Automate Deployment and Management of Kubernetes Clusters with Cloudsoft AMP

Overview

Over the past several years, Docker has thrust containerization into the mainstream, becoming the de facto standard for portable and reproducible software distribution. Now that it has found its way into large-scale production environments, the need for container cluster management is greater than ever.

At the time of writing (we all know how fast the DevOps world changes…) Kubernetes is the hottest container cluster management solution available. But despite its popularity, actually setting up your own Kubernetes cluster is no small feat since most guides online are incomplete, out of date, or refer specifically to an OS or cloud provider that might not be ideal for you. If you want to follow along with this post, we have an early access version of our AMP software that you can use which makes it dead easy to spin up your own Kubernetes cluster on the infrastructure of your choice by automating best practices and removing manual chores.

 

Background Information

The new Cloudsoft AMP 4 allows you to design, deploy, and operate your applications at high velocity with consistency and control. AMP 4 has the same powerful model but it’s a lot easier to use than previous versions.

Kubernetes is an “open-source platform for automating deployment, scaling, and operations of application containers across clusters of hosts, providing container-centric infrastructure” (learn more). It was originally designed by Google and donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

 

Putting the Pieces Together

With Cloudsoft AMP you can deploy a Kubernetes cluster on the infrastructure of your choice with the latest versions of the following components, all of which are properly configured to work together:

At this point you may be wondering “But why do I need AMP to do this? Aren’t there guides for DIY cluster installation?”  Yes, there certainly are. However, all of those guides (and most others from desperate Google searches) fall short in at least one of the following ways:

  • Tied to a specific cloud provider

  • Does not include both Flannel and Calico for full virtual IP + network policy support

  • Refers to outdated version(s) of one or more components

  • Straight up does not work

AMP lets you skip all of the headaches that come with setting up a production-grade Kubernetes cluster (trust me, it’s a puzzle without enough clues…) that auto-scales based on CPU activity in the cluster, and offers full Flannel plus Calico support with up-to-date versions of all the requisite components. tl;dr -- With AMP, Kubernetes just works.

Deploying a Kubernetes Cluster

Step 1: Get Cloudsoft AMP

Go to http://getamp4.cloudsoft.io/ and download the distribution of your choice (Vagrant, RPM, DEB, or tarball).

Step 2: Create a Deployment Location

From the AMP home screen, click on “Location Manager” and then click “+ Add new” next to “Registered locations.”  Select the location type of your choice, fill out the required details, and click “Save.”

Step 3: Deploy Your Cluster

From the AMP home screen, scroll through the applications in the “Quick launch” pane until you reach “Kubernetes Cluster” (you can also type “Kubernetes” in the search bar to bring it up more quickly)

Under “Location,” select the location that you created in step 2. You can tweak the configuration values as you see fit (e.g. cluster size), but note that the provided version defaults have been tested together and should be suitable. When you’re ready, click “Deploy” and then your Kubernetes cluster will be created.

Step 4: Inspect Your Cluster

Now that deployment is under way, you can view AMP’s live model which provides in-depth information about the status of every Kubernetes component. From the AMP home screen, click “App Dashboard.”

Here you’ll see your Kubernetes cluster that is currently being deployed -- click on it to expand the view and you’ll see each and every component of the system. When viewing a component, click “Open in inspector” to see a health status check, a full list of sensors which provide in-depth information about the component, and a list of effectors which allow you to effect a change on the component.


Once all of the components “turn green,” you’ve got yourself a Kubernetes cluster that is ready to deploy and manage containerized services thanks to Cloudsoft AMP!

To access your cluster via the Kubernetes dashboard, open the root entity of your application in the AMP inspector, and connect to the URL shown in the summary.

Stay tuned for a video demo to follow shortly. Be sure to follow us on Youtube so you don't miss it!