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Create vSphere cluster

Create an EKS Anywhere cluster on vSphere

1 - Overview

Overview of EKS Anywhere cluster creation on vSphere

Creating a vSphere cluster

The following diagram illustrates what happens when you start the cluster creation process.

Start creating a vSphere cluster

Start creating EKS Anywhere cluster

1. Generate a config file for vSphere

To this command, you identify the name of the provider (-p vsphere) and a cluster name and redirect the output to a file. The result is a config file template that you need to modify for the specific instance of your provider.

2. Modify the config file

Using the generated cluster config file, make modifications to suit your situation. Details about this config file are contained on the vSphere Config page.

3. Launch the cluster creation

Once you have modified the cluster configuration file, use eksctl anywhere create cluster -f $CLUSTER_NAME.yaml starts the cluster creation process. To see details on the cluster creation process, increase verbosity (-v=9 provides maximum verbosity).

4. Authenticate and create bootstrap cluster

After authenticating to vSphere and validating the assets there, the cluster creation process starts off creating a temporary Kubernetes bootstrap cluster on the Administrative machine. To begin, the cluster creation process runs a series of govc commands to check on the vSphere environment:

  • Checks that the vSphere environment is available.

  • Using the URL and credentials provided in the cluster spec files, authenticates to the vSphere provider.

  • Validates that the datacenter and the datacenter network exists.

  • Validates that the identified datastore (to store your EKS Anywhere cluster) exists, that the folder holding your EKS Anywhere cluster VMs exists, and that the resource pools containing compute resources exist. If you have multiple VSphereMachineConfig objects in your config file, you will see these validations repeated.

  • Validates the virtual machine templates to be used for the control plane and worker nodes (such as ubuntu-2004-kube-v1.20.7).

If all validations pass, you will see this message:

✅ Vsphere Provider setup is valid

Next, the process runs the kind command to build a single-node Kubernetes bootstrap cluster on the Administrative machine. This includes pulling the kind node image, preparing the node, writing the configuration, starting the control-plane, and installing CNI. You will see:

After this point the bootstrap cluster is installed, but not yet fully configured.

Continuing cluster creation

The following diagram illustrates the activities that occur next:

Continue creating EKS Anywhere cluster

1. Add CAPI management

Cluster API (CAPI) management is added to the bootstrap cluster to direct the creation of the target cluster.

2. Set up cluster

Configure the control plane and worker nodes.

3. Add Cilium networking

Add Cilium as the CNI plugin to use for networking between the cluster services and pods.

4. Add CAPI to target cluster

Add the CAPI service to the target cluster in preparation for it to take over management of the cluster after the cluster creation is completed and the bootstrap cluster is deleted. The bootstrap cluster can then begin moving the CAPI objects over to the target cluster, so it can take over the management of itself.

With the bootstrap cluster running and configured on the Administrative machine, the creation of the target cluster begins. It uses kubectl to apply a target cluster configuration as follows:

  • Once etcd, the control plane, and the worker nodes are ready, it applies the networking configuration to the target cluster.

  • CAPI providers are configured on the target cluster, in preparation for the target cluster to take over responsibilities for running the components needed to manage itself.

  • With CAPI running on the target cluster, CAPI objects for the target cluster are moved from the bootstrap cluster to the target cluster’s CAPI service (done internally with the clusterctl command).

  • Add Kubernetes CRDs and other addons that are specific to EKS Anywhere.

  • The cluster configuration is saved.

Once etcd, the control plane, and the worker nodes are ready, it applies the networking configuration to the workload cluster:

Installing networking on workload cluster

After that, the CAPI providers are configured on the workload cluster, in preparation for the workload cluster to take over responsibilities for running the components needed to manage itself:

Installing cluster-api providers on workload cluster

With CAPI running on the workload cluster, CAPI objects for the workload cluster are moved from the bootstrap cluster to the workload cluster’s CAPI service (done internally with the clusterctl command):

Moving cluster management from bootstrap to workload cluster

At this point, the cluster creation process will add Kubernetes CRDs and other addons that are specific to EKS Anywhere. That configuration is applied directly to the cluster:

Installing EKS-A custom components (CRD and controller) on workload cluster
Creating EKS-A CRDs instances on workload cluster
Installing GitOps Toolkit on workload cluster

If you did not specify GitOps support, starting the flux service is skipped:

GitOps field not specified, bootstrap flux skipped

The cluster configuration is saved:

Writing cluster config file

With the cluster up, and the CAPI service running on the new cluster, the bootstrap cluster is no longer needed and is deleted:

Delete EKS Anywhere bootstrap cluster

At this point, cluster creation is complete. You can now use your target cluster as either:

  • A standalone cluster (to run workloads) or
  • A management cluster (to optionally create one or more workload clusters)

Creating workload clusters (optional)

As described in Create separate workload clusters , you can use the cluster you just created as a management cluster to create and manage one or more workload clusters on the same vSphere provider as follows:

  • Use eksctl to generate a cluster config file for the new workload cluster.
  • Modify the cluster config with a new cluster name and different vSphere resources.
  • Use eksctl to create the new workload cluster from the new cluster config file and credentials from the initial management cluster.

2 - Requirements for EKS Anywhere on VMware vSphere

VMware vSphere provider requirements for EKS Anywhere

To run EKS Anywhere, you will need:

Prepare Administrative machine

Set up an Administrative machine as described in Install EKS Anywhere .

Prepare a VMware vSphere environment

To prepare a VMware vSphere environment to run EKS Anywhere, you need the following:

  • A vSphere 7+ environment running vCenter.

  • Capacity to deploy 6-10 VMs.

  • DHCP service running in vSphere environment in the primary VM network for your workload cluster.

  • One network in vSphere to use for the cluster. EKS Anywhere clusters need access to vCenter through the network to enable self-managing and storage capabilities.

  • An OVA imported into vSphere and converted into a template for the workload VMs

  • It’s critical that you set up your vSphere user credentials properly.

  • One IP address routable from cluster but excluded from DHCP offering. This IP address is to be used as the Control Plane Endpoint IP.

    Below are some suggestions to ensure that this IP address is never handed out by your DHCP server.

    You may need to contact your network engineer.

    • Pick an IP address reachable from cluster subnet which is excluded from DHCP range OR
    • Alter DHCP ranges to leave out an IP address(s) at the top and/or the bottom of the range OR
    • Create an IP reservation for this IP on your DHCP server. This is usually accomplished by adding a dummy mapping of this IP address to a non-existent mac address.

Each VM will require:

  • 2 vCPUs
  • 8GB RAM
  • 25GB Disk

The administrative machine and the target workload environment will need network access (TCP/443) to:

  • vCenter endpoint (must be accessible to EKS Anywhere clusters)
  • public.ecr.aws
  • anywhere-assets.eks.amazonaws.com (to download the EKS Anywhere binaries, manifests and OVAs)
  • distro.eks.amazonaws.com (to download EKS Distro binaries and manifests)
  • d2glxqk2uabbnd.cloudfront.net (for EKS Anywhere and EKS Distro ECR container images)
  • api.ecr.us-west-2.amazonaws.com (for EKS Anywhere package authentication matching your region)
  • d5l0dvt14r5h8.cloudfront.net (for EKS Anywhere package ECR container images)
  • api.github.com (only if GitOps is enabled)

vSphere information needed before creating the cluster

You need to get the following information before creating the cluster:

  • Static IP Addresses: You will need one IP address for the management cluster control plane endpoint, and a separate IP address for the control plane of each workload cluster you add.

