Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management Walkthrough

December 21, 2021

Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes, RHACM, built on the Open Cluster Management project, manages Kubernetes distributions like AKS, EKS, GKE, and OpenShift including the workloads they host. Read on for a demonstration of RHACM features like Cluster Hibernation, Cluster Pools, Multi-cluster application deployment and Observability.

Skip to the end for the complete video demo or take your time and stroll through a few quick GUI Free reanimations on your way there.

📓 Check out the 2021 RHACS Walkthrough.

Advanced Cluster Management Features

Cluster Lifecycle

RHACM enables cluster lifecycle management by leveraging the API and its ClusterDeployment resource. Once all the associated resources like the install-config.yaml, cloud provider secrets, and a handful of other resources are defined, the deployment can be driven by GitOps and CLI tools.

Spoiler alert! Keep an eye out for aspects of cluster lifecycle management to decouple a bit as the multicluster engine operator evolves.

Demo: Cluster Deployment Using Kustomize

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Source: Github

Pro Tip: The OpenShift install process creates a default admin user and a kubeconfig with TLS credentials. After cluster creation, download the kubeconfig from the CLI.

Full cluster lifecycle management is supported for OpenShift. See the support matrix for a breakdown by platform. For example, creation of an EKS cluster is not supported, but an existing EKS cluster and its workloads can be managed and monitored.

Demo: Import EKS Cluster

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Cluster Pools

Not only one cluster at a time, but entire pools of clusters can be deployed and made available for checkout by developers or for use by transient workloads. When these clusters are not in use they are hibernated to minimize cloud provider cost. Couple this with Single Node OpenShift and it becomes much quicker and cheaper to playground an application. Clusters are not reused after checkout, so you can be sure there won’t be “highlighting on the pages” from the last borrower. 📓

Demo: Cluster Pool Deployment Using Kustomize

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Deploying a ClusterPool results in a namespace for each deployed cluster. Clusters are hibernated once deployed.

Multicluster Observability

ACM brings a single pane of glass to your entire cluster fleet. ACM enables search and discovery of resources across all managed clusters simultaneously.

In addition to this comprehensive inventory, the ACM observability add-on will aggregate metrics and logs from your managed clusters enabling centralized dashboards and alerting.

Application Lifecycle

Applications can be deployed to multiple clusters through “channels” referencing Helm charts, git repos, or container images. Subscription to the channels is automated by PlacementRules that targets labels that have been applied to cluster deployments. Refer to the video demo for greater coverage.

Demo: Uniform Multicluster Application Deployment

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Pro Tip: Test out your existing applications in a Free OpenShift Developer Sandbox

Governance Risk and Compliance

Not included in the demo is proper treatment of the Governance and Compliance features of RHACM. These enable centralized policy enforcement for infrastructure, applications, and security. This blog post goes into the subject at depth.

ClusterSets and Submariner

The clusters managed by RHACM can be grouped into ClusterSets which allow for grouping of clusters for purposes like role based access control and inter-cluster networking with Submariner.

Ansible and Argo CD Integration

The applications inventories known to OpenShift GitOps or Argo CD on managed clusters are discovered by the RHACM hub cluster and can be leveraged in automations.

Finally, Ansible automations can be associated with cluster lifecycle events and policy violations to drive infrastructure operations for resources that may exist outside of Kubernetes.

Video Demo

All that preamble was just a little context for the following. This video was recorded for a BrightTALK a couple of months go. It will hopefully provide you a clearer picture of just some of RHACMs capabilities.

Demo: Overview of RHACM obeservability and appplication & cluster lifecycle features.

📺 YouTube Video

This video was part of Red Hat's BrightTALK Show and Tell summer 2021 webinar series.


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