Flagger Install on EKS App Mesh

This guide walks you through setting up Flagger and AWS App Mesh on EKS.

App Mesh

The App Mesh integration with EKS is made out of the following components:

  • Kubernetes custom resources

    • mesh.appmesh.k8s.aws defines a logical boundary for network traffic between the services

    • virtualnode.appmesh.k8s.aws defines a logical pointer to a Kubernetes workload

    • virtualservice.appmesh.k8s.aws defines the routing rules for a workload inside the mesh

  • CRD controller - keeps the custom resources in sync with the App Mesh control plane

  • Admission controller - injects the Envoy sidecar and assigns Kubernetes pods to App Mesh virtual nodes

  • Telemetry service - Prometheus instance that collects and stores Envoy's metrics

Create a Kubernetes cluster

In order to create an EKS cluster you can use eksctl. Eksctl is an open source command-line utility made by Weaveworks in collaboration with Amazon.

On MacOS you can install eksctl with Homebrew:

brew tap weaveworks/tap
brew install weaveworks/tap/eksctl

Create an EKS cluster with:

eksctl create cluster --name=appmesh \
--region=us-west-2 \
--nodes 3 \
--node-volume-size=120 \

The above command will create a two nodes cluster with App Mesh IAM policy attached to the EKS node instance role.

Verify the install with:

kubectl get nodes

Install Helm

Install the Helm v3 command-line tool:

brew install helm

Add the EKS repository to Helm:

helm repo add eks https://aws.github.io/eks-charts

Enable horizontal pod auto-scaling

Install the Horizontal Pod Autoscaler (HPA) metrics provider:

helm upgrade -i metrics-server stable/metrics-server \
--namespace kube-system \
--set args[0]=--kubelet-preferred-address-types=InternalIP

After a minute, the metrics API should report CPU and memory usage for pods. You can very the metrics API with:

kubectl -n kube-system top pods

Install the App Mesh components

Install the App Mesh CRDs:

kubectl apply -k github.com/aws/eks-charts/stable/appmesh-controller//crds?ref=master

Create the appmesh-system namespace:

kubectl create ns appmesh-system

Install the App Mesh controller:

helm upgrade -i appmesh-controller eks/appmesh-controller \
--wait --namespace appmesh-system

In order to collect the App Mesh metrics that Flagger needs to run the canary analysis, you'll need to setup a Prometheus instance to scrape the Envoy sidecars.

Install the App Mesh Prometheus:

helm upgrade -i appmesh-prometheus eks/appmesh-prometheus \
--wait --namespace appmesh-system

Install Flagger

Add Flagger Helm repository:

helm repo add flagger https://flagger.app

Install Flagger's Canary CRD:

kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/fluxcd/flagger/main/artifacts/flagger/crd.yaml

Deploy Flagger in the appmesh-system namespace:

helm upgrade -i flagger flagger/flagger \
--namespace=appmesh-system \
--set crd.create=false \
--set meshProvider=appmesh:v1beta2 \
--set metricsServer=http://appmesh-prometheus:9090

Install Grafana

Deploy App Mesh Grafana that comes with a dashboard for monitoring Flagger's canary releases:

helm upgrade -i appmesh-grafana eks/appmesh-grafana \
--namespace appmesh-system

You can access Grafana using port forwarding:

kubectl -n appmesh-system port-forward svc/appmesh-grafana 3000:3000

Now that you have Flagger running, you can try the App Mesh canary deployments tutorial.

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