Setting up the Connect gateway

This guide is for platform administrators who need to set up the Connect gateway for use by their project's users and service accounts. This setup lets users:

  • Use the console to log in to registered clusters outside Google Cloud with their Google Cloud identity.

  • Use kubectl to access clusters through the Connect gateway.

This setup only allows for authentication of users and services based on their individual IDs, not their membership of Google Groups. To set up additional group support, see Set up the Connect gateway with Google Groups.

If you are unfamiliar with the Connect gateway, see our overview for an explanation of the basic concepts and how it works.

Before you begin

  1. Ensure that you have the following command line tools installed:

    • The latest version of the Google Cloud CLI, the command line tool for interacting with Google Cloud.
    • kubectl for running commands against Kubernetes clusters. If you need to install kubectl, follow these instructions

    If you are using Cloud Shell as your shell environment for interacting with Google Cloud, these tools are installed for you.

  2. Either initialize the gcloud CLI for use with your project, or run the following commands to authorize the gcloud CLI and set your project as the default:

    gcloud auth login
    gcloud config set project PROJECT_ID
    

Required IAM roles for the setup

This guide assumes that you have the roles/owner permission in your project. If you aren't a project owner, ask a project owner to grant you additional permissions on the project so that you can do the following tasks:

  • To enable APIs, you need the serviceusage.services.enable permission, which is included in the Service Usage Admin role (roles/serviceusage.serviceUsageAdmin). A project owner can either create a custom role with the serviceusage.services.enable permission enabled, or grant you roles/serviceusage.serviceUsageAdmin, as follows:

    gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding PROJECT_ID \
       --member user:USER_EMAIL_ADDRESS \
       --role='roles/serviceusage.serviceUsageAdmin'
    
  • To grant IAM permissions to users and service accounts so that they can use the Connect gateway, you need the Project IAM Admin role (roles/resourcemanager.projectIamAdmin), which a project owner can grant with the following command:

    gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding PROJECT_ID \
       --member user:USER_EMAIL_ADDRESS \
       --role='roles/resourcemanager.projectIamAdmin'
    

Enable APIs

To add the gateway to your project, enable the Connect gateway API and its required dependency APIs. If your users only want to authenticate to clusters using the console you don't need to enable connectgateway.googleapis.com, but you do need to enable the other APIs.

gcloud services enable --project=PROJECT_ID  \
    connectgateway.googleapis.com \
    anthos.googleapis.com \
    gkeconnect.googleapis.com \
    gkehub.googleapis.com \
    cloudresourcemanager.googleapis.com

Verify registered clusters

Only clusters registered to your project fleet can be accessed through the Connect gateway. Anthos clusters on premises and on other public clouds are automatically registered when they are created. However, GKE clusters on Google Cloud and attached clusters must be registered separately. If you need to register a cluster, follow the instructions in our cluster registration guides. Note that GKE clusters must be registered with the Connect Agent to use the gateway.

To verify that clusters have been registered, run the following command:

gcloud container fleet memberships list

You should see a list of all your registered clusters, as in this example output:

NAME         EXTERNAL_ID
cluster-1    0192893d-ee0d-11e9-9c03-42010a8001c1
cluster-2    f0e2ea35-ee0c-11e9-be79-42010a8400c2

Grant IAM roles to users

Access to clusters is controlled by Identity and Access Management (IAM). The required IAM roles to access clusters using kubectl differ slightly from the roles to access clusters in the console, as explained in the following sections.

Grant roles for access through kubectl

Minimally, users and service accounts need the following IAM roles to use kubectl to interact with clusters through the Connect gateway, unless the user has roles/owner in the project:

  • roles/gkehub.gatewayAdmin: This role lets a user access the Connect gateway API to use kubectl to manage the cluster.

    • If a user only needs read-only access to connected clusters, you can grant roles/gkehub.gatewayReader instead.

    • If a user needs read / write access to connected clusters, you can grant roles/gkehub.gatewayEditor.

  • roles/gkehub.viewer: This role lets a user retrieve cluster kubeconfigs.

For details about the permissions included in these roles, see GKE Hub roles in the IAM documentation.

You can use the following commands to grant these roles:

gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding PROJECT_ID \
    --member=MEMBER \
    --role=GATEWAY_ROLE
gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding PROJECT_ID \
    --member=MEMBER \
    --role=roles/gkehub.viewer

where:

  • MEMBER is the user or service account, which is in the format user|serviceAccount:emailID, for example:

    • user:alice@example.com
    • serviceAccount:test_sa@example-project.iam.gserviceaccount.com
  • GATEWAY_ROLE is either roles/gkehub.gatewayAdmin, roles/gkehub.gatewayReader or roles/gkehub.gatewayEditor.

You can find out more about granting IAM permissions and roles in Granting, changing, and revoking access to resources.

Grant roles for access through the console

Users who want to interact with clusters outside of Google Cloud using the console need the following roles at minimum:

  • roles/container.viewer. This role lets users view the GKE Clusters page and other container resources in the console. For details about the permissions included in this role, see Kubernetes Engine roles in the IAM documentation.

  • roles/gkehub.viewer. This role lets users view clusters outside Google Cloud in the console. Note that this is one of the roles required for kubectl access. If you already granted this role to a user, you don't need to grant it again. For details about the permissions included in this role, see GKE Hub roles in the IAM documentation.

