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Git Ops Workshop

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This workshop is designed to provide a basic understanding of Kubernetes and ArgoCD and will teach you how to create your own Kubernetes cluster using K3S and ArgoCD to deploy your first application from a Git-Ops perspective. This is the `Git-Ops` way.

Introduction

This workshop is designed to provide basic understanding of Kubernetes and ArgoCD.

During the workshop, we'll be deploying a simple application to your Kubernetes cluster using kubectl. Later we'll deploy the same application using ArgoCD using your new git repository. Meanwhile, we'll be checking out multiple tools to control and manage Kubernetes clusters.

After this workshop:

  • You'll have a development Kubernetes cluster you can tinker with from your own git repository. This means you'll be able to deploy, update and delete applications remotely and declaratively from your own git repository to your development cluster.
  • You'll be able to deploy applications using kubectl, use manifest files and ArgoCD or Git-Ops to deploy your manifests.
  • You'll understand the difference between declarative vs imperative statements and the vital importance of proper health checks in conjunction with livenessProbe, readinessProbe and startupProbe.
  • Yes, Kubernetes has some deep dark logic, it's a declarative system that will try to maintain the desired state and might do some unexpected things if you're not careful.
  • You'll understand the difference between Pods, Services, Ingress, Namespaces, ConfigMaps and Secrets.
  • You'll know how to use tools like Helm and Lens to manage your cluster.

Presentation

Kubernetes concepts

  • Kubernetes is a container orchestration platform that automates deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications.
  • It's declarative, meaning you define the desired state and Kubernetes automatically changes the current state to the desired state the best way it can.
  • It's designed to be extensible and scalable.
  • Built to handle a wide range of workloads, from stateless to stateful applications.

Extendable - Custom Resource Definitions (CRD's)

  • Kubernetes utilizes Custom Resource Definitions (CRDs) for extendability.
  • CRDs allow extendability for the Kubernetes API by creating new resources classes.

This allows developers to create their own resources or controllers to manage these resources.

For example, the ArgoCD operator creates a new resource called an Application. This resource can be used to define applications and their configuration in a declarative way. It's then up to the ArgoCD operator to manage these applications and ensure they're in the desired state.

TIP

It's important to understand that CRD's are methods to extend the Kubernetes API and create new resources. This concept is used in many operators, controllers, helm charts, ingress classes and storage classes to create new resources and manage them individually.

Declarative vs Imperative

Declarative means: you define the desired state of the system and Kubernetes automatically changes the current state to the desired state the best way it can. A powerful tool to manage the system. Instead of writing a series of commands to put the system in a certain state, you declare the desired state and Kubernetes will do the rest.

WARNING

This has a mayor impact, small changes in the desired state can have a big impact on the current state. It's important to understand the difference between the desired states of the system to prevent unwanted changes by Kubernetes.

Health Checks

Health checks are integral to determine if a container is healthy or not. Kubernetes supports three types of health checks: livenessProbe, readinessProbe and startupProbe.

Kubernetes utilizes Health Probes to determine container liveness. If a container isn't healthy, Kubernetes will restart the whole Pod. After a number of specified back-off periods while restarting the pod. Kubernetes will not send anymore traffic to that pod.

Developers can define the health-result of their application and Kubernetes will take care of the rest.

TIP

Kubernetes won't just kill the old containers and start new ones. It will do this in a controlled manner. It first starts up the new container and waits for it to be healthy. Then it will stop the old container to prevent downtime. It's therefore important to have concise health checks in place, developers should be encouraged to manipulate health checks if they deem a service misbehaving or unavailable.

Containers reside in Pods

A Pod is the smallest deployable unit in Kubernetes. A Pod represents a single instance of a service within your cluster. Pods contain one or more containers. When a Pod runs multiple containers, the containers are managed as a single entity and share the same resources.

More importantly, containers in a pod share the same lifecycle, they're started together, stopped together and are considered atomic.

A Pod can be considered a separate subnetwork, containers within a pod are effectively behind NAT (Network Address Translation). Inside this Pod containers can rely on local DNS services to find hostnames in their own or different namespaces.

Since networking and state is separate and atomic this means you can run multiple replica's of the same Pod and increase availability. Without the need to worry about state or networking from a container perspective.

