How to Configure DigitalOcean Kubernetes Infrastructure
A complete guide to deploying your application on DigitalOcean Kubernetes
6 min read
Kubernetes, also known as K8s, is an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications.
Containerized applications are applications that comes bundled with everything required to setup, run and deploy them. In context, they have already been setup completely and just requires you to run them. Some examples of containerization technologies are docker, rkt, runC etc.
We are not focusing on how containers work and how to use them because i assume you already have knowledge of containerization technology and how to use them to run your applications. We will be focusing on how to setup and deploy containerized technology on the cloud.
We have several cloud computing companies like AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, DigitalOcean etc that offer kubernetes infrastructure as a service but we will be focusing on deploying our applications on DigitalOcean Kubernetes Service (DOKS).
We will substitute the following words with their defined shortcuts.
DigitalOcean - DO
DigitalOcean Kubernetes Service - DOKS
Kubernetes - K8s
Virtual Private Cloud - VPC
To effectively follow through in this guide, you will be required to have K8s setup locally on your system, a DO account and dockerized application.
We will be setting up our kubernetes cluster and all the necessary infrastructure needed to make it work effectively and run our applications.
Kubernetes Cluster Setup
Login into your DO account and Select the manage drop-down from the side menu. Under the manage drop-down, select Kubernetes menu item to open the K8s clusters page.
Click the Create drop-down on the navigation bar of the page and select the Kubernetes item on the list.
Create a cluster page
Select a K8s version
Always use the latest version because it is up to update
Choose a data center region
Choose a data center closer to your target users to have improved speed and access to data
Select a VPC network
Resources within a VPC communicate securely over their private IP addresses, making communication faster.
Choose cluster capacity
Choose the node pool name, the memory and CPU size and the total number of nodes to deploy (this can be updated anytime).
Add special tag names used to identify your resources
Choose a name
Choose a name to identify your cluster
Select the DO project to create the cluster
After creating the K8s cluster, wait for some minutes for the cluster to be completely initialized.
Connect cluster to local K8s setup
Since we already have K8s setup locally on your system, let us connect to our DOKS cluster from our system so we can complete our cluster setup to run our applications.
Install the DO doctl, the official command-line interface (CLI) for the DO API. This can also be used this to manage your DO resources.
There are two methods to connect to a DOKS cluster, we will be going through them one after the other.
Download the the config file on the cluster page using the Download Config File button in the Access Cluster Config File section.
The file is named in the format (clustername)-kubeconfig.yaml. Move this file to your ~/.kube directory and run the command below to generate a token and connect to cluster
kubectl --kubeconfig=~/.kube/<clustername>-kubeconfig.yaml get nodes
Using DO doctl
From your command line, run the command below to connect to DO using the installed
doctl, generate a token and connect to all the clusters on DOKS.
doctl kubernetes cluster kubeconfig save your_cluster_name_here
It is recommended to use the doctl method as it saves you time and you have a very low possibility to make an error.
Set Kubernetes kubectl context to DOKS cluster
During the connection, the DOKS cluster is imported in you K8s
kubectl context directory. Check the context list to confirm your cluster is the using the command below
kubectl config get-contexts
Set the current context to your DOKS cluster
kubectl config use-context your_cluster_context_name
Setup Our Cluster to able to expose a web server
Let us configure our kubernetes to be able to expose any application to the public web. We can do this using the Nginx ingress controller.
How to Install
From the DO marketplace, search for
Nginx ingress controller, on the app page, click the "Install App" button. you will be redirected to the cluster page
When the cluster page opens, a modal will appear for you to select the cluster to install the app. Select the DOKS cluster and click Install
After the installation is complete, connect to your DOKS cluster from your local kubectl connection and run the command below to verify that nginx ingress is running
kubectl get pods --all-namespaces -l app.kubernetes.io/name=ingress-nginx
Also run the command below to get the
external ip of the newly created loadbalancer
kubectl get svc -n ingress-nginx
Visit the DO Networking page from the side menu and select the Load Balancers tab, you should find a newly created Load Balancer for your DOKS cluster.
We have fully setup our K8s cluster to run and manager our containers but we need to access these containers and K8s has to pull these containers from a location, comes in the Container Registry.
In simple terms, a container registry is just a store for our containerized application images. There are so many container registries but we will be focusing on the DO container registry in order to have a seamless experience.
DO Container Registry Setup
From the side menu, select Container Registry from the list. Enter the registry name and select the plan (this can be changed anytime).
Note: Only one container registry can be created per project on DO
Now we have successfully created our container registry, let's connect our K8s cluster to the registry to allow the cluster pull container images directly from it.
Connect K8s cluster to our newly created registry
Open the container registry page and click the Settings tab.
Under the DigitalOcean Kubernetes Integration, select your K8s cluster and click save.
This action will setup the registry secret on your K8s cluster allowing it to pull images stored on the registry.
Now we have fully configured DOKS kubernetes cluster to deploy and run our application images and also a container registry to hold our application images on DO. Next we will be deploying a test application to the registry and also run the application on our K8s cluster.