PKS

Deploy VMware PKS – Part3

In  continuation to  my PKS installation, we are now going to install and configure the PKS Control Plane which provides a frontend API that will be used by Cloud Operators and Platform Operators to very easily interact with PKS for provisioning and managing (create, delete, list, scale up/down) Kubernetes Clusters.

Once a Kubernetes cluster has been successfully provisioned through PKS by Cloud Operations , the operators will need to  provide  the external hostname of the K8S Cluster and the Kubectl configuration file to their developers and then developers can  start consuming this newly provisioned K8s clusters and deploying applications without knowing simplicity/complexity of PKS/NSX-T.

Previous Posts of this series for your reference is here:

Download PKS

First of all download PKS from Pivotal Network , file will have extension .pivotal.

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Installation Procedure

To import the PKS Tile, go to the home page of Ops Manager and click “Import a Product” and select the PKS package to begin the import process in to ops manager , it takes some time since this is a 4+GB appliance.

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Once the PKS Tile has been successfully imported, go ahead and click on the “plus” sign to add the PKS Tile which will make it available for us to start configuring. After that, Click the orange Pivotal Container Service tile to start the configuration process.

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Assign AZ and Networks

  • Here we will place the PKS API vm in the Management AZ and on the PKS Management Network that we have created on dvs in previous posts.
  • Choose Network which PKS API VM will use to connect to Network , in our case it is management network.
  • First time installation of PKS does not apply “Service Network” but we need to choose a network , for this installation i have created a NSX-T LS called “k8s” for Service network and i can use this in future, you can also create or specify “pks-mgmt” as this does not apply on new installation.
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Configure PKS API

  • Generate a wild card certificate for PKS API by selecting Generate RSA Certificate and create a DNS record.
  • Worker VM Max in Flight:  This makes sure how many instances of a component (non-canary worker) can start simultaneously when a cluster is created or resized. The variable defaults to 1 , which means that only one component starts at a time.
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Create Plans

Basically a plan defines a set of resource types used for deploying clusters. You can configure up to three plans in GUI. You must configure Plan 1.

  • Create multiple plans based on your needs like you can have master either 1 or 3.
  • you can choose to deploy number of worker VMs for each cluster and as per documentation worker nodes upto 200 has been tested but this number can go beyond 200 but sizing needs to be planned based on the other factors (like application and its requirement etc)
  • Availability Zone – Select one or more AZs for the Kubernetes clusters deployed by PKS for Master and same setting you need to configure for worker nodes and if you choose multiple AZ , then equal number of worker node will get deployed across AZs
  • Errand VM Type – select the size of the VM that contains the errand. The smallest instance may be sufficient, as the only errand running on this VM is the one that applies the Default Cluster App YAML configuration.
  • To allow users to create pods with privileged containers, select the Enable Privileged Containers – Use with caution because privileged containers is a container running as privileged essentially disables the security mechanisms provided by Docker and allows code to run on the underlying system.
  • Disable DenyEscalatingExec – This will disable Admission Control.
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Create Plan 2 and Plan3 or just choose Inactive and create them later but remember PKS does not support changing the number of master/etcd nodes for plans with existing deployed clusters.

Configure Kubernetes Cloud Provider (IAAS Provider)

Here you will configure your IAAS where all these VMs will get deployed and in my case this is vSphere based cloud but now PKS supports forAWS, GCP and Azure.

  • Enter vCenter Details like Name , Credentials , data store names etc..

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Configure PKS Logging

  • Logging is optional and can be configured with vRealize Log Insight , for my Lab i am leaving it default.
  • To enable clusters to drain app logs to sinks using SYSLOG://, select the Enable Sink Resources checkbox.
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Configure Networking for Kubernetes Clusters

NSX Manager Super User Principal Identity Certificate – As per NSX-T documentation , a principal can be an NSX-T component or a third-party application such open stack or PKS. With a principal identity, a principal can use the identity name to create an object and ensure that only an entity with the same identity name can modify or delete the object (except Enterprise Admin). A principal identity can only be created or deleted using the NSX-T API. However, you can view principal identities through the NSX Manager UI.

We will have to create a user id and that user, id PKS API uses the NSX Manager superuser principal identity to communicate with NSX-T to create, delete, and modify networking resources for Kubernetes cluster nodes. Follow the steps here to create it.

  • Choose NSX-T as  Networking Interface
  • Specify NSX Manager hostname and generate the certificate as per above step.
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  • Pods IP Block ID – Here enter the UUID of the IP block to be used for Kubernetes pods. PKS allocates IP addresses for the pods when they are created in Kubernetes. every time a namespace is created in Kubernetes, a subnet from this IP block is allocated.
  • Nodes IP Block ID – Here enter the UUID of the IP block to be used for Kubernetes nodes. PKS allocates IP addresses for the nodes when they are created in Kubernetes. The node networks are created on a separate IP address space from the pod networks.
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  • T0 Router ID – Here enter the  T0 router UUID.
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  • Floating IP Pool ID – Here enter the ID that you created for load balancer VIPs. PKS uses these floating IP pool to allocate IP addresses to the load balancers created for each of the clusters. The load balancer routes the API requests to the master nodes and the data plane.
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  • Node DNS – Specify Node DNS Server Name , ensure Nodes are reachable to DNS servers.
  • vSphere Cluster Names – Here enter a comma-separated list of the vSphere clusters where you will deploy Kubernetes clusters. The NSX-T pre-check errand uses this field to verify that the hosts from the specified clusters are available in NSX-T
  • HTTP/HTTPS Proxy – Optional
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Configure User Account and Authentication (UAA)

Before users can log in and use the PKS CLI, you must configure PKS API access with UAA. You use the UAA Command Line Interface (UAAC) to target the UAA server and request an access token for the UAA admin user. If your request is successful, the UAA server returns the access token. The UAA admin access token authorizes you to make requests to the PKS API using the PKS CLI and grant cluster access to new or existing users.