Pods expose their ports to Services

Services provide a method to expose applications running on a set of Pod replica's as a network service. Services are mostly abstraction/glue for Pods and Ingress. They provide a stable endpoint for Pods and Ingress to interconnect.

Ingress connects Services to the outside world

Ingress is a collection of rules that allows inbound connections to reach the cluster Services. It's used to allow external ingress to different services via ports, load balancers, Virtual Hostnames or SSL termination using Let's encrypt Cert ManagerLet's Encrypt API or Common Authority.

Namespaces

Another important concept in Kubernetes is Namespaces. Namespaces are used to divide cluster resources between different tenants, teams or applications.

It's a powerful tool to divide resources and provides isolation between different applications. Commonly used to divide resources between different environments like development, staging and production. Ideally the only difference between staging and production should be a namespace Configmap and Secrets.

The default namespace is the default namespace for objects with no other namespace. It's important to note that namespaces are not a security boundary, just methods to divide resources and provide isolation between different applications. It's important to note that resources in different namespaces can communicate with each other.

ConfigMaps and Secrets

ConfigMaps are a Kubernetes resources that allows decoupled configuration artifacts from image content in an effort to keep containerized applications portable.

When you need to store sensitive information, such as passwords, OAuth tokens and SSH keys, you can use Secrets. If you need to store non-sensitive configuration data, you can use ConfigMaps.

ConfigMaps and Secrets can be mounted as files or environment variables in a Pod. Containers in a pod might need to be drained/restarted to reload the latest environment configuration changes.

The Workshop

We're going to deploy a simple application to a Kubernetes cluster using kubectl, then we'll deploy the same application using ArgoCD, along the way we'll be checking out multiple tools to configure a Kubernetes cluster.

  • We'll end up with a cluster you can tinker with from your own git repository.
  • It follows Git-Ops patterns using Git repositories as the source of truth that defines the desired state. ArgoCD is very declarative and all it's configuration is stored in Git repositories.
  • This won't be a deep dive into Kubernetes, but it will give you a good understanding of the basics and how to deploy applications using kubectl and ArgoCD.

Let's get started:

Clone the workshop repository

Browse to Git Ops Workshop to create your own fork, we'll be using this fork later on to steer your local cluster.

Clone your forked repo to your local machine.

markdown
Open the command palette with the key 
combination of `Ctrl` + `Shift` + `P`.
At the command palette prompt, enter `gitclone`, 
select the Git: `Clone` command, 
then select `Clone from GitHub` and press Enter.
When prompted for the Repository URL,
select `clone from GitHub`, then press Enter.
bash
git clone https://github.com/YOUR-USERNAME/workshop
cd workshop

Software requirements

Please note that this workshop is designed to run on a Linux or Windows machine with WSL2 installed. It's suggested to use apt based distro's like Debian, Ubuntu or Mint.

WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux)

Install WSL on Windows to Run Linux commands

powershell
wsl --install

Reference

Docker

Docker is a platform for developing, shipping and running applications. It allows you to package your application and dependencies into a container that can run on any machine.

Windows install

Download & install Docker Desktop.

Linux install

bash
sudo apt install docker.io
sudo groupadd docker
sudo usermod -aG docker $USER

Reference

Kubectl

Kubectl is a command line tool for controlling Kubernetes clusters. It's used to deploy, inspect and manage cluster.

Install kubectl

bash
# apt-transport-https may be a dummy package; if so, you can skip that package
sudo apt-get install -y apt-transport-https ca-certificates curl
# If the folder `/etc/apt/keyrings` does not exist, it should be created before the curl command.
sudo mkdir -p -m 755 /etc/apt/keyrings
curl -fsSL https://pkgs.k8s.io/core:/stable:/v1.29/deb/Release.key | sudo gpg --dearmor -o /etc/apt/keyrings/kubernetes-apt-keyring.gpg
# This overwrites any existing configuration in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/kubernetes.list
echo 'deb [signed-by=/etc/apt/keyrings/kubernetes-apt-keyring.gpg] https://pkgs.k8s.io/core:/stable:/v1.29/deb/ /' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/kubernetes.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y kubectl

Reference

K3D (K3S in Docker)

K3D is a lightweight wrapper to run K3S (Rancher Lab's minimal Kubernetes distribution) in docker. It's a single binary that deploys a K3S server in a docker container. K3D makes it very easy to create single and multi-node K3S clusters in docker, it's possible to run multiple clusters at the same time on your development machine.

