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Set up a multi-cluster mesh outside Google Cloud

This guide explains how to set up a multi-cluster mesh for the following platforms:

  • Anthos clusters on VMware
  • Anthos on bare metal
  • Anthos clusters on AWS
  • Amazon EKS

This guide shows how to set up two clusters, but you can extend this process to incorporate any number of clusters into your mesh.

Before you begin

This guide assumes you installed Anthos Service Mesh using asmcli install. You need asmcli and the configuration package that asmcli downloads to the directory that you specified in --output_dir when you ran asmcli install. If need to get set up, follow the steps in Install dependent tools and validate cluster to:

You need access to the kubeconfig files for all the clusters that you are setting up in the mesh.

Set up environment variables and placeholders

You need the following environment variables when you install the east-west gateway.

  1. Create an environment variable for the project number. In the following command, replace FLEET_PROJECT_ID with the the project ID of the fleet host project.

    export PROJECT_NUMBER=$(gcloud projects describe FLEET_PROJECT_ID --format="value(projectNumber)")
    
  2. Create an environment variable for the mesh identifier.

    export MESH_ID="proj-${PROJECT_NUMBER}"
    
  3. Create environment variables for the cluster names in the format that asmcli requires.

    export CLUSTER_1="cn-FLEET_PROJECT_ID-global-CLUSTER_NAME_1"
    export CLUSTER_2="cn-FLEET_PROJECT_ID-global-CLUSTER_NAME_2"
    
  4. Get the context name for the clusters by using the values under the NAME column in the output of this command:

    kubectl config get-contexts
  5. Set the environment variables to the cluster context names, which this guide uses in many steps later:

    export CTX_1=CLUSTER1_CONTEXT_NAME
    export CTX_2=CLUSTER2_CONTEXT_NAME
    

Install the east-west gateway

In the following commands:

  • Replace CLUSTER_NAME_1 and CLUSTER_NAME_2 with the names of your clusters.

  • Replace PATH_TO_KUBECONFIG_1 and PATH_TO_KUBECONFIG_2 with the kubeconfig files for your clusters.

Mesh CA or CA Service

  1. Install a gateway in cluster1 that is dedicated to east-west traffic to $CLUSTER_2. By default, this gateway will be public on the Internet. Production systems might require additional access restrictions, for example firewall rules, to prevent external attacks.

    asm/istio/expansion/gen-eastwest-gateway.sh \
        --mesh ${MESH_ID} \
        --cluster ${CLUSTER_1} \
        --network default \
        --revision asm-1153-6 | \
        ./istioctl --kubeconfig=PATH_TO_KUBECONFIG_1 install -y --set spec.values.global.pilotCertProvider=kubernetes -f -
    
  2. Install a gateway in $CLUSTER_2 that is dedicated to east-west traffic for $CLUSTER_1.

    asm/istio/expansion/gen-eastwest-gateway.sh \
        --mesh ${MESH_ID} \
        --cluster ${CLUSTER_2} \
        --network default \
        --revision asm-1153-6 | \
        ./istioctl install --kubeconfig=PATH_TO_KUBECONFIG_2 -y --set spec.values.global.pilotCertProvider=kubernetes -f -
    

Istio CA

  1. Install a gateway in cluster1 that is dedicated to east-west traffic to $CLUSTER_2. By default, this gateway will be public on the Internet. Production systems might require additional access restrictions, for example firewall rules, to prevent external attacks.

    asm/istio/expansion/gen-eastwest-gateway.sh \
        --mesh ${MESH_ID} \
        --cluster ${CLUSTER_1} \
        --network default \
        --revision asm-1153-6 | \
        ./istioctl --kubeconfig=PATH_TO_KUBECONFIG_1 install -y -f -
    
  2. Install a gateway in $CLUSTER_2 that is dedicated to east-west traffic for $CLUSTER_1.

    asm/istio/expansion/gen-eastwest-gateway.sh \
        --mesh ${MESH_ID} \
        --cluster ${CLUSTER_2} \
        --network default \
        --revision asm-1153-6 | \
        ./istioctl --kubeconfig=PATH_TO_KUBECONFIG_2 install -y -f -
    

Exposing services

Since the clusters are on separate networks, you need to expose all services (*.local) on the east-west gateway in both clusters. While this gateway is public on the Internet, services behind it can only be accessed by services with a trusted mTLS certificate and workload ID, just as if they were on the same network.

  1. Expose services via the east-west gateway for CLUSTER_NAME_1.

    kubectl --kubeconfig=PATH_TO_KUBECONFIG_1 apply -n istio-system -f \
        asm/istio/expansion/expose-services.yaml
    
  2. Expose services via the east-west gateway for CLUSTER_NAME_2.

    kubectl --kubeconfig=PATH_TO_KUBECONFIG_2 apply -n istio-system -f \
        asm/istio/expansion/expose-services.yaml
    

Enable endpoint discovery

Run the asmcli create-mesh command to enable endpoint discovery. This example only shows two clusters, but you can run the command to enable endpoint discovery on additional clusters, subject to the GKE Hub service limit.

  ./asmcli create-mesh \
      FLEET_PROJECT_ID \
      PATH_TO_KUBECONFIG_1 \
      PATH_TO_KUBECONFIG_2

Verify multicluster connectivity

This section explains how to deploy the sample HelloWorld and Sleep services to your multi-cluster environment to verify that cross-cluster load balancing works.

Enable sidecar injection

  1. Locate the revision label value, which you use in later steps. The step depends on your Anthos Service Mesh type (either managed or in-cluster).

