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Charmed Kubernetes on AWS

Charmed Kubernetes will run seamlessly on AWS. With the addition of the aws-integrator and its companion charms, your cluster will also be able to directly use AWS native features.

AWS integrator

The aws-integrator charm simplifies working with Charmed Kubernetes on AWS. Using the credentials provided to Juju, it acts as a proxy between Charmed Kubernetes and the underlying cloud, granting permissions to dynamically create, for example, EBS volumes.

AWS K8S Storage

The aws-k8s-storage charm moves the AWS specific functions of the EBS csi-driver out-of-tree. Using this charm, the drivers are installed as workloads in the Kubernetes cluster instead of as natural code paths of the Kubernetes binaries.

AWS Cloud Provider

The aws-cloud-provider moves the AWS specific functions of the cloud-provider out-of-tree. The AWS cloud provider provides the interface between a Kubernetes cluster and AWS service APIs. This project allows a Kubernetes cluster to provision, monitor and remove AWS resources necessary for operation of the cluster.

Version support

From Kubernetes 1.27

The in-tree cloud-provider is no longer available, and must be deployed as container workloads in the cluster. Charmed Kubernetes recommends using the aws-cloud-provider charm to access AWS Service APIs.

Prior to Kubernetes 1.27

The in-tree cloud-provider is natively available in Kubernetes until the 1.27 release, and it is not necessary to deploy the aws-cloud-provider charm as in the above overlay.


If you install Charmed Kubernetes using the Juju bundle, you can add the aws-integrator at the same time by using the following cloud-provider overlay file (download it here):

description: Charmed Kubernetes overlay to add native AWS support.
    charm: aws-integrator
    num_units: 1
    trust: true
    charm: aws-cloud-provider
  - ['aws-integrator', 'kubernetes-control-plane']
  - ['aws-integrator', 'kubernetes-worker']
  - ["aws-cloud-provider:certificates",            "easyrsa"]
  - ["aws-cloud-provider:kube-control",            "kubernetes-control-plane"]
  - ["aws-cloud-provider:external-cloud-provider", "kubernetes-control-plane"]
  - ["aws-cloud-provider:aws-integration",         "aws-integrator"]

As well as the storage overlay file (download it here):

description: Charmed Kubernetes overlay to add native AWS support.
      allow-privileged: "true"
    charm: aws-integrator
    num_units: 1
    trust: true
    charm: aws-k8s-storage
    trust: true
- ['aws-k8s-storage:certificates', 'easyrsa:client']
- ['aws-k8s-storage:kube-control', 'kubernetes-control-plane:kube-control']
- ['aws-k8s-storage:aws-integration', 'aws-integrator:aws']
# Include the following relations if not using the aws-cloud-provider charm
# - ['aws-integrator', 'kubernetes-control-plane']
# - ['aws-integrator', 'kubernetes-worker']

To use these overlays with the Charmed Kubernetes bundle, it is specified during deploy like this:

juju deploy charmed-kubernetes --overlay ~/path/aws-overlay.yaml --overlay ~/path/aws-storage-overlay.yaml --trust

... and remember to fetch the configuration file!

juju ssh kubernetes-control-plane/leader -- cat config > ~/.kube/config

For more configuration options and details of the permissions which the integrator uses, please see the charm readme.

Using EBS volumes

Many pods you may wish to deploy will require storage. Although you can use any type of storage supported by Kubernetes (see the storage documentation), you also have the option to use the native AWS storage, Elastic Block Store (EBS).

Beginning in Kubernetes 1.25

The aws-k8s-storage charm will need to be installed to make use of EBS Volumes. Amazon removed CSIMigration away from the in-tree binaries but made them available as container workload in the cluster. This charm installs and relates to the existing integrator charm.

