IBM Component Pack on Microsoft Azure AKS

By Martin Schmidt Nov 26, 2018

Picture: The Logos of IBM, Kubernetes and Azure on Wikipedia.


IBM removed the need for IBM Cloud Private with the release of the latest IBM Component Pack for IBM Connections. In the IBM documentation only the manual deployment of Kubernetes is described. As many cloud providers provide managed Kubernetes today, I tested if this infrastructure can be used as well. I choose Microsoft Azure AKS for a start.

Using managed Kubernetes has some advantages, for instance, you do not need to setup the servers and configure Kubernetes. You can focus on the configuration and use other services of the cloud provides like managed docker registry, file shares and load balancers.

On the other side, there are some disadvantages. You probably will not get the infrastructure as it is described in the IBM documentation which might lead to problems when you want to have some support or you migh have a monthly price tag on your infrastructure.

IBM did some progress to reduce the resource requirements. The whole infrastructure runs, when you do not need High Availability, on 4 Severs with 4 CPU and 16GB of RAM each. For High Availability you need to add 2 more of these servers. When using cloud services it is easy to add the required Docker registry and the required disks and file shares. On the other hand, the Kubernetes Master Server is not fully functional as it will not work as an entry point to your new infrastructure. You need to provision one or more load balancer for access.

The final infrastructure will look like this:


As always, the installation of the Component Pack ist not that problem. It is the preparation and the integration into the existing infrastructure. The main topics are the persistent storage and the network. 

The persistent storage can be placed on azure disks, azure file share or some other custom solutions that are out of scope in this documentation. I choose to place all persistent disks where possible on direct attached azure disks as I think disk speed is more valuable then the possibility to move a container quickly to a different node. Just the persistent disks for Customizer and Elastic Search Backup are placed on Azure File as this storage is much slower than direct attached disks.

The network needs some planning so that no network loops are build into the infrastructure, that your SSL certificates are correct and up to date and that you do not spend too much on load balancer. The advantage of Microsoft Azure is, that internal load balancer are provided free of charge. This might change in the future which will then require some reconfiguration to bundle the access through one load balancer.

To monitor your infrastructure, the kubernetes dashboard is already build in by Microsoft. You just need to open it to view and manage your infrastructure.

You can find the whole cook book to setup IBM Connections Component Pack on Microsoft Azure AKS on our git page.