This chart bootstraps a cluster-autoscaler deployment on a Kubernetes cluster using the Helm package manager. Cluster Autoscaler is a tool that automatically adjusts the size of the Kubernetes cluster when one of the following conditions is true:

  • works with autoscaling groups on AWS, AKS and GCE
  • there are pods that failed to run in the cluster due to insufficient resources,
  • there are nodes in the cluster that have been underutilized for an extended period of time and their pods can be placed on other existing nodes.ns.

When does Cluster Autoscaler change the size of a cluster?

Cluster Autoscaler increases the size of the cluster when:

  • there are pods that failed to schedule on any of the current nodes due to insufficient resources.
  • adding a node similar to the nodes currently present in the cluster would help.
  • Cluster Autoscaler decreases the size of the cluster when some nodes are consistently unneeded for a significant amount of time. A node is unneeded
  • when it has low utilization and all of its important pods can be moved elsewhere.

What are the key best practices for running Cluster Autoscaler?

  • Do not modify the nodes belonging to autoscaled node groups directly. All nodes within the same node group should have the same capacity, labels and system pods running on them.
  • Specify requests for your pods.
  • Use PodDisruptionBudgets to prevent pods from being deleted too abruptly (if needed).
  • Check if your cloud provider’s quota is big enough before specifying min/max settings for your node pools.
  • Do not run any additional node group autoscalers (especially those from your cloud provider).


We recommend using Cluster Autoscaler with the Kubernetes master version for which it was meant. The below combinations have been tested on GCP. We don’t do cross version testing or compatibility testing in other environments. Some user reports indicate successful use of a newer version of Cluster Autoscaler with older clusters, however, there is always a chance that it won’t work as expected. Cluster Autoscaler 0.5.X is the official version shipped with k8s 1.6. We’ve done some basic tests using k8s 1.6 / CA 0.6 and we’re not aware of any problems with this setup. However, Cluster Autoscaler internally simulates Kubernetes’ scheduler and using different versions of scheduler code can lead to subtle issues.


Cluster Autoscaler is designed to run on Kubernetes master node. This is the default deployment strategy on GCP. It is possible to run a customized deployment of Cluster Autoscaler on worker nodes, but extra care needs to be taken to ensure that Cluster Autoscaler remains up and running. Users can put it into kube-system namespace (Cluster Autoscaler doesn’t scale down node with non-mirrored kube-system pods running on them) and add a annotation (so that the rescheduler, if enabled, will kill other pods to make space for it to run).

Tell us about a new Kubernetes application


Never miss a thing! Sign up for our newsletter to stay updated.


Discover and learn about everything Kubernetes