Install on VMWare vSphere

Prepare for and install Konvoy on VMWare vSphere

This topic describes how to prepare your environment and install Konvoy on VMWare vSphere. This installation is similar to deploying the entire Kubernetes cluster onto vSphere Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

Before you Begin

Before installing, verify that your environment meets the following basic requirements:

  • vCenter version v6.7.x

    vCenter provides the vSphere APIs that Konvoy uses to create the cluster VMs. The API endpoint must be reachable from where the Konvoy command line interface (CLI) runs.

  • vSphere account with credentials configured

    Konvoy uses the account to access vCenter APIs. This account must have administrator privileges.

  • govc command-line utility

    This guide shows how to use the govc CLI to create vSphere roles that are used by the Kubernetes cluster components.

  • Docker version 18.09.2 or later

    You must have Docker installed on the host where the Konvoy CLI runs. For example, if you are installing Konvoy on your laptop, ensure the laptop has a supported version of Docker.

  • kubectl v1.20.6 or later

    To enable interaction with the running cluster, you must have kubectl installed on the host where the Konvoy command line interface (CLI) runs.

Install Konvoy on vSphere

To install Konvoy on vSphere, perform the following tasks:

  • Set the vSphere environment variables
  • Create roles using govc
  • Configure prerequisites cloud-provider user
  • Configure tags for Datacenters and Zones
  • Checking your VM templates exists
  • Install Konvoy
  • Modify the Cluster Name (optional)
  • Show planned infrastructure changes

Set the vSphere environment variables

Set the following environment variables:

# export of settings

Create roles using govc

Ensure the following roles are set:

# set environment variables from before set variables

# create roles
govc role.create CNS-DATASTORE Datastore.FileManagement
govc role.create CNS-HOST-CONFIG-STORAGE Host.Config.Storage
govc role.create CNS-VM VirtualMachine.Config.AddExistingDisk VirtualMachine.Config.AddRemoveDevice
govc role.create CNS-SEARCH-AND-SPBM Cns.Searchable StorageProfile.View

Create a cloud-provider user and assign it to the roles on hierarchical levels

NOTE: You must only do this once or you do it per cluster, if you want to add cloud-provider users per cluster. You also can reuse cloud-provider user for Kubernetes CPI and CSI for several Konvoy setups.

The cloud-provider user is used for CPI and CSI, to get the full advantage of running a Konvoy cluster on vSphere.

  • Assign the role CNS-DATASTORE to your cloud-provider user at all to be used Datastores.
  • Assign the role CNS-HOST-CONFIG-STORAGE to your cloud-provider user at all to be used vSAN clusters.
  • Assign the role CNS-VM to your cloud-provider user propagated at the folder where your VMs will be started in. We recommend to create an extra VM Folder for this purpose and not use the root (/).
  • Assign the role CNS-SEARCH-AND-SPBM to your cloud-provider user at the root level of the vCenter Server.
  • Assign the role ReadOnly to your cloud-provider user at all Datacenters.
  • Assign the role ReadOnly to your cloud-provider user propagated at all Clusters.

More details about setting the roles to the correct vSphere level can be found at the CSI Driver prerequisites.

Create tags for Datacenters and Zones

To use the cloud-provider CSI, refer to the Set Up Zones in the vSphere CNS Environment guide. Keep the categories named k8s-region and k8s-zone, the tags can and should match your Datacenter and Cluster names.

VM Templates

NOTE: Default VM Template name is centos7.

You must have a VM Template registered in your Datacenters storage. The following software must be present in


  1. After verifying your prerequisites, create a vSphere Kubernetes cluster.yaml by running konvoy init --provisioner vsphere. This command creates your cluster.yaml for vSphere, installs Kubernetes and default addons to support your Kubernetes cluster.

  2. Edit your cluster.yaml file and define the empty set values in spec.vsphere. If you want to configure a multi Datacenter setup, define the lists with all needed values. For example, the cluster.yaml content can look similar to the following:

  port: 443
    - name: dc1
      cluster: zone1
      network: VMs
      datastore: vsanDatastore
      # This is a VM folder you pre-created in your cluster, as mentioned for the CNS-VM role.
      vmFolder: D2iQ

If you do not want to insert the CSI username and password directly you can write instead:


In this case you need to make sure to set KONVOY_VSPHERE_CSI_USERNAME and KONVOY_VSPHERE_CSI_PASSWORD environment variables.

