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Version: 0.25

Install Astronomer Software on AWS EKS

This guide describes the steps to install Astronomer Software on Amazon Web Services (AWS), which allows you to deploy and scale Apache Airflow within an AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) cluster.

Prerequisites

To install Astronomer on EKS, you'll need access to the following tools and permissions:

Step 1: Choose a Base Domain

All Astronomer services will be tied to a base domain of your choice, under which you will need the ability to add and edit DNS records.

Once created, your Astronomer base domain will be linked to a variety of sub-services that your users will access via the internet to manage, monitor and run Airflow on the platform.

For the base domain astro.mydomain.com, for example, here are some corresponding URLs that your users would be able to reach:

  • Software UI: app.astro.mydomain.com
  • Airflow Deployments: deployments.astro.mydomain.com/deployment-release-name/airflow
  • Grafana Dashboard: grafana.astro.mydomain.com
  • Kibana Dashboard: kibana.astro.mydomain.com

For the full list of subdomains, see Step 4.

Step 2: Spin up the EKS Control Plane and a Kubernetes Cluster

To proceed with the installation, you'll need to spin up an EKS Control Plane as well as worker nodes in your Kubernetes cluster by following this AWS guide.

EKS is built off of Amazon's pre-existing EC2 service, so you can manage your Kubernetes nodes the same way you would manage your EC2 nodes.

As you follow the guide linked above, keep in mind:

  • Each version of Astronomer Software is compatible with only a particular set of Kubernetes versions. For more information, refer to Astronomer's Version Compatibility Reference.
  • We generally advise running the EKS control plane in a single security group. The worker nodes you spin up should have the same setup as the EKS control plane.
  • All security and access settings needed for your worker nodes should be configured in your Cloud Formation template.
  • If you create an EKS cluster from the UI, kubectl access will be limited to the user who created the cluster by default.
    • To give more users kubectl access, you'll have to do so manually.
    • This post goes through how IAM plays with EKS.
  • Expect to see each of your underlying nodes in the EC2 console.
    • Given Astronomer's default resource request of ~11 CPUs and ~40GB of memory, we recommend using either six m5.xlarge or three m5.2xlarge instances for your cluster. To modify Astronomer's default resource requests, see step 8.

Note: If you work with multiple Kubernetes environments, kubectx is an incredibly useful tool for quickly switching between Kubernetes clusters. Learn more here.

Step 3: Create a Namespace

Create a namespace called astronomer to host the core Astronomer platform:

kubectl create namespace astronomer

Once Astronomer is running, each Airflow Deployment that you create will have its own isolated namespace.

Step 4: Configure TLS

We recommend running Astronomer Software on a dedicated domain (BASEDOMAIN) or subdomain (astro.BASEDOMAIN).

In order for users to access the web applications they need to manage Astronomer, you'll need a TLS certificate that covers the following subdomains:

BASEDOMAIN
app.BASEDOMAIN
deployments.BASEDOMAIN
registry.BASEDOMAIN
houston.BASEDOMAIN
grafana.BASEDOMAIN
kibana.BASEDOMAIN
install.BASEDOMAIN
alertmanager.BASEDOMAIN
prometheus.BASEDOMAIN

To obtain a TLS certificate, complete one of the following setup options:

  • Option 1: Obtain a TLS certificate from Let's Encrypt. We recommend this option for smaller organizations where your DNS administrator and Kubernetes cluster administrator are either the same person or on the same team.
  • Option 2: Request a TLS certificate from your organization's security team. We recommend this option for large organizations with their own protocols for generating TLS certificates.

Option 1: Create TLS certificates using Let's Encrypt

Let's Encrypt is a free and secure certificate authority (CA) service that provides TLS certificates that renew automatically every 90 days. Use this option if you are configuring Astronomer for a smaller organization without a dedicated security team.

To set up TLS certificates this way, follow the guidelines in Automatically Renew TLS Certificates Using Let's Encrypt. Make note of the certificate you create in this setup for Step 5.

Option 2: Request a TLS certificate from your security team

If you're installing Astronomer for a large organization, you'll need to request a TLS certificate and private key from your enterprise security team. This certificate needs to be valid for the BASEDOMAIN your organization uses for Astronomer, as well as the subdomains listed at the beginning of Step 4. You should be given two .pem files:

  • One for your encrypted certificate
  • One for your private key

To confirm that your enterprise security team generated the correct certificate, run the following command using the openssl CLI:

openssl x509 -in  <your-certificate-filepath> -text -noout

This command will generate a report. If the X509v3 Subject Alternative Name section of this report includes either a single *.BASEDOMAIN wildcard domain or the subdomains listed at the beginning of Step 4, then the certificate creation was successful.