    Let’s say you are going to have the management cluster and two workload clusters. For those, you would need three IP addresses, one for each cluster. All of those addresses will be configured the same way in the configuration file you will generate for each cluster.

    A static IP address will be used for each control plane VM in your EKS Anywhere cluster. Choose IP addresses in your network range that do not conflict with other VMs and make sure they are excluded from your DHCP offering.

    An IP address will be the value of the property controlPlaneConfiguration.endpoint.host in the config file of the management cluster. A separate IP address must be assigned for each workload cluster.

    Import ova wizard

  • vSphere Datacenter Name: The vSphere datacenter to deploy the EKS Anywhere cluster on.

    Import ova wizard

  • VM Network Name: The VM network to deploy your EKS Anywhere cluster on.

    Import ova wizard

  • vCenter Server Domain Name: The vCenter server fully qualified domain name or IP address. If the server IP is used, the thumbprint must be set or insecure must be set to true.

    Import ova wizard

  • thumbprint (required if insecure=false): The SHA1 thumbprint of the vCenter server certificate which is only required if you have a self-signed certificate for your vSphere endpoint.

    There are several ways to obtain your vCenter thumbprint. If you have govc installed, you can run the following command in the Administrative machine terminal, and take a note of the output:

    govc about.cert -thumbprint -k
    
  • template: The VM template to use for your EKS Anywhere cluster. This template was created when you imported the OVA file into vSphere.

    Import ova wizard

  • datastore: The vSphere datastore to deploy your EKS Anywhere cluster on.

    Import ova wizard

  • folder: The folder parameter in VSphereMachineConfig allows you to organize the VMs of an EKS Anywhere cluster. With this, each cluster can be organized as a folder in vSphere. You will have a separate folder for the management cluster and each cluster you are adding.

    Import ova wizard

  • resourcePool: The vSphere resource pools for your VMs in the EKS Anywhere cluster. If there is a resource pool: /<datacenter>/host/<resource-pool-name>/Resources

    Import ova wizard

3 - Preparing vSphere for EKS Anywhere

Set up a vSphere provider to prepare it for EKS Anywhere

Certain resources must be in place with appropriate user permissions to create an EKS Anywhere cluster using the vSphere provider.

Configuring Folder Resources

Create a VM folder:

For each user that needs to create workload clusters, have the vSphere administrator create a VM folder. That folder will host:

  • A nested folder for the management cluster and another one for each workload cluster.
  • Each cluster VM in its own nested folder under this folder.
vm/
├── YourVMFolder/
    ├── mgmt-cluster <------ Folder with vms for management cluster
        ├── mgmt-cluster-7c2sp
        ├── mgmt-cluster-etcd-2pbhp
        ├── mgmt-cluster-md-0-5c5844bcd8xpjcln-9j7xh
    ├── worload-cluster-0 <------ Folder with vms for workload cluster 0
        ├── workload-cluster-0-8dk3j
        ├── workload-cluster-0-etcd-20ksa
        ├── workload-cluster-0-md-0-6d964979ccxbkchk-c4qjf
    ├── worload-cluster-1 <------ Folder with vms for workload cluster 1
        ├── workload-cluster-1-59cbn
        ├── workload-cluster-1-etcd-qs6wv
        ├── workload-cluster-1-md-0-756bcc99c9-9j7xh

To see how to create folders on vSphere, see the vSphere Create a Folder documentation.

Configuring vSphere User, Group, and Roles

You need a vSphere user with the right privileges to let you create EKS Anywhere clusters on top of your vSphere cluster.

Configure via EKSA CLI

To configure a new user via CLI, you will need two things:

  • a set of vSphere admin credentials with the ability to create users and groups. If you do not have the rights to create new groups and users, you can invoke govc commands directly as outlined here.
  • a user.yaml file:
apiVersion: "eks-anywhere.amazon.com/v1"
kind: vSphereUser
spec:
  username: "eksa"                # optional, default eksa
  group: "MyExistingGroup"        # optional, default EKSAUsers
  globalRole: "MyGlobalRole"      # optional, default EKSAGlobalRole
  userRole: "MyUserRole"          # optional, default EKSAUserRole
  adminRole: "MyEKSAAdminRole"    # optional, default EKSACloudAdminRole
  datacenter: "MyDatacenter"
  vSphereDomain: "vsphere.local"  # this should be the domain used when you login, e.g. YourUsername@vsphere.local
  connection:
    server: "https://my-vsphere.internal.acme.com"
    insecure: false
  objects:
    networks:
      - !!str "/MyDatacenter/network/My Network"
    datastores:
      - !!str "/MyDatacenter/datastore/MyDatastore2"
    resourcePools:
      - !!str "/MyDatacenter/host/Cluster-03/MyResourcePool" # NOTE: see below if you do not want to use a resource pool
    folders:
      - !!str "/MyDatacenter/vm/OrgDirectory/MyVMs"
    templates:
      - !!str "/MyDatacenter/vm/Templates/MyTemplates"

NOTE: If you do not want to create a resource pool, you can instead specify the cluster directly as /MyDatacenter/host/Cluster-03 in user.yaml, where Cluster-03 is your cluster name. In your cluster spec, you will need to specify /MyDatacenter/host/Cluster-03/Resources for the resourcePool field.

Set the admin credentials as environment variables:

export EKSA_VSPHERE_USERNAME=<ADMIN_VSPHERE_USERNAME>
export EKSA_VSPHERE_PASSWORD=<ADMIN_VSPHERE_PASSWORD>

If the user does not already exist, you can create the user and all the specified group and role objects by running:

eksctl anywhere exp vsphere setup user -f user.yaml --password '<NewUserPassword>'

If the user or any of the group or role objects already exist, use the force flag instead to overwrite Group-Role-Object mappings for the group, roles, and objects specified in the user.yaml config file:

eksctl anywhere exp vsphere setup user -f user.yaml --force

Please note that there is one more manual step to configure global permissions here .

Configure via govc

If you do not have the rights to create a new user, you can still configure the necessary roles and permissions using the govc cli .

#! /bin/bash
# govc calls to configure a user with minimal permissions
set -x
set -e

EKSA_USER='<Username>@<UserDomain>'
USER_ROLE='EKSAUserRole'
GLOBAL_ROLE='EKSAGlobalRole'
ADMIN_ROLE='EKSACloudAdminRole'

FOLDER_VM='/YourDatacenter/vm/YourVMFolder'
FOLDER_TEMPLATES='/YourDatacenter/vm/Templates'

