Before you can use the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI or installer interface to deploy a management cluster, you must prepare your vSphere environment. You must make sure that vSphere meets the general requirements, and import the base OS templates from which Tanzu Kubernetes Grid creates cluster node VMs.
kubectlinstalled. See Install the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI.
kubectland other commands.
A network* with:
A set of available static virtual IP addresses for all of the clusters that you create, including both management and Tanzu Kubernetes clusters.
Traffic allowed out to vCenter Server from the network on which clusters will run.
~/.tkg/bom/and its name includes the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid version, for example
imageRepositoryvalues to find their CNAMEs, for example
registry.tkg.vmware.runrequires network access to
datecommand to see the timezone settings.
esxcli system time set.
*Or see Deploying Tanzu Kubernetes Grid in an Internet-Restricted Environment for installing without external network access.
On vSphere 7, enabling the vSphere with Tanzu feature provides a built-in Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service. The Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service supports deploying a Supervisor Cluster that performs the same role as a management cluster deployed by Tanzu Kubernetes Grid. This means that you do not need to deploy a management cluster on vSphere 7, and the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid installer discourages you from doing so.
The Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI can connect to the Supervisor Cluster on vSphere 7 and to Tanzu Kubernetes Grid management clusters deployed to Azure, Amazon EC2, and vSphere 6.7u3, letting you deploy and manage Tanzu Kubernetes clusters across multiple infrastructures using a single tool. For more information, see Use the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI with a vSphere with Tanzu Supervisor Cluster.
If the vSphere with Tanzu feature is not enabled in vSphere 7, you can still deploy a Tanzu Kubernetes Grid management cluster, but it is not recommended. For information about the vSphere with Tanzu feature in vSphere 7, see vSphere with Tanzu Configuration and Management in the vSphere 7 documentation.
NOTE: On VMware Cloud on AWS and Azure VMware Solution, you cannot create a Supervisor Cluster, and need to deploy a management cluster to run
Each management cluster and Tanzu Kubernetes cluster that you deploy to vSphere requires one static virtual IP address for external requests to the cluster's API server. You must be able to assign this IP address, so it cannot be within your DHCP range, but it must be in the same subnet as the DHCP range.
The cluster control plane's Kube-vip pod uses this static virtual IP address to serve API requests and the API server certificate includes the address to enable secure TLS communication. In the Tanzu Kubernetes cluster, Kube-vip is configured in a basic, Layer-2 failover mode, in which the virtual IP is assigned to only one control plane node at a time. In this mode, it does not provide true load balancing of control plane traffic.
Kube-vip is an in-cluster component that is solely used by the API server. It is not a general load-balancer. For load balancing on vSphere, use NSX Advanced Load Balancer, also known as Avi Load Balancer, Essentials Edition. You must deploy the NSX Advanced Load Balancer in your vSphere instance before you deploy management clusters. See Installing Avi Vantage for VMware vCenter and Avi Kubernetes Operator Deployment Guide.
The vCenter Single Sign On account that you provide to Tanzu Kubernetes Grid when you deploy a management cluster must have at the correct permissions in order to perform the required operations in vSphere.
It is not recommended to provide a vSphere administrator account to Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, because this provides Tanzu Kubernetes Grid with far greater permissions than it needs. The best way to assign permissions to Tanzu Kubernetes Grid is to create a role and a user account, and then to grant that user account that role on vSphere objects.
NOTE: If you are deploying Tanzu Kubernetes clusters to vSphere 7 and vSphere with Tanzu is enabled, you must set the Global > Cloud Admin permission in addition to the permissions listed below. If you intend to use Velero to back up and restore workload clusters, you must also set the permissions listed in Credentials and Privileges for VMDK Access in the Virtual Disk Development Kit Programming Guide.
In the vSphere Client, go to Administration > Access Control > Roles, and create a new role, for example
TKG, with the following permissions.
|vSphere Object||Required Permission|
Low level file operations
|Global (if using Velero for backup and restore)||Disable methods
|Profile-driven storage||Profile-driven storage view|
|Resource||Assign virtual machine to resource pool|
|Virtual machine|| Change Configuration > Add existing disk
Change Configuration > Add new disk
Change Configuration > Add or remove device
Change Configuration > Advanced configuration
Change Configuration > Change CPU count
Change Configuration > Change Memory
Change Configuration > Change Settings
Change Configuration > Configure Raw device
Change Configuration > Extend virtual disk
Change Configuration > Modify device settings
Change Configuration > Remove disk
Change Configuration > Toggle disk change tracking*
Edit Inventory > Create from existing
Edit Inventory > Remove
Interaction > Power On
Interaction > Power Off
Provisioning > Allow read-only disk access*
Provisioning > Allow virtual machine download*
Provisioning > Deploy template
Snapshot Management > Create snapshot*
Snapshot Management > Remove snapshot*
*Required to enable the Velero plugin to back up workload clusters. You can add these permissions when needed later.
