Events and Triggers

When configuring Robusta as a user, you define triggers in values.yaml but when writing playbook actions you deal with events.

The basic idea is that triggers generate event objects and those events are passed to action functions.

Lifecycle of a Robusta event

  1. A pod changes

  2. The API Server notifies Robusta

  3. Robusta checks if any triggers like on_pod_update are activated by the pod change

  4. If yes, Robusta calls that trigger

  5. The trigger converts data from the APIServer to a concrete event like PodEvent

  6. The PodEvent is passed to all playbook actions

Compatibility of actions and events

This is discussed in Trigger-Action Compatibility from the perspective of a user who configures playbooks in YAML.

Let's look at this from the perspective of a developer who is writing a playbook action in Python.

You declare which events your playbook is compatible with by choosing the first parameter of your playbook's Python function. For example:

@action
def delete_pod(event: PrometheusKubernetesAlert):
if not event.get_pod():
    logging.info("alert is not related to pod")
    return

event.get_pod().delete()

The above action takes PrometheusKubernetesAlert as input and can therefore only be connected to an on_prometheus_alert trigger as no other trigger generates that event object.

However, this action doesn't actually need a Prometheus alert as input as it does nothing with the alert itself. We can modify this action so it takes a PodEvent as input.

@action
def delete_pod(event: PodEvent):
if not event.get_pod():
    logging.info("alert is not related to pod")
    return

event.get_pod().delete()

PrometheusKubernetesAlert is a subclass of PodEvent, so general object-oriented principles apply here: PrometheusKubernetesAlert can be used wherever PodEvent is expected.

Therefore this action can be triggered with on_prometheus_alert but it can also be triggered on any other PodEvent.

Who is compatible with who

Here is the Robusta event hierarchy:

Note

Note that PrometheusKubernetesAlert inherits from many Kubernetes event classes, so you can use on_prometheus_alert with many types of playbook actions. For example, on_prometheus_alert is compatible with any playbook that accepts PodEvent, NodeEvent, DeploymentEvent, and so on. However, at runtime the alert must contain a relevant label in order to map the alert to the relevant Kubernetes object.

Support manual triggers

You're writing a playbook action and you'd like to support Manual Triggers. It's easy.

All classes above with names like PodEvent support manual triggers automatically. When running the manual trigger specify the pod's name and Robusta will generate an artificial event.

On the other hand, events like PodChangeEvent don't support manual triggers. PodChangeEvent cannot be generated artificially because it requires two versions of the pod - a before and after version.