NETWORK='/YourDatacenter/network/YourNetwork'
DATASTORE='/YourDatacenter/datastore/YourDatastore'
RESOURCE_POOL='/YourDatacenter/host/Cluster-01/Resources/YourResourcePool'

govc role.create "$GLOBAL_ROLE" $(curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/aws/eks-anywhere/main/pkg/config/static/globalPrivs.json | jq .[] | tr '\n' ' ' | tr -d '"')

govc role.create "$USER_ROLE" $(curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/aws/eks-anywhere/main/pkg/config/static/eksUserPrivs.json | jq .[] | tr '\n' ' ' | tr -d '"')

govc role.create "$ADMIN_ROLE" $(curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/aws/eks-anywhere/main/pkg/config/static/adminPrivs.json | jq .[] | tr '\n' ' ' | tr -d '"')

govc permissions.set -group=false -principal "$EKSA_USER"  -role "$GLOBAL_ROLE" /

govc permissions.set -group=false -principal "$EKSA_USER"  -role "$ADMIN_ROLE" "$FOLDER_VM"

govc permissions.set -group=false -principal "$EKSA_USER"  -role "$ADMIN_ROLE" "$FOLDER_TEMPLATES"

govc permissions.set -group=false -principal "$EKSA_USER"  -role "$USER_ROLE" "$NETWORK"

govc permissions.set -group=false -principal "$EKSA_USER"  -role "$USER_ROLE" "$DATASTORE"

govc permissions.set -group=false -principal "$EKSA_USER"  -role "$USER_ROLE" "$RESOURCE_POOL"

NOTE: If you do not want to create a resource pool, you can instead specify the cluster directly as /MyDatacenter/host/Cluster-03 in user.yaml, where Cluster-03 is your cluster name. In your cluster spec, you will need to specify /MyDatacenter/host/Cluster-03/Resources for the resourcePool field.

Please note that there is one more manual step to configure global permissions here .

Configure via UI

Add a vCenter User

Ask your VSphere administrator to add a vCenter user that will be used for the provisioning of the EKS Anywhere cluster in VMware vSphere.

  1. Log in with the vSphere Client to the vCenter Server.
  2. Specify the user name and password for a member of the vCenter Single Sign-On Administrators group.
  3. Navigate to the vCenter Single Sign-On user configuration UI.
    • From the Home menu, select Administration.
    • Under Single Sign On, click Users and Groups.
  4. If vsphere.local is not the currently selected domain, select it from the drop-down menu. You cannot add users to other domains.
  5. On the Users tab, click Add.
  6. Enter a user name and password for the new user. The maximum number of characters allowed for the user name is 300. You cannot change the user name after you create a user. The password must meet the password policy requirements for the system.
  7. Click Add.

For more details, see vSphere Add vCenter Single Sign-On Users documentation.

Create and define user roles

When you add a user for creating clusters, that user initially has no privileges to perform management operations. So you have to add this user to groups with the required permissions, or assign a role or roles with the required permission to this user.

Three roles are needed to be able to create the EKS Anywhere cluster:

  1. Create a global custom role: For example, you could name this EKS Anywhere Global. Define it for the user on the vCenter domain level and its children objects. Create this role with the following privileges:

    > Content Library
    * Add library item
    * Check in a template
    * Check out a template
    * Create local library
    * Update files
    > vSphere Tagging
    * Assign or Unassign vSphere Tag
    * Assign or Unassign vSphere Tag on Object
    * Create vSphere Tag
    * Create vSphere Tag Category
    * Delete vSphere Tag
    * Delete vSphere Tag Category
    * Edit vSphere Tag
    * Edit vSphere Tag Category
    * Modify UsedBy Field For Category
    * Modify UsedBy Field For Tag
    > Sessions
    * Validate session
    
  2. Create a user custom role: The second role is also a custom role that you could call, for example, EKSAUserRole. Define this role with the following objects and children objects.

    • The pool resource level and its children objects. This resource pool that our EKS Anywhere VMs will be part of.
    • The storage object level and its children objects. This storage that will be used to store the cluster VMs.
    • The network VLAN object level and its children objects. This network that will host the cluster VMs.
    • The VM and Template folder level and its children objects.

    Create this role with the following privileges:

    > Content Library
    * Add library item
    * Check in a template
    * Check out a template
    * Create local library
    > Datastore
    * Allocate space
    * Browse datastore
    * Low level file operations
    > Folder
    * Create folder
    > vSphere Tagging
    * Assign or Unassign vSphere Tag
    * Assign or Unassign vSphere Tag on Object
    * Create vSphere Tag
    * Create vSphere Tag Category
    * Delete vSphere Tag
    * Delete vSphere Tag Category
    * Edit vSphere Tag
    * Edit vSphere Tag Category
    * Modify UsedBy Field For Category
    * Modify UsedBy Field For Tag
    > Network
    * Assign network
    > Resource
    * Assign virtual machine to resource pool
    > Scheduled task
    * Create tasks
    * Modify task
    * Remove task
    * Run task
    > Profile-driven storage
    * Profile-driven storage view
    > Storage views
    * View
    > vApp
    * Import
    > Virtual machine
    * Change Configuration
      - Add existing disk
      - Add new disk
      - Add or remove device
      - Advanced configuration
      - Change CPU count
      - Change Memory
      - Change Settings
      - Configure Raw device
      - Extend virtual disk
      - Modify device settings
      - Remove disk
    * Edit Inventory
      - Create from existing
      - Create new
      - Remove
    * Interaction
      - Power off
      - Power on
    * Provisioning
      - Clone template
      - Clone virtual machine
      - Create template from virtual machine
      - Customize guest
      - Deploy template
      - Mark as template
      - Read customization specifications
    * Snapshot management
      - Create snapshot
      - Remove snapshot
      - Revert to snapshot
    
  3. Create a default Administrator role: The third role is the default system role Administrator that you define to the user on the folder level and its children objects (VMs and OVA templates) that was created by the VSphere admistrator for you.

    To create a role and define privileges check Create a vCenter Server Custom Role and Defined Privileges pages.

Manually set Global Permissions role in Global Permissions UI

vSphere does not currently support a public API for setting global permissions. Because of this, you will need to manually assign the Global Role you created to your user or group in the Global Permissions UI.

Make sure to select the Propagate to children box so the permissions get propagated down properly.

Global Permissions Screenshot

Deploy an OVA Template

If the user creating the cluster has permission and network access to create and tag a template, you can skip these steps because EKS Anywhere will automatically download the OVA and create the template if it can. If the user does not have the permissions or network access to create and tag the template, follow this guide. The OVA contains the operating system (Ubuntu, Bottlerocket, or RHEL) for a specific EKS Distro Kubernetes release and EKS Anywhere version. The following example uses Ubuntu as the operating system, but a similar workflow would work for Bottlerocket or RHEL.

Steps to deploy the OVA

  1. Go to the artifacts page and download or build the OVA template with the newest EKS Distro Kubernetes release to your computer.
  2. Log in to the vCenter Server.
  3. Right-click the folder you created above and select Deploy OVF Template. The Deploy OVF Template wizard opens.
  4. On the Select an OVF template page, select the Local file option, specify the location of the OVA template you downloaded to your computer, and click Next.
  5. On the Select a name and folder page, enter a unique name for the virtual machine or leave the default generated name, if you do not have other templates with the same name within your vCenter Server virtual machine folder. The default deployment location for the virtual machine is the inventory object where you started the wizard, which is the folder you created above. Click Next.
  6. On the Select a compute resource page, select the resource pool where to run the deployed VM template, and click Next.
  7. On the Review details page, verify the OVF or OVA template details and click Next.
  8. On the Select storage page, select a datastore to store the deployed OVF or OVA template and click Next.
  9. On the Select networks page, select a source network and map it to a destination network. Click Next.
  10. On the Ready to complete page, review the page and Click Finish. For details, see Deploy an OVF or OVA Template

To build your own Ubuntu OVA template check the Building your own Ubuntu OVA section.

