How to Set Up an Azure Kubernetes Service Cluster with Terraform

234 VIEWS

·

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is a fully managed container orchestration service provided by Microsoft Azure. AKS is a Kubernetes Cluster platform that hosts deployed cloud-native Kubernetes applications. It offers automatic management and scaling of containerized applications. 

In this tutorial, you will learn how to set up an Azure Kubernetes Service Cluster with Terraform. Let’s get started!

What is Terraform?

Terraform is an open-source infrastructure as a code tool. It is designed by HashiCorp and written in Go Programming Language. Terraform is used to automate the creation of DevOps infrastructure and tasks. Terraform provisions and configures your DevOps infrastructure. It spins up new servers, creates load balancers, and node groups, and performs network configurations. Terraform is mostly applied to provision resources on cloud providers like AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. It can automate and provision infrastructure on any cloud platform. We will use Terraform to set up an Azure Kubernetes Service Cluster that has all the necessary cloud resources.

Infrastructure as code (IaC) allows the DevOps team to create all their infrastructure using configuration files and scripts rather than using a command line interface tool or graphical user interface. In Terraform you can use the HashiCorp Configuration Language to write your configuration files and scripts. The Terraform files are declarative and human-readable. Lets install Terraform.

Installing Terraform on Windows

To Installing Terraform on Windows, run this command on your Windows terminal:

choco install terraform
Installing Terraform on macOS

To Installing Terraform on macOS, run these commands on your macOS terminal:

brew tap hashicorp/tap
brew install hashicorp/tap/terraform
Installing Terraform on Linux

To Installing Terraform on Linux, run this command on your Linux terminal:

sudo apt-get install terraform

Verifying Terraform Installation

To verify Terraform installation, run this command:

terraform -help

If Terraform was installed successfully, the command will list all the available Terraform commands.

If you see these commands then Terraform is working. Let’s now create a Microsoft Azure free account.

Create a Microsoft Azure Free Account

Before we set up an Azure Kubernetes Service Cluster with Terraform, you need a Microsoft Azure account. In this tutorial, we will sign up for a Microsoft Azure free account. All the AKS Cluster resources and services that Terraform will provision will be limited to the Microsoft Azure free plan or subscription. 

To create a Microsoft Azure free account, follow this link. You will use your Microsoft account to sign up for a Microsoft Azure free account. You will then follow the instructions to verify your phone number and credit/debit card details. After creating the Microsoft Azure free account, Microsoft will give you a $200 credit for you to use in the first 30 days. The next step is to install the Azure CLI.

Installing Azure CLI

Azure CLI is the command line interface tool that allows Azure users to access their Microsoft Azure account from the terminal. They will use Azure CLI commands to manage their Azure account and resources. 

Install the Azure CLI on Linux

To install the Azure CLI on Linux, run the following `sudo` command:

sudo apt-get install azure-cli
Install Azure CLI on macOS

To install Azure CLI on macOS, run the following `brew` command:

brew install azure-cli
Install Azure CLI on Windows

To install Azure CLI on Windows, run the following `choco` command:

choco install azure-cli

Let’s login into the Microsoft Azure account using the Azure CLI.

Login into the Microsoft Azure Account Using the Azure CLI

To login into the Microsoft Azure account using the Azure CLI, run this Azure command:

az login

After executing the command above, Azure CLI will open your default web browser, and you will input your credentials for the Microsoft Azure account. After logging in to your Microsoft Azure account, you can run Azure CLI commands against your Microsoft Azure default subscription. The next step is to install Kubectl using the Azure CLI.

Installing Kubectl using the Azure CLI

Kubectl is a command line tool interface for accessing any Kubernetes cluster. We will use Kubectl to access the AKS Cluster that Terraform will provision. Kubectl will access the AKS resource groups, node groups, Kubernetes Deployments, and Services.

To install Kubectl, run this Azure command:

az aks install-cli

You should now have a Microsoft Azure Free Account, a Terraform CLI, Azure CLI, and Kubectl. Let’s now set up an Azure Kubernetes Service Cluster with Terraform.

Set up an Azure Kubernetes Service Cluster with Terraform

We will use Terraform to set up an AKS cluster with 2 nodes and an Azure resource group. Then, we will create Terraform files to provision the AKS cluster with 2 nodes and an Azure resource group. We will also create a Terraform file to specify the Terraform Provider that Terraform will use to interact with Microsoft Azure.

A Terraform Provider is an inbuilt plugin that enables Terraform to interact with third-party APIs and Cloud Providers (Google Cloud, AWS, and Microsoft Azure) and other APIs. From the Official Terraform Provider Registry, Terraform supports 130 providers.

Different Terraform Providers enable Terraform to interact with Microsoft Azure. The most common ones are Azure Stack, AzureDevops , AzureRM, AzAPI and AzureAD. In this tutorial, we use the AzureRM Terraform Provider. Let’s create a Terraform file for the AzureRM Terraform Provider.

Create a Terraform File for the AzureRM Terraform Provider

In your computer, create a folder named `terraform-aks`. In the `terraform-aks` folder, create a new file named `providers.tf`. Open the file and add the following HashiCorp Configuration Language code:

provider "azurerm" {
  features {}
}

terraform {
  required_providers {
    azurerm = {
      source = "hashicorp/azurerm"
      version = "2.78.0"
    }
  }
}

Terraform will use the `azurerm` Terraform Provider. It will enable terraform to create and provision an AKS cluster. The next step is to create variables.tf file.

