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Prefix Delegation

Before you start

Prepare your environment for this section:

~$prepare-environment networking/prefix

Amazon VPC CNI assigns network prefixes to Amazon EC2 network interfaces to increase the number of IP addresses available to nodes and increase pod density per node. You can configure version 1.9.0 or later of the Amazon VPC CNI add-on to assign a prefix instead of assigning individual secondary IP addresses to network interfaces.

With prefix assignment mode, the maximum number of elastic network interfaces per instance type remains the same, but you can now configure Amazon VPC CNI to assign /28 (16 IP addresses) IPv4 address prefixes, instead of assigning individual IPv4 addresses to the slots on network interfaces on nitro EC2 instance type. When ENABLE_PREFIX_DELEGATION is set to true VPC CNI allocates an IP address to a Pod from the prefix assigned to an ENI.


During worker node initialization, the VPC CNI assigns one or more prefixes to the primary ENI. The CNI pre-allocates a prefix for faster pod startup by maintaining a warm pool.

As more Pods scheduled additional prefixes will be requested for the existing ENI. First, the VPC CNI attempts to allocate a new prefix to an existing ENI. If the ENI is at capacity, the VPC CNI attempts to allocate a new ENI to the node. New ENIs will be attached until the maximum ENI limit (defined by the instance type) is reached. When a new ENI is attached, ipamd will allocate one or more prefixes needed to maintain the warm pool settings.


Please visit EKS best practices guide for the list of recommendations for using VPC CNI in prefix mode.