Deploying vSphere CPI using Helm

The purpose of this guide is to provide the reader with step by step instructions on how to deploy the vSphere CPI on vSphere infrastructure using Helm. The reader will learn how to install and configure Helm as well as learn about basic Helm operations. At the end of this tutorial you will have a fully configured vSphere CPI running on a vSphere environment.

Prerequisites

Review the comprehensive guide locate at Deploying a Kubernetes Cluster on vSphere with CSI and CPI. The prerequisites found in that guide also apply when deploying the CPI via Helm. This guide also assumes that you have a Kubernetes cluster up and running. If you need assistance in setting up a Kubernetes cluster, please refer to the Deploying a Kubernetes Cluster on vSphere with CSI and CPI guide for cluster setup instructions.

Helm requirements

The Helm Chart for vSphere CPI has been tested and verified working using Helm v.2.16.X and v3.0.0+. It is highly recommended that Helm v3.0.0+ be used when deploying the Helm Chart for vSphere CPI. At any point should you have additional questions regarding Helm, please visit this website for the official Helm documentation.

Setting up Helm

Before you begin, all outlined steps below are carried out on the master node only.

Download the latest release of Helm appropriate for your platform. At the time of writing this Helm quickstart guide, the latest release is v3.0.1. It is highly recommended using Helm v3.0.0+ when deploying the Helm Chart for vSphere CPI.

After the download is complete, unpack and install Helm v3.0.0.

# tar -zxvf helm-v3.0.1-linux-amd64.tgz
# sudo mv linux-amd64/helm /usr/local/bin/helm

Verify that Helm installed successfully by running the following command:

# helm help

For Helm v3.0.0+, we need to add the stable charts repo on Helm in order to consume those charts. This can be done by executing the following command:

# helm repo add stable https://kubernetes-charts.storage.googleapis.com/
"stable" has been added to your repositories
# helm repo update
Hang tight while we grab the latest from your chart repositories...
...Successfully got an update from the "stable" chart repository
Update Complete. ⎈ Happy Helming!⎈

You can verify access to the stable repo by search for the Helm chart for vSphere CPI.

# helm search repo vsphere-cpi
NAME                CHART VERSION   APP VERSION     DESCRIPTION
stable/vsphere-cpi  0.1.2           1.0.0           A Helm chart for vSphere Cloud Provider Interfa...

Check that all nodes are tainted

Before continuing, make sure all nodes are tainted with node.cloudprovider.kubernetes.io/uninitialized=true:NoSchedule. When the kubelet is started with “external” cloud provider, this taint is set on a node to mark it as unusable. After a controller from the cloud provider initializes this node, the kubelet removes this taint.

# kubectl describe nodes | egrep "Taints:|Name:"
Name:               k8s-master
Taints:             node-role.kubernetes.io/master:NoSchedule
Name:               k8s-node1
Taints:             node.cloudprovider.kubernetes.io/uninitialized=true:NoSchedule
Name:               k8s-node2
Taints:             node.cloudprovider.kubernetes.io/uninitialized=true:NoSchedule
Name:               k8s-node3
Taints:             node.cloudprovider.kubernetes.io/uninitialized=true:NoSchedule
Name:               k8s-node4
Taints:             node.cloudprovider.kubernetes.io/uninitialized=true:NoSchedule

Deploying vSphere CPI for Simple Configurations

If your vSphere environment contains only a single vCenter Server where the default vsphere.conf is acceptable, this section should be sufficient for your deployment needs. You can deploy the Helm Chart for vSphere CPI using the follwing single Helm command:

# helm install vsphere-cpi stable/vsphere-cpi --set config.enabled=true --set config.vcenter=vCenterIPOrFQDN --set config.username=vCenterUsername --set config.password=vCenterPassword --set config.datacenter=vCenterDatacenter

Here is a description of the fields used in the vsphere.conf configmap.

  • config.enabled should be set to true to enable the functionality to create the configMap and secret
  • config.vcenter the IP address or FQDN for your vCenter Server should be specified here
  • config.username holds the username to be used for your vCenter Server
  • config.password holds the password to be used for your vCenter Server
  • config.datacenter should be the list of all comma separated datacenters where kubernetes node VMs are present.

Deploying vSphere CPI for Advanced Configurations

If your vSphere environment contains multiple vCenter Servers or the default parameters contained within the vsphere.conf must be changed, you can deploy the Helm Chart using the procedure below.

  1. Create a CPI configMap
  2. Create a CPI secret
  3. Deploy vSphere CPI using Helm

Create a CPI configMap

This cloud-config configmap file, passed to the CPI on initialization, contains details about the vSphere configuration. This file, which here we have called vsphere.conf has been populated with some sample values. Obviously, you will need to modify this file to reflect your own vSphere configuration.

# tee /etc/kubernetes/vsphere.conf >/dev/null <<EOF
[Global]
port = "443"
insecure-flag = "true"
secret-name = "cpi-global-secret"
secret-namespace = "kube-system"

[VirtualCenter "1.1.1.1"]
datacenters = "finance"

[VirtualCenter "192.168.0.1"]
datacenters = "hr"

[VirtualCenter "10.0.0.1"]
datacenters = "engineering"
secret-name = "cpi-engineering-secret"
secret-namespace = "kube-system"

EOF

Here is a description of the fields used in the vsphere.conf configmap.

