Instructions for setting up a Kubernetes cluster.

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VMware vSphere

This page covers how to get started with deploying Kubernetes on vSphere and details for how to configure the vSphere Cloud Provider.

Getting started with the vSphere Cloud Provider

Kubernetes comes with vSphere Cloud Provider, a cloud provider for vSphere that allows Kubernetes Pods to use vSphere Storage.

Deploy Kubernetes on vSphere

To deploy Kubernetes on vSphere and use the vSphere Cloud Provider, see Kubernetes-Anywhere.

Detailed steps can be found at the getting started with Kubernetes-Anywhere on vSphere page.

vSphere Cloud Provider

vSphere Cloud Provider allows Kubernetes to use vSphere-managed storage. It supports:

For more detail visit vSphere Storage for Kubernetes Documentation.

Documentation for how to use vSphere managed storage can be found in the persistent volumes user guide and the volumes user guide.

Examples can be found here.

Enable vSphere Cloud Provider

If a Kubernetes cluster has not been deployed using Kubernetes-Anywhere, follow the instructions below to enable the vSphere Cloud Provider. These steps are not needed when using Kubernetes-Anywhere, they will be done as part of the deployment.

Step-1 Create a VM folder and move Kubernetes Node VMs to this folder.

Step-2 Make sure Node VM names must comply with the regex [a-z](([-0-9a-z]+)?[0-9a-z])?(\.[a-z0-9](([-0-9a-z]+)?[0-9a-z])?)*. If Node VMs do not comply with this regex, rename them and make it compliant to this regex.

Node VM names constraints:

Step-3 Enable disk UUID on Node virtual machines.

The disk.EnableUUID parameter must be set to “TRUE” for each Node VM. This step is necessary so that the VMDK always presents a consistent UUID to the VM, thus allowing the disk to be mounted properly.

For each of the virtual machine nodes that will be participating in the cluster, follow the steps below using govc tool

Note: If Kubernetes Node VMs are created from template VM then disk.EnableUUID=1 can be set on the template VM. VMs cloned from this template, will automatically inherit this property.

Step-4 Create and assign Roles to the vSphere Cloud Provider user and vSphere entities.

Note: if you want to use Administrator account then this step can be skipped.

vSphere Cloud Provider requires the following minimal set of privileges to interact with vCenter. Please refer vSphere Documentation Center to know about steps for creating a Custom Role, User and Role Assignment.

Roles Privileges Entities Propagate to Children
manage-k8s-node-vms Resource.AssignVMToPool
VM Folder
manage-k8s-volumes Datastore.AllocateSpace
Datastore No
k8s-system-read-and-spbm-profile-view StorageProfile.View
vCenter No
ReadOnly System.Anonymous
Datastore Cluster,
Datastore Storage Folder

Step-5 Create the vSphere cloud config file (vsphere.conf). Cloud config template can be found here.

This config file needs to be placed in the shared directory which should be accessible from kubelet container, controller-manager pod, and API server pod.

vsphere.conf for master node:

        user = "vCenter username for cloud provider"
        password = "password"
        server = "IP/FQDN for vCenter"
        port = "443" #Optional
        insecure-flag = "1" #set to 1 if the vCenter uses a self-signed cert
        datacenter = "Datacenter name" 
        datastore = "Datastore name" #Datastore to use for provisioning volumes using storage classes/dynamic provisioning
        working-dir = "vCenter VM folder path in which node VMs are located"
        vm-name = "VM name of the Master Node" #Optional
        vm-uuid = "UUID of the Node VM" # Optional        
    scsicontrollertype = pvscsi

Note: vm-name parameter is introduced in 1.6.4 release. Both vm-uuid and vm-name are optional parameters. If vm-name is specified then vm-uuid is not used. If both are not specified then kubelet will get vm-uuid from /sys/class/dmi/id/product_serial and query vCenter to find the Node VM’s name.

vsphere.conf for worker nodes:

Applicable only to versions 1.6.4 to 1.8.x. For versions earlier than 1.6.4, this file should have all the parameters specified in the master node’s vsphere.conf file. In version 1.9.0 and later, the worker nodes do not need a cloud config file.

        vm-name = "VM name of the Worker Node"

Below is summary of supported parameters in the vsphere.conf file

Step-6 Add flags to controller-manager, API server and Kubelet to enable vSphere Cloud Provider.

--cloud-config=<Path of the vsphere.conf file>

Manifest files for API server and controller-manager are generally located at /etc/kubernetes/manifests.

Step-7 Restart Kubelet on all nodes.

Note: After enabling the vSphere Cloud Provider, Node names will be set to the VM names from the vCenter Inventory.

Known issues

Please visit known issues for the list of major known issues with Kubernetes vSphere Cloud Provider.

Support Level

For quick support please join VMware Code Slack (kubernetes) and post your question.

IaaS Provider Config. Mgmt OS Networking Docs Conforms Support Level
Vmware vSphere Kube-anywhere Photon OS Flannel docs   Community (@abrarshivani), (@kerneltime), (@BaluDontu), (@luomiao), (@divyenpatel)

If you identify any issues/problems using the vSphere cloud provider, you can create an issue in our repo - VMware Kubernetes.

For support level information on all solutions, see the Table of solutions chart.


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