A StorageClass will be created by this charm named csi-aws-ebs-default

You can confirm this has been added by running:

kubectl get sc

which should return:

csi-aws-ebs-default   Delete          WaitForFirstConsumer   false                  9s

Prior to Kubernetes 1.25

First we need to create a storage class which can be used by Kubernetes. To start with, we will create one for the 'General Purpose SSD' type of EBS storage:

kubectl create -f - <<EOY
kind: StorageClass
  name: ebs-gp2
  type: gp2

You can confirm this has been added by running:

kubectl get sc

which should return:

NAME      PROVISIONER             AGE
ebs-gp2   39s

You can create additional storage classes for the other types of EBS storage if needed, simply give them a different name and replace the 'type: gp2' with a different type (See the AWS website for more information on the available types).

Creating a PVC

To actually create storage using this new class, you can make a Persistent Volume Claim:

kubectl create -f - <<EOY
kind: PersistentVolumeClaim
apiVersion: v1
  name: testclaim
    - ReadWriteOnce
      storage: 100Mi
  storageClassName: ebs-gp2

This should finish with a confirmation. You can check the current PVCs with:

kubectl get pvc

...which should return something similar to:

NAME        STATUS   VOLUME                                     CAPACITY   ACCESS MODES   STORAGECLASS   AGE
testclaim   Bound    pvc-54a94dfa-3128-11e9-9c54-028fdae42a8c   1Gi        RWO            ebs-gp2        9s

This PVC can then be used by pods operating in the cluster. As an example, the following deploys a busybox pod:

kubectl create -f - <<EOY
apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
  name: busybox
  namespace: default
    - image: busybox
        - sleep
        - "3600"
      imagePullPolicy: IfNotPresent
      name: busybox
        - mountPath: "/pv"
          name: testvolume
  restartPolicy: Always
    - name: testvolume
        claimName: testclaim

If you create EBS volumes and subsequently tear down the cluster, check with the AWS console to make sure all the associated resources have also been released.

Using ELB Loadbalancers

With the aws-integrator charm in place, actions which invoke a loadbalancer in Kubernetes will automatically generate an AWS Elastic Load Balancer. This can be demonstrated with a simple application. Here we will create a simple application and scale it to five pods:

kubectl create deployment hello-world
kubectl scale deployment hello-world --replicas=5

You can verify that the application and replicas have been created with:

kubectl get deployments hello-world

Which should return output similar to:

hello-world      5/5               5                            5             2m38s

To create a LoadBalancer, the application should now be exposed as a service:

kubectl expose deployment hello-world --type=LoadBalancer --name=hello --port 8080

To check that the service is running correctly:

kubectl describe service hello

...which should return output similar to:

Name:                     hello
Namespace:                default
Labels:                   run=load-balancer-example
Annotations:              <none>
Selector:                 run=load-balancer-example
Type:                     LoadBalancer
LoadBalancer Ingress:
Port:                     <unset>  8080/TCP
TargetPort:               8080/TCP
NodePort:                 <unset>  31203/TCP
Endpoints:      ,, + 2 more...
Session Affinity:         None
External Traffic Policy:  Cluster
Events:                   <none>

You can see that the LoadBalancer Ingress is now associated with an ELB address in front of the five endpoints of the example deployment. Leaving a while for DNS propagation, you can test the ingress address:

Hello Kubernetes!

If you create ELBs and subsequently tear down the cluster, check with the AWS console to make sure all the associated resources have also been released.

Upgrading the charms

The charm aws-integrator, aws-cloud-provider and aws-k8s-storage can be refreshed within the current charm channel without concern and can be upgraded at any time with the following command,

juju refresh aws-integrator
juju refresh aws-cloud-provider
juju refresh aws-k8s-storage

It isn't recommended to switch charm channels unless a full charm upgrade is planned.


If you have any specific problems with the aws-integrator, you can report bugs on Launchpad.

The aws-integrator charm makes use of IAM accounts in AWS to perform actions, so useful information can be obtained from Amazon's CloudTrail, which logs such activity.

For logs of what the charm itself believes the world to look like, you can use Juju to replay the log history for that specific unit:

juju debug-log --replay --include aws-integrator/0

See also:

If you are an AWS user, you may also be interested in how to use AWS IAM for authorisation and authentication.

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