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Step-by-Step Guide to Provisioning a Kubernetes Cluster on AWS with Terraform: Automate Infrastructure-as-Code for Container Orchestration

5 April 2023

How to Provision a Kubernetes Cluster on AWS Using Terraform

This article is brought to you by JBI Training, the UK's leading technology training provider.   Learn more about JBI's Tech training courses including Terraform training courses that can help you improve your skills and knowledge in using Terraform. And DevOps courses.

Introduction:

Terraform is a powerful infrastructure-as-code tool that allows you to manage cloud infrastructure resources using a declarative approach. In this how-to guide, we'll explore how to use Terraform to provision a Kubernetes cluster on AWS. Kubernetes is a popular open-source container orchestration tool that allows you to deploy, scale, and manage containerized applications. We'll leverage the power of Terraform to automate the process of provisioning and configuring Kubernetes clusters on AWS.

 

Prerequisites:

Before we begin, make sure you have the following prerequisites in place:

 

1.     AWS account with administrative access.

2.     Terraform installed on your machine.

3.     Knowledge of basic Kubernetes concepts.

 

Step 1: Configure AWS Credentials

 

The first step in using Terraform to provision a Kubernetes cluster on AWS is to configure your AWS credentials. Terraform uses these credentials to authenticate with AWS and manage resources on your behalf. You can configure your AWS credentials by setting the following environment variables:

export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID="your_aws_access_key_id"

export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY="your_aws_secret_access_key"

export AWS_DEFAULT_REGION=your_aws_region"

 

Step 2: Create a Terraform Configuration File

The next step is to create a Terraform configuration file. This file contains the instructions that Terraform uses to provision and configure the Kubernetes cluster on AWS.

Create a new file named ‘main.tf’ and add the following code:

provider "aws" {

  region = "${var.aws_region}"

}

 

module "kubernetes" {

  source = "terraform-aws-modules/kubernetes/aws"

  cluster_name = "${var.cluster_name}"

  subnets = ["${var.public_subnet_ids}"]

  vpc_id = "${var.vpc_id}"

}

 

The ‘provider’ block configures the AWS provider with the region specified in the ‘var.aws_region variable. The ‘module’ block specifies the ‘terraform-aws-modules/kubernetes/aws’ module and passes in the required variables. In this case, we're specifying the name of the Kubernetes cluster and the IDs of the public subnets to use.

 

Step 3: Define Variables

Now that we've created our Terraform configuration file, we need to define the variables that will be used in the configuration. Create a new file named variables.tf and add the following code:

variable "aws_region" {

  default = "us-west-2"

}

 

variable "cluster_name" {

  default = "my-kubernetes-cluster"

}

 

variable "public_subnet_ids" {

  type = list(string)

  default = []

}

 

variable "vpc_id" {

  default = ""

}

 

The aws_region variable specifies the AWS region to use. Thecluster_namevariable specifies the name of the Kubernetes cluster. Thepublic_subnet_ids variable is a list of IDs for the public subnets to use. The vpc_idvariable specifies the ID of the VPC to use.

terraform init

terraform apply

 

Terraform will initialize and download any necessary plugins and modules, and then prompt you to confirm the changes it will make. Type "yes" to apply the changes.

Once Terraform completes, it will output the Kubernetes cluster endpoint and the AWS Elastic Load Balancer DNS name.

 

Conclusion:

In this how-to guide, we've explored how to use Terraform to provision a Kubernetes cluster on AWS. We've shown you step-by-step instructions on how to create a Terraform configuration file, define variables, and initialize and apply the Terraform configuration. By using Terraform, you can easily automate the process of provisioning and configuring Kubernetes clusters on AWS. This approach allows you to save time and avoid the manual process of setting up infrastructure resources. I hope this guide was helpful to you, and feel free to explore more advanced features and integrations with Terraform and Kubernetes to build and deploy complex applications.

JBI Training offers a range of Terraform training courses that can help you improve your skills and knowledge in using Terraform. Some of the courses they offer include:

JBI Training's Terraform courses are taught by experienced instructors and include hands-on exercises and labs to help you practice and reinforce your learning. Additionally, JBI Training offers both in-person and virtual training options, so you can choose the format that works best for you. All of our DevOps courses are found here.

Sure, here are some relevant links to official documentation that can help you learn more about Terraform, Kubernetes, and AWS:

 

Terraform documentation: https://www.terraform.io/docs/index.html

Kubernetes documentation: https://kubernetes.io/docs/home/

AWS documentation: https://aws.amazon.com/documentation/

Additionally, here are some links to Terraform modules for Kubernetes on AWS that can help you get started:

Terraform AWS modules for Kubernetes: https://github.com/terraform-aws-modules

Kubernetes cluster on AWS with Terraform: https://learn.hashicorp.com/tutorials/terraform/kubernetes-aws-eks?in=terraform/kubernetes

I hope these resources help you in your journey to learn more about Terraform, Kubernetes, and AWS!

About the author: Daniel West
Tech Blogger & Researcher for JBI Training

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