Deploying Antrea in AWS EKS

This document describes steps to deploy Antrea in networkPolicyOnly mode or encap mode to an AWS EKS cluster.

Deploying Antrea in networkPolicyOnly mode

In networkPolicyOnly mode, Antrea implements NetworkPolicy and other services for an EKS cluster, while Amazon VPC CNI takes care of IPAM and Pod traffic routing across Nodes. Refer to the design document for more information about networkPolicyOnly mode.

This document assumes you already have an EKS cluster, and have KUBECONFIG environment variable point to the kubeconfig file of that cluster. You can follow the EKS documentation to create the cluster.

With Antrea >=v0.9.0 release, you should apply antrea-eks-node-init.yaml before deploying Antrea. This will restart existing Pods (except those in host network), so that Antrea can also manage them (i.e. enforce NetworkPolicies on them) once it is installed.

kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/antrea-io/antrea/main/build/yamls/antrea-eks-node-init.yml

To deploy a released version of Antrea, pick a deployment manifest from the list of releases. Note that EKS support was added in release 0.5.0, which means you cannot pick a release older than 0.5.0. For any given release <TAG> (e.g. v0.5.0), you can deploy Antrea as follows:

kubectl apply -f https://github.com/antrea-io/antrea/releases/download/<TAG>/antrea-eks.yml

To deploy the latest version of Antrea (built from the main branch), use the checked-in deployment yaml:

kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/antrea-io/antrea/main/build/yamls/antrea-eks.yml

Now Antrea should be plugged into the EKS CNI and is ready to enforce NetworkPolicy.

Deploying Antrea in encap mode

In encap mode, Antrea acts as the primary CNI of an EKS cluster, and implements all Pod networking functionalities, including IPAM and routing across Nodes. The major benefit of Antrea as the primary CNI is that it can get rid of the Pods per Node limits with Amazon VPC CNI. For example, the default mode of VPC CNI allocates a secondary IP for each Pod, and the maximum number of Pods that can be created on a Node is decided by the maximum number of elastic network interfaces and secondary IPs per interface that can be attached to an EC2 instance type. When Antrea is the primary CNI, Pods are connected to the Antrea overlay network and Pod IPs are allocated from the private CIDRs configured for an EKS cluster, and so the number of Pods per Node is no longer limited by the number of secondary IPs per instance.

Note: as a general limitation when using custom CNIs with EKS, Antrea cannot be installed to the EKS control plane Nodes. As a result, EKS control plane cannot initiate a connection to a Pod in Antrea overlay network, when Antrea runs in encap mode, and so applications that require control plane to Pod connections might not work properly. For example, Kubernetes API aggregation, apiserver proxy, or admission controller, will not work with encap mode on EKS, when the Services are provided by Pods in overlay network. A workaround is to run such Pods in hostNetwork.

1. Create an EKS cluster without Nodes

This guide uses eksctl to create an EKS cluster, but you can also follow the EKS documentation to create an EKS cluster. eksctl can be installed following the eksctl guide.

Run the following eksctl command to create a cluster named antrea-eks-cluster:

eksctl create cluster --name antrea-eks-cluster --without-nodegroup

After the command runs successfully, you should be able to access the cluster using kubectl, for example:

kubectl get node

Note, as the cluster does not have a node group configured yet, no Node will be returned by the command.

2. Delete Amazon VPC CNI

As Antrea is the primary CNI in encap mode, the VPC CNI (aws-node DaemonSet) installed with the EKS cluster needs to be deleted:

kubectl -n kube-system delete daemonset aws-node

3. Install Antrea

First, download the Antrea deployment yaml. Note that encap mode support for EKS was added in release 1.4.0, which means you cannot pick a release older than 1.4.0. For any given release <TAG> (e.g. v1.4.0), get the Antrea deployment yaml at:


To deploy the latest version of Antrea (built from the main branch), get the deployment yaml at:


encap mode on EKS requires Antrea’s built-in Node IPAM feature to be enabled. For information about how to configure Antrea Node IPAM, please refer to Antrea Node IPAM guide.

After enabling Antrea Node IPAM in the deployment yaml, deploy Antrea with:

kubectl apply -f antrea.yml

4. Create a node group for the EKS cluster

For example, you can run the following command to create a node group of two Nodes:

eksctl create nodegroup --cluster antrea-eks-cluster --nodes 2

5. Validate Antrea installation

After the EKS Nodes are successfully created and booted, you can verify that Antrea Controller and Agent Pods are running on the Nodes:

$ kubectl get pods --namespace kube-system  -l app=antrea
NAME                                 READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
antrea-agent-bpj72                   2/2     Running   0          40s
antrea-agent-j2sjz                   2/2     Running   0          40s
antrea-controller-6f7468cbff-5sk4t   1/1     Running   0          43s

Getting Started

To help you get started, see the documentation.