Isham Araia's Blog

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Yet Another Boring Kubernetes Automation Tool

December 30, 2019

Today, I am going to tell you what I’ve been working on during the last month. I’m still doing it, but with much less effort right now.

And the project is …

** drumroll **

Another Boring Kubernetes Bootstrap tool (View on Github)


Before judging me, you must know the reasons why I started it.

First: I wanted to get more involved in an end-to-end Kubernetes implementation and spend time on each component.

Second: I thought that a Terraform-only solution was a good idea, also to keep my “terraform skills” up-to-date.

Third: I wanted to implement a fully encrypted and secure setup and understand some best practices about it.

How I started it?

I have always been fascinated by the containers world, starting from the very deep dive Linux concept to the high-level orchestrators.

Last month I had some time to invest, and I wanted to do something about it. It didn’t matter if it was something already done by others, or not so innovative, the only thing I thought was “let’s do it” and that’s how I started a Kubernetes Bootstrap tool.

The motto was and still is: Think Big, Start Small, Learn Fast.

So I started working on small cycles, where a cycle is not longer than 3 days, and I wanted to put an effort of at max 3 hours per day.

After every cycle, I used to test every component, enjoy what I did to gain some self-motivation, and bother my girlfriend showing her things she didn’t care about! :D

  • 1st Cycle

    • Create 3 instances (Kubernetes Controllers) based on AMI {AMI_ID} - [ Terraform ]
    • Develop 2 scripts to setup ETCD and the Kube Control Plane (API Server, Control Manager, Scheduler) - [ BASH ]
  • 2nd Cycle

    • Provision a self-signed CA and TLS certificates for controllers [ Terraform Module ]
    • Setup a Load Balancer for controllers [ Terraform ]
  • 3rd Cycle

    • Setup RBAC on controllers for workers [ BASH ]
    • Create ASG (Auto Scaling Group) for workers [ Terraform ]
  • 4th Cycle

    • Create a bootstrap script for workers [ BASH ] * in progress
    • Create a drain and cordon system for dead workers [ BASH ] * in progress
  • 5th Cycle

    • Modularize the Terraform code * to do
    • Security hardening on the AMI * to do
    • Security checks on Kubernetes implementation [ Manual/BASH ] * to do
    • Improve security on the AWS side [ Terraform ] * in progress

As you can see, the library is still in progress, and it will be for a while as I’m adding things to do on it every day.

Following a graphic representation of the current implementation:


On the Github public repository below, there’s the code. As per license, feel free to use or adapt it.

What have I learned so far?

  • Starting with a minimal implementation helped me out a lot.
  • Reviewing the work and talking with people about it pushed my motivation.
  • Celebrate (even alone) some little success helps. It might be something small like: “The Kubelet finally doesn’t show any errors, and the certificates are correct” !!
  • Starting with security as a central topic might make things a little bit complicated, but it’s the right mindset to have.
  • Explain to non-technical people what you’re doing helps to check if you’re still doing things with logic and you’re not too detached from the real world :).

What’s next?

The idea is to create a wide range of building blocks based on Terraform to allow users to create their own sophisticated infrastructure/platform easily..

Some ideas might be [Kubernetes w/ Jaeger + Prometheus] OR [Kubernetes w/ Cassandra + Hashicorp Vault] and so on.

It’s an early-stage project right now, and there are a lot of aspects to improve or add, starting from a good testing strategy and a CI flow ( I know… my bad! ), but if you would like to help me out on this or maybe just drop a comment, I would love to hear your opinion!

That’s all for today. Stay tuned!

Isham Araia

Ciao! This is Ish(~) and here's my blog. A bunch of articles, posts and considerations mostly from projects I am currently following.
I would love to read your opinions or answer the questions you might have, so please feel free to get in touch on Twitter! :D