ConfigMap & Secrets

Communication between clusters

Container Storage Modules (CSM) for Replication Controller requires access to remote clusters for replicating various objects. There are two ways to set up this communication -

  1. Using Normal Kubernetes users
  2. Using ServiceAccount token

You need to create secrets (using either of the two methods) in each cluster involved in replication and provide their references in ConfigMap objects which are used to configure the respective CSM Replication Controllers.

Important: Direct network visibility between clusters required for CSM-Replication to work. Cluster-1’s API URL has to be pingable from cluster-2 pods and vice versa. If private networks are used and/or DNS is not set up properly - you may need to modify /etc/hosts file from within controller’s pod. This can be achieved by using helm installation method. Refer to the link

Note: If you are using a single stretched cluster, then you can skip all the following steps

Inject configuration using repctl

This is the simplest way to configure CSM Replication Controller. repctl simplifies the complex configuration process greatly by enabling creation of secrets and updating their references in multiple clusters.

Use repctl to create secrets using service account tokens and update ConfigMaps in multiple clusters in one command. Run the following command -

repctl cluster inject --use-sa

This will create secrets using the token for the default ServiceAccount and update the ConfigMap in all the clusters which have been configured for repctl

Inject KubeConfigs from repctl configuration

repctl is usually configured to communicate with multiple Kubernetes clusters and is provided with a set of KubeConfig files for each cluster. You can use repctl to inject secrets created using these files in each of the configured cluster. Run the following command -

repctl cluster inject

Note: For a detailed walkthrough of the simplified installation process using repctl, please refer this link

Understanding the Config file

If you are setting up replication between two clusters - Cluster A & Cluster B, then the configuration file (deploy/config.yaml) should look like this:

Cluster A

clusterId: cluster-A # This cluster's Identifier
  - clusterId: cluster-B # Identifier for the remote cluster B
    address: # Address of the remote cluster
    secretRef: secretClusterB # Name of the secret required for communication with Cluster B

Cluster B

clusterId: cluster-B # This cluster's Identifier
  - clusterId: cluster-A # Identifier for the remote cluster A
    address: # Address of the remote cluster
    secretRef: secretClusterA # Name of the secret required for communication with Cluster A

Manual configuration

Generating KubeConfig

We provide a helper script which can help create KubeConfig files for a normal user as well as a Service Account.

  • Using a Certificate Signing Request for a user
    cd scripts
    ./ -u <CN user> -c <CSR> -k <key>  # where "CN user" is the name of the user & key is the private key of the user
  • Create kubeconfig file for a Service Account
       cd scripts
       ./ -s <sa-name> -n <namespace>       

Once you have created the KubeConfig file, you can use it to create the secret.

Secrets using normal Kubernetes users

You can create a normal Kubernetes user for your remote Kubernetes cluster and use it for inter cluster communication. The process of creating users is outside the scope of this document. Once you have the user created, you can provide it the RBAC privileges required by the controller.


Continuing from our earlier example with Cluster A & Cluster B -

  1. Create a user in Cluster B & generate a kubeconfig file for it using the helper script
  2. Create a ClusterRole in Cluster B using the following command:
    kubectl apply -f deploy/role.yaml
  3. Create a ClusterRoleBinding in Cluster B for the user:
    kubectl create clusterrolebinding <name> --clusterrole=dell-replication-manager-role --user=<user-name>
  4. Create a secret in Cluster A using the kubeconfig file for this user
kubectl create secret generic <secret-name> --from-file=data=<kubeconfig_file_user> --namespace dell-replication-controller

Secrets using ServiceAccount tokens

You can use service account tokens to establish communication between various clusters. We recommend using the token for the default service account in the dell-replication-controller namespace after the installation as it already has all the required RBAC privileges.


Use the following command to first create a KubeConfig file using the helper script in Cluster B -

./ -s default -n dell-replication-controller

Once the KubeConfig file has been generated successfully, use the following command in Cluster A to to create the secret:

kubectl create secret generic <secret-name> --from-file=data=<kubeconfig_file_user> --namespace dell-replication-controller