In this guide we will accomplish two tasks:

  1. Install Service Mesh Hub
  2. Register A Cluster

We use a Kubernetes cluster to host the management plane (Service Mesh Hub) while each service mesh can run on its own independent cluster. If you don't have access to multiple clusters, see the Getting Started Guide to get started with Kubernetes in Docker.

Service Mesh Hub Architecture

You can install Service Mesh Hub onto its own cluster and register remote clusters, or you can co-locate Service Mesh Hub onto a cluster with a service mesh. The former (its own cluster) is the preferred deployment pattern, but for getting started, exploring, or to save resources, you can use the co-located deployment approach.

Service Mesh Hub Architecture

Assumptions for setup

We will assume in this guide that we have access to two clusters and the following two contexts available in our kubeconfig file.

Your actual context names will likely be different.

To verify you're running the following commands in the correct context, run:

kubectl config use-context management-plane-context

If you're using only one cluster, see below.

Install Service Mesh Hub

Note that these contexts need not be different; you may install and manage a service mesh in the same cluster as Service Mesh Hub. For the purposes of this guide, though, we will assume they are different.

Installing with meshctl

meshctl is a CLI tool that helps bootstrap Service Mesh Hub, register clusters, install meshes, and more. Get the latest meshctl from the releases page on solo-io/service-mesh-hub.

You can also quickly install like this:

curl -sL | sh

Once you have the meshctl tool, you can install Service Mesh Hub onto a cluster acting as the management-plane-context like this:

meshctl install

If you're not connected to the management-plane-context cluster, you can explicitly speficy it like this:

meshctl install --context management-plane-context

You should see output similar to this:

Creating namespace service-mesh-hub... Done.
Starting Service Mesh Hub installation...
Service Mesh Hub successfully installed!
Service Mesh Hub has been installed to namespace service-mesh-hub

To undo the installation, run uninstall:

meshctl uninstall

Installing with kubectl apply

If you prefer working directly with the Kubernetes resources, (either to use kubectl apply or to put into CI/CD), meshctl can output yaml from the install (or any) command with the --dry-run flag:

meshctl install --dry-run

You can use this output to later do kubectl apply:

meshctl install --dry-run | kubectl --context apply -f -

Note that the --dry-run outputs the entire yaml, but does not take care of proper ordering of resources. For example, there can be a race between CRDs being registered and any CRs being created that may appear to be an error. If that happens, just re-run the kubectl apply.

To undo the installation, run:

meshctl install --dry-run | kubectl delete -f -

Install with Helm

The Helm charts for Service Mesh Hub support Helm 3. To install with Helm:

helm repo add smh
helm repo update

Note that the location of the Service Mesh Hub Helm charts is subject to change. When it finds a more permanent home, we'll remove this message.

Then install Service Mesh Hub into the service-mesh-hub namespace:

helm install smh smh/service-mesh-hub --namespace service-mesh-hub

Verify install

Once you've installed Service Mesh Hub, verify what components got installed:

kubectl get po -n service-mesh-hub
NAME                               READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
mesh-discovery-7796c6bd6c-fwtck    1/1     Running   0          36s
mesh-networking-68fbf6c455-jrdbx   1/1     Running   0          36s

Running the check command will verify everything was installed correctly:

meshctl check
✅ Kubernetes API
✅ Kubernetes API server is reachable
✅ running the minimum supported Kubernetes version (required: >=1.13)

✅ Service Mesh Hub Management Plane
✅ installation namespace exists
✅ components are running

✅ Service Mesh Hub check found no errors

At this point you're ready to add clusters to the management plane, or discover existing service meshes on the cluster on which we just deployed Service Mesh Hub.

Register A Cluster

In order to identify a cluster as being managed by Service Mesh Hub, we have to register it in our installation. This is both so that we are aware of it, and so that we have the proper credentials to communicate with the Kubernetes API server in that cluster.

Remote Clusters

For remote clusters, we will register with the meshctl cluster register command. We register the context pointed to by our remote-cluster-context kubeconfig context like this:

meshctl cluster register \
  --remote-cluster-name new-remote-cluster \
  --remote-context remote-cluster-context

Note that the --remote-cluster-name is NOT the name of the cluster in your kubeconfig file – it's a name given to the cluster Service Mesh Hub can refer to it in various configurations. You can pick a name for this.

Successfully wrote service account to remote cluster...
Successfully wrote kube config secret to master cluster...
Successfully set up CSR agent...

Cluster new-remote-cluster is now registered in your Service Mesh Hub installation

Register the management cluster

You can automatically register the cluster on which you deploy Service Mesh Hub (for example, if you have a mesh running there as well) with the --register CLI flag when you're first installing with meshctl:

meshctl install --register --context management-plane-context

By default, when you register like this, the cluster name will be management-plane. If you run the following, you should see the cluster registered:

kubectl get kubernetescluster -n service-mesh-hub

NAMESPACE          NAME               AGE
service-mesh-hub   management-plane   10s

What happened?

To go into slightly more detail about what just happened:

And we're done! Any meshes in that cluster will be discovered and available to be configured at this point. See the guide on installing Istio, to see how to easily get Istio running on that cluster.