Provision a GKE cluster with gcloud SDK

This tutorial explains how to automate the provisioning of a Google Kubernetes Engine(GKE) cluster with gcloud SDK.

This document assumes you're familiar with the following concepts:

Automated workflow to provision GKE with gcloud

You can easily automate your workflow using Shippable's Assembly Lines. The following Assembly Line features are particularly noteworthy for this scenario:

  • Creating an event-driven, automated workflow
  • Securing workflow jobs with RBAC and contextually injecting credentials depending on who/what is running your scripts
  • Dynamically injecting wildcard values in templates, depending on the state of the workflow
  • Visualizing your workflow and it's current status in a graphical view

To jump into this tutorial, you will need to familiarize yourself with a few platform concepts.



We will demonstrate this scenario with our sample application.

Source code is available at devops-recipes/prov_gcp_gke_gcloud

Complete YML is at devops-recipes/prov_gcp_gke_gcloud/shippable.yml

Your workflow will look like this, where the green box is the job that runs your terraform script, while the grey boxes are input resources that are required for your scripts:

Assembly Line view

1. Add necessary Account Integrations

Integrations are used to connect your Shippable workflow with external providers. More information about integrations is here. We will use integrations for Google Cloud and Github for this sample.

1a. Add Google Cloud Integration

To be able to interact with GCP, we need to add the drship_gcp integration.

Detailed steps on how to add a Google Cloud Integration are here. Make sure you name the integration drship_gcp since that is the name we're using in our sample automation scripts.

Note: You might already have this if you have done some of our other tutorials. If so, skip this step.

2. Author Assembly Line configuration

The platform is built with "Everything as Code" philosophy, so all configuration is in a YAML-based file called shippable.yml, which is parsed to create your Assembly Line workflow.

Detailed documentation on shippable.yml is here.

If you're using our sample code, shippable.yml already exists and you can use it with a few modifications.

2a. Add empty shippable.yml to your repo

Add an empty shippable.yml file to the the root of repository.

2b. Add resources section of the config

resources section holds the config info that is necessary to provision and ecs instance. In this case we have 2 resources defined of type cliConfig, and params.

# GCP credentials
  - name: prov_gcp_gke_creds
    type: cliConfig
    integration: "drship_gcp"
      region: "us-east1"

# Output of provisioning
# GKE cluster info
  - name: gcp_gke_cluster
    type: cluster
    integration: "drship_gcp"
      sourceName: "tbd"
      region: "us-west1-a"
i. cliConfig resource named prov_gcp_gke_creds

The cliConfig resource securely stores your credentials for GCP and authenticates on your behalf, so you can start using gcloud commands in jobs.

Detailed info about cliConfig resource is here.

ii. params resource named gcp_gke_cluster

We store information like clusterName and region, which is created during the execution of your scripts, in a cluster resource. Downstream jobs can access this information programmatically if required. For example, a separate jobs that deploys to the cluster will need to know the connection information to the cluster.

Detailed info about cluster resource is here.

2c. Add jobs section of the config

A job is an execution unit of the Assembly Line. Our job has to perform four tasks:

  • Check to see if the cluster already exists
  • If the cluster does not exist, provision it by using the supplied values.
  • If the job succeed, output clusterName and region into the cluster resource to make it available for downstream jobs
# Provision GCP GKE with gcloud
  - name: prov_gcp_gke
    type: runSh
      - IN: prov_gcp_gke_creds
        switch: off
      - TASK:
          name: prov_cluster
                - cluster_name: "test-cluster"
                - cluster_zone: "us-east1-d"
                - machine_type: "n1-standard-1"
                - machine_count: 3
                - volume_size: 30
            - |
                # check if the cluster already exists on GKE
                response=$(gcloud container clusters describe $cluster_name --zone $cluster_zone || echo "ClusterNotFound")
                if [[ $response = "ClusterNotFound" ]]
                    echo "cluster not found, creating cluster"
                    gcloud container clusters create $cluster_name --num-nodes=$machine_count --machine-type=$machine_type --disk-size=$volume_size --zone=$cluster_zone
                    echo "cluster already exists, skipping creating cluster"
      - OUT: gcp_gke_cluster
        overwrite: true
        - shipctl put_resource_state_multi gcp_gke_cluster "versionName=$cluster_name" "sourceName=$cluster_name" "region=$cluster_zone"
  • Adding the above config to the jobs section of shippable.yml will create a runSh job called prov_gcp_gke.

  • The first section of steps defines all the input IN resources that are required to execute this job.

    • Credentials to connect to GCP are in prov_gcp_gke_creds. This resource has switch: off flag, so any changes to it will not trigger this job automatically
  • The TASK section contains the actual code that is executed when the job runs. We have just one task named prov_ecs which does the following:

    • First, we define environment variables required by the scripts-

      • cluster_name is name of the cluster to be provisioned
      • cluster_zone is the zone where the cluster is provisioned
      • machine_type is the type of machines used for the nodes
      • machine_count is the number of nodes the cluster will use
      • volume_size is the storage available on the nodes in GB
    • script section has a list of commands which will be executed sequentially.

      • First, we check if the cluster is already present.
      • If it's not present, provision using the gcloud container clusters command.
    • on_success section is executed if the TASK succeeded. This step updates the cluster resource with sourceName & region which were provisioned as part of this script.

Detailed info about runSh job is here.

2d. Push changes to shippable.yml

Commit and push all the above changes to shippable.yml.

3. Add the Assembly Line to your Shippable organization

In Shippable's world, a Subscription maps to an Organization or a Team, depending on the source control provider. An Assembly Line workflow is defined at a Subscription level and all jobs are resources are global to your subscription.

To add your Assembly Line to Shippable, you need to add the repository containing the configuration as a "sync repository" by following instructions here. This automatically parses your shippable.yml config and adds your workflow to Shippable. Your workflow will always be kept in sync with the config in this repository, and be automatically updated every time you push a change to shippable.yml.

Your view will look something like this:

Assembly Line view

4. Run the build job prov_gcp_gke

You can manually run the job by right clicking on the job and clicking on Build job

Console view

Confirm that the required cluster was created on GCP.

Further Reading