To use the deployed OVA template to create the VMs for the EKS Anywhere cluster, you have to tag it with specific values for the os and eksdRelease keys. The value of the os key is the operating system of the deployed OVA template, which is ubuntu in our scenario. The value of the eksdRelease holds kubernetes and the EKS-D release used in the deployed OVA template. Check the following Customize OVAs page for more details.

Steps to tag the deployed OVA template:

  1. Go to the artifacts page and take notes of the tags and values associated with the OVA template you deployed in the previous step.
  2. In the vSphere Client, select MenuTags & Custom Attributes.
  3. Select the Tags tab and click Tags.
  4. Click New.
  5. In the Create Tag dialog box, copy the os tag name associated with your OVA that you took notes of, which in our case is os:ubuntu and paste it as the name for the first tag required.
  6. Specify the tag category os if it exist or create it if it does not exist.
  7. Click Create.
  8. Now to add the release tag, repeat steps 2-4.
  9. In the Create Tag dialog box, copy the os tag name associated with your OVA that you took notes of, which in our case is eksdRelease:kubernetes-1-21-eks-8 and paste it as the name for the second tag required.
  10. Specify the tag category eksdRelease if it exist or create it if it does not exist.
  11. Click Create.
  12. Navigate to the VM and Template tab.
  13. Select the folder that was created.
  14. Select deployed template and click Actions.
  15. From the drop-down menu, select Tags and Custom AttributesAssign Tag.
  16. Select the tags we created from the list and confirm the operation.

4 - Create vSphere cluster

Create an EKS Anywhere cluster on VMware vSphere

EKS Anywhere supports a VMware vSphere provider for EKS Anywhere deployments. This document walks you through setting up EKS Anywhere on vSphere in a way that:

  • Deploys an initial cluster on your vSphere environment. That cluster can be used as a self-managed cluster (to run workloads) or a management cluster (to create and manage other clusters)
  • Deploys zero or more workload clusters from the management cluster

If your initial cluster is a management cluster, it is intended to stay in place so you can use it later to modify, upgrade, and delete workload clusters. Using a management cluster makes it faster to provision and delete workload clusters. Also it lets you keep vSphere credentials for a set of clusters in one place: on the management cluster. The alternative is to simply use your initial cluster to run workloads. See Cluster topologies for details.

Note: Before you create your cluster, you have the option of validating the EKS Anywhere bundle manifest container images by following instructions in the Verify Cluster Images page.

Prerequisite Checklist

EKS Anywhere needs to:

Also, see the Ports and protocols page for information on ports that need to be accessible from control plane, worker, and Admin machines.

Steps

The following steps are divided into two sections:

  • Create an initial cluster (used as a management or self-managed cluster)
  • Create zero or more workload clusters from the management cluster

Create an initial cluster

Follow these steps to create an EKS Anywhere cluster that can be used either as a management cluster or as a self-managed cluster (for running workloads itself).

  1. Optional Configuration

    Set License Environment Variable

    Add a license to any cluster for which you want to receive paid support. If you are creating a licensed cluster, set and export the license variable (see License cluster if you are licensing an existing cluster):

    export EKSA_LICENSE='my-license-here'
    

    After you have created your eksa-mgmt-cluster.yaml and set your credential environment variables, you will be ready to create the cluster.

    Configure Curated Packages

    The Amazon EKS Anywhere Curated Packages are only available to customers with the Amazon EKS Anywhere Enterprise Subscription. To request a free trial, talk to your Amazon representative or connect with one here . Cluster creation will succeed if authentication is not set up, but some warnings may be genered. Detailed package configurations can be found here .

    If you are going to use packages, set up authentication. These credentials should have limited capabilities :

    export EKSA_AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID="your*access*id"
    export EKSA_AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY="your*secret*key"
    export EKSA_AWS_REGION="us-west-2"  
    
  2. Generate an initial cluster config (named mgmt for this example):

    CLUSTER_NAME=mgmt
    eksctl anywhere generate clusterconfig $CLUSTER_NAME \
       --provider vsphere > eksa-mgmt-cluster.yaml
    
  3. Modify the initial cluster config (eksa-mgmt-cluster.yaml) as follows:

    • Refer to vsphere configuration for information on configuring this cluster config for a vSphere provider.
    • Add Optional configuration settings as needed. See Github provider to see how to identify your Git information.
    • Create at least two control plane nodes, three worker nodes, and three etcd nodes, to provide high availability and rolling upgrades.
  4. Set Credential Environment Variables

    Before you create the initial cluster, you will need to set and export these environment variables for your vSphere user name and password. Make sure you use single quotes around the values so that your shell does not interpret the values:

    export EKSA_VSPHERE_USERNAME='billy'
    export EKSA_VSPHERE_PASSWORD='t0p$ecret'
    
  5. Create cluster

    eksctl anywhere create cluster \
       -f eksa-mgmt-cluster.yaml \
       # --install-packages packages.yaml \ # uncomment to install curated packages at cluster creation      
    
  6. Once the cluster is created you can use it with the generated KUBECONFIG file in your local directory:

    export KUBECONFIG=${PWD}/${CLUSTER_NAME}/${CLUSTER_NAME}-eks-a-cluster.kubeconfig
    
  7. Check the cluster nodes:

    To check that the cluster completed, list the machines to see the control plane, etcd, and worker nodes:

    kubectl get machines -A
    

    Example command output

    NAMESPACE   NAME                PROVIDERID        PHASE    VERSION
    eksa-system mgmt-b2xyz          vsphere:/xxxxx    Running  v1.24.2-eks-1-24-5
    eksa-system mgmt-etcd-r9b42     vsphere:/xxxxx    Running  
    eksa-system mgmt-md-8-6xr-rnr   vsphere:/xxxxx    Running  v1.24.2-eks-1-24-5
    ...
    

    The etcd machine doesn’t show the Kubernetes version because it doesn’t run the kubelet service.

  8. Check the initial cluster’s CRD:

    To ensure you are looking at the initial cluster, list the CRD to see that the name of its management cluster is itself:

    kubectl get clusters mgmt -o yaml
    

    Example command output

    ...
    kubernetesVersion: "1.28"
    managementCluster:
      name: mgmt
    workerNodeGroupConfigurations:
    ...
    

Create separate workload clusters

Follow these steps if you want to use your initial cluster to create and manage separate workload clusters.

  1. Set License Environment Variable (Optional)

    Add a license to any cluster for which you want to receive paid support. If you are creating a licensed cluster, set and export the license variable (see License cluster if you are licensing an existing cluster):

    export EKSA_LICENSE='my-license-here'
    
  2. Generate a workload cluster config:

    CLUSTER_NAME=w01
    eksctl anywhere generate clusterconfig $CLUSTER_NAME \
       --provider vsphere > eksa-w01-cluster.yaml
    

    Refer to the initial config described earlier for the required and optional settings.

    NOTE: Ensure workload cluster object names (Cluster, vSphereDatacenterConfig, vSphereMachineConfig, etc.) are distinct from management cluster object names.

  3. Be sure to set the managementCluster field to identify the name of the management cluster.

    For example, the management cluster, mgmt is defined for our workload cluster w01 as follows:

    apiVersion: anywhere.eks.amazonaws.com/v1alpha1
    kind: Cluster
    metadata:
      name: w01
    spec:
      managementCluster:
        name: mgmt
    
  4. Create a workload cluster in one of the following ways:

    • GitOps: See Manage separate workload clusters with GitOps

    • Terraform: See Manage separate workload clusters with Terraform

      NOTE: spec.users[0].sshAuthorizedKeys must be specified to SSH into your nodes when provisioning a cluster through GitOps or Terraform, as the EKS Anywhere Cluster Controller will not generate the keys like eksctl CLI does when the field is empty.