    Managed

    Use the following command to locate the revision label, which you will use in later steps.

    kubectl get controlplanerevision -n istio-system

    The output looks similar to the following:

     NAME                RECONCILED   STALLED   AGE
     asm-managed-rapid   True         False     89d
     

    In the output, under the NAME column, note the value of the revision label. In this example, the value is asm-managed-rapid. Use the revision value in the steps in the next section.

    In-cluster

    Use the following command to locate the revision label, which you will use in later steps.

    kubectl -n istio-system get pods -l app=istiod --show-labels

    The output looks similar to the following:

     NAME                                READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE   LABELS
     istiod-asm-173-3-5788d57586-bljj4   1/1     Running   0          23h   app=istiod,istio.io/rev=asm-173-3,istio=istiod,pod-template-hash=5788d57586
     istiod-asm-173-3-5788d57586-vsklm   1/1     Running   1          23h   app=istiod,istio.io/rev=asm-173-3,istio=istiod,pod-template-hash=5788d57586
     

    In the output, under the LABELS column, note the value of the istiod revision label, which follows the prefix istio.io/rev=. In this example, the value is asm-173-3. Use the revision value in the steps in the next section.

Install the HelloWorld service

  1. Create the sample namespace and the Service Definition in each cluster. In the following command, substitute REVISION with the istiod revision label that you noted from the previous step.

    for CTX in ${CTX_1} ${CTX_2}
    do
        kubectl create --context=${CTX} namespace sample
        kubectl label --context=${CTX} namespace sample \
            istio-injection- istio.io/rev=REVISION --overwrite
    done
    

    where REVISION is the istiod revision label that you previously noted.

    The output is:

    label "istio-injection" not found.
    namespace/sample labeled
    

    You can safely ignore label "istio-injection" not found.

  2. Create the HelloWorld service in both clusters:

    kubectl create --context=${CTX_1} \
        -f ${SAMPLES_DIR}/samples/helloworld/helloworld.yaml \
        -l service=helloworld -n sample
    
    kubectl create --context=${CTX_2} \
        -f ${SAMPLES_DIR}/samples/helloworld/helloworld.yaml \
        -l service=helloworld -n sample
    

Deploy HelloWorld v1 and v2 to each cluster

  1. Deploy HelloWorld v1 to CLUSTER_1 and v2 to CLUSTER_2, which helps later to verify cross-cluster load balancing:

    kubectl create --context=${CTX_1} \
      -f ${SAMPLES_DIR}/samples/helloworld/helloworld.yaml \
      -l version=v1 -n sample
    kubectl create --context=${CTX_2} \
      -f ${SAMPLES_DIR}/samples/helloworld/helloworld.yaml \
      -l version=v2 -n sample
  2. Confirm HelloWorld v1 and v2 are running using the following commands. Verify that the output is similar to that shown.:

    kubectl get pod --context=${CTX_1} -n sample
    NAME                            READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
    helloworld-v1-86f77cd7bd-cpxhv  2/2       Running   0          40s
    kubectl get pod --context=${CTX_2} -n sample
    NAME                            READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
    helloworld-v2-758dd55874-6x4t8  2/2       Running   0          40s

Deploy the Sleep service

  1. Deploy the Sleep service to both clusters. This pod generates artificial network traffic for demonstration purposes:

    for CTX in ${CTX_1} ${CTX_2}
    do
        kubectl apply --context=${CTX} \
            -f ${SAMPLES_DIR}/samples/sleep/sleep.yaml -n sample
    done
    
  2. Wait for the Sleep service to start in each cluster. Verify that the output is similar to that shown:

    kubectl get pod --context=${CTX_1} -n sample -l app=sleep
    NAME                             READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
    sleep-754684654f-n6bzf           2/2     Running   0          5s
    kubectl get pod --context=${CTX_2} -n sample -l app=sleep
    NAME                             READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
    sleep-754684654f-dzl9j           2/2     Running   0          5s

Verify cross-cluster load balancing

Call the HelloWorld service several times and check the output to verify alternating replies from v1 and v2:

  1. Call the HelloWorld service:

    kubectl exec --context="${CTX_1}" -n sample -c sleep \
        "$(kubectl get pod --context="${CTX_1}" -n sample -l \
        app=sleep -o jsonpath='{.items[0].metadata.name}')" \
        -- /bin/sh -c 'for i in $(seq 1 20); do curl -sS helloworld.sample:5000/hello; done'
    

    The output is similar to that shown:

    Hello version: v2, instance: helloworld-v2-758dd55874-6x4t8
    Hello version: v1, instance: helloworld-v1-86f77cd7bd-cpxhv
    ...
  2. Call the HelloWorld service again:

    kubectl exec --context="${CTX_2}" -n sample -c sleep \
        "$(kubectl get pod --context="${CTX_2}" -n sample -l \
        app=sleep -o jsonpath='{.items[0].metadata.name}')" \
        -- /bin/sh -c 'for i in $(seq 1 20); do curl -sS helloworld.sample:5000/hello; done'
    

    The output is similar to that shown:

    Hello version: v2, instance: helloworld-v2-758dd55874-6x4t8
    Hello version: v1, instance: helloworld-v1-86f77cd7bd-cpxhv
    ...

Congratulations, you've verified your load-balanced, multi-cluster Anthos Service Mesh!

Clean up

When you finish verifying load balancing, remove the HelloWorld and Sleep service from your cluster.

kubectl delete ns sample --context ${CTX_1}
kubectl delete ns sample --context ${CTX_2}