Install k3d

bash
wget -q -O - https://raw.githubusercontent.com/k3d-io/k3d/main/install.sh | bash

Reference

Lens

Lens is a Kubernetes IDE that allows you to manage, monitor and manipulate your clusters. It's a great tool to get a visual representation of your cluster and to manage your resources. Download and install Lens

Starting your Kubernetes cluster

We'll be creating 2 agents and 1 master for our cluster, for this example we'll keep it simple.

We'll name this cluster workshop.

Create a new cluster

bash
sudo k3d cluster create workshop --agents 2 --servers 1

Once completed, you can check the status of your cluster by running:

bash
sudo k3d cluster list

Reference

Access the cluster using Kubectl

Kubeconfig is a file that holds information about clusters, including the hostname, certificate authority and authentication information. It's located at ~/.kube/config and can be used by other applications to connect to the cluster. Keep this file secure, it's the key to your cluster.

You can get the kubeconfig file from K3D by running:

Retrieve and save kubeconfig file

bash
mv ~/.kube/config ~/.kube/config-$(uuidgen) #Backup any existing kubeconfig
sudo k3d kubeconfig get workshop > ~/.kube/config

Check cluster info

bash
kubectl cluster-info

Check the cluster Nodes

bash
kubectl get nodes

Access the cluster using Lens

Setup Lens to use the new cluster by adding a new cluster from the kubeconfig.yaml file.

View contents of kubeconfig file and add to Lens

bash
cat ~/.kube/config

Open Lens, Click on Catalog (Top left, second from top) → ClustersAdd Cluster (+) iconAdd Cluster from Kubeconfig → Paste the contents of your kubeconfig file → Add Clusters

Now you can access the k3d-workshop cluster using Lens.

Browse around, check the Nodes, Namespaces, Custom Resource Definitions and Pods.

Some notes about Namespaces

Namespaces divide cluster resources and quota's. They're intended for use in environments with many users spread across multiple teams or projects. Namespaces are not a security feature, to isolate different users or namespaces from each other we need tools like Loft that leverage RBAC (Role based account control) to securely isolate namespaces across teams.

By default, Kubernetes starts with four initial namespaces:

List namespaces

bash
kubectl get namespaces
  • default, The default namespace for objects with no other namespace. Try not to use this namespace for your own objects.
  • kube-system, The namespace for objects created by the Kubernetes system.
  • kube-public, This namespace is created automatically and is readable by all users (including those not authenticated).
  • kube-node-lease, This namespace is used for the lease objects associated with each node which improves the performance of the node heartbeats as the cluster scales.

Create your own namespace

Let's create a new namespace and deploy an application in the workshop namespace.

Create a new namespace

bash
kubectl create namespace workshop

Deploy your application manually

We'll deploy nginx web server to our cluster.

The -n or --namespace parameter is used to specify the namespace to deploy the application to. If you don't provide a namespace, the application will deploy to the default namespace. Resulting in naming conflicts and hard to find, hard to manage resources.

Deploy nginx to the workshop namespace

bash
kubectl create deployment nginx --image=nginx -n workshop

Check the deployment kubectl

bash
kubectl get deployment -n workshop

The result should look like this:

text
NAME    READY   UP-TO-DATE   AVAILABLE   AGE
nginx   1/1     1            1           2m3s

Check the pod status with kubectl

bash
kubectl get pod -n workshop

The result should somewhat look like this:

text
# NAME                     READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
# nginx-7854ff8877-z9j2t   1/1     Running   0          49s

Find this deployment in lens and check the pod status. As you can see, the deployment and pod replica is up and running.

Try deleting the pod and see what happens.

bash
kubectl delete pod $(kubectl get pods -n workshop -o jsonpath="{.items[*].metadata.name}") -n workshop

The pod gets deleted and a new one is created to replace it. This is because the deployment is set to have 1 replica, so if the pod is deleted, a new one is created to replace it.

List the pods again

bash
kubectl get pod -n workshop

The pod is running again, but now it's got a different name.

It's important to note that the deployment manifest manages the pod and pods can be replicated.

TIP

To avoid downtime it's recommended to use Evict or Taint instead of deleting definitions. This will result in Kubernetes creating a new pod and wait for it to be ready before deleting the original pod.

