Quickstart: Deploy an Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) cluster using the Azure portal

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is a managed Kubernetes service that lets you quickly deploy and manage clusters. In this quickstart, you deploy an AKS cluster using the Azure portal. A multi-container application that includes a web front end and a Redis instance is run in the cluster. You then see how to monitor the health of the cluster and pods that run your application.

Image of browsing to Azure Vote sample application

This quickstart assumes a basic understanding of Kubernetes concepts. For more information, see Kubernetes core concepts for Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS).

If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.

Sign in to Azure

Sign in to the Azure portal at https://portal.azure.com.

Create an AKS cluster

In the top left-hand corner of the Azure portal, select + Create a resource > Kubernetes Service.

To create an AKS cluster, complete the following steps:

  1. Basics - Configure the following options:

    • PROJECT DETAILS: Select an Azure subscription, then select or create an Azure resource group, such as myResourceGroup. Enter a Kubernetes cluster name, such as myAKSCluster.

    • CLUSTER DETAILS: Select a region, Kubernetes version, and DNS name prefix for the AKS cluster.

    • SCALE: Select a VM size for the AKS nodes. The VM size cannot be changed once an AKS cluster has been deployed.

      • Select the number of nodes to deploy into the cluster. For this quickstart, set Node count to 1. Node count can be adjusted after the cluster has been deployed.

      Create AKS cluster - provide basic information

      Select Next: Authentication when complete.

  2. Authentication: Configure the following options:

    • Create a new service principal or Configure to use an existing one. When using an existing SPN, you need to provide the SPN client ID and secret.

    • Enable the option for Kubernetes role-based access controls (RBAC). These controls provide more fine-grained control over access to the Kubernetes resources deployed in your AKS cluster.

      By default, Basic networking is used, and Azure Monitor for containers is enabled. Select Review + create and then Create when ready.

It takes a few minutes to create the AKS cluster and to be ready for use. When finished, browse to the AKS cluster resource group, such as myResourceGroup, and select the AKS resource, such as myAKSCluster. The AKS cluster dashboard is shown, as in the following example screenshot:

Example AKS dashboard in the Azure portal

Connect to the cluster

To manage a Kubernetes cluster, you use kubectl, the Kubernetes command-line client. The kubectl client is pre-installed in the Azure Cloud Shell.

Open Cloud Shell using the button on the top right-hand corner of the Azure portal.

Open the Azure Cloud Shell in the portal

To configure kubectl to connect to your Kubernetes cluster, use the az aks get-credentials command. This command downloads credentials and configures the Kubernetes CLI to use them. The following example gets credentials for the cluster name myAKSCluster in the resource group named myResourceGroup:

az aks get-credentials --resource-group myResourceGroup --name myAKSCluster

To verify the connection to your cluster, use the kubectl get command to return a list of the cluster nodes.

kubectl get nodes

The following example output shows the single node created in the previous steps. Make sure that the status of the node is Ready:

NAME                       STATUS    ROLES     AGE       VERSION
aks-agentpool-14693408-0   Ready     agent     15m       v1.11.5

Run the application

A Kubernetes manifest file defines a desired state for the cluster, such as what container images to run. In this quickstart, a manifest is used to create all objects needed to run the Azure Vote application. This manifest includes two Kubernetes deployments - one for the sample Azure Vote Python applications, and the other for a Redis instance. Two Kubernetes Services are also created - an internal service for the Redis instance, and an external service to access the Azure Vote application from the internet.

Tip

In this quickstart, you manually create and deploy your application manifests to the AKS cluster. In more real-world scenarios, you can use Azure Dev Spaces to rapidly iterate and debug your code directly in the AKS cluster. You can use Dev Spaces across OS platforms and development environments, and work together with others on your team.