    In the following commands, replace PROJECT_ID with the project ID of the fleet host project. Also, replace MEMBER with the user's email address or service account using the format user|serviceAccount:emailID, for example:

    • user:alice@example.com
    • serviceAccount:test_sa@example-project.iam.gserviceaccount.com
    gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding PROJECT_ID \
        --member=MEMBER \
        --role=roles/container.viewer
    gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding PROJECT_ID \
        --member=MEMBER \
        --role=roles/gkehub.viewer
    

For more information about granting IAM roles, see Manage access to projects, folders, and organizations in the IAM documentation.

To let users log in to a cluster using their Google Cloud credentials to view cluster details in the console, you must also configure the RBAC policies described in the next section.

Configure role-based access control (RBAC) policies

Each cluster's Kubernetes API server needs to be able to authorize requests that come from the console or from kubectl commands that come through the Connect gateway from your specified users and service accounts. To ensure this, you need to update the RBAC policies on each cluster that you want to make accessible through the gateway. You need to add or update the following policies:

  • An impersonation policy that authorizes the Connect agent to send requests to the Kubernetes API server on behalf of a user.
  • A permissions policy that specifies which permissions the user has on the cluster. This can be a cluster-level role like clusterrole/cluster-admin, or a namespace-level role such as role/default/pod-reader.

The following shows how to create and apply the RBAC policies. The simplest way to do this is to use the gcloud CLI to generate and apply the appropriate policies for you. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can create an RBAC policy file and apply it with kubectl.

gcloud

To generate and apply the policies to your chosen cluster with the gcloud CLI, run the following command:

gcloud beta container fleet memberships generate-gateway-rbac  \
    --membership=MEMBERSHIP_NAME \
    --role=ROLE \
    --users=USERS \
    --project=PROJECT_ID \
    --kubeconfig=KUBECONFIG_PATH \
    --context=KUBECONFIG_CONTEXT \
    --apply

Replace the following:

  • MEMBERSHIP_NAME: the name used to uniquely represent the cluster in its fleet. You can find out how to check your cluster's membership name in Get fleet membership status.
  • ROLE: the IAM role you want to grant to the users on the cluster, for example clusterrole/cluster-admin. This role must already exist before you run the command.
  • USERS: the email addresses of the users (user accounts or service accounts) to whom you want to grant the permissions, as a comma-separated list. For example: --users=foo@example.com,test-acct@test-project.iam.gserviceaccount.com.
  • PROJECT_ID: the project ID where the cluster is registered.
  • KUBECONFIG_PATH: the local filepath where your kubeconfig containing an entry for the cluster is stored. In most cases it's $HOME/.kube/config.
  • KUBECONFIG_CONTEXT: the context of the cluster as it appears in the kubeconfig file. You can get the current context from the command line by running kubectl config current-context. Whether you use the current context or not, make sure that it works for accessing the cluster by running a simple command such as:

    kubectl get namespaces \
      --kubeconfig=KUBECONFIG_PATH \
      --context=KUBECONFIG_CONTEXT
    

After running gcloud beta container fleet memberships generate-gateway-rbac, you see something like the following at the end of the output:

connectgateway_example-project-12345_global_example-membership-name

This is the context for accessing the cluster through the Connect gateway.

For more details on the generate-gateway-rbac command, see the gcloud CLI reference guide.

If you see an error such as ERROR: (gcloud.beta.container.hub.memberships) Invalid choice: 'generate-gateway-rbac' when you run this command, update your Google Cloud CLI by following the update guide, ensuring that you update the beta component.

kubectl

The following example shows how to create appropriate policies for a user (foo@example.com) and a service account (test@example-project.iam.gserviceaccount.com), giving them both cluster-admin permissions on the cluster and saving the policy file as /tmp/gateway-rbac.yaml. The policies are then applied to the cluster associated with the current context:

cat <<EOF > /tmp/gateway-rbac.yaml
apiVersion: rbac.authorization.k8s.io/v1
kind: ClusterRole
metadata:
  name: gateway-impersonate
rules:
- apiGroups:
  - ""
  resourceNames:
  - foo@example.com
  - test@example-project.iam.gserviceaccount.com
  resources:
  - users
  verbs:
  - impersonate
---
apiVersion: rbac.authorization.k8s.io/v1
kind: ClusterRoleBinding
metadata:
  name: gateway-impersonate
roleRef:
  kind: ClusterRole
  name: gateway-impersonate
  apiGroup: rbac.authorization.k8s.io
subjects:
- kind: ServiceAccount
  name: connect-agent-sa
  namespace: gke-connect
---
apiVersion: rbac.authorization.k8s.io/v1
kind: ClusterRoleBinding
metadata:
  name: gateway-cluster-admin
subjects:
- kind: User
  name: foo@example.com
- kind: User
  name: test@example-project.iam.gserviceaccount.com
roleRef:
  kind: ClusterRole
  name: cluster-admin
  apiGroup: rbac.authorization.k8s.io
EOF
# Apply policies to the cluster.
kubectl apply --kubeconfig=KUBECONFIG_PATH  -f /tmp/gateway-rbac.yaml

You can find out more about specifying RBAC permissions in Using RBAC authorization.

VPC Service Controls support

VPC Service Controls provides an additional layer of security defense for Google Cloud services that is independent of Identity and Access Management (IAM). While IAM enables granular identity-based access control, VPC Service Controls enables broader context-based perimeter security, including controlling data egress across the perimeter—for example, you can specify that only certain projects can access your BigQuery data. You can find more about how VPC Service Controls works to protect your data in the VPC Service Controls Overview.

You can use VPC Service Controls with the Connect gateway for extra data security, once you ensure that the necessary APIs to use the gateway can be accessed from within your specified service perimeter.

What's next?