Getting Started with the Enterprise Helm Charts

Introduction

This document will walk you through how to get started with our Element Server Suite Helm Charts. These charts are provided to be used in environments which typically deploy applications by helm charts. If you are unfamiliar with helm charts, we'd highly recommend that you start with our Enterprise Installer.

General concepts

ESS deployment rely on the following components to deploy the workloads on a kubernetes cluster :

  1. Updater : It reads an ElementDeployment CRD manifest, and generates the associated individual Element CRDs manifests linked together
  2. Operator : It reads the individual Element CRDs manifests to generates the associated kubernetes workloads
  3. ElementDeployment : This CRD is a simple structure following the pattern :
spec:
  global:
    k8s:
      # Global settings that will be applied by default to all workloads if not forced locally. This is where you will be able to configure a default ingress certificate, default number of replicas on the deployments, etc.
    config:
      # Global configuration that can be used by every element component
    secretName: # The global secret name. Required secrets keys can be found in the description of this field using `kubectl explain`. Every config named `<foo>SecretKey` will point to a secret key containing the secret targetted by this secret name.
  components:
    <component name>:
      k8s: 
        # Local kubernetes configuration of this component. You can override here the global values to force a certain behaviour for each components.
      config:
        # This component configuration
      secretName: # The component secret name containing secret values. Required secrets keys can be found in the description of this field using `kubectl explain`.  Every config named `<foo>SecretKey` will point to a secret key containing the secret targetted by this secret name.
   <another component>:
     ...

Any change to the ElementDeployment manifest deployed in the namespace will trigger a reconciliation loop. This loop will update the Element manifests read by the Operator. It will again trigger a reconciliation loop in the Operator process, which will update kubernetes workloads accordingly.

If you manually change a workload, it will trigger a reconciliation loop and the Operator will override your change on the workload.

The deployment must be managed only through the ElementDeployment CRD.

Installing the Operator and the Updater helm charts

We advise you to deploy the helm charts in one of the deployments model :

  1. Cluster-Wide deployment : In this mode, the CRDs Conversion Webhook and the controller managers are deployed in their own namespace, separated from ESS deployments. They are able to manage ESS deployments in any namespace of the cluster The install and the upgrade of the helm chart requires cluster admin permissions.
  2. Namespace-scoped deployment : In this mode, only the CRDs conversion webhooks require cluster admin permissions. The Controller managers are deployed directly in the namespace of the element deployment. The install and the upgrade of ESS does not require cluster admin permissions if the CRDs do not change.

All-in-one deployment (Requires cert-manager)

When cert-manager is present in the cluster, it is possible to use the all-in-one ess-system helm chart to deploy the operator and the updater.

First, let's add the ess-system repository to helm, replace ems_image_store_username and ems_image_store_token with the values provided to you by Element.

helm repo add ess-system https://registry.element.io/helm/ess-system --username
<ems_image_store_username> --password '<ems_image_store_token>'

Cluster-wide deployment

When deploying ESS-System as a cluster-wide deployment, updating ESS requires ClusterAdmin permissions.

Create the following values file :


emsImageStore:
  username: <username>
  password: <password>

element-operator:
  clusterDeployment: true
  deployCrds: true  # Deploys the CRDs and the Conversion Webhooks
  deployCrdRoles: true  # Deploys roles to give permissions to users to manage specific ESS CRs
  deployManager: true  # Deploys the controller managers

element-updater:
  clusterDeployment: true
  deployCrds: true  # Deploys the CRDs and the Conversion Webhooks
  deployCrdRoles: true  # Deploys roles to give permissions to users to manage specific ESS CRs
  deployManager: true  # Deploys the controller managers

Namespace-scoped deployment

When deploying ESS-System as a namespace-scoped deployment, you have to deploy ess-system in two parts :

  1. One for the CRDs and the conversion webhooks. This part will be managed with ClusterAdmin permissions. These update less often.
  2. One for the controller managers. This part will be managed with namespace-scoped permissions.

