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Part 1: Provision

This is Part 1 of a multi-part, self-paced quick start exercise that will focus on provisioning an AKS cluster in Azure using the web console or the RCTL CLI.


What Will You Do

In part 1, you will:

  • Create a new Project in your Org
  • Create a Cloud Credential
  • Provision an Azure AKS cluster
  • Verify cluster health
  • Review available dashboards

Step 1: Create Project

In this step, we will create a new project which will serve as a logically isolated "operating environment" (sub tenant).

Note

Creating a project requires "Org Admin" privileges.

  • Create a new project called "aks"

New Project

  • Switch context to this project by clicking on the project in the web console

Step 2: Create Cloud Credential

Cloud credentials provide the controller with privileges to programmatically interact with your Azure account so that it can manage the lifecycle of infrastructure associated with AKS clusters.

  • Follow the step-by-step instructions to setup Azure and obtain the required credentials.
  • Follow the step-by-step instructions to create an Azure cloud credential on the controller.
  • Validate the newly created cloud credential to ensure it is configured correctly.

Validate Cloud Credential


Step 3: Configure & Provision Cluster

In this step, you will configure and customize your Azure AKS Cluster using either the web console or the RCTL CLI with a YAML based cluster specification.

  • Navigate to the previously created project in your Org
  • Select Infrastructure -> Clusters
  • Click "New Cluster"
  • Select "Create a New Cluster"
  • Click "Continue"

Create Cluster

  • Select "Public Cloud"
  • Select "Azure"
  • Select "Azure AKS"
  • Enter a cluster name
  • Click "Continue"

Create Cluster

  • Enter the "Resource Group" where the cluster will be created
  • Select the previously created "Cloud Credentials"
  • Select the Azure Region for the cluster
  • Select the K8S Version for the cluster
  • Select the "default-aks" blueprint
  • Click "Save Changes"

Create Cluster

  • Click "Provision"

Provisioning in Process

Provisioning will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. The final step in the process is the blueprint sync for the default blueprint. This can take a few minutes to complete because this requires the download of several container images and deployment of monitoring and log aggregation components.

  • Save the below specification file to your computer as "aks-cluster-basic.yaml". Note, the highlighted sections in the spec will need to be updated to match your environment.
  apiVersion: rafay.io/v1alpha1
  kind: Cluster
  metadata:
    name: aks-get-started-cluster
    project: aks
  spec:
    blueprint: default-aks
    cloudprovider: azure-cc
    clusterConfig:
      apiVersion: rafay.io/v1alpha1
      kind: aksClusterConfig
      metadata:
        name: aks-get-started-cluster
      spec:
        managedCluster:
          apiVersion: "2022-07-01"
          identity:
            type: SystemAssigned
          location: centralindia
          properties:
            apiServerAccessProfile:
              enablePrivateCluster: true
            dnsPrefix: aks-get-started-cluster-dns
            kubernetesVersion: 1.23.8
            networkProfile:
              loadBalancerSku: standard
              networkPlugin: kubenet
          sku:
            name: Basic
            tier: Free
          type: Microsoft.ContainerService/managedClusters
        nodePools:
        - apiVersion: "2022-07-01"
          location: centralindia
          name: primary
          properties:
            count: 1
            enableAutoScaling: true
            maxCount: 1
            maxPods: 40
            minCount: 1
            mode: System
            orchestratorVersion: 1.23.8
            osType: Linux
            type: VirtualMachineScaleSets
            vmSize: Standard_DS2_v2
          type: Microsoft.ContainerService/managedClusters/agentPools
        resourceGroupName: Rafay-ResourceGroup
    proxyconfig: {}
    type: aks

Update the following sections of the specification file with details to match your environment

  • Update the name and project sections with the name of the cluster and the name of the project in your organization

        metadata:
          name: aks-get-started-cluster
          project: aks
    

  • Update the cloudprovider section with the name of the cloud credential that was previously created

        cloudprovider: azure-cc
    

  • Update the name section with the name of the cluster to be created

        metadata:
          name: aks-get-started-cluster
    

  • Update the location sections with the Azure region where the cluster will be created

        location: centralindia
    

  • Update the dnsprefix section with the DNS name prefix to use with the hosted Kubernetes API server FQDN

        dnsPrefix: aks-get-started-cluster-dns
    

  • Update the resourceGroupName section with the name of the Azure Resource Group where the resources will be created

        resourceGroupName: Rafay-ResourceGroup
    

  • Save the updates that were made to the file
  • Execute the following command to provision the cluster from the specification file previously saved
    ./rctl apply -f aks-cluster-basic.yaml
    