Create variables.tf File

In the `terraform-aks` folder, create a new file named `variables.tf`. Open the file and add the following HashiCorp Configuration Language code:

variable "resource_group_name" {
  type = string
  description = "Resource Group name in Microsoft Azure"
}

variable "location" {
  type = string
  description = "Resources location in Microsoft Azure"
}

variable "cluster_name" {
  type = string
  description = "AKS name in Microsoft Azure"
}

variable "kubernetes_version" {
  type = string
  description = "Kubernetes version"
}

variable "system_node_count" {
  type = number
  description = "Number of AKS worker nodes"
}

variable "node_resource_group" {
  type = string
  description = "Resource Group name for cluster resources in Microsoft Azure"
}

This file defines all the variables that our main Terraform file will use. The next step is to create a terraform.tfvars file.

Create a terraform.tfvars File

In the `terraform-aks` folder, create a new file named `terraform.tfvars`. Open the file and add the following HashiCorp Configuration Language code:

resource_group_name = "aks_terraform_rg"
location = "East Us"
cluster_name = "aks-terraform-cluster"
kubernetes_version = "1.24.6"
system_node_count = 2
node_resource_group = "aks_terraform_-node_resources_rg"

This file contains the actual values of the variables defined in the variables.tf file. The next step is to create a main.tf file.

Create a main.tf File

In the `terraform-aks` folder, create a new file named `main.tf `. Open the file and add the following HashiCorp Configuration Language code:

resource "azurerm_resource_group" "rg" {
  name = var.resource_group_name
  location = var.location
}

resource "azurerm_kubernetes_cluster" "aks" {
  name = var.cluster_name
  kubernetes_version = var.kubernetes_version
  location = var.location
  resource_group_name = azurerm_resource_group.rg.name
  dns_prefix = var.cluster_name
  node_resource_group = var.node_resource_group

  default_node_pool {
    name = "system"
    node_count = var.system_node_count
    vm_size = "Standard_DS2_v2"
    type = "VirtualMachineScaleSets"
    availability_zones = [1, 2, 3]
    enable_auto_scaling = false
  }

  identity {
    type = "SystemAssigned"
  }

  network_profile {
    load_balancer_sku = "Standard"
    network_plugin = "kubenet" # azure (CNI)
  }
}

This file will define all our Terraform resources for the infrastructure. Terraform will use this file to provision the AKS cluster. In this file, you use Terraform resource blocks to define the resources of your infrastructure. You can add as many resource blocks as you want in this file. Here, we have only two resource blocks for creating the `azurerm_resource_group` resource group and the `azurerm_kubernetes_cluster` AKS cluster. 

The next step is to create an output.tf file.

Create an output.tf File

In the `terraform-aks` folder, create a new file named `output.tf `. Open the file and add the following HashiCorp Configuration Language code:

output "aks_id" {
  value = azurerm_kubernetes_cluster.aks.id
}

output "aks_fqdn" {
  value = azurerm_kubernetes_cluster.aks.fqdn
}

output "aks_node_rg" {
  value = azurerm_kubernetes_cluster.aks.node_resource_group
}

This file will specify the output to be displayed in the console after creating the AKS cluster with Terraform commands. Terraform will output the AKS Cluster ID (aks_id), AKS Cluster name (aks_fqdn), and the resource group name (aks_node_rg). Let’s now start applying the Terraform commands.

Applying the Terraform init Command

This command will initialize Terraform and download the `azurerm` Terraform Provider:

terraform init

The Terraform command will output the following:

Applying the Terraform Plan Command

This command will scan the main.tf file and determine the resources that Terraform will provision:

terraform plan

The Terraform command will display the following outputs:

From the outputs, Terraform will provision two resources.

Applying the Terraform apply Command

This command will create the two resources and apply them in the AKS cluster:

terraform apply

When you run the command, you will be prompted to confirm if you want to provision the two resources. Type `yes` to continue the process:

It will take a few minutes for Terraform to provision the two resources. Upon completion, Terraform will display the resources added and the outputs defined in the output.tf file.

From the image, Terraform has provisioned the two resources and displayed the outputs defined in the output.tf file. Let’s login into the Azure Portal to view the provisioned resources.

Login into the Azure Portal

After logging in to the Azure Portal, click `All resources`:

It will display all the resources provisioned:

You will then click `aks-terraform-cluster`:

It will display the Kubernetes resource in our AKs cluster:

We have successfully set up an Azure Kubernetes Service Cluster with Terraform. If you want to delete these resources, run the following Terraform command:

terraform destroy

You will then input `Yes` when prompted:

Terraform will destroy the two resources:

Conclusion

In this tutorial, we have learned how to set up an Azure Kubernetes Service Cluster with Terraform. We installed Terraform on Windows, Linux, and macOS. Before we started setting up an Azure Kubernetes Service Cluster with Terraform, we created a Microsoft Azure account. After this, we install the Azure CLI on Linux, Windows, and macOS. We then logged in to the Microsoft Azure Account and installed Kubectl using the Azure CLI. 

In the next steps, we created Terraform files for provisioning the AKS cluster with 2 nodes and an Azure resource group. Finally, we applied the Terraform init, plan and apply commands. The commands provisioned an AKS cluster and the resource group. Using this tutorial, you can successfully set up an Azure Kubernetes Service Cluster with Terraform.


Jared is an experienced DevOps engineer with experience with Docker, Terraform and Kubernetes. He also has experience with CI/CD pipelines and other DevOps tools. He writes technical articles that cover various DevOps concepts and deployments.


Discussion

Click on a tab to select how you'd like to leave your comment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Menu
Skip to toolbar