In this mode, the ElementDeployment CR is deployed in the same namespace as the controller-managers.

Create the following values file to deploy the CRDs and the conversion webhooks :


emsImageStore:
  username: <username>
  password: <password>

element-operator:
  clusterDeployment: true
  deployCrds: true  # Deploys the CRDs and the Conversion Webhooks
  deployCrdRoles: false  # Deploys roles to give permissions to users to manage specific ESS CRs
  deployManager: false  # Deploys the controller managers

element-updater:
  clusterDeployment: true
  deployCrds: true  # Deploys the CRDs and the Conversion Webhooks
  deployCrdRoles: false  # Deploys roles to give permissions to users to manage specific ESS CRs
  deployManager: false  # Deploys the controller managers

Create the following values file to deploy the controller managers in their namespace :


emsImageStore:
  username: <username>
  password: <password>

element-operator:
  clusterDeployment: false
  deployCrds: false  # Deploys the CRDs and the Conversion Webhooks
  deployCrdRoles: false  # Deploys roles to give permissions to users to manage specific ESS CRs
  deployManager: true  # Deploys the controller managers

element-updater:
  clusterDeployment: false
  deployCrds: false  # Deploys the CRDs and the Conversion Webhooks
  deployCrdRoles: false  # Deploys roles to give permissions to users to manage specific ESS CRs
  deployManager: true  # Deploys the controller managers

Without cert-manager present on the cluster

First, let's add the element-updater and element-operator repositories to helm, replace ems_image_store_username and ems_image_store_token with the values provided to you by Element.

helm repo add element-updater https://registry.element.io/helm/element-updater --username
<ems_image_store_username> --password '<ems_image_store_token>'
helm repo add element-operator https://registry.element.io/helm/element-operator --username <ems_image_store_username> --password '<ems_image_store_token>'

Now that we have the repositories configured, we can verify this by:

helm repo list

and should see the following in that output:

NAME                    URL                                               
element-operator        https://registry.element.io/helm/element-operator
element-updater         https://registry.element.io/helm/element-updater

N.B. This guide assumes that you are using the element-updater and element-operator namespaces. You can call it whatever you want and if it doesn't exist yet, you can create it with: kubectl create ns <name>.

Generating an image pull secret with EMS credentials

To generate an ems-credentials to be used by your helm chart deployment, you will need to generate an authentication token and palce it in a secret.

kubectl create secret -n element-updater docker-registry ems-credentials --docker-server=registry.element.io --docker-username=<EMSusername> --docker-password=<EMStoken>`
kubectl create secret -n element-operator docker-registry ems-credentials --docker-server=registry.element.io --docker-username=<EMSusername> --docker-password=<EMStoken>`

Generating a TLS secret for the webhook

The conversion webhooks need their own self-signed CA and TLS certificate to be integrated into kubernetes.

For example using easy-rsa :

easyrsa init-pki
easyrsa --batch "--req-cn=ESS-CA`date +%s`" build-ca nopass
easyrsa --subject-alt-name="DNS:element-operator-conversion-webhook.element-operator"\
  --days=10000 \
  build-server-full element-operator-conversion-webhook nopass
easyrsa --subject-alt-name="DNS:element-updater-conversion-webhook.element-updater"\
  --days=10000 \
  build-server-full element-updater-conversion-webhook nopass

Create a secret for each of these two certificates :

kubectl create secret tls element-operator-conversion-webhook --cert=pki/issued/element-operator-conversion-webhook.crt --key=pki/private/element-operator-conversion-webhook.key  --namespace element-operator
kubectl create secret tls element-updater-conversion-webhook --cert=pki/issued/element-updater-conversion-webhook.crt --key=pki/private/element-updater-conversion-webhook.key  --namespace element-updater

