Tag Archives: Kubernetes

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Tanzu Kubernetes Grid – Manual Certificate Renewal

The Issue
Note: VMware has released a full in-depth KB Article that I'd advise you review along with this blog post. If you have any queries or concerns with the processes detailed, always open a support ticket!
- How to rotate certificates in a Tanzu Kubernetes Grid cluster (86251)

One day my Kubernetes cluster just stopped responding. I could no longer connect to the Kubernetes API.

I rebooted all the nodes (as it was a demo environment) to no luck, and still nothing. So I had to go off digging.

The Cause

I SSH’d into one of my control-plane nodes, and started to tail the kubelet logs. Continue reading Tanzu Kubernetes Grid – Manual Certificate Renewal

vSphere Kubernetes Drivers Operator - Red Hat OpenShift - Header

Using the new vSphere Kubernetes Driver Operator with Red Hat OpenShift via Operator Hub

What is the vSphere Kubernetes Driver Operator (VDO)?

This Kubernetes Operator has been designed and created as part of the VMware and IBM Joint Innovation Labs program. We also talked about this at VMworld 2021 in a joint session with IBM and Red Hat. With the aim of simplifying the deployment and lifecycle of VMware Storage and Networking Kubernetes driver plugins on any Kubernetes platform, including Red Hat OpenShift.

This vSphere Kubernetes Driver Operator (VDO) exposes custom resources to configure the CSI and CNS drivers, and using Go Lang based CLI tool, introduces validation and error checking as well. Making it simple for the Kubernetes Operator to deploy and configure.

The Kubernetes Operator currently covers the following existing CPI, CSI and CNI drivers, which are separately maintained projects found on GitHub.

This operator will remain CNI agnostic, therefore CNI management will not be included, and for example Antrea already has an operator.

Below is the high level architecture, you can read a more detailed deep dive here.

vSphere Kubernetes Drivers Operator - Architecture Topology

Installation Methods

You have two main installation methods, which will also affect the pre-requisites below.

If using Red Hat OpenShift, you can install the Operator via Operator Hub as this is a certified Red Hat Operator. You can also configure the CPI and CSI driver installations via the UI as well.

  • Supported for OpenShift 4.9 currently.

Alternatively, you can install the manual way and use the vdoctl cli tool, this method would also be your route if using a Vanilla Kubernetes installation.

This blog post will cover the UI method using Operator Hub.


Continue reading Using the new vSphere Kubernetes Driver Operator with Red Hat OpenShift via Operator Hub

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Creating and hosting a Helm Chart package to install Pac-Man on Kubernetes

If you’ve have been following any of my blogs that relate to Kubernetes, I am sure that you will have seen the use of my demo application Pac-Man, designed to replicate a small production application with a front end UI service, DB back end service and load balancing service.

If not, you can find it here:

In this blog post, I am going to cover how I create a Helm Chart package to install the application on a Kubernetes cluster, and then host it on GitHub so that it can be re-used as necessary between different clusters.

This was on my to-do list for quite a while, as I wanted to explore Helm in more detail and understand how the charts work. What better way to do this than create my own?

What is Helm and why use it?

Helm is a tool that simplifies the installation and lifecycle of Kubernetes applications. As an example, it is a little bit like Brew or Yum for Linux.

Helm uses a package format called charts; these charts are a collection of files that describe a related set of Kubernetes resources. These charts can range from the simple, deploy a single pod, deployment set, etc, to the complex, deploy a full application made up of Deployments, StatefulSets, PVCs, Ingress, etc.

Helm has become over the years one of the defacto client tools to use for simplification of deploying an application to your Kubernetes environment. Take Kasten for example, to deploy their K10 software, their guide gives you only the Helm commands to do so.

You can install Helm from the below script, for other methods please see their official documentation.

curl -fsSL -o get_helm.sh https://raw.githubusercontent.com/helm/helm/main/scripts/get-helm-3

chmod 700 get_helm.sh

Creating a template Helm Chart

The Helm Client makes it easy to get started from scratch, you can create a template chart by running the following command, which creates a folder of the name you specify, with a number of example files you can use.

helm create {name}

# For this blog post I ran the following

helm create pacman-kubernetes

helm create pacman-kubernetes

In more detail, this structure offers the following: Continue reading Creating and hosting a Helm Chart package to install Pac-Man on Kubernetes

vROPs - Kubernetes - Prometheus - Telegraf - Header

vRealize Operations – Monitoring Kubernetes with Prometheus and Telegraf

In this post, I will cover how to deploy Prometheus and the Telegraf exporter and configure so that the data can be collected by vRealize Operations.


