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Tutorial: How to set up Paralus on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)

· 6 min read
Atulpriya Sharma

Setting up Paralus is quite simple irrespective of the infrastructure you're deploying it on. You've seen in the previous blog post, where we showed how to deploy Paralus to Azure's Kubernetes Service (AKS)

In this blog post, we'll take you through the steps to setup Paralus on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) using a custom domain and import a local cluster into it. Let's get started!

Table Of Content:

Pre Requisites

To setup Paralus on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) there are a few prerequisites:

We'll start with setting up a cluster on GKE, followed by deploying Paralus to it using helm charts. Once the installation is done, we'll configure the DNS settings for the domain for Paralus to work. After that we'll login to the Paralus dashboard and import a Kubernetes cluster that is running on a local laptop.

Creating GKE Cluster

GKE provides you with options to create various types of clusters ranging from zonal, regional, autopilot, private and alpha cluster. However, we create a simple standard Kubernetes cluster using the cloud portal. For this tutorial you can also follow the GKE quickstart guide to setup a cluster.

Note: GKE also provides you with multiple VM instances that you can use as your node machine. You can refer to the full list of GKE machine family for more details. By default it will create a cluster with 3 node machines with a total of 6 vCPUs and 12 GB RAM.

After the cluster is created, start the cluster and connect to it. You can connect to your cluster using the cloud shell provided.

Installing Paralus

  1. Add helm repo

    helm repo add paralus https://paralus.github.io/helm-charts

  2. Install Paralus

     helm install myrelease paralus/ztka \
    -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/paralus/helm-charts/main/examples/values.dev-generic.yaml \
    --set fqdn.domain="chartexample.com" \
    -n paralus \
    --create-namespace

    Note: If you're installing this in a production environment, please use values.yaml and configure the values mentioned here as required.

     NAME: myrelease
    LAST DEPLOYED: Fri Jul 01 17:13:48 2022
    NAMESPACE: paralus
    STATUS: deployed
    REVISION: 1
    NOTES:
    1. Access the application URL by running these commands:
    Get load balancer address via:
    kubectl get service envoy --namespace paralus -o jsonpath='{.status.loadBalancer.ingress[0].hostname}'

    Add DNS records of following domains such that it resolves to above address:
    - console.chartexample.com
    - *.core-connector.chartexample.com
    - *.user.chartexample.com
    Open http://console.chartexample.com in browser.

    You can view the recovery link for admin user by running the following command once all the pods are running:

    kubectl logs -f --namespace paralus $(kubectl get pods --namespace paralus -l app.kubernetes.io/name='paralus' -o jsonpath='{ .items[0].metadata.name }') initialize | grep 'Org Admin signup URL:'

Note: It can take upto a few minutes before all the pods are running and you can access the dashboard. You can check the status using watch kubectl get pods

Configuring DNS Settings

Once the installation is complete, you need to first get the external IP address provided by GKE loadbalancer. You can do so by executing the following command:

kubectl get svc myrelease-contour-envoy -n paralus

NAME TYPE CLUSTER-IP EXTERNAL-IP PORT(S) AGE
myrelease-contour-envoy LoadBalancer 10.0.33.6 34.121.64.88 80:30193/TCP,443:30873/TCP 3m13s

Note down the EXTERNAL-IP address for the <releasename>-contour-envoy service.

Navigate to your domain's DNS setting page. The steps for changing DNS settings will vary based on your domain name provider.

While you are on your DNS Setting page, for the selected domain name, you need to add three A records. These will be based on the subdomains provided in the notes section post installation.

TypeAddressResolves ToTTL
Aconsole.chartexample.com34.121.64.881 Hour
A*.core-connector.chartexample.com34.121.64.881 Hour
A*.user.chartexample.com34.121.64.881 Hour

Accessing The Dashboard

Paralus is installed with a default organization and an admin user. Hence, after installation, you need to set a password for the user. To do so, execute the command that you get after installing Paralus.

kubectl logs -f --namespace paralus $(kubectl get pods --namespace paralus -l app.kubernetes.io/name='paralus' -o jsonpath='{ .items[0].metadata.name }') initialize | grep 'Org Admin signup URL:'

Org Admin signup URL: http://console.chartexample.com/self-service/recovery?flow=de34efa4-934e-4916-8d3f-a1c6ce65ba39&token=IYJFI5vbORhGnz81gCjK7kucDVoiuQ7j

Note: The password recovery link generated while deploying Paralus is valid only for 10 minutes. For any reason if the link is expired, refer to our troubleshooting guide to re-generate the password reset link.

Access the URL in a browser, and provide a new password. In a new browser window/tab navigate to http://console.chartexample.com and log in with the following credentials:

  • username: admin@paralus.local - or the one you specified in values.yaml
  • password: <The one you entered above>

You'll be taken to the projects page where you'll see a default project.

Paralus default project screen

Importing Existing Cluster

Everything in Paralus is grouped into Projects. Each project will have clusters, users and groups associated with it. Hence the first step it to create a new project.

Click on New Project to create a new project and then import a cluster in that project. The cluster we are importing is a minikube cluster hosted on my laptop.

Create New Cluster

Click Continue and download the bootstrap yaml file by clicking Import Bootstrap YAML. This will download the YAML file that is required to connect your cluster with Paralus.

Download Bootstrap YAML file

Apply the bootstrap configuration yaml file

kubectl apply -f mylocalcluster.yaml

Wait for the changes to take place. On the dashboard you will see that the cluster is imported successfully. It usually takes 3-5 minutes for the status to update.

Import Cluster Success

Select your newly imported cluster and click on kubectl to access the prompt and interact with your cluster from the dashboard.

A kubectl console will open in the bottom half of the screen, enter your kubectl commands to interact with your cluster.

Accessing imported cluster via kubectl

Congratulations! You've successfully deployed Paralus on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and imported a local cluster.

Refer to our documentation to learn about various features of Paralus.

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