Installing the helm chart for the element-updater and the element-operator

Create the following values file to deploy the controller managers in their namespace :

values.element-operator.yml :

clusterDeployment: true
deployCrds: true  # Deploys the CRDs and the Conversion Webhooks
deployCrdRoles: true  # Deploys roles to give permissions to users to manage specific ESS CRs
deployManager: true  # Deploys the controller managers
crds:
  conversionWebhook:
    caBundle: # Paste here the content of `base64 pki/ca.crt -w 0`
    tlsSecretName: element-operator-conversion-webhook
    imagePullSecret: ems-credentials
operator:
  imagePullSecret: ems-credentials

values.element-updater.yml :

clusterDeployment: true
deployCrds: true  # Deploys the CRDs and the Conversion Webhooks
deployCrdRoles: true  # Deploys roles to give permissions to users to manage specific ESS CRs
deployManager: true  # Deploys the controller managers
crds:
  conversionWebhook:
    caBundle: # Paste here the content of `base64 pki/ca.crt -w 0`
    tlsSecretName: element-updater-conversion-webhook
updater:
  imagePullSecret: ems-credentials

Run the helm install command :

helm install element-operator element-operator/element-operator --namespace element-operator -f values.yaml 
helm install element-updater element-updater/element-updater --namespace element-updater -f values.yaml

Now at this point, you should have the following 4 containers up and running:

[user@helm ~]$ kubectl get pods -n element-operator
NAMESPACE            NAME                                                   READY   STATUS    RESTARTS        AGE
element-operator     element-operator-controller-manager-c8fc5c47-nzt2t     2/2     Running   0               6m5s
element-operator     element-operator-conversion-webhook-7477d98c9b-xc89s   1/1     Running   0               6m5s
[user@helm ~]$ kubectl get pods -n element-updater
NAMESPACE            NAME                                                   READY   STATUS    RESTARTS        AGE
element-updater      element-updater-controller-manager-6f8476f6cb-74nx5    2/2     Running   0               106s
element-updater      element-updater-conversion-webhook-65ddcbb569-qzbfs    1/1     Running   0               81s

Generating the ElementDeployment CR to Deploy Element Server Suite

Generating ElementDeployment CR from the UI Installer

You can find the ElementDeployment CRD and the associated secrets at ~/.element-enterprise-server/config after running through the installer GUI.

On the cluster page in the installer, under the advanced section, you will want to set up everything you normally would plus add the following docker secrets:

dockersecrets.png

Once you work your way through the installer, set everything up that you wish to have deployed, but do not actually start the installation.

You can close the installer and your CRD is now stored in ~/.element-enterprise-server/config/ as deployment.yml. Your secrets are stored in the same directory as secrets.yml.

Writing your own ElementDeployment CR

Here is a small sample to deploy the basic components using your own certificate files. This is provided as an example, as ElementDeployment supports a whole range of configuration option that you can explore in the GUI or through kubectl explain command : kubectl explain elementdeployment.matrix.element.io.spec.components

apiVersion: matrix.element.io/v1alpha1
kind: ElementDeployment
metadata:
  name: <element_deployment_name>
  namespace: <target namespace>
spec:
  global:
    k8s:
      ingresses:
        ingressClassName: "public"
      workloads:
        dockerSecrets:
        - name: ems-image-store
          url: gitlab-registry.matrix.org
        - name: dockerhub
          url: docker.io
        - name: element-registry
          url: registry.element.io
      storage:
        storageClassName: "standard"
    secretName: global
    config:
      genericSharedSecretSecretKey: genericSharedSecret
      domainName: "deployment.tld"
  components:
    elementWeb:
      secretName: external-elementweb-secrets
      k8s:
        ingress:
          tls:
            mode: certfile
            certificate:
              certFileSecretKey: eleweb.tls
              privateKeySecretKey: eleweb.crt
          fqdn: element-web.tld
    synapse:
      secretName: external-synapse-secrets
      config:
        maxMauUsers: 100
        media:
          volume:
            size: 1
        postgresql:
          host: "<postgresql server>"
          user: "<user>"
          database: "<db>"
          passwordSecretKey: pgpassword
          sslMode: disable
      k8s:
        ingress:
          fqdn: synapse.tld
      tls:
        mode: certfile
        certificate:
          certFileSecretKey: synapse.tls
          privateKeySecretKey: synapse.crt
    wellKnownDelegation:
      secretName: external-wellknowndelegation-secrets
      k8s:
        ingress:
          tls:
            mode: certfile
            certificate:
              certFileSecretKey: wellknown.tls
              privateKeySecretKey: wellknown.crt

