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Install Tectonic on VMware with Terraform

Following this guide will deploy a Tectonic cluster within a VMware vSphere infrastructure .

Generally, the VMware platform templates adhere to the standards defined by the project conventions and generic platform requirements. This document aims to document the implementation details specific to the VMware platform.


  1. Download the latest Container Linux Stable OVA from; https://coreos.com/os/docs/latest/booting-on-vmware.html.
  2. Import coreos_production_vmware_ova.ova into vCenter. For the most part all settings can be kept as is, however in "Customize template", "DHCP Support for Interface 0" must be changed to "no". See 1802
  3. Resize the Virtual Machine Disk size to 30 GB or larger
  4. Convert the Container Linux image into a Virtual Machine template.
  5. Pre-Allocated IP addresses for the cluster and pre-create DNS records
  6. Register for Tectonic Account

DNS and IP address allocation

Prior to the start of setup create required DNS records. Below is a sample table of 3 etcd nodes, 2 master nodes and 2 worker nodes.

Record Type Value
mycluster.mycompany.com A
mycluster.mycompany.com A
mycluster-k8s.mycompany.com A
mycluster-k8s.mycompany.com A
mycluster-worker-0.mycompany.com A
mycluster-worker-1.mycompany.com A
mycluster-master-0.mycompany.com A
mycluster-master-1.mycompany.com A
mycluster-etcd-0.mycompany.com A
mycluster-etcd-1.mycompany.com A
mycluster-etcd-2.mycompany.com A

See Tectonic on Baremetal DNS documentation for general DNS Requirements.

Getting Started

Below steps need to be executed on machine that has network connectivity to VMware vCenter API and SSH access to Tectonic Master Server(s).

First, download and install Terraform.

After downloading, source this new binary in the $PATH of the machine. Run this command to add it to path:

$ export PATH=/path/to/terraform:$PATH

Now we're ready to specify our cluster configuration.

Customize the deployment

Customizations to the base installation live in examples/terraform.tfvars.<flavor>. Export a variable that will be the cluster identifier:

$ export CLUSTER=my-cluster

Create a build directory to hold customizations and copy the example file into it:

$ mkdir -p build/${CLUSTER}
$ cp examples/terraform.tfvars.vmware build/${CLUSTER}/terraform.tfvars
$ cd build/${CLUSTER}/

Edit the parameters with details of the VMware infrastructure. View all of the VMware specific options and the common Tectonic variables.

Deploy the cluster

Get the modules that Terraform will use to create the cluster resources:

$ terraform get ../../platforms/vmware

Test out the plan before deploying everything:

$ terraform plan ../../platforms/vmware

Terraform will prompt for vSphere credentials:

  The user password for vSphere API operations.

  Enter a value: 

  The user name for vSphere API operations.

  Enter a value: 

Next, deploy the cluster:

$ terraform apply ../../platforms/vmware

Wait for terraform apply until all tasks complete. Tectonic cluster should be ready upon completion of apply command. If any issues arrise please check the known issues and workarounds below.

Access the cluster

The Tectonic Console should be up and running after the containers have downloaded. Console can be access by the DNS name configured as tectonic_vmware_ingress_domain in the terraform.tfvars variables file.

Credentials and secrets for Tectonic can be found in /generated folder including the CA if generated, and a kubeconfig. Use the kubeconfig file to control the cluster with kubectl:

$ export KUBECONFIG=generated/auth/kubeconfig
$ kubectl cluster-info

Working with the cluster

Scaling Tectonic VMware clusters

This document describes how to add cluster nodes to Tectonic clusters on VMware.

Scaling worker nodes

To scale worker nodes, adjust tectonic_worker_count, tectonic_vmware_worker_hostnames and tectonic_vmware_worker_ip variables in terraform.tfvars and run:

$ terraform plan \
$ terraform apply \

Shortly after running terraform apply new worker machines will appear on Tectonic console. This change may take several minutes.

Scaling controller nodes

To scale worker nodes, adjust tectonic_master_count, tectonic_vmware_master_hostnames and tectonic_vmware_master_ip variables in terraform.tfvars and run:

$ terraform plan \
$ terraform apply \

Shortly after running terraform apply master machines will appear on Tectonic console. This change may take several minutes.

Make sure to add the new Controller nodes' IP addresses in DNS for tectonic_vmware_controller_domain variable or update the Load balancer to include new Controller nodes.

Known issues and workarounds

See the troubleshooting document for workarounds for bugs that are being tracked

Delete the cluster

To delete Tectonic cluster, run:

$ terraform destroy ../../platforms/vmware