    • eksctl CLI: To create a workload cluster with eksctl, run:

      eksctl anywhere create cluster \
          -f eksa-w01-cluster.yaml  \
          --kubeconfig mgmt/mgmt-eks-a-cluster.kubeconfig \
          # --install-packages packages.yaml \ # uncomment to install curated packages at cluster creation      
      

      As noted earlier, adding the --kubeconfig option tells eksctl to use the management cluster identified by that kubeconfig file to create a different workload cluster.

    • kubectl CLI: The cluster lifecycle feature lets you use kubectl, or other tools that that can talk to the Kubernetes API, to create a workload cluster. To use kubectl, run:

      kubectl apply -f eksa-w01-cluster.yaml 
      

      To check the state of a cluster managed with the cluster lifecyle feature, use kubectl to show the cluster object with its status.

      The status field on the cluster object field holds information about the current state of the cluster.

      kubectl get clusters w01 -o yaml
      

      The cluster has been fully upgraded once the status of the Ready condition is marked True. See the cluster status guide for more information.

  5. To check the workload cluster, get the workload cluster credentials and run a test workload:

    • If your workload cluster was created with eksctl, change your credentials to point to the new workload cluster (for example, w01), then run the test application with:

      export CLUSTER_NAME=w01
      export KUBECONFIG=${PWD}/${CLUSTER_NAME}/${CLUSTER_NAME}-eks-a-cluster.kubeconfig
      kubectl apply -f "https://anywhere.eks.amazonaws.com/manifests/hello-eks-a.yaml"
      
    • If your workload cluster was created with GitOps or Terraform, the kubeconfig for your new cluster is stored as a secret on the management cluster. You can get credentials and run the test application as follows:

      kubectl get secret -n eksa-system w01-kubeconfig -o jsonpath='{.data.value}' | base64 —decode > w01.kubeconfig
      export KUBECONFIG=w01.kubeconfig
      kubectl apply -f "https://anywhere.eks.amazonaws.com/manifests/hello-eks-a.yaml"
      
  6. Add more workload clusters:

    To add more workload clusters, go through the same steps for creating the initial workload, copying the config file to a new name (such as eksa-w02-cluster.yaml), modifying resource names, and running the create cluster command again.

Next steps

  • See the Cluster management section for more information on common operational tasks like scaling and deleting the cluster.

  • See the Package management section for more information on post-creation curated packages installation.

5 - Configure for vSphere

Full EKS Anywhere configuration reference for a VMware vSphere cluster.

This is a generic template with detailed descriptions below for reference.

Key: Resources are in green ; Links to field descriptions are in blue

apiVersion: anywhere.eks.amazonaws.com/v1alpha1
kind: Cluster
metadata:
   name: my-cluster-name             # Name of the cluster (required)
spec:
   clusterNetwork:                   # Cluster network configuration (required)
      cniConfig:                     # Cluster CNI plugin - default: cilium (required)
         cilium: {}
      pods:
         cidrBlocks:                 # Subnet CIDR notation for pods (required)
            - 192.168.0.0/16
      services:
         cidrBlocks:                 # Subnet CIDR notation for services (required)
            - 10.96.0.0/12
   controlPlaneConfiguration:        # Specific cluster control plane config (required)
      count: 2                       # Number of control plane nodes (required)
      endpoint:                      # IP for control plane endpoint (required)
         host: "192.168.0.10"
      machineGroupRef:               # vSphere-specific Kubernetes node config (required)
        kind: VSphereMachineConfig
        name: my-cluster-machines
      taints:                        # Taints applied to control plane nodes 
      - key: "key1"
        value: "value1"
        effect: "NoSchedule"
      labels:                        # Labels applied to control plane nodes 
        "key1": "value1"
        "key2": "value2"
   datacenterRef:                    # Kubernetes object with vSphere-specific config 
      kind: VSphereDatacenterConfig
      name: my-cluster-datacenter
   externalEtcdConfiguration:
     count: 3                        # Number of etcd members 
     machineGroupRef:                # vSphere-specific Kubernetes etcd config
        kind: VSphereMachineConfig
        name: my-cluster-machines
   kubernetesVersion: "1.25"         # Kubernetes version to use for the cluster (required)
   workerNodeGroupConfigurations:    # List of node groups you can define for workers (required) 
   - count: 2                        # Number of worker nodes 
     machineGroupRef:                # vSphere-specific Kubernetes node objects (required) 
       kind: VSphereMachineConfig
       name: my-cluster-machines
     name: md-0                      # Name of the worker nodegroup (required) 
     taints:                         # Taints to apply to worker node group nodes 
     - key: "key1"
       value: "value1"
       effect: "NoSchedule"
     labels:                         # Labels to apply to worker node group nodes 
       "key1": "value1"
       "key2": "value2"
---
apiVersion: anywhere.eks.amazonaws.com/v1alpha1
kind: VSphereDatacenterConfig
metadata:
   name: my-cluster-datacenter
spec:
  datacenter: "datacenter1"          # vSphere datacenter name on which to deploy EKS Anywhere (required) 
  server: "myvsphere.local"          # FQDN or IP address of vCenter server (required) 
  network: "network1"                # Path to the VM network on which to deploy EKS Anywhere (required) 
  insecure: false                    # Set to true if vCenter does not have a valid certificate 
  thumbprint: "1E:3B:A1:4C:B2:..."   # SHA1 thumprint of vCenter server certificate (required if insecure=false)

---
apiVersion: anywhere.eks.amazonaws.com/v1alpha1
kind: VSphereMachineConfig
metadata:
   name: my-cluster-machines
spec:
  diskGiB:  25                         # Size of disk on VMs, if no snapshots
  datastore: "datastore1"              # Path to vSphere datastore to deploy EKS Anywhere on (required)
  folder: "folder1"                    # Path to VM folder for EKS Anywhere cluster VMs (required)
  numCPUs: 2                           # Number of CPUs on virtual machines
  memoryMiB: 8192                      # Size of RAM on VMs
  osFamily: "bottlerocket"             # Operating system on VMs
  resourcePool: "resourcePool1"        # vSphere resource pool for EKS Anywhere VMs (required)
  storagePolicyName: "storagePolicy1"  # Storage policy name associated with VMs
  template: "bottlerocket-kube-v1-25"  # VM template for EKS Anywhere (required for RHEL/Ubuntu-based OVAs)
  cloneMode: "fullClone"               # Clone mode to use when cloning VMs from the template
  users:                               # Add users to access VMs via SSH
  - name: "ec2-user"                   # Name of each user set to access VMs
    sshAuthorizedKeys:                 # SSH keys for user needed to access VMs
    - "ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2E..."
  tags:                                # List of tags to attach to cluster VMs, in URN format
  - "urn:vmomi:InventoryServiceTag:5b3e951f-4e1d-4511-95b1-5ba1ea97245c:GLOBAL"
  - "urn:vmomi:InventoryServiceTag:cfee03d0-0189-4f27-8c65-fe75086a86cd:GLOBAL"

The following additional optional configuration can also be included:

Cluster Fields

name (required)