In Administration > Single Sign On > Users and Groups, create a new user account in the appropriate domain, for example
In the Hosts and Clusters, VMs and Templates, Storage, and Networking views, right-click the objects that your Tanzu Kubernetes Grid deployment will use, select Add Permission, and assign the
tkg-user with the
TKG role to each object.
Configure the sizes of your management and Tanzu Kubernetes (workload) cluster nodes depending on cluster complexity and expected demand.
For all clusters on vSphere, you configure these with the
worker-size options to
tkg init and
tkg create cluster. Or for greater granularity, you can use the
_MEM_MIB configuration variables.
For management clusters, the installer interface Instance Type field also configures node VM sizes.
For single-worker management and workload clusters running sample applications, use the following minimum VM sizes:
In order for the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI to connect to vSphere from the machine on which you run it, you must provide the public key part of an SSH key pair to Tanzu Kubernetes Grid when you deploy the management cluster. If you do not already have one on the machine on which you run the CLI, you can use a tool such as
ssh-keygen to generate a key pair.
On the machine on which you will run the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI, run the following
ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "firstname.lastname@example.org"
Enter file in which to save the key (/root/.ssh/id_rsa):press Enter to accept the default.
Add the private key to the SSH agent running on your machine, and enter the password you created in the previous step.
.ssh/id_rsa.pubin a text editor so that you can easily copy and paste it when you deploy a management cluster.
Before you can deploy a management cluster or Tanzu Kubernetes clusters to vSphere, you must provide a base OS image template to vSphere. Tanzu Kubernetes Grid creates the management cluster and Tanzu Kubernetes cluster node VMs from this template. Tanzu Kubernetes Grid provides a base OS image template in OVA format for you to import into vSphere. After importing the OVA, you must convert the resulting VM into a VM template. The base OS image template includes the version of Kubernetes that Tanzu Kubernetes Grid uses to create clusters.
NOTE: Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 1.2.1 adds support for Kubernetes v1.19.3, v1.18.10, and v1.17.13. You can also use this version of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid to deploy clusters that run Kubernetes versions that were supported in previous releases of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid. If you want to deploy clusters with older versions of Kubernetes, either install or retain in your vSphere inventory the versions of the base OS image templates from the previous Tanzu Kubernetes Grid releases, alongside the new Kubernetes templates for this release. For information about the versions of Kubernetes that each Tanzu Kubernetes Grid release supports, see the release notes for that release.
Download the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid OVAs for node VMs.
If you want to use Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 1.2 to deploy clusters with older versions of Kubernetes as well as those added in this release, after downloading the OVAs above, select an earlier Tanzu Kubernetes Grid version in the downloads page, and download the corresponding Photon v3 Kubernetes version OVA files.
Follow the installer prompts to deploy a VM from the OVA projects-stg.registry.vmware.com/tkg.
NOTE: If you select thick provisioning as the disk format, when Tanzu Kubernetes Grid creates cluster node VMs from the template, the full size of each node's disk will be reserved. This can rapidly consume storage if you deploy many clusters or clusters with many nodes. However, if you select thin provisioning, as you deploy clusters this can give a false impression of the amount of storage that is available. If you select thin provisioning, there might be enough storage available at the time that you deploy clusters, but storage might run out as the clusters run and accumulate data.
When the OVA deployment finishes, right-click the VM and select Template > Convert to Template.
NOTE: Do not power on the VM before you convert it to a template.
In the VMs and Templates view, right-click the new template, select Add Permission, and assign the
tkg-user to the template with the
For information about how to create the user and role for Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, see Required Permissions for the vSphere Account above.
Repeat the procedure for each of the Kubernetes versions for which you downloaded the OVA file.
If you are using Tanzu Kubernetes Grid in an environment with an external internet connection, you are now ready to deploy management clusters to vSphere.