Delivers intelligent operations management with application-to-storage visibility across physical, virtual, and cloud infrastructures. Using policy-based automation, operations teams automate key processes and improve the IT efficiency.

Is an open-source systems monitoring and alerting toolkit. Prometheus collects and stores its metrics as time series data, i.e. metrics information is stored with the timestamp at which it was recorded, alongside optional key-value pairs called labels.

There are several libraries and servers which help in exporting existing metrics from third-party systems as Prometheus metrics. This is useful for cases where it is not feasible to instrument a given system with Prometheus metrics directly (for example, HAProxy or Linux system stats).

Telegraf is a plugin-driven server agent written by the folks over at InfluxData for collecting & reporting metrics. By using the Telegraf exporter, the following Kubernetes metrics are supported:

Why do it this way with three products?

You can actually achieve this with two products (vROPs and cAdvisor for example). Using vRealize Operations and a metric exporter that the data can be grabbed from in the Kubernetes cluster. By default, Kubernetes offers little in the way of metrics data until you install an appropriate package to do so.

Many customers have now decided upon using Prometheus for their metrics needs in their Modern Applications world due to the flexibility it offers.

Therefore, this integration provides a way for vRealize Operations to collect the data through an existing Prometheus deploy and enrich the data further by providing a context-aware relationship view between your virtualisation platform and the Kubernetes platform which runs on top of it.

vRealize Operations Management Pack for Kubernetes supports a number of Prometheus exporters in which to provide the relevant data. In this blog post we will focus on Telegraf.

You can view sample deployments here for all the supported types. This blog will show you an end-to-end setup and deployment.

  • Administrative access to a vRealize Operations environment
  • Access to a Kubernetes cluster that you want to monitor
  • Install Helm if you have not already got it setup on the machine which has access to your Kubernetes cluster
  • Clone this GitHub repo to your machine to make life easier
git clone https://github.com/saintdle/vrops-prometheus-telegraf.git
vrops - git clone saintdle vrops-prometheus-telegraf.git
Information Gathering

Note down the following information:

  • Cluster API Server information
kubectl cluster-info

vROPs - kubectl cluster-info

  • Access details for the Kubernetes cluster
    • Basic Authentication – Uses HTTP basic authentication to authenticate API requests through authentication plugins.
    • Client Certification Authentication – Uses client certificates to authenticate API requests through authentication plugins.
    • Token Authentication – Uses bearer tokens to authenticate API requests through authentication plugin

In this example I will be using “Client Certification Authentication” using my current authenticated user by running:

kubectl config view --minify --raw

vROPs - kubectl config view --minify --raw

  • Get your node names and IP addresses
kubectl get nodes -o wide

vROPs - kubectl get nodes -o wide

Install the Telegraf Kubernetes Plugin

Continue reading vRealize Operations – Monitoring Kubernetes with Prometheus and Telegraf

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Upgrading the vSphere CSI Driver (Storage Container Plugin) from v2.1.0 to latest

In this post I’m just documenting the steps on how to upgrade the vSphere CSI Driver, especially if you must make a jump in versioning to the latest version.

Upgrade from pre-v2.3.0 CSI Driver version to v2.3.0

You need to figure out what version of the vSphere CSI Driver you are running.

For me it was easy as I could look up the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid release notes. Please refer to your deployment manifests in your cluster. If you are still unsure, contact VMware Support for assistance.

Then you need to find your manifests for your associated version. You can do this by viewing the releases by tag. 

Then remove the resources created by the associated manifests. Below are the commands to remove the version 2.1.0 installation of the CSI.

kubectl delete -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/kubernetes-sigs/vsphere-csi-driver/v2.1.0/manifests/latest/vsphere-7.0u1/vanilla/deploy/vsphere-csi-controller-deployment.yaml

kubectl delete -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/kubernetes-sigs/vsphere-csi-driver/v2.1.0/manifests/latest/vsphere-7.0u1/vanilla/deploy/vsphere-csi-node-ds.yaml

kubectl delete -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/kubernetes-sigs/vsphere-csi-driver/v2.1.0/manifests/latest/vsphere-7.0u1/vanilla/rbac/vsphere-csi-controller-rbac.yaml

vsphere-csi - delete manifests

Now we need to create the new namespace, “vmware-system-csi”, where all new and future vSphere CSI Driver components will run. Continue reading Upgrading the vSphere CSI Driver (Storage Container Plugin) from v2.1.0 to latest