  • Leaving setting default with some timer changes
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Monitoring

You can monitor kubernetes cluster and pods using VMware Wavefront , which i will be covering in a separate post.

  • For now leave it default.

Usage Data

VMware’s Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) and the Pivotal Telemetry Program (Telemetry)  program.

  • choose based in your preference.

Errands

Errands are scripts that run at designated points during an installation.

  • Since we are running PKS with NSX-T , we must need to verify our NSX-T configuration.
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Resource Config for PKS VM

Edit resources used by the Pivotal Container Service job and if there are timeouts while accessing PKS API VM , use high resource VM Type , for this LAB i am going with Default.

  • Leave it default.
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Missing Stemcell

A stemcell is a versioned Operating System image wrapped with IaaS specific packaging.A typical stemcell contains a bare minimum OS skeleton with a few common utilities pre-installed, a BOSH Agent, and a few configuration files to securely configure the OS by default. For example: with vSphere, the official stemcell for Ubuntu Trusty is an approximately 500MB VMDK file.

Click on missing stemcell link which will take you to StemCell Library. Here you can see PKS requires stemcell 170.15 , since i have already downloaded thats the reason it is showing 170.25 in the deployed section but in new installation cases it will show none  deployed. Click IMPORT STEMCELL and choose a stemcell which can be downloaded from Here to import.

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Apply Changes

Return to Ops Manager installation Dashboard and click on “Review Pending Changes” and finally “Apply Changes” , this will go ahead and deploy PKS API VM at your IAAS location which you have chosen while configuring PKS tile.

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and if the configuration of the tile is correct , around after 30 minute , you will see a successful message that deployment has been completed , which gives very nice feeling that your hard work  and dedication resulting success (for me it failed couple of time because of storage/network and resource issues).

To identify which VM has been deployed , you can check custom attributes or go back to  the Installation Dashboard, click the PKS tile then go to the Status tab. Here we can see the IP address of our PKS API , also notice CID which is VM name in vCenter inventory. also you can see the health of the PKS VM.

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This completes the PKS VM deployment procedure. in the next post we will deploy kubernetes Cluster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Deploy VMware PKS – Part2

In this part I will begin PKS installation by deploying Pivotal Ops Manager which basically provides a management interface (UI/API) for Platform Operators to manage the complete lifecycle of both BOSH and PKS starting from install then going to patch and upgrade.

To refer other posts of this series are here:

Getting Started with VMware PKS & NSX-T

Deploy VMware PKS – Part1

In addition, you can also deploy new application services using Ops Manager Tiles like adding an Enterprise-class Container Registry like VMware Harbor which can then be configured to work with PKS.

Installing OpsManager

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  • Once Downloaded , Log into vCenter using the vSphere Web Client or HTML5 Client to deploy the Ops Manager OVA.
  • Choose your Management cluster , appropriate network and other OVA deployment options , i am not going to cover OVA deployment procedure here. Only at customize template , enter below details:
    • Admin Password: A default password for the user “ubuntu”.
      • If you do not enter a password, Ops Manager will not boot up.
    • Custom hostname: The hostname for the Ops Manager VM, in My example opsmgr.corp.local.
    • DNS: One or more DNS servers for the Ops Manager VM.
    • Default Gateway: The default gateway for Ops Manager.
    • IP Address: The IP address of the Ops Manager network interface.
    • NTP Server: The IP address of one or more NTP servers for Ops Manager.
    • Netmask: The network mask for Ops Manager.1.png
  • Create a DNS entry for the IP address that you used for Ops Manager ,which we will use in next steps. use this DNS NAME/IP address and browse on a browser , which will take you to Authentication System for initial authentication setup and for our setup, i will use “Internal Authentication” for this Lab. Click on “Internal Authentication”
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  • Next, you will be prompted to create a new admin user which we will use to manage BOSH. Once you have successfully created the user, go ahead and login with the new user account
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  • Once you are logged into Ops Manager, you can see that the BOSH Tile is already there but is showing as un-configured (orange colour denotes un-configured) which means BOSH has not yet been deployed yet. Go ahead and click on the tile to begin the configuration to deploy BOSH.
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Before starting Bosh Tile configuration , we need to prepare NSX Manager, listed below procedure for:

Generating and Registering the NSX Manager Certificate for PKS

The NSX Manager CA certificate is used to authenticate PKS with NSX Manager. You create an IP-based, self-signed certificate and register it with the NSX Manager.By default, the NSX Manager includes a self-signed API certificate with its hostname as the subject and issuer. PKS Ops Manager requires strict certificate validation and expects the subject and issuer of the self-signed certificate to be either the IP address or fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the NSX Manager. That’s the reason, we need to regenerate the self-signed certificate using the FQDN of the NSX Manager in the subject and issuer field and then register the certificate with the NSX Manager using the NSX API.

