Following are some architectural highlights of bare-metal Kubernetes clusters, deployed by Palette, using Canonical's MAAS (an open-source tool that lets you discover, commission, deploy, and dynamically reconfigure a large network of individual units):

  1. Palette developed and released an open sourced CNCF Cluster API contribution supporting Canonical's MAAS interface (https://github.com/spectrocloud/cluster-api-provider-maas).
  1. The new contribution to the open source Kubernetes ecosystem addresses the need for organizations to easily deploy, run and manage Kubernetes clusters directly on top of bare metal servers, increasing performance and minimizing cost and operational effort.
  1. Palette provides cloud-like experience to deploying clusters on bare metal servers.
  1. In order to facilitate communication between the Palette management platform and the bare metal machines as well as MAAS controller installed in the private data center, a Private Cloud Gateway needs to be set up within the environment.
  1. Private Cloud Gateway(PCG) is Palette's on-prem component to enable support for isolated private cloud or data center environments. The Palette PCG, once installed registers itself with Palette's SaaS portal and enables secure communication between the SaaS portal and the private cloud environment. The gateway enables installation and end-to-end lifecycle management of Kubernetes clusters in private cloud environments from Palette's SaaS portal.



The following prerequisites must be met before deploying a bare-metal Kubernetes cluster using MAAS:

  1. You must enable API communication and retrieve the API key. The [key], [secret], [consumer_key] tokens are the three elements that compose the API key (API key = '[consumer_key]:[key]:[secret]').
  1. You should have an Infrastructure cluster profile created in the Palette UI for MAAS.
  1. You should install a Private Cloud Gateway for MAAS as described in the "Installing Private Cloud Gateway - MAAS" section below. Installing the Private Cloud Gateway will automatically register a cloud account for MAAS in Palette. You can register your additional MAAS cloud accounts in Palette as described in the "Creating a MAAS Cloud account" section below.
  1. Egress access to the internet (direct or via proxy):
    • For proxy: HTTP_PROXY, HTTPS_PROXY (both required)
    • Outgoing internet connection on port 443 to api.spectrocloud.com
  1. DNS to resolve public internet names (e.g.: api.spectrocloud.com).
  1. A computer with a docker daemon installed and connectivity to both the Palette Management console and the MAAS identity endpoint.
  1. Sufficient IPs for application workload services (e.g.: Load Balancer services).
  1. Per workload cluster IP requirements:

    • One (1) per cluster node
    • One (1) Kubernetes control-plane VIP

Installing Private Cloud Gateway - MAAS

The following system requirements should be met in order to install a private cloud gateway for MAAS:

  • Private cloud gateway IP requirements:
    • 1 IP for a 1 node PCG or 3 IPs for a 3 node PCG
    • 1 IP for Kubernetes control-plane

Palette provides an installer in the form of a docker container temporarily deployed on your laptop, workstation or jump-box. This installer can be run on any system that has docker daemon installed and has connectivity to the Palette Management console as well as MAAS identity endpoint.

Generate pairing code

  1. Navigate to the Private Cloud Gateway page in the Palette UI under My Organization > Admin Settings > Private Cloud Gateways > Add New Private Cloud Gateway > MAAS > Add MAAS Account.
  1. Copy the pairing code displayed on the page. This will be used in subsequent steps.

Generate gateway config

  1. Invoke the gateway installer in interactive mode, from any system that has a docker daemon installed with connectivity, to the Palette Management console and the MAAS identity endpoint.
  1. To generate the gateway configuration file, follow the instructions below to provide the Palette Management, MAAS cloud account, environment, and placement information when prompted by the installer.
docker run -it --rm \
--net=host \
-v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock \
-v /tmp:/opt/spectrocloud \
gcr.io/spectro-images-public/release/spectro-installer:1.0.11 \
-o true

Enter the Palette Management Information:

Copy and past the instructions above to your terminal with docker. Upon execution, provide the following:

Install TypeChoose either Private Cloud Gateway or Self Hosted Enterprise Cluster.
You may change your selection with the up or down keys.
Cloud TypeMAAS.
NameInput the name you wish to use for your Private Cloud Gateway.
EndpointEnter the Palette Palette Console endpoint,
e.g. https://customername.console.spectrocloud.com
UsernameEnter your Palette Username - Sign in email address
e.g. user1@company.com.
PasswordEnter your Palette Password - Sign in password.
Private Cloud GatewayEnter the Private Cloud Gateway pairing code generated from the
Palette Palette UI. For more info, please see the
Generate gateway config section of this document.

