platform. Sampling the time to create (apply) and destroy clusters with 1 controller and 2 workers shows (roughly) what to expect.

Platform Apply Destroy
AWS 6 min 5 min
Bare-Metal 10-15 min NA
Digital Ocean 3 min 30 sec 20 sec
Google Cloud 10 min 4 min 30 sec


  • SOA TTL and NXDOMAIN caching can have a large impact on provision time
  • Platforms with auto-scaling take more time to provision (AWS, Google)
  • Bare-metal POST times and network bandwidth will affect provision times

Network Performance

Network performance varies based on the platform and CNI plugin. iperf was used to measure the bandwidth between different hosts and different pods. Host-to-host shows typical bandwidth between host machines. Pod-to-pod shows the bandwidth between two iperf containers.

Platform / Plugin Theory Host to Host Pod to Pod
AWS (flannel) ? 976 MB/s 900-999 MB/s
AWS (calico, MTU 1480) ? 976 MB/s 100-350 MB/s
AWS (calico, MTU 8981) ? 976 MB/s 900-999 MB/s
Bare-Metal (flannel) 1 GB/s 934 MB/s 903 MB/s
Bare-Metal (calico) 1 GB/s 941 MB/s 931 MB/s
Bare-Metal (flannel, bond) 3 GB/s 2.3 GB/s 1.17 GB/s
Bare-Metal (calico, bond) 3 GB/s 2.3 GB/s 1.17 GB/s
Digital Ocean ? 938 MB/s 820-880 MB/s
Google Cloud (flannel) ? 1.94 GB/s 1.76 GB/s
Google Cloud (calico) ? 1.94 GB/s 1.81 GB/s


  • Calico and Flannel have comparable performance. Platform and configuration differences dominate.
  • Neither CNI provider seems to be able to leverage bonded NICs (bare-metal)
  • AWS and Digital Ocean network bandwidth fluctuates more than on other platforms.
  • Only certain AWS EC2 instance types allow jumbo frames. This is why the default MTU on AWS must be 1480.