  • Create a file for the certificate request parameters named “nsx-cert.cnf” in a linux VM where openssl tool is installed.
  • Write below content in to the file which we create in above step.
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  • Export the NSX_MANAGER_IP_ADDRESS and NSX_MANAGER_COMMONNAME environment variables using the IP address of your NSX Manager and the FQDN of the NSX Manager host.
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  • Using openssl tool generate the certificate by running below command:
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  • Verify the certificate by running command as below:
    • ~$ openssl x509 -in nsx.crt -text -noout and ensure SAN has DNS name and IP addresses.
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  • Import this Certificate in NSX Manager , go to System -> Trust -> Certificates and click on Import -> Import Certificate
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  • Ensure that Certificate looks like this in your NSX Manager.
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  • Next is to Register the certificate with NSX Manager using below procedure , first the ID of the certificate from gui.
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  • Run the below command (in to your API client ) to register the certificate using below command replace “CERTIFICATE-ID” with your certificate ID.

Now let’s configure BOSH tile , which will deploy BOSH based on our input parameters.

Configure BOSH Tile to Deploy BOSH Director

Click on the tile. It will open the tile’s setting tab with the vCenter Config parameters page.

  • vCenter Config 
    • Name: a unique meaning full name
    • vCenter Host: The hostname of the vCenter.
    • vCenter Username: Username for above VC with create and delete privileges for virtual machines (VMs) and folders.
    • vCenter Password: the password of above VC.
    • Datacenter Name: Exact name of data center object in vCenter
    • Virtual Disk Type: Select “Thin” or “Thick”
    • Ephemeral Datastore Names: The names of the data stores that store ephemeral VM disks deployed by Ops Manager , you can specify many data stores by using comma.
    • Persistent Datastore Names (comma delimited): The names of the datastores that store persistent VM disks deployed by Ops Manager.
    • To deploy BOSH as well as the PKS Control Plane VMs, Ops Manager will go ahead and upload a Stemcell VM ( A VM Template that PKS) and it will clone from that image for both PKS Management VMs as well as base K8S VMs.
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  • NSX-T Config 
    • Choose NSX Networking and Select NSX-T 
    • NSX Address: IP/DNS Name for NSX-T Manager.
    • NSX Username and NSX Password: NSX-T credential
    • NSX CA Cert: Open the NSX CA Cert that you generated in above section and copy/paste its content to this field.
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  •  Other Config
    • VM Folder: The vSphere datacenter folder where Ops Manager places VMs.
    • Template Folder: The vSphere folder where Ops Manager places stemcells(templates).
    • Disk path Folder: The vSphere datastore folder where Ops Manager creates attached disk images. You must not nest this folder.
    • And Click on “Save”.
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  • Director Config
    • For Director config , i have put in few details like:
      • NTP Server Details
      • Enable VM Resurrector Plugin
      • Enable Post Deploy Scripts
      • Recreate all VMs (optional)
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  • Availability Zone    
    • Availability zones are defined at a vSphere Cluster level. These AZs will then be used by BOSH director to determine where to deploy the PKS Management VMs as well as the Kubernetes VMs.Multiple Availability Zones allow you to provide high-availability across data centers. for this demonstration i have created two AZs, one for Management and one for my Compute.15.png
  • Create Network
    • Since i am using dvs for my PKS management component , we need to specify those details in to this segment and make sure you select the Management AZ which is the vSphere Cluster where BOSH and PKS Control Plane VM will be deployed.

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  • Assign AZs and Networks 
    • In this section,  Define the AZ and networking placement settings for the PKS Management VM.Singleton Availability Zone – The Ops Manager Director installs in this Availability Zone.

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  • Security & Syslog
    • This section i am leaving default , if required for your deployment , pls refer documentation.
  • Resource Config
    • As per in part 1 sizing , the BOSH director vm by default allocates 2 vCPUs, 8GB memory, 64GB disk and also has a persistent disk of 50GB and Each of the four Compilation VMs uses 4 vCPUs, 4GB memory, 16GB disk each. For my lab deployment i have changed it to suite to my lab resources.Bosh director needs minimum of 8 GB Memory to run , so choose options accordingly.

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  • Review Pending Changes and Apply Changes 
    • With all the input completed, return to the Installation Dashboard view by clicking Installation Dashboard at the top of the window. The BOSH Director tile will now have a green bar indicating all the required parameters have been entered. Next we click REVIEW PENDING CHANGES and Apply Changes

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  • Monitor Installation and Finish
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    • If all the inputs are right then you will see that your installation is successful

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After you login to your vCenter , you will see a new powered on VM in your  inventory that starts with vm-UUID which is the BOSH VM. Ops Manager uses vSphere Custom Attributes to add additional metadata fields to identify the various VMs it can deploy, you can check what type of VM this is by simply looking at the deployment, instance_group or job property. In this case, we can see its been noted as p-bosh.

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and this completes Ops Manager and BOSH deployment , next post we will install PKS tile.

 

 

Deploy VMware PKS – Part1

In Continuation of my previous blog post here , where i have explained PKS component and sizing details , in this post i will be covering PKS component deployment.