Change the addon metallb to be enabled: true and set the addresses you like to provide as ServiceType: LoadBalancer in your network. More details about Load balancing for external traffic here.

Specifically, the konvoy up command, for a preconfigured cluster.yaml, does the following:

  • Provisions three xlarge virtual machines as Kubernetes master nodes. Definition is 4 CPUs, 16GB RAM.
  • Provisions four 2xlarge virtual machines as Kubernetes worker nodes. Definition is 8 CPUs, 32GB RAM.
  • Deploys all of the following default addons:
    • Calico
    • Cert-Manager
    • CoreDNS
    • Helm
    • vSphere CSI driver
    • Elasticsearch (including Elasticsearch Exporter)
    • Fluent Bit
    • Kibana
    • Prometheus operator (including Grafana, AlertManager and Prometheus Adapter)
    • Traefik
    • Kubernetes dashboard
    • Operations portal
    • Velero
    • Dex identity service
    • Dex Kubernetes client authenticator
    • Traefik forward authorization proxy
    • Kommander
    • Reloader
    • Default Storage Class Protection
    • Gatekeeper
    • Konvoy Config

The default configuration options are recommended for a small cluster (about 10 worker nodes).

Modify the cluster name

By default, the cluster name is the name of the folder where the konvoy command is run. The cluster name is used to tag the provisioned infrastructure and the context when applying the kubeconfig file. To change the cluster name, run the following command:

konvoy init --provisioner vsphere --cluster-name <YOUR_SPECIFIED_NAME>

NOTE: The cluster name can only contain the following characters: a-z, 0-9, . - and _.

Show planned infrastructure changes

Before running konvoy up or konvoy provision, it is also possible to show the calculated changes that would be performed on the infrastructure by Terraform.

You should see the following output:

$ konvoy provision --plan-only
Plan: 11 to add, 0 to change, 0 to destroy.

NOTE: This command can be run before the initial provisioning or at any point after modifications are made to the cluster.yaml file.

Add custom cloud.conf file

Konvoy generates a default cloud.conf.konvoy, cloud-csi.conf.konvoy and cpi-global-secret.yaml.konvoy file based on the provisioned infrastructure. If your cluster requires additional configuration, you can specify it by creating an extras/cloud-provider/cloud.conf, extras/cloud-provider/cloud-csi.conf and extras/cloud-provider/cpi-global-secret.yaml file in your working directory. Konvoy then copies this file to the remote machines and configures the necessary Kubernetes components to use this configuration file.

You can also configure Konvoy to use the files already present on the Kubernetes machines. On the remote machines, create /root/kubernetes/cloud.conf, /root/kubernetes/cloud-csi.conf and /root/kubernetes/cpi-global-secret.yaml files and Konvoy will configure the necessarily Kubernetes components to use this configuration file.

When files in extras/cloud-provider and root/kubernetes are specified, the remote /root/kubernetes/ presented files are used.

View installation operations

As the konvoy up command runs to start the cluster installation defined by cluster.yaml, you will see output as the operations are performed. The first output messages you see are from Terraform as it provisions your nodes.

After the nodes are provisioned, Ansible connects to the instances and installs Kubernetes in steps called tasks and playbooks. Near the end of the output, addons are installed.

View cluster operations

You can monitor your cluster through the Operations Portal user interface. After you run the konvoy up command, if the installation is successful, the command output displays the information you need to access the Operations Portal.

For example, you should see information similar to this:

Kubernetes cluster and addons deployed successfully!

Run `konvoy apply kubeconfig` to update kubectl credentials.
Run `konvoy check` to verify that the cluster has reached a steady state and all deployments have finished.
Navigate to the URL below to access various services running in the cluster.
And login using the credentials below.
If the cluster was recently created, the dashboard and services may take a few minutes to be accessible.

Check the files installed

When the konvoy up --provisioner vsphere completes setup operations, the following files are generated:

For a full list of attributed 3rd party software, see D2IQ Legal.