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Deploy a Helm Chart

Helm Deployment Pipeline Basics

Helm is the de-facto package manager for Kubernetes; similarly to Homebrew on your Mac or Chocolatey on your Windows machine.

To leverage Helm, you do need a few pieces. The first would be a Kubernetes Cluster and then Helm Resources to deploy.

Overview

Harness does simplify this experience that you do not need to install a Helm Client on your machine to leverage Helm. There are several great Helm Chart Repositories out there, Bitnami being a great host to many Helm Charts. In this example, let’s wire a Bitnami Helm Chart into a Continuous Delivery Pipeline.

Getting Started with Harness Continuous Delivery to Deploy a Helm Chart

Getting started with Harness CD is simple, first if you do not have a Harness Account, you can sign up for free for Harness CD Account.

Once signed up, navigate to the Deployments icon on the left hand navigation and create your start your free forever CD Free Plan.

Start CD

Once you have clicked on “Start CD Free Plan”, a default Harness Project will be created for you automatically. Projects are logical groupings of resources. The generated default project is perfect for the first time deployment.

When navigating back to Deployments, can set the project context to the Default Project by clicking on the blue chevrons >> and selecting Default Project.

Default Project

With the Default Project selected, clicking on Overview will bring up a wizard to create your first Pipeline/Deployment.

New Pipeline

There are a few Harness Objects that will need to be created in Harness. Harness works on a concept of worker nodes called Harness Delegates. These Delegates can perform work on your behalf. One will need to be set up to deploy into a Kubernetes cluster. The second will be access to the Helm Chart Repository.

Install Delegate

Install Delegate

Install Delegate

What is a Delegate?

Harness Delegate is a lightweight worker process that is installed on your infrastructure and communicates only via outbound HTTP/HTTPS to the Harness Platform. This enables the Harness Platform to leverage the delegate for executing the CI/CD and other tasks on your behalf, without any of your secrets leaving your network.

You can install the Harness Delegate on either Docker or Kubernetes.

Install Delegate

Create New Delegate Token

Login to the Harness Platform and go to Account Settings -> Account Resources -> Delegates. Click on the Tokens tab. Click +New Token and give your token a name `firstdeltoken`. When you click Apply, a new token is generated for you. Click on the copy button to copy and store the token in a temporary file for now. You will provide this token as an input parameter in the next delegation installation step. The delegate will use this token to authenticate with the Harness Platform.

Get Your Harness Account ID

Along with the delegate token, you will also need to provde your Harness accountId as an input parameter to the delegate installation. This accountId is present in every Harness URL. For example, in the following URL

https://app.harness.io/ng/#/account/6_vVHzo9Qeu9fXvj-AcQCb/settings/overview

6_vVHzo9Qeu9fXvj-AcQCb is the accountId.

Now you are ready to install the delegate on either Docker or Kubernetes.

Prerequisite

Ensure that you have the Docker runtime installed on your host. If not, use one of the following options to install Docker:

Install on Docker

Now you can install the delegate using the following command.

docker run -d --name="firstdockerdel" --cpus="0.5" --memory="2g" \
-e DELEGATE_NAME=firstdockerdel \
-e NEXT_GEN=true \
-e DELEGATE_TYPE=DOCKER \
-e ACCOUNT_ID=PUT_YOUR_HARNESS_ACCOUNTID_HERE \
-e DELEGATE_TOKEN=PUT_YOUR_DELEGATE_TOKEN_HERE \
-e MANAGER_HOST_AND_PORT=PUT_YOUR_MANAGER_HOST_AND_PORT_HERE \
harness/delegate:22.11.77436

PUT_YOUR_MANAGER_HOST_AND_PORT_HERE should be replaced by the Harness Manager Endpoint noted below. For Harness SaaS accounts, you can find your Harness Cluster Location in the Account Overview page under Account Settings section of the left navigation. For Harness CDCE, the endpoint varies based on the Docker vs. Helm installation options.

Harness Cluster LocationHarness Manager Endpoint on Harness Cluster
SaaS prod-1https://app.harness.io
SaaS prod-2https://app.harness.io/gratis
SaaS prod-3https://app3.harness.io
CDCE Dockerhttp://<HARNESS_HOST> if Docker Delegate is remote to CDCE or http://host.docker.internal if Docker Delegate is on same host as CDCE
CDCE Helmhttp://<HARNESS_HOST>:7143 where HARNESS_HOST is the public IP of the Kubernetes node where CDCE Helm is running

Verify Docker Delegate Connectivity

Click Continue and in a few moments after the health checks pass, your Docker Delegate will be available for you to leverage. Click Done and can verify your new Delegate is on the list.