Previous Post in this Series:

Getting Started with VMware PKS & NSX-T

Pre-requisite:

  • Install a New or Existing server which has DNS role installed and configured , which we will use in this deployment.
  • Install vCenter and ESXi , for this Lab i have created two vSphere Cluster:
    • Management Cluster + Edge Cluster – Three Nodes
    • Compute Cluster – Two Nodes
  • Create a Ubuntu server , where you will need to install client utilities like:
    • PKS CLI
      • The PKS CLI is used to create, manage, and delete Kubernetes clusters.
    • KUBECTL
      • To deploy workloads/applications to a Kubernetes cluster created using the PKS CLI, use the Kubernetes CLI called “kubectl“.
    • UAAC
      • To manage users in Pivotal Container Service (PKS) with User Account and Authentication (UAA). Create and manage users in UAA with the UAA Command Line Interface (UAAC).

    • BOSH
      • BOSH CLI used to manage PKS management components deployments and provides information about the VMs using its Cloud Provider Interface (CPI) which is vSphere in my Lab and could be AZURE , AWS and GCP also.
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      • Bosh Operations Manager command line interface.
  • Prepare NSX-T

    For this Deployment make sure NSX-T is deployed and configured, high level steps are as below:

    • Install NSX Manager
    • Deploy NSX Controllers
    • Register Controllers with Managers as well as other controller with Master controller.
    • Deploy NSX Edge Nodes

    • Register NSX Edge Nodes with NSX Manager

    • Enable Repository Service on NSX Manager

    • Create TEP IP Pool

    • Create Overlay Transport Zone

    • Create VLAN Transport Zone

    • Create Edge Transport Nodes

    • Create Edge Cluster

    • Create T0 Logical Router and configure BGP routing with physical device

    • Configure Edge Nodes for HA

    • Prepare ESXi Servers for the PKS Compute Cluster

My PKS deployment topology is look like below:

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  • PKS Deployment Topology – PKS management stack running out of NSX-T
    • PKS VMs (Ops Manager, BOSH, PKS Control Plane, Harbor) are deployed to a VDS backed portgroup
    • Connectivity between PKS VMs, K8S Cluster Management and T0 Router is through a physical router
    • NAT is only configured on T0 to provide POD networks access to associated K8S Cluster Namespace
  • Create a IP Pool
    • Create a new IP Pool which will be used to allocate Virtual IPs for the exposed K8S Services The network also provides IP addresses for Kubernetes API access. Go to Inventory->Groups->IP Pool and enter the following configuration:
      • Name: PKS-FLOATING-POOL
      • IP Range: 172.26.0.100 – 172.26.255.254
      • CIDR: 172.26.0.0/16
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  • Create POD-IP-BLOCK
    • We need to create a new POD IP Block which will by used by PKS on-demand to create smaller /24 networks and assigned those to each K8S namespace. This IP block should be sized sufficiently to ensure that you do not run out of addresses. To create POD-IP-BLOCK , go to NETWORKING->IPAM and enter the following:
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  •  Create NODEs-IP-BLOCK
    • We need to create new NODEs IP Block which will be used by PKS to assign IP address to Kubernetes master and worker nodes.Each Kubernetes cluster owns the /24 subnet , so to deploy multiple Kubernetes clusters, plan for larger than /24 subnet. (recommendation is /16)
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Prepare Client VM

  • Create and install a small Ubuntu VM with default configuration. you can use the latest server version and insure that the VM has internet connectivity either by proxy or direct.
  • Once the Ubuntu VM is ready , download PKSCLI and KUBECTL from https://network.pivotal.io/products/pivotal-container-service

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and copy both the PKS (pks-linux-amd64-1.3.0-build.126 or latest) and Kubectl                      (kubectl-linux-amd64-1.12.4 or latest) CLI to VM.

  • Now SSH to the Ubuntu VM and run the following commands to make binaries executable and renaming/relocating them to /usr/local/bin directory:
    • chmod +x pks-linux-amd64-1.3.0-build.126
    • chmod +x kubectl-linux-amd64-1.12.4
    • mv pks-linux-amd64-1.3.0-build.126 /usr/local/bin/pks
    • mv kubectl-linux-amd64-1.12.4 /usr/local/bin/kubectl
    • Check version using – pks -v and kubectl version
  • Next is to install Cloud Foundry UAAC , run this command
    • apt -y install ruby ruby-dev gcc build-essential g++
    • gem install cf-uaac
    • Check version using – uaac -v
  • Next is to install
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This completes this part , in the next part we will start deploying PKS management VMs and their configuration.

 

Whats new with VMware PKS v1.3

Last week VMware announced release of PKS 1.3 , which has some of the much awaited features  like enhance multi-cloud support, additional networking and security options, ease of management and operations. Few features i am going to discusses here:

Microsoft Azure support as IAAS

VMware PKS already support VMware vSphere , Google Cloud Platform and Amazon EC2 as supported platform for PKS deployment , in this new VMware PKS 1.3 release introduces support for Microsoft Azure. so now you can deploy production grade kubernetes from a single console to your choice of IAAS. Here is the list of features supported by PKS on different IAAS.

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Kubernetes 1.12 Support

if you see kubernetes 1.12 release notes around 60+ enhancement and features has been introduced so it make all the sense to upgrade to Kubernetes 1.12.4.

Backup and Recovery of Kubernetes Clusters

This release supports backup and recovery of Kubernetes clusters when they are deployed in a single master mode. You can recover Kubernetes clusters and stateless workloads by using the BOSH Backup and Restore (BBR) toolset.

Smoke Tests

Smoke tests let you assess the impact of an upgrade before actually upgrading running clusters.The smoke tests create an ephemeral Kubernetes cluster after each upgrade of VMware PKS, but before applying upgrades to running Kubernetes clusters. This ensures that a test cluster can be provisioned and basic Kubernetes functionality validated with the upgraded software before applying the upgrade to the running clusters. Upon successful completion of the smoke test, the test cluster is deprovisioned to reduce resource consumption, and upgrades then proceed on the running clusters.

