Gloo Mesh Enterprise is the paid version of Gloo Mesh including the Gloo Mesh UI and multi-cluster role-based access control. To complete the installation you will need a license key. You can get a trial license by requesting a demo from the website.

In a typical deployment, Gloo Mesh Enterprise uses a single Kubernetes cluster to host the management plane while each service mesh can run on its own independent cluster. This document describes how to install the Gloo Mesh Enterprise management plane components with both meshctl and Helm.

A conceptual overview of the Gloo Mesh Enterprise architecture can be found here.

Installing with meshctl

meshctl is a CLI tool that helps bootstrap Gloo Mesh Enterprise, register clusters, describe configured resources, and more. Get the latest meshctl from the releases page on solo-io/gloo-mesh.

You can also quickly install like this:

curl -sL https://run.solo.io/meshctl/install | sh

Installing Gloo Mesh Enterprise with meshctl is a simple process. You will use the command meshctl install enterprise and supply the license key, as well as any chart values you want to update, and arguments pointing to the cluster where Gloo Mesh Enterprise will be installed. For our example, we are going to install Gloo Mesh Enterprise on the cluster currently in context. First, let's set a variable for the license key.

GLOO_MESH_LICENSE_KEY=<your_key_here> # You'll need to supply your own key

We are not going to change any of the default values in the underlying chart, so the only argument needed is the license key. However meshctl install enterprise is backed by the Gloo Mesh Enterprise Helm chart, so you can customize your installation with a Helm values override via the flag --chart-values-file. Review the Gloo Mesh Enterprise Helm values documentation here.

meshctl install enterprise --license $GLOO_MESH_LICENSE_KEY

You should see the following output from the command:

Installing Helm chart
Finished installing chart 'gloo-mesh-enterprise' as release gloo-mesh:gloo-mesh

The installer has created the namespace gloo-mesh and installed Gloo Mesh Enterprise into the namespace using a Helm chart with default values.

meshctl will create a self-signed certificate authority for mTLS if you do not supply your own certificates.

To undo the installation, you can simply run the uninstall command:

meshctl uninstall


You may prefer to use the Helm chart directly rather than using the meshctl CLI tool. This section will take you through the steps necessary to deploy a Gloo Mesh Enterprise installation from the Helm chart.

  1. Add the Helm repo
helm repo add gloo-mesh-enterprise https://storage.googleapis.com/gloo-mesh-enterprise/gloo-mesh-enterprise
  1. (optional) View available versions
helm search repo gloo-mesh-enterprise
  1. (optional) View Helm values
helm show values gloo-mesh-enterprise/gloo-mesh-enterprise

Note that the gloo-mesh-enterprise Helm chart bundles multiple components, including enterprise-networking, rbac-webhook, and gloo-mesh-ui. Each is versioned in step with the parent gloo-mesh-enterprise chart, and each has its own Helm values for advanced customization. Review the Gloo Mesh Enterprise Helm values documentation here.

  1. Install
If you are running Gloo Mesh Enterprise's management plane on a cluster you intend to register (i.e. also run a service mesh), set the enterprise-networking.cluster value to the cluster name you intend to set for the management cluster at registration time.
kubectl create ns gloo-mesh

helm install gloo-mesh-enterprise gloo-mesh-enterprise/gloo-mesh-enterprise --namespace gloo-mesh \
  --set licenseKey=${GLOO_MESH_LICENSE_KEY}
The Helm value selfSigned is set to true by default. This means the Helm chart will create certificates for you if you do not supply them through values.

Verify install

Once you've installed Gloo Mesh, verify what components were installed:

kubectl get pods -n gloo-mesh
NAME                                     READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
dashboard-6d6b944cdb-jcpvl               3/3     Running   0          4m2s
enterprise-networking-84fc9fd6f5-rrbnq   1/1     Running   0          4m2s
rbac-webhook-84865cb7dd-sbwp7            1/1     Running   0          4m2s

Running the check command from meshctl will also verify everything was installed correctly:

meshctl check
Gloo Mesh
✅ Gloo Mesh pods are running

Management Configuration
✅ Gloo Mesh networking configuration resources are in a valid state

Advanced install options

The following subsections describe advanced installation options for Gloo Mesh Enterprise. They are not required.

Manual Certificate Creation

Gloo Mesh Enterprise's default behavior is to create self-signed certificates at install time to handle bootstrapping mTLS connectivity between the server and agent components of Gloo Mesh Enterprise. If you would prefer to provision your own secrets for this purpose, read on. Note that this is not required for standard Gloo Mesh Enterprise deployments.

The following script illustrates how you can create these certificates manually. If you do not create certificates yourself, both the Helm chart and meshctl will create self-signed certificates for you.

At a high level, the script achieves the following:

  1. Creates a root certificate (RELAY_ROOT_CERT_NAME). This is distributed to managed clusters so that relay agents can use it verify the identity of the relay server.

  2. Create a certificate for the relay server (RELAY_SERVER_CERT_NAME), derived from the root certificate, which is presented by the server to relay agents.

  3. Create a signing certificate (RELAY_SIGNING_CERT_NAME), derived from the root certificate, which is used by the relay server to issue certificates for relay agents once initial trust has been established.

