Disclaimer: This blog was written based on the SUSECON 2019 presentation given by Martin Weiss, Senior Architect Infrastructure Solutions and Juan Utande Herrera, Senior Architect Infrastructure Solutions., and gives details of deployment of SUSE CaaS Platform 3. The upcoming release of SUSE CaaS Platform 4 will simplify many of the topics discussed in this blog.
SUSE CaaS Platform is an enterprise class container management solution that enables IT and DevOps professionals to more easily deploy, manage, and scale container-based applications and services. It includes Kubernetes to automate lifecycle management of modern applications, and surrounding technologies that enrich Kubernetes and make the platform itself easy to operate.
Why SUSE CaaS Platform?
Simply put, SUSE CaaS Platform is the way we deliver Kubernetes to your infrastructure. With SUSE CaaS Platform, it’s easy to get Kubernetes deployed, installed, configured, upgraded and operated. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to implement and use it. The SUSE CaaS Platform solution includes:
- Kubernetes (We deliver the standard upstream Kubernetes – most often the latest version)
- Micro OS with transactional updates
- Simple deployment
- LDAP / Activity directory integration
- Caching registry integration
- Air Gapped implementation support
- Docker or Cri-o (tech preview), Flannel
- Multiple deployment methods
And, SUSE CaaS Platform is backed by world-class SUSE Support and SUSE Global Services. SUSE Support offers 24x7x365 support, so you have access to a product expert day and night. You can also tap into our SUSE Global Services team. These consultants and product experts support your every need – from discovering the right configuration to implementation and integration and even direct named support services.
Implementing CaaS Platform: First things First
Before implementing CaaS Platform in your environment there are some requirements needed so we know where, and how, to deploy. We can deploy in physical, bare metal servers or we can do it in virtual environments – it all depends on your current infrastructure and the workload you’re going run.
In addition to the basic requirements, consider the specific use cases for your implementation. Every use case will have specific requirements for implementation so that you get the right solution for your needs.
Application Requirements (Sizing)
- Number of Pods
- Memory, CPU
- Storage requirements (file, block, object, single or multi-writer, capacity, static or dynamic provisioning)
- Specific Hardware / CPU / GPU requirements
- Network Entry points / Services / Bandwidth
- Images (source and size)
- Integration into existing Identity Sources
- Single or multi data-center
- Distance / Latency
Implementing CaaS Platform: Planning and Sizing
Once you know the requirements, it’s time to work on Planning and Sizing. SUSE CaaS Platform is a dedicated cluster operating system and only functions in a multi-node configuration. It requires a connected group of four or more physical or virtual machines.
The minimum supported cluster size is four nodes: a single administration node, one master node, and two worker nodes. For improved performance, SUSE CaaS Platform supports multiple master nodes, but there must always be an odd number. For cluster reliability, when using multiple master nodes, some form of DNS load balancing should be used.
Implementing CaaS Platform: It’s Time to Deploy
Now, we can begin deployment, which happens in five stages.
Stage 1: Infrastructure Preparation: This is the step where we evaluate and re-evaluate everything needed for a smooth transition. Any design adjustments, hardware or networking tweaks, any virtual environment updates, making sure you have DNS fault tolerances in place – everything you need before beginning any server installations happens in Stage 1. Once we are absolutely certain we have crossed all the “t’s” and dotted all the “i’s” – then we can move on to Stage 2.
Stage 2: Base Software Installation: This is the stage where we install all the software and servers. We recommend that you start by staging your software before installation to ensure that all your servers are at the exact same patching level. Automate this process using a Subscription Management Toolkit, SUSE Manager, or RMT (limited). We also recommended that you use AutoYaST, as opposed to the “image based” approach. When you use images, there’s a lot of cloning, personalizing and patching to get through, which can be time consuming. Plus, you get a lot more flexibility and customization options with AutoYaST and it identically installs all servers, 100% of the time. After AutoYaST installs all the servers and you configure everything, it’s time for infrastructure verification – which is Stage 3.
Stage 3: Infrastructure Verification: This is where we verify that everything we did in stages 1 & 2 is correctly applied in your infrastructure. Side note: We recommend to only use Static IP Configurations in your infrastructure – even though SUSE CaaS has supported other configs in earlier versions, the Static IP Config is more stable. This is where we also verify time synchronization, name resolution and test all network connections for bandwidth and latency.
Stage 4: SUSE CaaS Platform Installation: Finally! The moment you’ve been waiting for, right? At this point, AutoYaST installsall the servers (Admin, Master, Worker). Additionally, AutoYaST installs and configures all available patches in preparation for Stage 5.
Stage 5: Kubernetes Add-ons: If everything went smoothly in Stage 4, congratulations! You have a fully running Kubernetes cluster and are ready to create required namespaces, create required users / groups in LDAP or connect to Active Directory, create roles and role-assignments, and finally – deploy basic services and the application.
Implementing CaaS Platforming: Testing and Fine Tuning
As with any deployment – after you install everything and go into production – you should test, test, and test some more to make sure everything is running as designed.
SUSE Global Services has flexible services offerings that help to ease the bumps of implementation and maintenance. Let us take the mystery out of integrating CaaS Platform for your business. Learn more about SUSE Global Services.
For more detailed information, watch the video from SUSECON ’19 below; a PDF presentation can be found here.
And don’t forget to mark your calendars for SUSECON2020, where we’ll be turning Dublin even greener! Registration opens soon!