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Support for Multiple Tier 0 and Selectable Tier 0 Routers

As you know NSX-T Tier 0 edges connects the physical and virtual networks. A single VMware NSX-T instance can support multiple Tier 0 routers. By deploying Kubernetes clusters across multiple Tier 0 routers service providers get better network isolation between tenants and additionally  service providers can use multiple Tier 0 routers which allows them to use overlapping IP address ranges, providing greater autonomy to tenants in choosing IP address ranges for their services.

With this VMware PKS 1.3 release, now provider/customer can specify a Tier 0 router using the network profile when you create a cluster (pks create cluster). The Kubernetes clusters and all networking objects that are created or configured as part of the cluster such as a load balancer, Tier 1 routers, and SNAT rules are created on this Tier 0 router. Given that a single Tier 0 router can support a finite set of such networking objects, use of multiple Tier 0 routers allows much greater scale.

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Support for Larger Load Balancers

Previous versions of VMware PKS, we can only specify small or medium load balancers. now with VMware PKS 1.3 , it adds support for large load balancers. large load balancers provides higher scale in areas like number of services, number of backend pods per service, and throughput per service.

Routable CIDR blocks for Pod Networks

Routable IP addresses assigned to pods provide traceability of workloads making egress requests. also routable IP addresses provide direct ingress access to pods for some of the specialized workloads. With VMware PKS 1.3, at the time of Kubernetes cluster creation, you can specify whether you need the pods to be routable or non-routable (NAT’ed) by using the network profile.

Specific IP Address Range and Subnet Size for Pod IP Addresses

VMware PKS 1.3 allow you to override the global pod IP address block configured for VMware PKS with a custom IP address block range along with a custom subnet size. This feature helps in where your global IP address range for pods is reaching capacity and you need to deploy new Kubernetes clusters or you need a larger or smaller size subnet for each namespace being created within a cluster.

Multiple VMware PKS Control Planes across a Single NSX-T Instance

With this new release, multiple instances of VMware PKS can be deployed on a single shared NSX-T instance. Each instance of the VMware PKS control plane can be deployed on a dedicated NSX-T Tier 0 router to provide complete end-to-end isolation. With this feature, users can dedicate separate VMware PKS instances to their development, staging, and production environments or cloud provider can offer dedicated PKS as a Service to their customer.

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Harbor 1.7

Harbor is an VMware’s contribution to open source community , Harbor is open source cloud native registry that stores, signs, and scans container images for vulnerabilities. Harbor solves common challenges by delivering trust, compliance, performance, and interoperability. with PKS 1.3 , Harbor 1.7 has been shipped and offers below enhancements like:

  • Support deploy Harbor with Helm Chart, enables the user to have high availability of Harbor services.
  • Support on-demand Garbage Collection, enables the admin to configure run docker registry garbage collection manually or automatically with a cron schedule.
  • Support Image Retag, enables the user to tag image to different repositories and projects, this is particularly useful in cases when images need to be retagged programmatically in a CI pipeline.
  • Support Image Build History, makes it easy to see the contents of a container image.
  • Improve user experience of Helm Chart Repository:
    • Chart searching included in the global search results
    • Show chart versions total number in the chart list
    • Mark labels to helm charts
    • The chart can be deleted by deleting all the versions under it

Monitoring with vRealize Operation Manager

With the integration of cAdvisor, vRops can be used to monitor entire cloud native infrastructure with the help of vRops Management Pack for Containers.

Sinks

Sink resources include both pod logs as well as events from the Kubernetes API. These events are combined in a shared format that provides operators with a robust set of filtering and monitoring options. Now inbuilt Support for creating sink resources with the PKS Command Line Interface.

Workers Scale up and down

with this version kubernetes cluster’s worker node can easily be scaled up and down with a single command like:

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These are the some of the important features which i like to share , for details feature list check Release note here.

 

How to Prepare for Certified Kubernetes Administration (CKA) Exam

Finally my last two months of preparation for the CKA exam is paid off , when i got this:

CKA.png

so after getting certified , i got lots of message from friends , colleagues around how to prepare for the exam , so this post is all about how to prepare for the exam , one of my friend in his blog (Blog Link) shared that this is manageable exam not as tough as people talk about and i totally agree with him that it is achievable with lots of practice and hard work on understanding the product.

About CKA Exam

The Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) program was created by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), in collaboration with The Linux Foundation, to help develop the Kubernetes ecosystem. Kubernetes is one of the highest velocity open source projects and is exploding. CNCF offers a certification program that allows users to demonstrate their competence in a hands-on, command-line environment. The purpose of the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) program is to provide assurance that CKAs have the skills, knowledge, and competency to perform the responsibilities of Kubernetes administrators.

CKA is an online, proctored, performance-based test that requires solving multiple issues from a command line.this  certification focuses on the skills required to be a successful Kubernetes Administrator in industry today. This includes these general domains and their weights on the exam:

  • Application Lifecycle Management 8%
  • Installation, Configuration & Validation 12%
  • Kubernetes Core Concepts 19%
  • Kubernetes Networking 11%
  • Kubernetes Scheduling 5%
  • Kubernetes Security 12%
  • Kubernetes Cluster Maintenance 11%
  • Kubernetes Logging / Monitoring 5%
  • Kubernetes Storage 7%
  • Kubernetes Troubleshooting 10%

How to Prepare – My Way of Preparation 

First to prepare for the exam , ensure that you deploy a LAB , without LAB and practice you can not pass the exam no way!!. for Lab i followed below:

You need three virtual machines , so deploy a Lab with three nodes, can be easily setup on a laptop/desktop with virtulization software like VMware Workstation or Virtual Box etc..

