Extending Terraform OKE with a helm chart

1 Introduction

When designing the Terraform OKE provisioning scripts, one of the things we wanted to do is making it reusable. That means extending the base sample repo and add in your own extensions.

In this post, we will deploy a redis cluster to OKE using helm charts. Terraform has a helm provider so we will use that.

First, clone the repo as we did before:

git clone [https://github.com/oracle/sample-oke-for-terraform.git](https://github.com/oracle/sample-oke-for-terraform.git) tfoke  
cd tfoke

Follow the instructions to create your Terraform variable file.

2 Adding the helm provider and repository

In the oke module, create a file redis.tf. First, we need to configure the helm provider. Since we already have the kubeconfig file, we will use the File Config method. Add the following to redis.tf:

provider "helm" {  
    kubernetes {  
        config_path = "${path.root}/generated/kubeconfig"  

Next, we will add a helm repository:

data "helm_repository" "stable" {  
    name = "stable"  
    url = "https://kubernetes-charts.storage.googleapis.com"  

3 Adding redis with a helm release

We will use the redis helm chart to create a helm release. However, we want helm to deploy only after the worker nodes become active. In the sample repo, there’s a null_resource “is_worker_active” that you can use to set an explicit dependency. Add the following to the redis.tf:

resource "helm_release" "redis" { depends_on = ["null_resource.is_worker_active", "local_file.kube_config_file"] provider = "helm"  
    name = "oke-redis"  
    repository = "${data.helm_repository.stable.metadata.0.name}"  
    chart = "redis"  
    version = "6.4.5"    set {  
        name  = "cluster.enabled"  
        value = "true"  
    }    set {  
        name = "cluster.slaveCount"  
        value = "3"  
    set {  
        name = "master.persistence.size"  
        value = "50Gi"  

If you prefer to customize your helm release using a yaml file, create a folder called resources under the oke module and copy the file values.yaml from the redis chart repo to redis_values.yaml:

curl -o modules/oke/resources/redis_values.yaml https://raw.githubusercontent.com/helm/charts/master/stable/redis/values.yaml

Remove the individual settings in the redis release from the terraform code and add the following instead:

values = [  

Your release should then look like this:

resource "helm_release" "redis" {  depends_on = ["null_resource.is_worker_active",    "local_file.kube_config_file"]  provider = "helm"  
    name = "my-redis-release"  
    repository = "${data.helm_repository.stable.metadata.0.name}"  
    chart = "redis"  
    version = "6.4.5"  values = [  

Note that you can also combine the 2 configuration approaches above but I prefer to keep mine in 1 location. You can change the values in the yaml file e.g. I changed the default cluster.slaveCount to 3 and persistence.size to 50Gi.

Run terraform init to download the helm provider and then apply again:

terraform init  
terraform apply -auto-approve

Login to the bastion and do a helm list:

helm list
NAME          REVISION    UPDATED                     STATUS        CHART         APP VERSION   NAMESPACE                          
oke-redis     1           Wed Apr 24 12:05:40 2019    DEPLOYED      redis-6.4.5   4.0.14        default

Next, get the notes provided by the redis chart:

helm status

4 Interacting with the Redis cluster

The following steps can be obtained when you run helm status.

  1. Get the Redis password:

     export REDIS_PASSWORD=$(kubectl get secret --namespace default oke-redis -o jsonpath="{.data.redis-password}" | base64 --decode)
  2. Run a Redis pod:

     kubectl run --namespace default oke-redis-client --rm --tty -i --restart='Never' \                                                              
          --env REDIS_PASSWORD=$REDIS_PASSWORD \                                                                                                         
         --image docker.io/bitnami/redis:4.0.14 -- bash
  3. Connect using the Redis cli:

     redis-cli -h oke-redis-master -a $REDIS_PASSWORD
  4. Type a redis command:

     oke-redis-master:6379> ping

5 Inspecting your cluster

Recall that in the yaml file, we set the number of redis slaves to 3. Let’s verify that:

kubectl get pods  
NAME                               READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE                                                                                
oke-redis-master-0                 1/1     Running   0          42m                                                                                
oke-redis-slave-79c45c57d8-67bxj   1/1     Running   1          42m                                                                                
oke-redis-slave-79c45c57d8-s6znq   1/1     Running   0          42m                                                                                
oke-redis-slave-79c45c57d8-wnfrh   1/1     Running   0          42m

You can see there are 3 pods running the redis slaves.

6 Updating your release

Say, we now want to update the helm release to change some settings e.g. change the number of slaves from 3 to 2. We can do that manually using the helm cli:

helm upgrade oke-redis stable/redis --set cluster.slaveCount=2

Or, we can change it in the redis_values.yaml and run terraform apply again:

module.oke.helm_release.redis: Still modifying… (ID: oke-redis, 10s elapsed)  
module.oke.helm_release.redis: Still modifying… (ID: oke-redis, 20s elapsed)  
module.oke.helm_release.redis: Still modifying… (ID: oke-redis, 30s elapsed)  
module.oke.helm_release.redis: Still modifying… (ID: oke-redis, 40s elapsed)  
module.oke.helm_release.redis: Still modifying… (ID: oke-redis, 50s elapsed)  
module.oke.helm_release.redis: Still modifying… (ID: oke-redis, 1m1s elapsed)  
module.oke.helm_release.redis: Modifications complete after 1m9s (ID: oke-redis)

Apply complete! Resources: 1 added, 1 changed, 1 destroyed.

In the meantime, from another terminal, we can watch the number of pods being updated:

kubectl get pods -w

oke-redis-master-0                 0/1     Terminating   0          61s                                                                            
oke-redis-slave-6bd9dc8d89-jdrs2   0/1     Running       0          3s                                                                             
oke-redis-slave-6bd9dc8d89-kvc8r   0/1     Running       0          3s                                                                             
oke-redis-slave-6fdd8c4b56-44qpb   0/1     Terminating   0          63s

In future articles, we will look at other ways to extend the terraform-oci-oke module to deploy software on OKE.

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