Enter the Environment Configuration:

HTTPS Proxy (--https_proxy)Leave blank unless an HTTPS Proxy is used.
This setting will be propagated to all the
nodes launched in the proxy network.
HTTP Proxy(--http_proxy)leave blank unless an HTTP Proxy is used.
This setting will be propagated to all the nodes launched in the proxy network.
No Proxy(--no_proxy)Default is blank.
A comma-separated list of local network CIDRs, hostnames,
domain names that should be excluded from proxying.
This setting will be propagated to all the nodes to bypass the proxy server.
e.g., maas.company.com,
Pod CIDR (--pod_cidr)The CIDR pool is used to assign IP addresses
to pods in the cluster. This setting will be used to assign IP addresses
to pods in Kubernetes clusters. The pod IP addresses
should be unique and should not overlap with any
Virtual Machine IPs in the environment.
Service IP Range (--svc_ip_range)The IP address that will be assigned to services created on Kubernetes.
This setting will be used to assign IP addresses to services in Kubernetes clusters.
The service IP addresses should be unique and not
overlap with any virtual machine IPs in the environment.

Enter the MAAS Account Information:

API EndpointMAAS API endpoint. Domain or IP address.
API KeyGenerate an API key from the MAAS UI and paste when prompted.
This key is used for authentication.

Enter MAAS Machine configuration for the Private Cloud Gateway:

  • Select the availability zone
  • Choose the domain
  • Choose the Resource Pool
  • Number of nodes: Choose between 1 and 3

After this step, a new gateway configuration file is generated and its location is displayed on the console. e.g.: Config created:/opt/spectrocloud//User-define-MaaS-Gateway-Name-20210805155034/pcg.yaml

Copy configuration file to known location:

Copy the pcg.yaml file to a known location for easy access and updates.

cp /tmp/install-User-define-MaaS-Gateway-Name-20210805155034/pcg.yaml /tmp

Deploy Private Cloud Gateway

Invoke the gateway installer in silent mode providing the gateway config file as input to deploy the gateway.

docker run -it --rm \
--net=host \
-v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock \
-v /tmp:/opt/spectrocloud \
gcr.io/spectro-images-public/release/spectro-installer:1.0.11 \
-s true \
-c //opt/spectrocloud/pcg.yaml

Available bare metal machines in your MAAS environment will be selected, and a private cloud gateway will be installed on those machine(s). If the deployment fails due to misconfiguration, update the gateway configuration file and rerun the command.

Upgrading a MAAS Cloud Gateway

Palette maintains the Operating System (OS) image and all configurations for the cloud gateway. Periodically, the OS images, configurations, or other components need to be upgraded to resolve security or functionality issues. Palette releases such upgrades when required and communication about the same is presented in the form of an upgrade notification on the gateway.

Administrators should review the changes and apply them at a suitable time. Upgrading a cloud gateway does not result in any downtime for the tenant clusters. During the upgrade process, the provisioning of new clusters might be temporarily unavailable. New cluster requests are queued while the gateway is upgraded and are processed as soon as the gateway upgrade is complete.

Deleting a MAAS cloud gateway

The following steps need to be performed to delete a cloud gateway:

  1. As a Tenant Administrator, navigate to the Private Cloud Gateway page under settings.
  1. Invoke the 'Delete' action on the cloud gateway instance that needs to be deleted.
  1. The system performs a validation to ensure that, there are no running tenant clusters associated with the gateway instance being deleted. If such instances are found, the system presents an error. Delete relevant running tenant clusters and retry the deletion of the cloud gateway.
  1. Delete the gateway.