Depending on your organization, you may receive either a globally trusted certificate or a certificate from a private CA. The certificate from your private CA may include a domain certificate, a root certificate, and/or intermediate certificates, all of which need to be in proper certificate order. To verify certificate order, follow the guidelines below.

Verify certificate order (private CA only)

To confirm that your certificate has the proper certificate order, first run the following command using the openssl CLI:

openssl crl2pkcs7 -nocrl -certfile <your-certificate-filepath> | openssl pkcs7 -print_certs -noout

This command will generate a report of all certificates included. Verify that the order of these certificates is as follows:

  1. Domain
  2. Intermediate (optional)
  3. Root

If the order of all certificates is correct, proceed to the next step.

Step 5: Create a Kubernetes TLS Secret

If you received a globally trusted certificate, such as one generated by Let's Encrypt, simply run the following command and proceed to Step 6:

kubectl create secret tls astronomer-tls --cert <your-certificate-filepath> --key <your-private-key-filepath>

If you received a certificate from a private CA, follow these steps instead:

  1. Add the root certificate provided by your security team to an Opaque Kubernetes secret in the Astronomer namespace by running the following command:

    kubectl create secret generic private-root-ca --from-file=cert.pem=./<your-certificate-filepath>

    Note: The root certificate which you specify here should be the certificate of the authority that signed the Astronomer certificate, rather than the Astronomer certificate itself. This is the same certificate you need to install with all clients to get them to trust your services.

    Note: The name of the secret file must be cert.pem for your certificate to be trusted properly.

  2. Note the value of private-root-ca for when you configure your Helm chart in Step 8. You'll need to additionally specify the privateCaCerts key-value pair with this value for that step.

Step 6: Retrieve Your SMTP URI

An SMTP service is required so that users can send and accept email invites to and from Astronomer. To integrate your SMTP service with Astronomer, make note of your SMTP service's URI and add it to your Helm chart in Step 8. In general, an SMTP URI will take the following form:

smtps://USERNAME:PASSWORD@HOST/?pool=true

The following table contains examples of what the URI will look like for some of the most popular SMTP services:

ProviderExample SMTP URL
AWS SESsmtp://AWS_SMTP_Username:AWS_SMTP_Password@email-smtp.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/?requireTLS=true
SendGridsmtps://apikey:SG.sometoken@smtp.sendgrid.net:465/?pool=true
Mailgunsmtps://xyz%40example.com:password@smtp.mailgun.org/?pool=true
Office365smtp://xyz%40example.com:password@smtp.office365.com:587/?requireTLS=true
Custom SMTP-relaysmtp://smtp-relay.example.com:25/?ignoreTLS=true

If your SMTP provider is not listed, refer to the provider's documentation for information on creating an SMTP URI.

Note: If there are / or other escape characters in your username or password, you may need to URL encode those characters.

Step 7: Configure the Database

By default, Astronomer requires a central Postgres database that will act as the backend for Astronomer's Houston API and will host individual Metadata Databases for all Airflow Deployments spun up on the platform.

While you're free to configure any database, most AWS users on Astronomer run Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL. For production environments, we strongly recommend a managed Postgres solution.

Note: If you're setting up a development environment, this step is optional. Astronomer can be configured to deploy the PostgreSQL helm chart as the backend database with the following set in your config.yaml:

global:
postgresqlEnabled: true

To connect to an external database to your EKS cluster, create a Kubernetes Secret named astronomer-bootstrap that points to your database.

kubectl create secret generic astronomer-bootstrap \
--from-literal connection="postgres://USERNAME:$PASSWORD@host:5432" \
--namespace astronomer

Note: You must URL encode any special characters in your Postgres password.

Note: We recommend using a t2 medium as the minimum RDS instance size.

Step 8: Configure Your Helm Chart

Note: If you want to use a third-party ingress controller for Astronomer, complete the setup steps in Third-Party Ingress Controllers in addition to this configuration.

As a next step, create a file named config.yaml in an empty directory.

For context, this config.yaml file will assume a set of default values for our platform that specify everything from user role definitions to the Airflow images you want to support. As you grow with Astronomer and want to customize the platform to better suit your team and use case, your config.yaml file is the best place to do so.

In the newly created file, copy the example below and replace baseDomain, private-root-ca, /etc/docker/certs.d, ssl.enabled, and smtpUrl with your own values. For more example configuration files, go here.