Delete the deployment

bash
kubectl delete deployment nginx -n workshop

Now check the pod status again

bash
kubectl get pod -n workshop

Without the deployment manifest that defines pod replica count, the pod is removed.

Clean up the namespace.

bash
kubectl delete namespace workshop

Deploy using manifest files from code

Normally you'll want to deploy using a manifest files, so you can keep track of your deployments and easily replicate them across different clusters or namespaces.

Before starting

Make sure you're in the correct working directory.

Create the cat-app namespace using Kubectl:

bash
kubectl create namespace cat-app

Deploy the cat-app deployment to the cat-app namespace using the manifest files.

bash
kubectl apply -f ./namespace/cat-app/cat-app.Deployment.yaml -n cat-app
kubectl apply -f ./namespace/cat-app/cat-app.Service.yaml -n cat-app
kubectl apply -f ./namespace/cat-app/cat-app.Ingress.yaml -n cat-app

You can deploy a complete folder using Kubectl, this will deploy all the files in one folder, try it.

bash
kubectl apply -f ./namespace/cat-app/ -n cat-app
  • Get familiar with the files in the cat-app folder and try to understand what each file does.
  • Notice the URL in the cat-app.Ingress.yaml file, this is the URL, Virtual Host you'll use to access the cat-app.
  • Notice the Service file, this is the service that will be used to expose the cat-app to the internet. it uses the type ClusterIP.

Check the deployment

bash
kubectl get deployment -n cat-app

Check the pod

bash
kubectl get pod -n cat-app

Check the service

bash
kubectl get service -n cat-app

Check the ingress

bash
kubectl get ingress -n cat-app

Ingress is a collection of classes that allow inbound connections to reach the cluster services. It can be configured to give services externally-reachable URLs, load balance traffic, terminate SSL, offer name-based virtual hosts and more.

text
NAME      CLASS    HOSTS               ADDRESS                            PORTS   AGE
cat-app   <none>   cat-app.k3d.local   172.xx.0.2,172.xx.0.3,172.xx.0.4   80      2m1s
  • Notice the cat-app.k3d.local URL, this is the URL you'll use to access the cat-app.
  • Notice the ADDRESS field, this is the IP address of the service, it's a ClusterIP type service and is available on all Kubernetes Nodes in the cluster. If a node does not have the cat-app pod, it will forward the request to other nodes that host the cat-app pod selector.
  • More commonly you'll see LoadBalancer type services, which use cloud provider's or on premises load balancers to expose the services to other networks/internet.

Accessing the cat-app

First we need to update our hosts file, normally you'll use a DNS server to resolve the URL to the IP address and sign TLS certificates automatically with let's encrypt or a Common Authority certificate.

Get Ingress

bash
kubectl get ingress -n cat-app

Notice the ADDRESS field, copy the IP addresses and paste them after the hosthelp.sh command.

bash
chmod +x hosthelp.sh
./hosthelp.sh <ADDRESS>

Add the output from the hosthelp.sh command to your hosts file.

Windows users

Start notepad as administrator, open the file C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts.

Linux users (Not for WSL)

bash
sudo nano /etc/hosts

Open http://cat-app.k3d.local/, you should see the nginx welcome page.

Start deploying using ArgoCD

Before continuing:

Make sure you forked this repo and cloned your forked repo to your local machine before editing files. Later on we'll use your fork to steer your local cluster.

Create the ArgoCD namespace using Kubectl:

bash
kubectl create namespace argocd

Apply the ArgoCD manifests to the argocd namespace.

bash
kubectl apply -f ./namespace/argocd -n argocd

Extract the ArgoCD admin password, first we request the secret and then decode the password using base64 to plain text. The initial password is randomly generated and unique to each ArgoCD installation.

bash
kubectl get secret argocd-initial-admin-secret -n argocd -o jsonpath='{.data.password}' | base64 --decode

Ignore the % when pasting the password.

Login to argocd.k3d.local

Usernameadmin
Passwordpassword from previous command

Setup repository

Open the argocd.Repository file and change the url to your forked repository.

yaml
apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
metadata:
  name: workshop
  namespace: argocd
  labels:
    argocd.argoproj.io/secret-type: repository
stringData:
  type: git
  url: https://github.com/<user>/workshop.git

Apply the changed Repository using kubectl.

bash
kubectl apply -f ./namespace/argocd/repository/argocd.Repository.yaml -n argocd

Your forked repository is now visible in the ArgoCD web ui.