To inject secret values in the CR, you will have to create the following secrets :

Once the CRD and the Secrets deployed to the namespace, the Updater will be able to create all the resources handled by the Operator, which will then deploy the workloads on your kubernetes cluster.

Loading secrets into kubernetes in preparation of deployment

N.B. This guide assumes that you are using the element-onprem namespace for deploying Element. You can call it whatever you want and if it doesn't exist yet, you can create it with: kubectl create ns element-onprem.

Now we need to load secrets into kubernetes so that the deployment can access them. If you built your own CRD from scratch, you will need to follow our Element Deployment CRD documentation.

If you went with the installer, you can simply run the following commands:

kubectl create secret -n element-onprem docker-registry ems-image-store --docker-server=gitlab-registry.matrix.org --docker-username=<EMSusername> --docker-password=<EMStoken>
kubectl create secret -n element-onprem docker-registry element-registry --docker-server=gitlab-registry.matrix.org --docker-username=<EMSusername> --docker-password=<EMStoken>

At this point, you should have a host of secrets loaded into the element-onprem namespace so that kubectl get secrets -n element-onprem generates output similar to:

NAME                                                      TYPE                             DATA   AGE
element-web                                               Opaque                           2      2d1h
global                                                    Opaque                           2      2d1h
integrator                                                Opaque                           3      2d1h
synapse                                                   Opaque                           7      2d1h
synapse-admin                                             Opaque                           2      2d1h
well-known-delegation                                     Opaque                           2      2d1h
ems-image-store                                           kubernetes.io/dockerconfigjson   1      2d1h
element-registry                                          kubernetes.io/dockerconfigjson   1      2d1h
first-element-deployment-element-tls-secret               kubernetes.io/tls                2      2d1h
first-element-deployment-integrator-secrets               Opaque                           4      2d1h
first-element-deployment-integrator-tls-secret            kubernetes.io/tls                2      2d1h
first-element-deployment-synapse-secrets                  Opaque                           6      2d1h
first-element-deployment-synapse-tls-secret               kubernetes.io/tls                2      2d1h
first-element-deployment-synapseadminui-secrets           Opaque                           1      2d1h
first-element-deployment-synapseadminui-tls-secret        kubernetes.io/tls                2      2d1h
first-element-deployment-synapse-ca                       Opaque                           1      2d1h
first-element-deployment-wellknowndelegation-tls-secret   kubernetes.io/tls                2      2d1h

Deploying the actual CRD

At this point, we are ready to deploy the ElementDeployment CRD into our cluster with the following command:

kubectl apply -f ~/.element-enterprise-server/config/deployment.yml -n element-onprem

To check on the progress of the deployment, you will first watch the logs of the updater:

kubectl logs -f -n element-updater element-updater-controller-manager-<rest of pod name>

You will have to tab complete to get the correct hash for the element-updater-controller-manager pod name.

Once the updater is no longer pushing out new logs, you can track progress with the operator or by watching pods come up in the element-onprem namespace.

Operator status:

kubectl logs -f -n element-operator element-operator element-operator-controller-manager-<rest of pod name>

Watching reconciliation move forward in the element-onprem namespace:

kubectl get elementdeployment -o yaml | grep dependentCRs -A20 -n element-onprem -w

Watching pods come up in the element-onprem namespace:

kubectl get pods -n element-onprem -w

Revision #18
Created 12 July 2023 17:47:38 by Karl Abbott
Updated 30 May 2024 13:08:44 by Gaël Goinvic