#################################
### Astronomer global configuration
#################################
global:
# Base domain for all subdomains exposed through ingress
baseDomain: astro.mydomain.com

# Name of secret containing TLS certificate
tlsSecret: astronomer-tls

# Enable privateCaCerts only if your enterprise security team
# generated a certificate from a private certificate authority.
# Create a generic secret for each cert, and add it to the list below.
# Each secret must have a data entry for 'cert.pem'
# Example command: `kubectl create secret generic private-root-ca --from-file=cert.pem=./<your-certificate-filepath>`
privateCaCerts:
- private-root-ca

# Enable privateCaCertsAddToHost only when your nodes do not already
# include the private CA in their docker trust store.
# Most enterprises already have this configured,
# and in that case 'enabled' should be false.
privateCaCertsAddToHost:
enabled: true
hostDirectory: /etc/docker/certs.d
# For development or proof-of-concept, you can use an in-cluster database
postgresqlEnabled: false

# Enables using SSL connections to
# encrypt client/server communication
# between databases and the Astronomer platform.
# If your database enforces SSL for connections,
# change this value to true
ssl:
enabled: false
#################################
### Nginx configuration
#################################
nginx:
# IP address the nginx ingress should bind to
loadBalancerIP: ~
# Set to 'true' when deploying to a private EKS cluster
privateLoadBalancer: false
# Dict of arbitrary annotations to add to the nginx ingress. For full configuration options, see https://docs.nginx.com/nginx-ingress-controller/configuration/ingress-resources/advanced-configuration-with-annotations/
ingressAnnotations: {service.beta.kubernetes.io/aws-load-balancer-type: nlb} # Change to 'elb' if your node group is private and doesn't utilize a NAT gateway

#################################
### SMTP configuration
#################################

astronomer:
houston:
config:
publicSignups: false # Users need to be invited to have access to Astronomer. Set to true otherwise
emailConfirmation: true # Users get an email verification before accessing Astronomer
deployments:
manualReleaseNames: true # Allows you to set your release names
serviceAccountAnnotationKey: eks.amazonaws.com/role-arn # Flag to enable using IAM roles (don't enter a specific role)
email:
enabled: true
smtpUrl: YOUR_URI_HERE
reply: "noreply@astronomer.io" # Emails will be sent from this address
auth:
github:
enabled: true # Lets users authenticate with Github
local:
enabled: false # Disables logging in with just a username and password
openidConnect:
google:
enabled: true # Lets users authenticate with Google

These are the minimum values you need to configure for installing Astronomer. For information on additional configuration, read What's Next.

Step 9: Install Astronomer

Now that you have an EKS cluster set up and your config.yaml file defined, you're ready to deploy all components of our platform.

First, run:

helm repo add astronomer https://helm.astronomer.io/

Then, run:

helm repo update

This will ensure that you pull the latest from our Helm repository. Finally, run:

helm install -f config.yaml --version=0.25 --namespace=astronomer <your-platform-release-name> astronomer/astronomer

This command will install the latest available patch version of Astronomer Software v0.25. To override latest and specify a patch, add it to the --version= flag in the format of 0.25.x. To install Astronomer Software v0.25.4, for example, specify --version=0.25.4. For information on all available patch versions, refer to Software Release Notes.

Once you run the commands above, a set of Kubernetes pods will be generated in your namespace. These pods power the individual services required to run our platform, including the Software UI and Houston API.

Step 10: Verify Pods are Up

To verify all pods are up and running, run:

kubectl get pods --namespace <my-namespace>

You should see something like this:

$ kubectl get pods --namespace astronomer

NAME READY STATUS RESTARTS AGE
astronomer-alertmanager-0 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-astro-ui-7f94c9bbcc-7xntd 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-astro-ui-7f94c9bbcc-lkn5b 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-cli-install-88df56bbd-t4rj2 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-commander-84f64d55cf-8rns9 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-commander-84f64d55cf-j6w4l 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-elasticsearch-client-7786447c54-9kt4x 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-elasticsearch-client-7786447c54-mdxpn 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-elasticsearch-data-0 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-elasticsearch-data-1 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-elasticsearch-exporter-6495597c9f-ks4jz 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-elasticsearch-master-0 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-elasticsearch-master-1 1/1 Running 0 23m
astronomer-elasticsearch-master-2 1/1 Running 0 23m
astronomer-elasticsearch-nginx-b954fd4d4-249sh 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-fluentd-5lv2c 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-fluentd-79vv4 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-fluentd-hlr6v 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-fluentd-l7zj9 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-fluentd-m4gh2 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-fluentd-q987q 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-grafana-c487d5c7b-pjtmc 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-houston-544c8855b5-bfctd 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-houston-544c8855b5-gwhll 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-houston-upgrade-deployments-stphr 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-kibana-596599df6-vh6bp 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-kube-state-6658d79b4c-hf2hf 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-kubed-6cc48c5767-btscx 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-nginx-746589b744-h6r5n 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-nginx-746589b744-hscb9 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-nginx-default-backend-8cb66c54-4vjmz 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-nginx-default-backend-8cb66c54-7m86w 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-prometheus-0 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-prometheus-blackbox-exporter-65f6c5f456-865h2 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-prometheus-blackbox-exporter-65f6c5f456-szr4s 1/1 Running 0 24m
astronomer-registry-0 1/1 Running 0 24m

If you are seeing issues here, check out our guide on debugging your installation.