Setup application

Open the cat-app.Application file and change the repoURL to your forked repository.

yaml
apiVersion: argoproj.io/v1alpha1
kind: Application
metadata:
  name: cat-app
  namespace: argocd
  labels:
    name: cat-app
spec:
  project: default
  source:
    repoURL: https://github.com/<user>/workshop.git
    targetRevision: HEAD
    path: namespace/cat-app
    directory:
      recurse: true
  destination:
    server: https://kubernetes.default.svc
    namespace: cat-app
  info:
    - name: 'Cat App'
      value: 'Cats Do Moo!'
  syncPolicy:
    automated:
      prune: false
      selfHeal: true
      allowEmpty: false
    syncOptions:
      - CreateNamespace=true
  revisionHistoryLimit: 1

Push this change to your forked repository.

bash
git add .
git commit -m "New fork"
git push

Apply the changed Application to the ArgoCD namespace.

bash
kubectl apply -f ./namespace/argocd/application/cat-app.Application.yaml -n argocd

Lookup the cat-app in ArgoCD

Press the sync button to sync the application with your forked repository. Your cat app is now deployed using ArgoCD.

ArgoCD can Git Ops itself

We just deployed the cat app using ArgoCD, but we still needed Kubectl to apply the application. ArgoCD can also manage itself using Git-Ops.

Setup ArgoCD using Git-Ops

Open the argocd.Application and change repoURL to your forked repository.

yaml
apiVersion: argoproj.io/v1alpha1
kind: Application
metadata:
  name: argocd
  namespace: argocd
  labels:
    name: argocd
spec:
  project: default
  source:
    repoURL: https://github.com/<user>/workshop.git
    targetRevision: HEAD
    path: namespace/argocd
    directory:
      recurse: true
  destination:
    server: https://kubernetes.default.svc
    namespace: argocd
  info:
    - name: 'This is ArgoCD'
      value: 'Managing ArgoCD with ArgoCD!'
  syncPolicy:
    automated:
      prune: false
      selfHeal: true
      allowEmpty: false
    syncOptions:
      - CreateNamespace=true
  revisionHistoryLimit: 1

Commit and push the changes to your fork

bash
git add .
git commit -m "Change"
git push

Apply the application to ArgoCD

bash
kubectl apply -f ./namespace/argocd/application/argocd.Application.yaml -n argocd

Since we added the application to the repository and sync is enabled in the ArgoCD Application manifest file, it will automatically maintain the ArgoCD namespace based on the repository state.

Change replicas using Git-Ops

Try deleting the cat-app in the ArgoCD web ui and see what happens

Argo cd notices that the cat-app is missing and will automatically recreate/heal.

Edit cat-app.Deployment.yaml and change the replicas to 3

yaml
apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
metadata:
  labels:
    app: cat-app
  name: cat-app
spec:
  replicas: 1
  selector:
    matchLabels:
      app: cat-app
  template:
    metadata:
      labels:
        app: cat-app
    spec:
      containers:
        - name: cat-app
          image: nginx
          imagePullPolicy: IfNotPresent
          ports:
            - containerPort: 80
              name: http
              protocol: TCP

Commit and push the changes to your fork

bash
git add .
git commit -m "Changed repoURL"
git push

Open cat-app network resources view Press the refresh button to check for git updates, the cat-app deployment is now updating to 3 replicas

Some ideas to try

Since we have a Kubernetes cluster that allows you to define the state from your own git repository, why not be creative.

  • Open a shell to a container

  • Create a volume claim for persistent storage

  • Check out cool helm charts you can install within minutes. awesome-helm

If you have any questions or suggestions please let me know.

Cleanup

  • To keep your system clean, you can delete the cluster by running:
bash
sudo k3d cluster delete workshop
  • You can also delete the kubeconfig file by running:
bash
rm ~/.kube/config
  • Optionally restore the original kubeconfig file you had before by running:
bash
mv ~/.kube/config<UUID> ~/.kube/config
  • Restore your hosts file to its original state.
bash
sudo nano /etc/hosts

Released under the MIT License.