  • Deploy Kubernetes using “Kubernetes the Hard Way” , this will help you understand communication between nodes and what all components makes kubernetes.
  • Understand Kubernetes Architecture Components in Detail.

you can also choose above or can deploy on one of your favourite public or private cloud environments. once Lab is ready , i would suggest kubernetes.io is the best resource for preparation of this exam, since in exam you are allowed to open “kubernetes.io” , so preparation from this website is going to help you in the exam also. I prepared using “kubernetes.io” website. all though i  would suggest that you follow each and every page of this website and here are few links on which i focused more for the exam:

Time management is the Key

time management is very important during this exam. CKA exam is  3 hour exam, its is very important to be careful and to pace yourself on the questions so as not get stuck on one question for too long. The exam environment (i.e. ssh session) runs in Google Chrome with a specific extension and can be laggy and slow at times. In addition, I noticed myself spending way too much time trying to select text and running into various UI issues , be prepared and have lots of practice in your labs. there is no way you can successfully clear the exam if not practicing a lot.

The day of the exam

Here are the few Tips for the Exam:

  • Before the exam, the examiner will ask you to clean your desk completely.

  • The place should be quiet because even if you work with headphones you will not be allowed to use them and for next three hours no body will be allowed in the room.

  • The examiner will ask you to see all the room, even under the desk.
  • The examiner will not talk to you by voice, only by chat. He/she will hear you because you will need to share the screen and micro phone.
  • The exam happens in a Chrome tab, the left side will show you the questions and the percentage marks of the questions.The right side is for the shell, I tried to use tmux  ( i would suggest not to use ) there, but it was pretty difficult inside a browser terminal. You can also have a popup with notes.
  • You can only open a tab with kubernetes.io and use its search box, no Google or anything .
  • It’s ok to request a brake, but be very careful because the time doesn’t stop.
  • You have three hours to finish the exam, if you get blocked it’s better to skip that question for now and retake it later.

So, that’s it from me. If you are interested in Kubernetes and you work with it go ahead and prepare for it and once you are certified , you will be proud on you because this certification really does carry the weight it implies and the real-world, live cluster examination is a nail-biter. i like the way CNCF measuring this competency using a Live Lab exam than a multiple choice exam. Best of Luck!!!

 

VMware PKS, NSX-T & Kubernetes Networking & Security explained

In continuation of my last post on VMware PKS and NSX-T explaining on getting started with VMware PKS and NSX-T (Getting Started with VMware PKS & NSX-T) , here is next one explaining around behind the scene NSX-T automation for Kubernetes by VMware NSX CNI plugin and PKS.

NSX-T address all the K8s networking functions, load balancing , IPAM , Routing and Firewalling needs, it supports complete automation and dynamic provisioning of network objects required for K8s and it’s workload and this is what i am going to uncover in this blog post.

Other features  like it has support for different topology choice for POD and NODE networks (NAT or NO-NAT) , it supports network security policies for Kubernetes , Clusters , Namespaces and individual services and it also supports network traceability/visibility using NSX-T in built operational tools for kubernetes.

I will be covering the deployment procedure of PKS after some time but just want to let explain that what happens on NSX-T side when you run “#pks create cluster” on PKS command line..and then when you create K8s Namespaces and PODs

pks create cluster

So when you run #pks create cluster with some argument , it goes to vCenter and deploys Kubernetes Master and Worker VMs based on specification you have chosen during deployment and on NSX-T side a new logical switch get created for these vms and get connected to these vms. (in this Example one K8s Master and 2 Nodes has been deployed) , along with logical switch , a Tier-1 cluster router get created which get connected to your organisation’s Tier-0 router.

K8s Master and Node Logical Switches

13.png

K8s Cluster connectivity towards Tier-0

12.png

Kubernetes Namespaces and NSX-T

Now if K8s cluster deployed successfully, Kubernetes cluster by default deploys three name space:

  • Default – The default namespace for objects with no other namespace.
  • kube-system – The namespace for objects created by the Kubernetes system.
  • kube-public – The namespace is created automatically and readable by all users (including those not authenticated). This namespace is mostly reserved for cluster usage, in case that some resources should be visible and readable publicly throughout the whole cluster. The public aspect of this namespace is only a convention, not a requirement.

for each default namespace, PKS automatically deploys and configures NSX-T Logical Switchs and each logical switch will have its own Tier-1 router connected to Tier-0.

14.png

pks-infrastructure Namespace and NSX-T

in the above figure you can clearly see “default”,”kube-public” and “kube-system” Logical Switches. there is another Logical Switch “pks-infrastructure” get created which is pks specific namespace and running pks related stuff like NSX-T CNI. “pks-infrastructure” is running NSX-NCP CNI plugin to integrate NSX-T with kubernetes.

15.png

kube-system Namespace & NSX-T

Typically, this runs pod like heapster , kube-dns , kubernetes-dashboard,  monitoring db , telemetry agent and stuff like ingresses and so on if you deploy so.