Step 11: Configure DNS

Now that you've successfully installed Astronomer, a new load balancer will have spun up in your AWS account. This load balancer routes incoming traffic to our NGINX ingress controller.

Run $ kubectl get svc -n astronomer to view your load balancer's CNAME, located under the EXTERNAL-IP column for the astronomer-nginx service.

$ kubectl get svc -n astronomer
NAME TYPE CLUSTER-IP EXTERNAL-IP PORT(S) AGE
astronomer-alertmanager ClusterIP 172.20.48.232 <none> 9093/TCP 24d
astronomer-cli-install ClusterIP 172.20.95.132 <none> 80/TCP 24d
astronomer-commander ClusterIP 172.20.167.227 <none> 8880/TCP,50051/TCP 24d
astronomer-elasticsearch ClusterIP 172.20.161.0 <none> 9200/TCP,9300/TCP 24d
astronomer-elasticsearch-discovery ClusterIP 172.20.225.200 <none> 9300/TCP 24d
astronomer-elasticsearch-exporter ClusterIP 172.20.2.113 <none> 9108/TCP 24d
astronomer-elasticsearch-nginx ClusterIP 172.20.154.232 <none> 9200/TCP 24d
astronomer-grafana ClusterIP 172.20.120.247 <none> 3000/TCP 24d
astronomer-houston ClusterIP 172.20.25.26 <none> 8871/TCP 24d
astronomer-kibana ClusterIP 172.20.134.149 <none> 5601/TCP 24d
astronomer-kube-state ClusterIP 172.20.123.56 <none> 8080/TCP,8081/TCP 24d
astronomer-kubed ClusterIP 172.20.4.200 <none> 443/TCP 24d
astronomer-nginx LoadBalancer 172.20.54.142 ELB_ADDRESS.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com 80:31925/TCP,443:32461/TCP,10254:32424/TCP 24d
astronomer-nginx-default-backend ClusterIP 172.20.186.254 <none> 8080/TCP 24d
astronomer-astro-ui ClusterIP 172.20.186.166 <none> 8080/TCP 24d
astronomer-prometheus ClusterIP 172.20.72.196 <none> 9090/TCP 24d
astronomer-registry ClusterIP 172.20.100.102 <none> 5000/TCP 24d

You will need to create a new CNAME record through your DNS provider using the ELB CNAME listed above. You can create a single wildcard CNAME record such as *.astro.mydomain.com, or alternatively create individual CNAME records for the following routes:

app.astro.mydomain.com
deployments.astro.mydomain.com
registry.astro.mydomain.com
houston.astro.mydomain.com
grafana.astro.mydomain.com
kibana.astro.mydomain.com
install.astro.mydomain.com
alertmanager.astro.mydomain.com
prometheus.astro.mydomain.com

Example wildcard CNAME record: aws-elb

Step 12: Verify You Can Access the Software UI

Go to app.BASEDOMAIN to see the Software UI.

Consider this your new Airflow control plane. From the Software UI, you'll be able to both invite and manage users as well as create and monitor Airflow Deployments on the platform.

Step 13: Verify Your TLS Setup

To check if your TLS certificates were accepted, log in to the Software UI. Then, go to app.BASEDOMAIN/token and run:

curl -v -X POST https://houston.BASEDOMAIN/v1 -H "Authorization: Bearer <token>"

Verify that this output matches with that of the following command, which doesn't look for TLS:

curl -v -k -X POST https://houston.BASEDOMAIN/v1 -H "Authorization: Bearer <token>"

Next, to make sure the registry is accepted by Astronomer's local docker client, try authenticating to Astronomer with the Astronomer CLI:

astro auth login <your-astronomer-base-domain>

If you can log in, then your Docker client trusts the registry. If Docker does not trust the Astronomer registry, run the following and restart Docker:

mkdir -p /etc/docker/certs.d
cp privateCA.pem /etc/docker/certs.d/

Finally, try running $ astro deploy on a test deployment. Create a deployment in the Software UI, then run:

mkdir demo
cd demo
astro dev init
astro deploy -f

Check the Airflow namespace. If pods are changing at all, then the Houston API trusts the registry.

If you have Airflow pods in an ImagePullBackoff state, check the pod description. If you see an x509 error, ensure that you added the privateCaCertsAddToHost key-value pairs to your Helm chart. If you missed these during installation, follow the steps in Apply a Platform Configuration Change on Astronomer to add them after installation.

What's Next

To help you make the most of Astronomer Software, check out the following additional resources:

Astronomer Support Team

If you have any feedback or need help during this process and aren't in touch with our team already, a few resources to keep in mind:

For detailed guidelines on reaching out to Astronomer Support, reference our guide here.