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Service Internal Traffic Policy

FEATURE STATE: Kubernetes v1.21 [alpha]

Service Internal Traffic Policy enables internal traffic restrictions to only route internal traffic to endpoints within the node the traffic originated from. The "internal" traffic here refers to traffic originated from Pods in the current cluster. This can help to reduce costs and improve performance.

Using Service Internal Traffic Policy

Once you have enabled the ServiceInternalTrafficPolicy feature gate, you can enable an internal-only traffic policy for a Services, by setting its .spec.internalTrafficPolicy to Local. This tells kube-proxy to only use node local endpoints for cluster internal traffic.

Note: For pods on nodes with no endpoints for a given Service, the Service behaves as if it has zero endpoints (for Pods on this node) even if the service does have endpoints on other nodes.

The following example shows what a Service looks like when you set .spec.internalTrafficPolicy to Local:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
  name: my-service
    app: MyApp
    - protocol: TCP
      port: 80
      targetPort: 9376
  internalTrafficPolicy: Local

How it works

The kube-proxy filters the endpoints it routes to based on the spec.internalTrafficPolicy setting. When it's set to Local, only node local endpoints are considered. When it's Cluster or missing, all endpoints are considered. When the feature gate ServiceInternalTrafficPolicy is enabled, spec.internalTrafficPolicy defaults to "Cluster".


  • Service Internal Traffic Policy is not used when externalTrafficPolicy is set to Local on a Service. It is possible to use both features in the same cluster on different Services, just not on the same Service.

What's next

Last modified April 03, 2021 at 4:13 PM PST : Tidy docs about EndpointSlice & related features (c9ca131355)