16.png

on NSX-T side as explained earlier a Logical switch get created for this Namespace and for each system POD a logical port get created by PKS on NSX-T.

17.png

Default Namespace & NSX-T

This is the cluster’s default namespace which is used for holding the default set of pods, services, and deployments used by the cluster. so when you deploy a POD without creating/specifying a new name space , “default Namespace” becomes default container to hold these pods and as explained earlier this also has its own NSX-T logical switch with a uplink port to Tier-1 router.

18.png

now when you deploy a Kubernetes pod without a new namespace , since that POD will be part of “Default Namespace”, PKS create a NSX-T logical port on the default logical switch.   let’s create a simple POD:

19.png

let’s go back to NSX-T’s  “Default Namespace” logical switch:

20.png

as you can see a new logical port has been created on default logical switch.

New Namespace & NSX-T

Kubernetes supports multiple virtual clusters backed by the same physical cluster. These virtual clusters are called namespaces. in simple terms Namespaces are like org vdc in vCD and Kubernetes best practice is to arrange PODs in namespaces. so when we create a new Namespace , what happens in NSX-T ?

i have created a new Namespace called “demo”.

23.png

if you observe below images left image showing default switches and right image is showing logical switches after creation of new Namespace.

and as you can see a new Logical switch has been created for new Namespace.

if you are creating PODs in default Namespace then all the pods get attached to default logical switch and if you are creating Namespace ( which is K8s best-practice) then a new logical switch get created and any POD which is getting deployed in this namespace will be part of its NSX-T logical switch and this new logical switch will also have its own Tier-1 router connecting to Tier-0 router.

24.png

Expose PODs to Outer World

in this example we deployed POD and get the internal network connectivity but internal only connectivity is not going to give access to this web server to outer world and this is default forbidden in kubernetes , so we need to expose this deployment using load balancer to the public interface on the specific port. let’s do that:

26.png

27.png

Lets browse this App using EXTERNAL-IP as you might know CLUSTER-IP is internal ip.

33.png

Kubernetes Cluster and NSX-T Load Balancer

As above when we expose this deployment using service on NSX-T there is a cluster load balancer get deployed automatically when we create cluster , on this load balancer NSX-CNI go ahead and add pod to virtual servers under a new load balancer VIP.

28.png

if we drill down to pool members of this VIP , we will see our kubernetes pod ep ips.

29.png

behind the scene when you deploy a cluster a LB logical switch and LB Tier-1 router which is having logical connectivity to the Load Balancer and Tier-0 Router , so that you can access the deployment externally.

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This is what your Tier-0 will look like, having connectivity to all the Tier-1 and Tier-1 is having connected to Namespace logical switches.

32.png

these all logical switchs, Tier-1 router , Tier-0 router creations , their connectivity , LB creations etc all has been done automatically by NSX-T container (CNI) plugin and PKS. i was really thrilled when i tried this first time and it was so simple , if you understood the concept.

Kubernetes and Micro-segmentation

The NSX-T container plugin helps to exposure of container “Pods”as NSX-T logical switch /ports and because of this we can easily implement micro-segmentation rules. once “Pods ” expose to the NSX ecosystem, we can use the same approach we have with Virtual Machines for implementing micro segmentation and other security measures.

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or you can use security groups based on tags to achieve micro segmentation.

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This is what i have tried in this post to explain what happen behind the scene on NSX-T networking stack when you deploy and expose your applications on kubernetes and how we can bring in proven NSX-T based micro-segmentation.

Enjoy learning PKS,NSX-T and Kubernetes one of the best combination for Day-1 and Day-2 operation of kubernetes 🙂 and feel free to comment and suggestions.

 

 

 

Getting Started with VMware PKS & NSX-T

VMware Pivotal Container Service (PKS) provides a Kubernetes based container service for deploying and operating modern applications across private and public clouds. basically it is Managed kubernetes for multiple kubernetes cluster and aimed at Day 2 operations. K8S is designed with focus on high availability, auto-scaling and supports rolling upgrades.

PKS integrates with VMware NSX-T for advanced container networking, including micro-segmentation, ingress controller, load balancing, and security policy and also by using VMware Harbor, PKS secures container images through vulnerability scanning, image signing, and auditing.A PKS deployment consists of multiple VM instances classified into 2 different categories:

PKS Management Plane –

PKS management plane consist of below VMs:

tiles.png

  • PCF Ops Manager

Pivotal Operations Manager (Ops Manager) is a graphical interface for deploying and managing Pivotal BOSH, PKS Control Plane, and VMware Harbor application tiles. Ops Manager also provides a programmatic interface for performing lifecycle management of Ops Manager and application tiles.

  • VMware BOSH Director

Pivotal BOSH is an open-source tool for release engineering for the deployment and lifecycle management of large distributed systems. By using BOSH, developers can version, package, and deploy software in a consistent and reproducible manner.

BOSH is the first component, that’s installed by Ops Manager. BOSH is a primary PKS tile.BOSH was originally designed to deploy open source Cloud Foundry.Internally BOSH has below components:

  1. Director: This holds the role of core orchestration engine controls the provisioning of vms , required softwares and service life cycle events.
  2. Blobstore: The Blobstore stores the source forms of releases and the compiled images of releases. An operator uploads a release using the CLI, and the Director inserts the release into the Blobstore. When you deploy a release, BOSH orchestrates the compilation of packages and stores the result in the Blobstore.
  3. Postgres DB: Bosh director uses a postgres database to store information about the desired state of deployment including information about stemcells, releases and deployments. DB is internal to the Director VM.
  • Pivotal Container Service (PKS Control Plane)

PKS Control Plane is the self service API for on-demand deployment and Life cycle management of K8s clusters. API submit the request to BOSH which automates the creation , deletion and updates of kubernetes clusters.