    Expected output (with a task id):
{
  "taskset_id": "w2l0q62",
  "operations": [
    {
      "operation": "ClusterCreation",
      "resource_name": "aks-get-started-cluster",
      "status": "PROVISION_TASK_STATUS_PENDING"
    },
    {
      "operation": "NodegroupCreation",
      "resource_name": "primary",
      "status": "PROVISION_TASK_STATUS_INPROGRESS"
    },
    {
      "operation": "BlueprintSync",
      "resource_name": "aks-get-started-cluster",
      "status": "PROVISION_TASK_STATUS_INPROGRESS"
    }
  ],
  "comments": "The status of the operations can be fetched using taskset_id",
  "status": "PROVISION_TASKSET_STATUS_PENDING"
}

To retrieve the status of the apply operation, enter the below command with the generated task id

./rctl status apply w2l0q62

Expected Output

{
  "taskset_id": "w2l0q62",
  "operations": [
    {
      "operation": "ClusterCreation",
      "resource_name": "aks-get-started-cluster",
      "status": "PROVISION_TASK_STATUS_INPROGRESS"
    },
    {
      "operation": "NodegroupCreation",
      "resource_name": "primary",
      "status": "PROVISION_TASK_STATUS_PENDING"
    },
    {
      "operation": "BlueprintSync",
      "resource_name": "aks-get-started-cluster",
      "status": "PROVISION_TASK_STATUS_PENDING"
    }
  ],
  "comments": "Configuration is being applied to the cluster",
  "status": "PROVISION_TASKSET_STATUS_INPROGRESS"
}
  • Login to the web console and view the cluster being provisioned

Create Cluster

Provisioning will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. The final step in the process is the blueprint sync for the default blueprint. This can take a few minutes to complete because this requires the download of several container images and deployment of monitoring and log aggregation components.

Once the cluster finishes provisioning, download the cluster configuration file and compare it to the specification file used to create the cluster. The two files will match.

  • Go to Clusters -> Infrastructure.
  • Click on the Settings Icon for the newly created cluster and select "Download Cluster Config"

Step 4: Verify Cluster

Once provisioning is complete, you should have a ready to use Azure AKS Cluster. We will verify the cluster by checking its health and status.


Step 4a: Cluster Status & Health

The Kubernetes management operator automatically deployed on the cluster by the controller will "maintain a heartbeat" with the controller and will "proactively monitor" the status of the components on the worker node required for communication with the control plane and the controller.

  • Cluster reachability should be not more than 1 minute
  • Control plane should report as Healthy

Cluster Health


Step 4b : Zero Trust Kubectl

Your AKS Cluster's API Server is private and secure (i.e. cloaked and not directly reachable on the Internet). The controller provides a zero trust kubectl channel for authorized users.

  • Click the "Kubectl" button on the cluster card.
  • This will launch a web based kubectl shell for you to securely interact with the API server over a zero trust channel

ZTKA to AKS


Step 5: Dashboards

The default cluster blueprint automatically deploys Prometheus and other components required to monitor the AKS cluster. This data is aggregated from the cluster on the controller in a central, time series database. This data is then made available to administrators in the form of detailed dashboards.

Step 5a: Cluster Dashboard

Click on the cluster name to view the cluster dashboard. You will be presented with time series data for the following

  • Cluster Health
  • CPU Utilization
  • Memory Utilization
  • Storage Utilization
  • Number of Worker Nodes
  • Number of workloads and their status
  • Number of pods and their status

AKS Cluster Dashboard


Step 5b: Node Dashboard

Click on the node to view the node dashboard.

AKS Node Dashboard

Now, click on "Overview". You will be presented with time series data for the following metrics:

  • Node Health
  • CPU Utilization
  • Memory Utilization
  • Storage Utilization

AKS Node Overview


Step 5c: Kubernetes Resources

The dashboard also comes with an integrated Kubernetes dashboard. Click on "Resources" and you will be presented with all the Kubernetes resources organized using a number of filters.

AKS k8s Resources


Recap

Congratulations! At this point, you have

  • Successfully configured and provisioned an Azure AKS cluster
  • Used zero trust kubectl to securely access the AKS cluster's API server
  • Used the integrated cluster, node and k8s dashboards to monitor and view details about the cluster