The following was tested with OpenSSL 1.1.1h (released on 22 Sep 2020)

Mac users may have LibreSSL installed by default. If so, we recommend that you brew install openssl and verify that openssl version returns an OpenSSL version before you proceed.


echo "creating root cert ..."

openssl req -new -newkey rsa:4096 -x509 -sha256 \
        -days 3650 -nodes -out ${RELAY_ROOT_CERT_NAME}.crt -keyout ${RELAY_ROOT_CERT_NAME}.key \
        -subj "/CN=*.gloo-mesh/O=${RELAY_ROOT_CERT_NAME}" \
        -addext "subjectAltName = DNS:*.gloo-mesh"

echo "creating grpc server tls cert ..."

# server cert
cat > "${RELAY_SERVER_CERT_NAME}.conf" <<EOF
req_extensions = v3_req
distinguished_name = req_distinguished_name
[ v3_req ]
basicConstraints = CA:FALSE
keyUsage = nonRepudiation, digitalSignature, keyEncipherment
extendedKeyUsage = clientAuth, serverAuth
subjectAltName = @alt_names
DNS = *.gloo-mesh

openssl genrsa -out "${RELAY_SERVER_CERT_NAME}.key" 2048
openssl req -new -key "${RELAY_SERVER_CERT_NAME}.key" -out ${RELAY_SERVER_CERT_NAME}.csr -subj "/CN=*.gloo-mesh/O=${RELAY_SERVER_CERT_NAME}" -config "${RELAY_SERVER_CERT_NAME}.conf"
openssl x509 -req \
  -days 3650 \
  -set_serial 0 \
  -extensions v3_req -extfile "${RELAY_SERVER_CERT_NAME}.conf"

echo "creating identity server signing cert ..."

# signing cert
req_extensions = v3_req
distinguished_name = req_distinguished_name
[ v3_req ]
basicConstraints = critical,CA:TRUE
keyUsage = nonRepudiation, digitalSignature, keyEncipherment, keyCertSign
extendedKeyUsage = clientAuth, serverAuth
subjectAltName = @alt_names
DNS = *.gloo-mesh

openssl genrsa -out "${RELAY_SIGNING_CERT_NAME}.key" 2048
openssl req -new -key "${RELAY_SIGNING_CERT_NAME}.key" -out ${RELAY_SIGNING_CERT_NAME}.csr -subj "/CN=*.gloo-mesh/O=${RELAY_SIGNING_CERT_NAME}" -config "${RELAY_SIGNING_CERT_NAME}.conf"
openssl x509 -req \
  -days 3650 \
  -set_serial 0 \
  -extensions v3_req -extfile "${RELAY_SIGNING_CERT_NAME}.conf"

Next, we'll create secrets on the management and remote clusters with all the requisite generated certificates. Let's define the management cluster as the cluster where we'll install the Gloo Mesh control plane, and the remote cluster as a cluster running a service mesh we would like Gloo Mesh to discover and configure. On the management cluster, we need the root cert, server cert, and signing cert. On the remote clusters, we just need the root cert.



# ensure gloo-mesh namespace exists on both clusters
for context in ${MGMT_CONTEXT} ${REMOTE_CONTEXT}; do
  kubectl --context ${context} create namespace gloo-mesh

# create secrets from certs

# Note: ${RELAY_SERVER_CERT_NAME}-secret must match the server Helm value `relayTlsSecret.Name`
kubectl create secret generic ${RELAY_SERVER_CERT_NAME}-secret \
  --from-file=tls.key=${RELAY_SERVER_CERT_NAME}.key \
  --from-file=tls.crt=${RELAY_SERVER_CERT_NAME}.crt \
  --from-file=ca.crt=${RELAY_ROOT_CERT_NAME}.crt \
  --dry-run=client -oyaml | kubectl apply -f- \
   --context ${MGMT_CONTEXT} \
  --namespace gloo-mesh

# Note: ${RELAY_ROOT_CERT_NAME}-tls-secret must match the agent Helm value `relay.rootTlsSecret.Name`
for context in ${MGMT_CONTEXT} ${REMOTE_CONTEXT}; do
echo "creating matching root cert for agent in cluster context ${context}..."
  kubectl create secret generic ${RELAY_ROOT_CERT_NAME}-tls-secret \
  --from-file=ca.crt=${RELAY_ROOT_CERT_NAME}.crt \
  --dry-run=client -oyaml | kubectl apply -f- \
   --context ${context} \
  --namespace gloo-mesh

# Note: ${RELAY_SIGNING_CERT_NAME}-secret must match the server Helm value `signingTlsSecret.Name`
kubectl create secret generic ${RELAY_SIGNING_CERT_NAME}-secret \
  --from-file=tls.key=${RELAY_SIGNING_CERT_NAME}.key \
  --from-file=tls.crt=${RELAY_SIGNING_CERT_NAME}.crt \
  --from-file=ca.crt=${RELAY_ROOT_CERT_NAME}.crt \
  --dry-run=client -oyaml | kubectl apply -f- \
  --context ${MGMT_CONTEXT} \
  --namespace gloo-mesh

You can also choose to use your own internal PKI to create and assign certificates to Gloo Mesh Enterprise. At a minimum, you would need the certificate chain to your PKI root CA, a server certificate for relay server communication, and a signing certificate the relay server can use to generate relay agent certificates. Please refer to your PKI documentation for more information.

Next Steps

Now that we have Gloo Mesh Enterprise installed, let's register a cluster.