Delegate Available

You can now route communication to external systems in Harness connectors and pipelines by simply selecting this delegate via a delegate selector.

Creating Your First Harness Pipeline with Helm

With the Delegate install out of the way, you are now ready to create your first Harness Pipeline. You will be deploying a WildFly Helm Chart coming from a public Helm Chart Repository. The following steps will walk you through how to create a Pipeline with those resources.

  • Deployments -> Pipelines + Create new Pipeline
  • Name: helm-pipeline
  • Setup Pipeline: Inline

Inline Pipeline

Click Start and now can add a Pipeline Stage by clicking the +Add Stage icon.

Deploy Stage

Select Deploy as the Stage. Next name the stage “Deploy Wildfly” as a type Service.

Stage Name

Then click Set Up Stage.

The first step is to define the Service e.g the “what” you are deploying by clicking on + New Service

About Service

Name: my-wildfly-instance

Service Name

Once Saved, the next step is to point to Bitnami’s WildFly Helm Chart. In the Service Definition section, select Native Helm as the Deployment Type. Then you can wire in the Helm Chart Repository information in the Manifest section.

About Service

Click on + Add Manifest in the Manifests Section then select Helm Chart as the Manifest Type.

Manifest Type

Click Continue and then select HTTP Helm as the Helm Chart Store. Create a new HTTP Helm Repo to connect to Bitnami’s Helm Chart Repository by clicking + New HTTP Helm Repo Connector. Follow the wizard.

Repo URL

Click Continue and can specify which Harness Delegate you would want to run the Helm operations on. If using this example, can select “Use any available Delegate”.

Manifest Delegate

Click Save and Continue which will run through a Connection Test.

Now you can enter the Helm Chart information.

  • Manifest Name: wildfly
  • Chart Name: wildfly
  • Helm Version: Version 3

Helm Details

Click Submit, and the WildFly Helm Chart will be wired to your Harness Pipeline Stage.

Wired Manifest

With the Helm Chart wired in, now you can define the “where” or the target Kubernetes cluster to deploy your Helm Chart to.

Setting Your Deployment Target

With the “what” out of the way, the next two steps are the “where” and “how”. Click Continue after wiring in the Helm Chart, and you will be brought to the Infrastructure configuration.

Add Stage

The object being set up here is a Harness Environment; naming and saving the “where” you are deploying.

You can create a new Harness Environment via the wizard by clicking on + New Environment.

  • Name: my-k8s-environment
  • Environment Type: Pre-Production

New Environment

Click Save and now you are ready to wire in your Kubernetes cluster. Since your Delegate should be running in a Kubernetes cluster, you can create a reference to this cluster with a Cluster Connector.

Select “Direct Connection” Kubernetes then can fill out the Cluster Details with a New Connector.

Infra Defination

Click on Select Connector and then + New Connector

Once clicked on + New Connector, can give a name to your Kubernetes cluster.

Name: my-k8s-cluster

K8s Cluster Name

Click Continue and select “Use the credentials of a specific Harness Delegate” to connect.

Cluter Connect

Click Continue and select the Harness Delegate you installed into your Kubernetes Cluster e.g my-harness-delegate.

K8s Delegate

Click Save and Continue and a connectivity test will occur. Click Finish and you can enter a namespace that is available on the Kubernetes cluster.

  • Namespace: default

K8s Cluster Details

Click Continue and now you are ready to configure how you want your deployment to execute.

How Your Pipeline Deploys

Clicking Continue, you are now ready to configure the Execution Strategy or the “how” your Pipeline executes. For the example, a Rolling Deployment is simplest.

Deployment Strategy

Select “Rolling” then click on Use Strategy. Now you are ready to save this Pipeline and execute the Pipeline to create a deployment e.g a Helm Release.

Pre Run

Click Save and you are now ready to run your Pipeline executing the Helm Chart.

Your First Pipeline Execution with Helm

Executing your Pipeline is easy. Just click Run back in the Pipelines menu and you are on your way to a Helm Release.

Run Pipeline

Click Run Pipeline and your Pipeline will execute. In the “Install/Upgrade” section of the console output, you will see commands to visit your new Wildfly instance.

Helm Output

E.g.

kubectl get svc --namespace default release-6b428c463af2c7ed8766defc9ac7c844a02c7385-wildfly

Head to the External-IP and check out your new Helm Release.

External IP

Heading to http://34.123.210.140

Wildfly

Congratulations on your first Harness Helm Deployment [release]!