Resizing a MAAS gateway

A Cloud gateway can be set up as a 1-node or a 3-node cluster. For production environments, it is recommended that 3 nodes are set up. A cloud gateway can be initially set up with 1 node and resized to 3 nodes at a later time. The following steps need to be performed to resize a 1-node cloud gateway cluster to a 3-node gateway cluster:

  1. As a Tenant Administrator, navigate to the Private Cloud Gateway page under settings.
  1. Invoke the resize action for the relevant cloud gateway instance.
  1. Update the size from 1 to 3.
  1. The gateway upgrade begins shortly after the update. Two new nodes are created, and the gateway is upgraded to a 3-node cluster.

Creating a MAAS Cloud Account

A default cloud account is automatically created when the private cloud gateway is configured. This cloud account can be used to create tenant clusters. Additional cloud accounts may be created if desired.

  1. To create a MAAS cloud account, proceed to project settings and select Create Cloud Account under MAAS.

  2. Fill the following values in the cloud account creation wizard.

    Account NameCustom name for the cloud account
    Private cloud gatewayReference to a running cloud gateway
    API EndpointAPI Endpoint of the gateway
    API KeyAPI token
  3. Validate the above MAAS credentials to create your MAAS cloud account.

Deploying a bare metal cluster using MAAS

The following steps need to be performed to provision a new MAAS cluster:

  1. Provide basic cluster information like name, description, and tags.
  1. Select a cluster profile created for the MAAS environment. The profile definition will be used as the cluster construction template.
  1. Review and override pack parameters as desired. By default, parameters for all packs are set with values defined in the cluster profile.
  1. Provide a MAAS Cloud account and placement information.

    Cloud AccountSelect the desired cloud account.

    MAAS cloud accounts with credentials need to be preconfigured in project settings. An account is auto-created as part of the cloud gateway setup and is available for provisioning of tenant clusters if permitted by the administrator. |Domain|

  1. Configure the master and worker node pools. A master and a worker node pool are configured by default.

    Name - A descriptive name for the node pool
    Size - Number of nodes to be provisioned for the node pool. For the master pool, this number can be 1, 3, 5, etc.
    Allow worker capability (master pool)To workloads to be provisioned on master nodes
    * Resource Pool
    * Availability zones
    * Minimum CPU
    * Minimum Disk - Storage disk size in GB to be attached to the node.
    Rolling UpdateMake your selection of Rolling Update of nodes. There are two choices of Rolling Update:
    * Expand First: Launches the new node and then shut down the old node
    * Contract First: Shut down the old node first and then launches the new node
  2. Configure the cluster management features if needed, these features can also be scheduled later for the running clusters.

    • Manage Machines
    • Scan Policies
    • Backup Policies

Click to get details on cluster management feature

  • Review settings and deploy the cluster. Provisioning status with details of ongoing provisioning tasks is available to track progress.

Deleting a MAAS Cluster

The deletion of a MAAS cluster results in the removal of all Virtual machines and associated storage disks created for the cluster. The following tasks need to be performed to delete a MAAS cluster:

  1. Select the cluster to be deleted from the Cluster View page and navigate to the Cluster Overview page.
  1. Invoke a delete action available on the page: Cluster > Settings > Cluster Settings > Delete Cluster.
  1. Click Confirm to delete.

The Cluster Status is updated to Deleting while cluster resources are being deleted. Provisioning status is updated with the ongoing progress of the delete operation. Once all resources are successfully deleted, the cluster status changes to Deleted and is removed from the list of clusters.

Delete action is only available for clusters that are fully provisioned. For clusters that are still in the process of being provisioned, the 'Abort' action is available to stop provisioning and delete all resources.

Force Delete a Cluster

A cluster stuck in the Deletion state can be force deleted by the user through the User Interface. The user can go for a force deletion of the cluster, only if it is stuck in a deletion state for a minimum of 15 minutes. Palette enables cluster force delete from the Tenant Admin and Project Admin scope.

To force delete a cluster:

  1. Log in to the Palette Management Console.
  1. Navigate to the Cluster Details page of the cluster stuck in deletion.

    • If the deletion is stuck for more than 15 minutes, click the Force Delete Cluster button from the Settings dropdown.

    • If the Force Delete Cluster button is not enabled, wait for 15 minutes. The Settings dropdown will give the estimated time for the auto-enabling of the Force Delete button.

If there are any cloud resources still on the cloud, the user should clean up those resources before going for the force deletion.