Deployment modes

Choose whether you want to deploy Gloo Mesh Enterprise in one cluster, or across multiple clusters.

Single cluster

Gloo Mesh Enterprise is fully functional when the management plane (management server) and data plane (agent and service mesh) both run within the same cluster. You can easily install both the control and data plane components by using one installation process. If you choose to install the components in separate processes, ensure that you use the same name for the cluster during both processes.


A multicluster Gloo Mesh Enterprise setup consists of one management cluster that you install the Gloo management plane (management server) in, and one or more workload clusters that serve as the data plane (agent and service mesh). By running the management plane in a dedicated management cluster, you can ensure that no workload pods consume cluster resources that might impede management processes. Many guides throughout the documentation use one management cluster and two workload clusters as an example setup.

Sidecar deployment options

You can deploy some Gloo components as either standalone pods or as sidecar containers to other component pods. Deploying components as sidecars can help reduce the amount of compute resources required to run Gloo Mesh Enterprise.

The following components can be deployed either as standalone pods or as sidecars. For more information about the installed components, review the Gloo Mesh Enterprise architecture.

Component deployed as a sidecarMain component podInstallation setting
Gloo agentGloo management serverglooAgent.runAsSidecar: true
Note that the agent is available as a sidecar only in single-cluster environments.
Gloo insights engineGloo management serverglooInsightsEngine.runAsSidecar: true
Gloo analyzer
  • Single cluster: Gloo management server
  • Multicluster: Gloo agent
glooAnalyzer.runAsSidecar: true

Installation methods

After you decide on a single or multicluster environment, choose whether to use the meshctl CLI or Helm charts to install Gloo Mesh Enterprise.

CLI install profiles

Gloo packages profiles in the meshctl CLI for quick Gloo Mesh Enterprise installations. Profiles provide basic Helm settings for a minimum installation, and are suitable for testing setups. Because the profiles provide standard setups, they can also be useful starting points for building a customized and robust set of Helm installation values.

In your meshctl install and meshctl cluster register commands, you can specify one or more profiles in the --profile flag. Multiple profiles can be applied in a comma-delimited list, in which merge priority is left to right. Note that any values you specify in --set or --gloo-mesh-agent-chart-values flags have highest merge priority.

The following profiles are supported. You can review the Helm settings in a profile by running curl<profile>.yaml > profile-values.yaml.

You can also check out Gloo Gateway-specific profiles in the Gloo Gateway setup documentation.

Standard profiles

The following profiles provide standard setups, which can be useful starting points for building a customized and robust set of Helm installation values. To set up Gloo Mesh Enterprise with these profiles, see the get started guides.

Add-on profiles

The following profiles install Gloo add-ons, which are often used additively with standard profiles. To set up add-ons with these profiles, see the rate limiting and external authentication guide.

ProfileUse caseDeployed components
extauthUse external authentication in a single-cluster setup or in a workload cluster in a multicluster setup.Gloo external auth server
ratelimitUse rate limiting in a single-cluster setup or in a workload cluster in a multicluster setup.Gloo rate limiting server

Helm charts

To extensively customize the settings of your Gloo Mesh Enterprise installation, you can use the gloo-platform and gloo-platform-crds Helm charts.

Installation Helm chart

All components for a full Gloo Mesh Enterprise installation are available in the gloo-platform Helm chart.

Helm installations allow for extensive customization of Gloo settings, and are suitable for proof-of-concept or production setups. Within the gloo-platform chart, you can find the configuration options for all components in the following sections.

Component sectionDescription
clickhouseConfiguration for the Clickhouse deployment, which stores logs from Gloo telemetry collector agents. See the Bitnami Clickhouse Helm chart for the complete set of values.
commonCommon values shared across components. When applicable, these can be overridden in specific components.
demoDemo-specific features that improve quick setups. Do not use in production.
experimentalDeprecated: Use featureGates fields instead.
extAuthServiceConfiguration for the Gloo external authentication service.
featureGatesExperimental features for Gloo. Disabled by default.
glooAgentConfiguration for the Gloo agent.
glooAnalyzerConfiguration for the Gloo analyzer, which gathers data on Gloo and Istio components.
glooInsightsEngineConfiguration for the Gloo insights engine, which creates Solo insights.
glooMgmtServerConfiguration for the Gloo management server.
glooNetworkGloo Network agent configuration options.
glooPortalServerConfiguration for the Gloo Portal server deployment.
glooSpireServerConfiguration for the Gloo Spire server deployment.
glooUiConfiguration for the Gloo UI.
istioInstallationsConfiguration for deploying managed Istio control plane and gateway installations by using the Istio lifecycle manager.
jaegerConfiguration for the Gloo Jaeger instance.
licensingGloo product licenses.
postgresqlConfiguration for Gloo PostgreSQL instance.
prometheusHelm values for configuring Prometheus. See the Prometheus Helm chart for the complete set of values.
rateLimiterConfiguration for the Gloo rate limiting service.
redisConfiguration for the default Redis instance.
telemetryCollectorConfiguration for the Gloo telemetry collector agents. See the OpenTelemetry Helm chart for the complete set of values.
telemetryCollectorCustomizationOptional customization for the Gloo telemetry collector agents.
telemetryGatewayConfiguration for the Gloo telemetry gateway. See the OpenTelemetry Helm chart for the complete set of values.
telemetryGatewayCustomizationOptional customization for the Gloo telemetry gateway.

You can see all possible fields that you can set for the chart by running the following command.

  helm show values gloo-platform/gloo-platform --version v2.5.6 > all-values.yaml

For more information about each field, see the Helm values documentation. To set up Gloo Mesh Enterprise with Helm, see the advanced installation guide.

CRD Helm chart

All CRDs that are required for a Gloo Mesh Enterprise installation are available in the gloo-platform-crds Helm chart. To see all CRD installation options, see the Helm values documentation. If you already installed the chart, you can run kubectl get crds -A | grep to see the installed CRDs.

Supported platforms

You can install Gloo Mesh Enterprise on Kubernetes or OpenShift clusters. For more information about the requirements for each platform, see the System requirements.


Gloo Mesh Enterprise and Istio are fully supported on Kubernetes clusters. Throughout the installation guides, use installation commands that are labeled for use with Kubernetes.


Gloo Mesh Enterprise is fully supported on OpenShift clusters. However, there are some changes you must make to allow Istio to run on an OpenShift cluster. To make these changes, use commands througout the installation guides that are labeled for use with OpenShift. For more information about the required changes, see the Istio on OpenShift documentation.

  • Dynamic user ID: The pods of all the Gloo components’ deployments must be assigned a dynamic user ID for the Istio sidecar to use. However, this user ID is not permitted in OpenShift by default. In the installation guides, follow the OpenShift commands to use OpenShift-specific install profiles, which include the floatingUserId=true installation setting for each Gloo component. For example, you might use the gloo-mesh-single-openshift profile.
  • Service account permissions: For any pods that require an Istio sidecar, such as your workload pods, you must elevate the permissions of the service account for that namespace. These elevated permissions allow the pods to make use of a user ID that is normally restricted by OpenShift. In the Istio installation guides, you follow the OpenShift commands to elevate the service account permissions for the Istio and your workload projects.
  • Network attachment definition: The CNI on OpenShift requires a NetworkAttachmentDefinition in each workload project in order to invoke the istio-cni plug-in. For each workload project where you deploy applications in your service mesh, you must create a NetworkAttachmentDefinition resource. For example, follow the OpenShift steps in when you deploy the sample apps to create the resource in each sample app project.