Name of your cluster my-cluster-name in this example

clusterNetwork (required)

Network configuration.

clusterNetwork.cniConfig (required)

CNI plugin configuration. Supports cilium.

clusterNetwork.cniConfig.cilium.policyEnforcementMode

Optionally specify a policyEnforcementMode of default, always or never.

clusterNetwork.cniConfig.cilium.egressMasqueradeInterfaces

Optionally specify a network interface name or interface prefix used for masquerading. See EgressMasqueradeInterfaces option.

clusterNetwork.cniConfig.cilium.skipUpgrade

When true, skip Cilium maintenance during upgrades. Also see Use a custom CNI.

clusterNetwork.cniConfig.cilium.routingMode

Optionally specify the routing mode. Accepts default and direct. Also see RoutingMode option.

clusterNetwork.cniConfig.cilium.ipv4NativeRoutingCIDR

Optionally specify the CIDR to use when RoutingMode is set to direct. When specified, Cilium assumes networking for this CIDR is preconfigured and hands traffic destined for that range to the Linux network stack without applying any SNAT.

clusterNetwork.cniConfig.cilium.ipv6NativeRoutingCIDR

Optionally specify the IPv6 CIDR to use when RoutingMode is set to direct. When specified, Cilium assumes networking for this CIDR is preconfigured and hands traffic destined for that range to the Linux network stack without applying any SNAT.

clusterNetwork.pods.cidrBlocks[0] (required)

The pod subnet specified in CIDR notation. Only 1 pod CIDR block is permitted. The CIDR block should not conflict with the host or service network ranges.

clusterNetwork.services.cidrBlocks[0] (required)

The service subnet specified in CIDR notation. Only 1 service CIDR block is permitted. This CIDR block should not conflict with the host or pod network ranges.

clusterNetwork.dns.resolvConf.path (optional)

File path to a file containing a custom DNS resolver configuration.

controlPlaneConfiguration (required)

Specific control plane configuration for your Kubernetes cluster.

controlPlaneConfiguration.count (required)

Number of control plane nodes

controlPlaneConfiguration.machineGroupRef (required)

Refers to the Kubernetes object with vsphere specific configuration for your nodes. See VSphereMachineConfig Fields below.

controlPlaneConfiguration.endpoint.host (required)

A unique IP you want to use for the control plane VM in your EKS Anywhere cluster. Choose an IP in your network range that does not conflict with other VMs.

NOTE: This IP should be outside the network DHCP range as it is a floating IP that gets assigned to one of the control plane nodes for kube-apiserver loadbalancing. Suggestions on how to ensure this IP does not cause issues during cluster creation process are here

controlPlaneConfiguration.taints

A list of taints to apply to the control plane nodes of the cluster.

Replaces the default control plane taint. For k8s versions prior to 1.24, it replaces node-role.kubernetes.io/master. For k8s versions 1.24+, it replaces node-role.kubernetes.io/control-plane. The default control plane components will tolerate the provided taints.

Modifying the taints associated with the control plane configuration will cause new nodes to be rolled-out, replacing the existing nodes.

NOTE: The taints provided will be used instead of the default control plane taint. Any pods that you run on the control plane nodes must tolerate the taints you provide in the control plane configuration.

controlPlaneConfiguration.labels

A list of labels to apply to the control plane nodes of the cluster. This is in addition to the labels that EKS Anywhere will add by default.

Modifying the labels associated with the control plane configuration will cause new nodes to be rolled out, replacing the existing nodes.

workerNodeGroupConfigurations (required)

This takes in a list of node groups that you can define for your workers. You may define one or more worker node groups.

workerNodeGroupConfigurations.count

Number of worker nodes. Optional if the cluster autoscaler curated package is installed and autoscalingConfiguration is used, in which case count will default to autoscalingConfiguration.minCount.

Refers to troubleshooting machine health check remediation not allowed and choose a sufficient number to allow machine health check remediation.

workerNodeGroupConfigurations.machineGroupRef (required)

Refers to the Kubernetes object with vsphere specific configuration for your nodes. See VSphereMachineConfig Fields below.

workerNodeGroupConfigurations.name (required)

Name of the worker node group (default: md-0)

workerNodeGroupConfigurations.autoscalingConfiguration.minCount

Minimum number of nodes for this node group’s autoscaling configuration.

workerNodeGroupConfigurations.autoscalingConfiguration.maxCount

Maximum number of nodes for this node group’s autoscaling configuration.

workerNodeGroupConfigurations.taints

A list of taints to apply to the nodes in the worker node group.

Modifying the taints associated with a worker node group configuration will cause new nodes to be rolled-out, replacing the existing nodes associated with the configuration.

At least one node group must NOT have NoSchedule or NoExecute taints applied to it.

workerNodeGroupConfigurations.labels

A list of labels to apply to the nodes in the worker node group. This is in addition to the labels that EKS Anywhere will add by default.

Modifying the labels associated with a worker node group configuration will cause new nodes to be rolled out, replacing the existing nodes associated with the configuration.

workerNodeGroupConfigurations.kubernetesVersion

The Kubernetes version you want to use for this worker node group. Supported values : 1.28, 1.27, 1.26, 1.25, 1.24

Must be less than or equal to the cluster kubernetesVersion defined at the root level of the cluster spec. The worker node kubernetesVersion must be no more than two minor Kubernetes versions lower than the cluster control plane’s Kubernetes version. Removing workerNodeGroupConfiguration.kubernetesVersion will trigger an upgrade of the node group to the kubernetesVersion defined at the root level of the cluster spec.

externalEtcdConfiguration.count

Number of etcd members

externalEtcdConfiguration.machineGroupRef

Refers to the Kubernetes object with vsphere specific configuration for your etcd members. See VSphereMachineConfig Fields below.

datacenterRef

Refers to the Kubernetes object with vsphere environment specific configuration. See VSphereDatacenterConfig Fields below.

kubernetesVersion (required)

The Kubernetes version you want to use for your cluster. Supported values : 1.28, 1.27, 1.26, 1.25, 1.24

VSphereDatacenterConfig Fields

datacenter (required)

The name of the vSphere datacenter to deploy the EKS Anywhere cluster on. For example SDDC-Datacenter.

network (required)

The path to the VM network to deploy your EKS Anywhere cluster on. For example, /<DATACENTER>/network/<NETWORK_NAME>. Use govc find -type n to see a list of networks.

server (required)

The vCenter server fully qualified domain name or IP address. If the server IP is used, the thumbprint must be set or insecure must be set to true.

insecure (optional)

Set insecure to true if the vCenter server does not have a valid certificate. (Default: false)

thumbprint (required if insecure=false)

The SHA1 thumbprint of the vCenter server certificate which is only required if you have a self signed certificate.

There are several ways to obtain your vCenter thumbprint. The easiest way is if you have govc installed, you can run:

govc about.cert -thumbprint -k

Another way is from the vCenter web UI, go to Administration/Certificate Management and click view details of the machine certificate. The format of this thumbprint does not exactly match the format required though and you will need to add : to separate each hexadecimal value.

Another way to get the thumbprint is use this command with your servers certificate in a file named ca.crt:

openssl x509 -sha1 -fingerprint -in ca.crt -noout

If you specify the wrong thumbprint, an error message will be printed with the expected thumbprint. If no valid certificate is being used, insecure must be set to true.

