Kubernetes Kops Installation Guide

As of kops 1.9 release, Cilium can be plugged into kops-deployed clusters as the CNI plugin. This guide provides steps to create a Kubernetes cluster on AWS using kops and Cilium as the CNI plugin. Note, the kops deployment will automate several deployment features in AWS by default, including AutoScaling, Volumes, VPCs, etc.



Installing kops

curl -LO https://github.com/kubernetes/kops/releases/download/$(curl -s https://api.github.com/repos/kubernetes/kops/releases/latest | grep tag_name | cut -d '"' -f 4)/kops-linux-amd64
chmod +x kops-linux-amd64
sudo mv kops-linux-amd64 /usr/local/bin/kops

# If you are on MacOS, you can use:
brew update && brew install kops

Setting up IAM Group and User

Assuming you have all the prerequisites, run the following commands to create the kops user and group:

# Create IAM group named kops and grant access
aws iam create-group --group-name kops
aws iam attach-group-policy --policy-arn arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/AmazonEC2FullAccess --group-name kops
aws iam attach-group-policy --policy-arn arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/AmazonRoute53FullAccess --group-name kops
aws iam attach-group-policy --policy-arn arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/AmazonS3FullAccess --group-name kops
aws iam attach-group-policy --policy-arn arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/IAMFullAccess --group-name kops
aws iam attach-group-policy --policy-arn arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/AmazonVPCFullAccess --group-name kops
aws iam create-user --user-name kops
aws iam add-user-to-group --user-name kops --group-name kops
aws iam create-access-key --user-name kops

kops requires the creation of a dedicated s3 bucket in order to store the state and representation of the cluster. You will need to change the bucket name and provide your unique bucket name (for example a reverse of FQDN added with short description of the cluster). Also make sure to use the region where you will be deploying the cluster.

aws s3api create-bucket --bucket prefix-example-com-state-store --region us-west-2 --create-bucket-configuration LocationConstraint=us-west-2
export KOPS_STATE_STORE=s3://prefix-example-com-state-store

The above steps are sufficient for getting a working cluster installed. Please consult kops aws documentation for more detailed setup instructions.

Cilium Prerequisites

  • Ensure the System Requirements are met, particularly the Linux kernel and key-value store versions.
  • (Recommended) Kubernetes with CRD validation (more on this after initial setup of the cluster)

In this guide, we will use etcd version 3.1.11 and the latest CoreOS stable image which satisfies the minimum kernel version requirement of Cilium. To get the latest CoreOS ami image, you can change the region value to your choice in the command below.

aws ec2 describe-images --region=us-west-2 --owner=595879546273 --filters "Name=virtualization-type,Values=hvm" "Name=name,Values=CoreOS-stable*" --query 'sort_by(Images,&CreationDate)[-1].{id:ImageLocation}'
        "id": "595879546273/CoreOS-stable-1745.5.0-hvm"

Creating a Cluster

  • Note that you will need to specify the --master-zones and --zones for creating the master and worker nodes. The number of master zones should be odd (1, 3, …) for HA. For simplicity, you can just use 1 region.
  • The cluster NAME variable should end with k8s.local to use the gossip protocol. If creating multiple clusters using the same kops user, then make cluster name unique by adding a prefix such as com-company-emailid-.
export NAME=com-company-emailid-cilium.k8s.local
export KOPS_FEATURE_FLAGS=SpecOverrideFlag
kops create cluster --state=${KOPS_STATE_STORE} --node-count 3 --node-size t2.medium --master-size t2.medium --topology private --master-zones us-west-2a,us-west-2b,us-west-2c --zones us-west-2a,us-west-2b,us-west-2c --image 595879546273/CoreOS-stable-1745.5.0-hvm --networking cilium --override "cluster.spec.etcdClusters[*].version=3.1.11" --kubernetes-version 1.10.3  --cloud-labels "Team=Dev,Owner=Admin" ${NAME}

You may be prompted to create a ssh public-private key pair.


(Please see Deleting a Cluster)

Kubernetes with CRD validation

Cilium recommends using CRD validation in Kubernetes. In order to enable the flag --feature-gates=CustomResourceValidation=true, edit the cluster yaml:

kops edit cluster --name= ${NAME}

and append the following snippet for kupeAPIServer: to the spec: section:

      CustomResourceValidation: "true"

After successful editing, apply changes using kops update cluster.

kops update cluster ${NAME} --yes
kops validate cluster

Upgrading Cilium

The default Cilium version deployed by kops is old. Upgrade the Cilium DaemonSet to a newer version with the following commands. The following illustrates the upgrade process for Kubernetes v1.10 since that is the version we created. And we are upgrading Cilium to v1.0.3 but you can replace to any stable version vX.Y.Z. (Please consult Cilium Upgrade Guide for more details.)

Note: In subsequent releases of kops, there will be an option to provide Cilium version. This PR is tracking additional options for configuring Cilium CNI in a kops cluster.

kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/cilium/cilium/HEAD/examples/kubernetes/1.10/cilium-rbac.yaml
kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/cilium/cilium/HEAD/examples/kubernetes/1.10/cilium-ds.yaml
kubectl set image daemonset/cilium -n kube-system cilium-agent=docker.io/cilium/cilium:v1.0.3
kubectl rollout status daemonset/cilium -n kube-system

Testing Cilium

Follow the Cilium getting started guide example to test that the cluster is setup properly and that Cilium CNI and security policies are functional.

Deleting a Cluster

To undo the dependencies and other deployment features in AWS from the kops cluster creation, use kops to destroy a cluster immediately with the parameter --yes:

kops delete cluster ${NAME} --yes

Appendix: Details of kops flags used in cluster creation

The following section explains all the flags used in create cluster command.

  • KOPS_FEATURE_FLAGS=SpecOverrideFlag : This flag is used to override the etcd version to be used from 2.X[kops default ] to 3.1.x [requirement of cilium]
  • --state=${KOPS_STATE_STORE} : KOPS uses an s3 bucket to store the state of your cluster and representation of your cluster
  • --node-count 3 : No. of worker nodes in the kubernetes cluster.
  • --node-size t2.medium : The size of the AWS EC2 instance for worker nodes
  • --master-size t2.medium : The size of the AWS EC2 instance of master nodes
  • --topology private : Cluster will be created with private topology, what that means is all masters/nodes will be launched in a private subnet in the VPC
  • --master-zones eu-west-1a,eu-west-1b,eu-west-1c : The 3 zones ensure the HA of master nodes, each belonging in a different Availability zones.
  • --zones eu-west-1a,eu-west-1b,eu-west-1c : Zones where the worker nodes will be deployed
  • --image 595879546273/CoreOS-stable-1745.3.1-hvm : Image name to be deployed (Cilium requires kernel version 4.8 and above so ensure to use the right OS for workers.)
  • --networking cilium : Networking CNI plugin to be used - cilium
  • --override "cluster.spec.etcdClusters[*].version=3.1.11" : Overrides the etcd version to be used.
  • --kubernetes-version 1.10.3 : Kubernetes version that is to be installed. Please note [Kops 1.9 officially supports k8s version 1.9]
  • --cloud-labels "Team=Dev,Owner=Admin" : Labels for your cluster
  • ${NAME} : Name of the cluster. Make sure the name ends with k8s.local for a gossip based cluster