  • insecure-flag should be set to true to use self-signed certificate for login
  • VirtualCenter section is defined to hold property of vcenter. IP address and FQDN should be specified here.
  • secret-name holds the credential(s) for a single or list of vCenter Servers.
  • secret-namespace is set to the namespace where the secret has been created.
  • port is the vCenter Server Port. The default is 443 if not specified.
  • datacenters should be the list of all comma separated datacenters where kubernetes node VMs are present.

Create the configmap by running the following command:

# cd /etc/kubernetes
# kubectl create configmap cloud-config --from-file=vsphere.conf --namespace=kube-system

Verify that the configmap has been successfully created in the kube-system namespace.

# kubectl get configmap cloud-config --namespace=kube-system
NAME              DATA     AGE
cloud-config      1        82s

Create a CPI secret

The CPI supports storing vCenter credentials either in:

  • a shared global secret containing all vCenter credentials, or
  • a secret dedicated for a particular vCenter configuration which takes precedence over anything that might be configured within the global secret

In the example vsphere.conf above, there are two configured Kubernetes secret. The vCenter at 10.0.0.1 contains credentials in the secret named cpi-engineering-secret in the namespace kube-system and the vCenter at 1.1.1.1 and 192.168.0.1 contains credentials in the secret named cpi-global-secret in the namespace kube-system defined in the [Global] section.

An example Secrets YAML can be used for reference when creating your own secrets. If the example secret YAML is used, update the secret name to use a <unique secret name>, the vCenter IP address in the keys of stringData, and the username and password for each key.

The secret for the vCenter at 1.1.1.1 might look like the following:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
metadata:
  name: cpi-engineering-secret
  namespace: kube-system
stringData:
  10.0.0.1.username: "administrator@vsphere.local"
  10.0.0.1.password: "password"

Then to create the secret, run the following command replacing the name of the YAML file with the one you have used:

# kubectl create -f cpi-engineering-secret.yaml

Verify that the credential secret is successfully created in the kube-system namespace.

# kubectl get secret cpi-engineering-secret --namespace=kube-system
NAME                    TYPE     DATA   AGE
cpi-engineering-secret   Opaque   1      43s

If you have multiple vCenters as in the example vsphere.conf above, your Kubernetes Secret YAML could look like the following to storage the vCenter credentials for vCenters at 1.1.1.1 and 192.168.0.1:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
metadata:
  name: cpi-global-secret
  namespace: kube-system
stringData:
  1.1.1.1.username: "administrator@vsphere.local"
  1.1.1.1.password: "password"
  192.168.0.1.username: "administrator@vsphere.local"
  192.168.0.1.password: "password"

Deploy vSphere CPI using Helm

Once the configMap and secret have been created, deploy the Helm Chart for vSphere CPI by running the following command:

# helm install vsphere-cpi stable/vsphere-cpi

Verify that the CPI has been successfully deployed

You can verify the vSphere CPI deployed succesfully by listing the Helm Charts currently deployed.

# helm list

Next verify vsphere-cloud-controller-manager is running and all other system pods are up and running (note that the coredns pods were not running previously - they should be running now as the taints have been removed by installing the CPI):

# kubectl get pods --namespace=kube-system
NAME                                     READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
coredns-fb8b8dccf-bq7qq                  1/1     Running   0          71m
coredns-fb8b8dccf-r47q2                  1/1     Running   0          71m
etcd-k8s-master                          1/1     Running   0          69m
kube-apiserver-k8s-master                1/1     Running   0          70m
kube-controller-manager-k8s-master       1/1     Running   0          69m
kube-flannel-ds-amd64-7kmk9              1/1     Running   0          38m
kube-flannel-ds-amd64-dtvbg              1/1     Running   0          63m
kube-flannel-ds-amd64-hq57c              1/1     Running   0          30m
kube-flannel-ds-amd64-j7g4s              1/1     Running   0          22m
kube-flannel-ds-amd64-q4zsn              1/1     Running   0          21m
kube-proxy-6jcng                         1/1     Running   0          30m
kube-proxy-bh8kh                         1/1     Running   0          21m
kube-proxy-rb9xp                         1/1     Running   0          22m
kube-proxy-srhpj                         1/1     Running   0          71m
kube-proxy-vh4lg                         1/1     Running   0          38m
kube-scheduler-k8s-master                1/1     Running   0          70m
vsphere-cloud-controller-manager-549hb   1/1     Running   0          25s

Check that all nodes are untainted

Verify node.cloudprovider.kubernetes.io/uninitialized taint is removed from all nodes.

# kubectl describe nodes | egrep "Taints:|Name:"
Name:               k8s-master
Taints:             node-role.kubernetes.io/master:NoSchedule
Name:               k8s-node1
Taints:             <none>
Name:               k8s-node2
Taints:             <none>
Name:               k8s-node3
Taints:             <none>
Name:               k8s-node4
Taints:             <none>

Note: If you happen to make an error with the vsphere.conf, simply delete the Helm deployment of vSphere CPI (describe in the next section below), the configMap, and the secret, then make any necessary edits to the configMap vSphere.conf file and/or secret, and reapply the steps above.

You may now remove the vsphere.conf file created at /etc/kubernetes/.

Uninstall the Helm Chart for vSphere CPI

To uninstall/delete the vsphere-cpi deployment:

# helm delete vsphere-cpi

You can delete the configMap and secret for the vSphere CPI if they are no longer needed.

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