VSphereMachineConfig Fields

memoryMiB (optional)

Size of RAM on virtual machines (Default: 8192)

numCPUs (optional)

Number of CPUs on virtual machines (Default: 2)

osFamily (optional)

Operating System on virtual machines. Permitted values: bottlerocket, ubuntu, redhat (Default: bottlerocket)

diskGiB (optional)

Size of disk on virtual machines if snapshots aren’t included (Default: 25)

users (optional)

The users you want to configure to access your virtual machines. Only one is permitted at this time

users[0].name (optional)

The name of the user you want to configure to access your virtual machines through ssh.

The default is ec2-user if osFamily=bottlrocket and capv if osFamily=ubuntu

users[0].sshAuthorizedKeys (optional)

The SSH public keys you want to configure to access your virtual machines through ssh (as described below). Only 1 is supported at this time.

users[0].sshAuthorizedKeys[0] (optional)

This is the SSH public key that will be placed in authorized_keys on all EKS Anywhere cluster VMs so you can ssh into them. The user will be what is defined under name above. For example:

ssh -i <private-key-file> <user>@<VM-IP>

The default is generating a key in your $(pwd)/<cluster-name> folder when not specifying a value

template (optional)

The VM template to use for your EKS Anywhere cluster. This template was created when you imported the OVA file into vSphere . This is a required field if you are using Ubuntu-based or RHEL-based OVAs. The template must contain the Cluster.Spec.KubernetesVersion or Cluster.Spec.WorkerNodeGroupConfiguration[].KubernetesVersion version (in case of modular upgrade). For example, if the Kubernetes version is 1.24, template must include 1.24, 1_24, 1-24 or 124.

cloneMode (optional)

cloneMode defines the clone mode to use when creating the cluster VMs from the template. Allowed values are:

  • fullClone: With full clone, the cloned VM is a separate independent copy of the template. This makes provisioning the VMs a bit slower at the cost of better customization and performance.
  • linkedClone: With linked clone, the cloned VM shares the parent template’s virtual disk. This makes provisioning the VMs faster while also saving the disk space. Linked clone does not allow customizing the disk size. The template should meet the following properties to use linkedClone:
    • The template needs to have a snapshot
    • The template’s disk size must match the VSphereMachineConfig’s diskGiB

If this field is not specified, EKS Anywhere tries to determine the clone mode based on the following criteria:

  • It uses linkedClone if the template has snapshots and the template diskSize matches the machineConfig DiskGiB.
  • Otherwise, it uses use full clone.

datastore (required)

The path to the vSphere datastore to deploy your EKS Anywhere cluster on, for example /<DATACENTER>/datastore/<DATASTORE_NAME>. Use govc find -type s to get a list of datastores.

folder (required)

The path to a VM folder for your EKS Anywhere cluster VMs. This allows you to organize your VMs. If the folder does not exist, it will be created for you. If the folder is blank, the VMs will go in the root folder. For example /<DATACENTER>/vm/<FOLDER_NAME>/.... Use govc find -type f to get a list of existing folders.

resourcePool (required)

The vSphere Resource pools for your VMs in the EKS Anywhere cluster. Examples of resource pool values include:

  • If there is no resource pool: /<datacenter>/host/<cluster-name>/Resources
  • If there is a resource pool: /<datacenter>/host/<cluster-name>/Resources/<resource-pool-name>
  • The wild card option */Resources also often works.

Use govc find -type p to get a list of available resource pools.

storagePolicyName (optional)

The storage policy name associated with your VMs. Generally this can be left blank. Use govc storage.policy.ls to get a list of available storage policies.

tags (optional)

Optional list of tags to attach to your cluster VMs in the URN format.

Example:

  tags:
  - urn:vmomi:InventoryServiceTag:8e0ce079-0675-47d6-8665-16ada4e6dabd:GLOBAL

hostOSConfig (optional)

Optional host OS configurations for the EKS Anywhere Kubernetes nodes. More information in the Host OS Configuration section.

Optional VSphere Credentials

Use the following environment variables to configure the Cloud Provider with different credentials.

EKSA_VSPHERE_CP_USERNAME

Username for Cloud Provider (Default: $EKSA_VSPHERE_USERNAME).

EKSA_VSPHERE_CP_PASSWORD

Password for Cloud Provider (Default: $EKSA_VSPHERE_PASSWORD).

6 - Customize vSphere

Customizing EKS Anywhere on vSphere

6.1 - Import OVAs

Importing EKS Anywhere OVAs to vSphere

If you want to specify an OVA template, you will need to import OVA files into vSphere before you can use it in your EKS Anywhere cluster. This guide was written using VMware Cloud on AWS, but the VMware OVA import guide can be found here.

EKS Anywhere supports the following operating system families

  • Bottlerocket (default)
  • Ubuntu
  • RHEL

A list of OVAs for this release can be found on the artifacts page.

Using vCenter Web User Interface

  1. Right click on your Datacenter, select Deploy OVF Template Import ova drop down

  2. Select an OVF template using URL or selecting a local OVF file and click on Next. If you are not able to select an OVF template using URL, download the file and use Local file option.

    Note: If you are using Bottlerocket OVAs, please select local file option. Import ova wizard

  3. Select a folder where you want to deploy your OVF package (most of our OVF templates are under SDDC-Datacenter directory) and click on Next. You cannot have an OVF template with the same name in one directory. For workload VM templates, leave the Kubernetes version in the template name for reference. A workload VM template will support at least one prior Kubernetes major versions. Import ova wizard

  4. Select any compute resource to run (from cluster-1, 10.2.34.5, etc..) the deployed VM and click on Next Import ova wizard

  5. Review the details and click Next.

  6. Accept the agreement and click Next.

  7. Select the appropriate storage (e.g. “WorkloadDatastore“) and click Next.

  8. Select destination network (e.g. “sddc-cgw-network-1”) and click Next.

  9. Finish.

  10. Snapshot the VM. Right click on the imported VM and select Snapshots -> Take Snapshot… (It is highly recommended that you snapshot the VM. This will reduce the time it takes to provision machines and cluster creation will be faster. If you prefer not to take snapshot, skip to step 13) Import ova wizard

  11. Name your template (e.g. “root”) and click Create. Import ova wizard

  12. Snapshots for the imported VM should now show up under the Snapshots tab for the VM. Import ova wizard

  13. Right click on the imported VM and select Template and Convert to Template Import ova wizard

Steps to deploy a template using GOVC (CLI)

To deploy a template using govc, you must first ensure that you have GOVC installed . You need to set and export three environment variables to run govc GOVC_USERNAME, GOVC_PASSWORD and GOVC_URL.

