Ken Rider

Kubeman on aisle K8S

I rarely go to Walmart and I definitely never thought I’d be going to Walmart for technology tools, advice, etc. However, thanks to Aymen EL Amri’s great curated weekly email, Kaptain, on all things Kubernetes, see https://www.faun.dev/, I ran across a great tool from Walmart Labs called Kubeman. If you are managing multiple Kubernetes clusters, and that’s almost always the case if you’re using Kubernetes, Kubeman is a tool you need to consider for troubleshooting. In addition to making it easier to investigate issues across multiple Kubernetes clusters, it understands an Istio service mesh as well.

Getting Tomcat logs from Kubernetes pods

I have been working with a client recently on getting Tomcat access and error logs from Kubernetes pods into Elasticsearch and visible in Kibana. As I started to look at the problem and saw Elastic Stack 7.5.0 released, it also seemed like a good idea to move them up to the latest release. And, now that Helm 3 has been released and no longer requires Tiller, using the Elastic Stack Kubernetes Helm Charts to manage their installs made a lot of sense.

What is Container Orchestration – Kubernetes Version?

In a previous post, What is Container Orchestration?, I explained container orchestration using some examples based on Docker Swarm. While Docker Swarm is undeniably easier to both use and explain, Kubernetes is by far the most prevalent container orchestrator today. So, I’m going to go through the same examples from that previous post but, this time, use Kubernetes. One of the great things about Docker Enterprise is it supports both Swarm and Kubernetes so I didn’t have to change my infrastructure at all.

A First Look at Helm 3

Helm has been widely publicized as the package manager for Kubernetes. We’ve seen the need over and over for Helm. Unfortunately, Helm 2 requires Tiller and Tiller opens a lot of security questions. In particular, in a multi-user, multi-organization, and/or multi-tenant cluster, securing the Tiller service account (or accounts) was difficult and problematic. As a result, we’ve never recommended our clients use Helm in production. With the recent announcement of the first release candidate for Helm 3, it’s time to take another look as this version no longer requires or uses Tiller so many (most) of our security concerns should be gone.

Who Can…?

Managing a Kubernetes cluster with one user is easy. Once you go beyond one user, you need to start using Role-Based Access Control (RBAC). I’ve delved into this topic several times in the past with posts on how to Create a Kubernetes User Sandbox in Docker Enterprise and Functional Kubernetes Namespaces in Docker Enterprise. But, once you get beyond a couple of users and/or teams and a few namespaces for them, it quickly becomes difficult to keep track of who can do what and where. And, as time goes on and more and more people have a hand in setting up your RBAC, it can get even more confusing. You can and should have your RBAC resource definitions in source control but it’s not easy to read and is hard to visualize. Enter the open source who-can kubectl plugin from the folks at Aqua Security. It gives you the ability to show who (subjects) can do what (verbs) to what (resources) and where (namespaces).

What is Container Orchestration?

Over the last two or three years I’ve given a similar presentation on containers to operations groups at clients, potential clients, conferences and meetups. Generally, they’re just getting started with containers and are wondering what orchestration is and how it impacts them. In this post, I will talk about what container orchestration is and provide several videos with simple examples of what it means.

SSL Options with Kubernetes – Part 3

In the first two posts in this series, SSL Options with Kubernetes – Part 1 and SSL Options with Kubernetes – Part 2, we saw how to use the Kubernetes LoadBalancer service type to terminate SSL for your application deployed on a Kubernetes cluster in AWS and Azure, respectively. In this post, we will see how this can be done for a Kubernetes cluster anywhere using an Ingress resource.

Rather than using an external load balancer as the AWS and Azure cloud providers do for the LoadBalancer service type, an ingress uses an Ingress Controller to provide load balancing, SSL termination and other services within a Kubernetes cluster. A big advantage of using an ingress is its portability across all clusters regardless of the underlying infrastructure, i.e. cloud, virtualized or bare metal. Until recently, a disadvantage was an ingress only supported HTTP and HTTPS and you would need to use a NodePort service type for other protocols. However, NGINX has added support for other protocols to their ingress controller.

SSL Options with Kubernetes – Part 2

In the first post in this series, SSL Options with Kubernetes – Part 1, we saw how to use the Kubernetes LoadBalancer service type to terminate SSL for your application deployed on a Kubernetes cluster in AWS. In this post, we will see how this can be done for a Kubernetes cluster in Azure.

In general, Kubernetes objects are portable across the various types of infrastructure underlying the cluster, i.e. public cloud, private cloud, virtualized, bare metal, etc. However, some objects are implemented through the Kubernetes concept of Cloud Providers. The LoadBalancer service type is one of these. AWS, Azure, and GCP (as well as vSphere, OpenStack and others) all implement a load balancer service using the existing load balancer(s) their cloud service provides. As such, each implementation is different. These differences are accounted for in the annotations to the Service object. For example, here is the specification we used for our service in the previous post.

How to securely deploy Docker EE on the AWS Cloud

Overview

This reference deployment guide provides the step-by-step instructions for deploying Docker Enterprise Edition on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud. This automation references deployments that use the Docker Certified Infrastructure (DCI) template which is based on Terraform to launch, configure and run the AWS compute, network, storage and other services required to deploy a specific workload on AWS. The DCI template uses Ansible playbooks to configured the Docker Enterprise cluster environment.

SSL Options with Kubernetes – Part 1

In this post (and future posts) we will continue to look into questions our clients have asked about using Docker Enterprise that have prompted us to do some further research and/or investigation. Here we are going to look into the options for enabling secure communications with our applications running under Kubernetes container orchestration on a Docker Enterprise cluster.

The LoadBalancer type of a service in Kubernetes is available if you are using one of the major public clouds, AWS, Azure or GCP, via their respective cloud provider implementations. An Ingress resource is available on any Kubernetes cluster including both on-premises and in the cloud. Both LoadBalancer and Ingress provide the capability to terminate SSL traffic. In this post will show how this is accomplished with an AWS LoadBalancer service.