Building a CD Pipeline Using LKE (Part 3): Deploying the LKE Cluster

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Slide deck: Cloud Native Continuous Deployment with GitLab, Helm, and Linode Kubernetes Engine: Deploying our LKE Cluster (Slide #51)

Deploying the LKE Cluster

Managed Kubernetes clusters are much easier to setup and maintain than self-managed Kubernetes clusters. This portion goes over setting up a cluster using the Linode Kubernetes Engine (LKE) through the Cloud Manager and the Linode CLI.

Presentation Text

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Deploying our LKE cluster

  • If we wanted to deploy Kubernetes manually, what would we need to do? (not that I recommend doing that…)
  • Control plane (etcd, API server, scheduler, controllers)
  • Nodes (VMs with a container engine + the kubelet agent; CNI setup)
  • High availability (etcd clustering, API load balancer)
  • Security (CA and TLS certificates everywhere)
  • Cloud integration (to provision LoadBalancer services, storage…)

And that’s just to get a basic cluster!

The best way to deploy Kubernetes

“The best way to deploy Kubernetes is to get someone else to do it for us.”

- Me, ever since I’ve been working with Kubernetes

Managed Kubernetes

  • Cloud provider runs the control plane (including etcd, API load balancer, TLS setup, cloud integration)
  • We run nodes (the cloud provider generally gives us an easy way to provision them)
  • Get started in minutes
  • We’re going to use Linode Kubernetes Engine

Creating a cluster

  • With the web console:
  • Pick the region of your choice
  • Pick the latest available Kubernetes version
  • Pick 3 nodes with 8 GB of RAM
  • Click! ✨
  • Wait a few minutes… ⌚️
  • Download the kubeconfig file 💾

With the CLI

  • View available regions with linode-cli regions list

  • View available server types with linode-cli linodes types

  • View available Kubernetes versions with linode-cli lke versions-list

  • Create cluster:

    linode-cli lke cluster-create --label=hello-lke --region=us-east \
      --k8s_version=1.20 --node_pools.type=g6-standard-4 --node_pools.count=3
  • Note the cluster ID (e.g.: 12345)

  • Download the kubeconfig file:

    linode-cli lke kubeconfig-view `12345` --text --no-headers | base64 -d

Communicating with the cluster

  • All the Kubernetes tools (kubectl, but also helm etc) use the same config file
  • That file is (by default) $HOME/.kube/config
  • It can hold multiple cluster definitions (or contexts)
  • Or, we can have multiple config files and switch between them:
    • by adding the --kubeconfig flag each time we invoke a tool (🙄)
    • or by setting the KUBECONFIG environment variable (☺️)

Using the kubeconfig file

Option 1:

  • move the kubeconfig file to e.g. ~/.kube/config.lke
  • set the environment variable: export KUBECONFIG=~/.kube/config.lke

Option 2:

  • directly move the kubeconfig file to ~/.kube/config
  • do not do that if you already have a file there!

Option 3:

  • merge the new kubeconfig file with our existing file

Merging kubeconfig

  • Assuming that we want to merge ~/.kube/config and ~/.kube/config.lke

  • Move our existing kubeconfig file:

    cp ~/.kube/config ~/.kube/config.old
  • Merge both files:

    KUBECONFIG=~/.kube/config.old:~/.kube/config.lke kubectl config \
        view --raw > ~/.kube/config
  • Check that everything is there:

    kubectl config get-contexts

Are we there yet?

  • Let’s check if our control plane is available: kubectl get services. This should show the kubernetes ClusterIP service
  • Look for our nodes: kubectl get nodes. This should show 3 nodes (or whatever amount we picked earlier)
  • If the nodes aren’t visible yet, give them a minute to join the cluster

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