  1. Import the template to a content library in vCenter using URL or selecting a local OVA file

    Using URL:

    govc library.import -k -pull <library name> <URL for the OVA file>
    

    Using a file from the local machine:

    govc library.import <library name> <path to OVA file on local machine>
    
  2. Deploy the template

    govc library.deploy -pool <resource pool> -folder <folder location to deploy template> /<library name>/<template name> <name of new VM>
    

    2a. If using Bottlerocket template for newer Kubernetes version than 1.21, resize disk 1 to 22G

    govc vm.disk.change -vm <template name> -disk.label "Hard disk 1" -size 22G
    

    2b. If using Bottlerocket template for Kubernetes version 1.21, resize disk 2 to 20G

    govc vm.disk.change -vm <template name> -disk.label "Hard disk 2" -size 20G
    
  3. Take a snapshot of the VM (It is highly recommended that you snapshot the VM. This will reduce the time it takes to provision machines and cluster creation will be faster. If you prefer not to take snapshot, skip this step)

    govc snapshot.create -vm ubuntu-2004-kube-v1.25.6 root
    
  4. Mark the new VM as a template

    govc vm.markastemplate <name of new VM>
    

Important Additional Steps to Tag the OVA

Using vCenter UI

Tag to indicate OS family

  1. Select the template that was newly created in the steps above and navigate to Summary -> Tags. Import ova wizard
  2. Click Assign -> Add Tag to create a new tag and attach it Import ova wizard
  3. Name the tag os:ubuntu or os:bottlerocket Import ova wizard

Tag to indicate eksd release

  1. Select the template that was newly created in the steps above and navigate to Summary -> Tags. Import ova wizard
  2. Click Assign -> Add Tag to create a new tag and attach it Import ova wizard
  3. Name the tag eksdRelease:{eksd release for the selected ova}, for example eksdRelease:kubernetes-1-25-eks-5 for the 1.25 ova. You can find the rest of eksd releases in the previous section . If it’s the first time you add an eksdRelease tag, you would need to create the category first. Click on “Create New Category” and name it eksdRelease. Import ova wizard

Using govc

Tag to indicate OS family

  1. Create tag category
govc tags.category.create -t VirtualMachine os
  1. Create tags os:ubuntu and os:bottlerocket
govc tags.create -c os os:bottlerocket
govc tags.create -c os os:ubuntu
  1. Attach newly created tag to the template
govc tags.attach os:bottlerocket <Template Path>
govc tags.attach os:ubuntu <Template Path>
  1. Verify tag is attached to the template
govc tags.ls <Template Path> 

Tag to indicate eksd release

  1. Create tag category
govc tags.category.create -t VirtualMachine eksdRelease
  1. Create the proper eksd release Tag, depending on your template. You can find the eksd releases in the previous section . For example eksdRelease:kubernetes-1-25-eks-5 for the 1.25 template.
govc tags.create -c eksdRelease eksdRelease:kubernetes-1-25-eks-5
  1. Attach newly created tag to the template
govc tags.attach eksdRelease:kubernetes-1-25-eks-5 <Template Path>
  1. Verify tag is attached to the template
govc tags.ls <Template Path> 

After you are done you can use the template for your workload cluster.

6.2 - Custom Ubuntu OVAs

Customizing Imported Ubuntu OVAs

There may be a need to make specific configuration changes on the imported ova template before using it to create/update EKS-A clusters.

Set up SSH Access for Imported OVA

SSH user and key need to be configured in order to allow SSH login to the VM template

Clone template to VM

Create an environment variable to hold the name of modified VM/template

export VM=<vm-name>

Clone the imported OVA template to create VM

govc vm.clone -on=false -vm=<full-path-to-imported-template> - folder=<full-path-to-folder-that-will-contain-the-VM> -ds=<datastore> $VM

Configure VM with cloud-init and the VMX GuestInfo datasource

Create a metadata.yaml file

instance-id: cloud-vm
local-hostname: cloud-vm
network:
  version: 2
  ethernets:
    nics:
      match:
        name: ens*
      dhcp4: yes

Create a userdata.yaml file

#cloud-config

users:
  - default
  - name: <username>
    primary_group: <username>
    sudo: ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:ALL
    groups: sudo, wheel
    ssh_import_id: None
    lock_passwd: true
    ssh_authorized_keys:
    - <user's ssh public key>

Export environment variable containing the cloud-init metadata and userdata

export METADATA=$(gzip -c9 <metadata.yaml | { base64 -w0 2>/dev/null || base64; }) \
       USERDATA=$(gzip -c9 <userdata.yaml | { base64 -w0 2>/dev/null || base64; })

Assign metadata and userdata to VM’s guestinfo

govc vm.change -vm "${VM}" \
  -e guestinfo.metadata="${METADATA}" \
  -e guestinfo.metadata.encoding="gzip+base64" \
  -e guestinfo.userdata="${USERDATA}" \
  -e guestinfo.userdata.encoding="gzip+base64"

Power the VM on

govc vm.power -on “$VM”

Customize the VM

Once the VM is powered on and fetches an IP address, ssh into the VM using your private key corresponding to the public key specified in userdata.yaml

ssh -i <private-key-file> username@<VM-IP>

At this point, you can make the desired configuration changes on the VM. The following sections describe some of the things you may want to do:

Add a Certificate Authority

Copy your CA certificate under /usr/local/share/ca-certificates and run sudo update-ca-certificates which will place the certificate under the /etc/ssl/certs directory.

Add Authentication Credentials for a Private Registry

If /etc/containerd/config.toml is not present initially, the default configuration can be generated by running the containerd config default > /etc/containerd/config.toml command. To configure a credential for a specific registry, create/modify the /etc/containerd/config.toml as follows:

# explicitly use v2 config format
version = 2

# The registry host has to be a domain name or IP. Port number is also
# needed if the default HTTPS or HTTP port is not used.
[plugins."io.containerd.grpc.v1.cri".registry.configs."registry1-host:port".auth]
  username = ""
  password = ""
  auth = ""
  identitytoken = ""
 # The registry host has to be a domain name or IP. Port number is also
 # needed if the default HTTPS or HTTP port is not used.
[plugins."io.containerd.grpc.v1.cri".registry.configs."registry2-host:port".auth]
  username = ""
  password = ""
  auth = ""
  identitytoken = ""

Restart containerd service with the sudo systemctl restart containerd command.

Convert VM to a Template

After you have customized the VM, you need to convert it to a template.

Cleanup the machine and power off the VM

This step is needed because of a known issue in Ubuntu which results in the clone VMs getting the same DHCP IP

sudo su
echo -n > /etc/machine-id
rm /var/lib/dbus/machine-id
ln -s /etc/machine-id /var/lib/dbus/machine-id
cloud-init clean -l --machine-id

Delete the hostname from file

/etc/hostname

Delete the networking config file

rm -rf /etc/netplan/50-cloud-init.yaml

Edit the cloud init config to turn preserve_hostname to false

vi /etc/cloud/cloud.cfg

Power the VM down

govc vm.power -off "$VM"

Take a snapshot of the VM

It is recommended to take a snapshot of the VM as it reduces the provisioning time for the machines and makes cluster creation faster.

If you do snapshot the VM, you will not be able to customize the disk size of your cluster VMs. If you prefer not to take a snapshot, skip this step.

govc snapshot.create -vm "$VM" root

Convert VM to template

govc vm.markastemplate $VM

Tag the template appropriately as described here

Use this customized template to create/upgrade EKS Anywhere clusters

7 -

  • vCenter endpoint (must be accessible to EKS Anywhere clusters)
  • public.ecr.aws
  • anywhere-assets.eks.amazonaws.com (to download the EKS Anywhere binaries, manifests and OVAs)
  • distro.eks.amazonaws.com (to download EKS Distro binaries and manifests)
  • d2glxqk2uabbnd.cloudfront.net (for EKS Anywhere and EKS Distro ECR container images)
  • api.ecr.us-west-2.amazonaws.com (for EKS Anywhere package authentication matching your region)
  • d5l0dvt14r5h8.cloudfront.net (for EKS Anywhere package ECR container images)
  • api.github.com (only if GitOps is enabled)