  • VMware Harbor

VMwware harbor is an open-source, enterprise-class container registry service that stores and distributes container images in a private, on-premises registry. In addition to providing Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), and Active Directory (AD) support, Harbor provides container image vulnerability scanning, policy-based image replication, notary and auditing service.

PKS Data Plane

  • Kubernetes

K8s is an open-source container orchestration framework. Containers package applications and their dependencies in container images. A container image is a distributable artifact that provides portability across multiple environments, streamlining the development and deployment of software. Kubernetes orchestrates these containers to manage and automate resource use, failure handling, availability, configuration, scalability, and desired state of the application.

Integration with NSX-T

VMware NSX-T helps simplify networking and security for Kubernetes by automating the implementation of network policies, network object creation, network isolation, and micro-segmentation. NSX-T also provides flexible network topology choices and end-to-end network visibility.

PKS integrates with VMware NSX-T for production-grade container networking and security. A new capability introduced in NSX-T 2.2 allows you to perform workload SSL termination using Load Balancing services. PKS can leverage this capability to provide better security and workload protection.

Major benefit of using NSX-T with PKS and K8s is automation that is  dynamic provisioning and association of network objects for unified VM and pod networking. The automation includes the following:

  • On-demand provisioning of routers and logical switches for each Kubernetes cluster
  • Allocation of a unique IP address segment per logical switch
  • Automatic creation of SNAT rules for external connectivity
  • Dynamic assignment of IP addresses from an IPAM IP block for each pod
  • On-demand creation of load balancers and associated virtual servers for HTTPS and HTTP
  • Automatic creation of routers and logical switches per Kubernetes namespace, which can isolate environments for production, development, and test.

PKS Networking

  • PKS Management Network

This network will be used to deploy PKS Management components. this could be a dvSwitch or NSX-T logical switch since in my Lab i will be using no NAT topologies with virtual switch. in my Lab i will be using dvs with network segment of 192.168.110.x/24.

  • Kubernetes Node Network

This Network will be used for kubernetes management nodes. it is allocated to master and worker nodes. these nodes embed Node Agent to monitor the liveness of the cluster.

  • Kubernetes Pod Network

This network is used when an application will be deployed on to a new kubernetes namespace. A /24 network is taken from IP Block and is allocated to a specific Kubernetes namespace allowing for network isolation and policies to be applied between name spaces. The NSX-T Container Plugin automatically creates the NSX-T logical switch and Tier-1 router for each name spaces.

  • Load Balancer and NAT Subnet

This network pool, also known as the Floating IP Pool, provides IP addresses for load balancing and NAT services which are required as a part of an application deployment in Kubernetes.

PKS deployment Network Topologies – Refer Here

PKS Deployment Planning

Before you install PKS on vSphere with NSX-T integration, you must prepare your vSphere and NSX-T environment and ensure vCenter, NSX-T components, and ESXi hosts must be able to communicate with each other, ensure we have adequate resources.

  • PKS Management VM Sizing

When you size the vSphere resources, consider the compute and storage requirements for each PKS management component.

VM Name vCPU Memory Storage No. of VMs
Ops Manager 1 8 160 GB 1
BOSH 2 8 103 GB 1
PKS Control VM 2 8 29 GB 1
Compilation VMs 4 4 10 GB 4
Client VM 1 2 8 GB 1
VMware Harbor 2 8 169 GB 1

Compilation vms get created when an initial K8s cluster is deployed, software packages are compiled and four additional service VMs are automatically deployed as a process as a single task and these vms get deleted once compilation process completes. To manage and configure PKS,  PKS and Kubernetes CLI command-line utilities are required , these utilities can be installed locally on a workstation called Client VM.

  • Plan your CIDR block

Before you install PKS on vSphere with NSX-T, you should plan for the CIDRs and IP blocks that you are using in your deployment as explained above. these are the CIDR blocks that we need to plan:

  • PKS MANAGEMENT CIDR
  • PKS LB CIDR
  • Pods IP Block
  • Nodes IP Block

Below are the CIDR blocks that you can’t use because:

The Docker daemon on the Kubernetes worker node uses the subnet in the following CIDR range:

  • 172.17.0.1/16
  • 172.18.0.1/16
  • 172.19.0.1/16
  • 172.20.0.1/16
  • 172.21.0.1/16
  • 172.22.0.1/16

If PKS is deployed with Harbor, Harbor uses the following CIDR ranges for its internal Docker bridges:

  • 172.18.0.0/16
  • 172.19.0.0/16
  • 172.20.0.0/16
  • 172.21.0.0/16
  • 172.22.0.0/16

Each Kubernetes cluster uses the following subnet for Kubernetes services,Do not use the following IP block for the Nodes IP Block:

  • 10.100.200.0/24

In this blog post series i will be deploying NO-NAT topology and will walk you through step by step process of PKS deployment with NSX-T integration.

Next post on this series is VMware PKS, NSX-T & Kubernetes Networking & Security explained , this will help you understand what happens behind the scene in networking and security stack when PKS and NSX-T deploys kubernetes and its networking stack.

 

 

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