Create a file named azure-vote.yaml and copy in the following YAML definition. In Azure Cloud Shell, create the file using vi or Nano, as if working on a virtual or physical system:

apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
metadata:
  name: azure-vote-back
spec:
  replicas: 1
  selector:
    matchLabels:
      app: azure-vote-back
  template:
    metadata:
      labels:
        app: azure-vote-back
    spec:
      nodeSelector:
        "beta.kubernetes.io/os": linux
      containers:
      - name: azure-vote-back
        image: redis
        resources:
          requests:
            cpu: 100m
            memory: 128Mi
          limits:
            cpu: 250m
            memory: 256Mi
        ports:
        - containerPort: 6379
          name: redis
---
apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
metadata:
  name: azure-vote-back
spec:
  ports:
  - port: 6379
  selector:
    app: azure-vote-back
---
apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
metadata:
  name: azure-vote-front
spec:
  replicas: 1
  selector:
    matchLabels:
      app: azure-vote-front
  template:
    metadata:
      labels:
        app: azure-vote-front
    spec:
      nodeSelector:
        "beta.kubernetes.io/os": linux
      containers:
      - name: azure-vote-front
        image: microsoft/azure-vote-front:v1
        resources:
          requests:
            cpu: 100m
            memory: 128Mi
          limits:
            cpu: 250m
            memory: 256Mi
        ports:
        - containerPort: 80
        env:
        - name: REDIS
          value: "azure-vote-back"
---
apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
metadata:
  name: azure-vote-front
spec:
  type: LoadBalancer
  ports:
  - port: 80
  selector:
    app: azure-vote-front

Deploy the application using the kubectl apply command and specify the name of your YAML manifest:

kubectl apply -f azure-vote.yaml

The following example output shows the Deployments and Services created successfully:

deployment "azure-vote-back" created
service "azure-vote-back" created
deployment "azure-vote-front" created
service "azure-vote-front" created

Test the application

When the application runs, a Kubernetes service exposes the application front end to the internet. This process can take a few minutes to complete.

To monitor progress, use the kubectl get service command with the --watch argument.

kubectl get service azure-vote-front --watch

Initially the EXTERNAL-IP for the azure-vote-front service is shown as pending.

NAME               TYPE           CLUSTER-IP   EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)        AGE
azure-vote-front   LoadBalancer   10.0.37.27   <pending>     80:30572/TCP   6s

When the EXTERNAL-IP address changes from pending to an actual public IP address, use CTRL-C to stop the kubectl watch process. The following example output shows a valid public IP address assigned to the service:

azure-vote-front   LoadBalancer   10.0.37.27   52.179.23.131   80:30572/TCP   2m

To see the Azure Vote app in action, open a web browser to the external IP address of your service.

Image of browsing to Azure Vote sample application

Monitor health and logs

When you created the cluster, Azure Monitor for containers was enabled. This monitoring feature provides health metrics for both the AKS cluster and pods running on the cluster.

It may take a few minutes for this data to populate in the Azure portal. To see current status, uptime, and resource usage for the Azure Vote pods, browse back to the AKS resource in the Azure portal, such as myAKSCluster. You can then access the health status as follows:

  1. Under Monitoring on the left-hand side, choose Insights
  2. Across the top, choose to + Add Filter
  3. Select Namespace as the property, then choose <All but kube-system>
  4. Choose to view the Containers.

The azure-vote-back and azure-vote-front containers are displayed, as shown in the following example:

View the health of running containers in AKS

To see logs for the azure-vote-front pod, select the View container logs link on the right-hand side of the containers list. These logs include the stdout and stderr streams from the container.

View the containers logs in AKS

Delete cluster

When the cluster is no longer needed, delete the cluster resource, which deletes all associated resources. This operation can be completed in the Azure portal by selecting the Delete button on the AKS cluster dashboard. Alternatively, the az aks delete command can be used in the Cloud Shell:

az aks delete --resource-group myResourceGroup --name myAKSCluster --no-wait

Note

When you delete the cluster, the Azure Active Directory service principal used by the AKS cluster is not removed. For steps on how to remove the service principal, see AKS service principal considerations and deletion.

Get the code

In this quickstart, pre-created container images were used to create a Kubernetes deployment. The related application code, Dockerfile, and Kubernetes manifest file are available on GitHub.

https://github.com/Azure-Samples/azure-voting-app-redis

Next steps

In this quickstart, you deployed a Kubernetes cluster and deployed a multi-container application to it.

To learn more about AKS, and walk through a complete code to deployment example, continue to the Kubernetes cluster tutorial.