# Kubernetes Install
This version of the FlowForge platform is intended for running in the Kubernetes (sometimes referred to as K8s) Container management system. Typically suited for large on premise deployments or deployment in Cloud infrastructure.
To manage a Kubernetes cluster you will need a copy of the
kubectl utility. Instructions on
how to install it can be found here.
FlowForge uses a Helm Chart to manage deployment. Installation can be done through the instructions on their website.
You will need a Kubernetes environment. The deployment has currently been tested on the following environments:
It should run on any Kubernetes platform, but may require some changes for vendor specific Ingress setup.
By default the Helm chart assumes that the Kubernetes cluster has at least 2 nodes:
- One used to run the FlowForge management infrastructure
- One or more used to run the Node-RED Project instances
You can run a small scale Proof-of-Concept on a single node cluster, details of how to do this can be found in the Configure FlowForge section below.
# PostgreSQL Database
The Helm chart can either install a dedicated PostgreSQL database into the same K8s cluster or can configure the install to use an external instance.
A wildcard DNS entry will be needed to point to the domain that is used for the project instances. This will need to point to the K8s Ingress controller.
For example if you want projects to be access able as [project-name].example.com
you will need to ensure that
*.example.com is mapped to the IP address used by
your Kubernetes clusters's Ingress controller.
By default the FlowForge application will be mapped to
that you set the domain to
Notes on how to setup DNS can be found here.
Some features require the ability to send email to users. This can be currently be provided by:
- SMTP server
- AWS SES
# Installing FlowForge
helm repo add flowforge https://flowforge.github.io/helm`
helm repo update
# Configure FlowForge
All the initial configuration is handled by the Helm chart. This is done by creating a
customization.yml file in the
helm directory that will be passed to the helm along with the chart.
This is the minimal configuration
When running on AWS EKS and using AWS SES for email (The IAMRole needs to have the required permissions to use SES) it would look something like:
A more detailed example for running on AWS can be found here
As mentioned earlier the Helm chart defaults to expecting at least 2 nodes in the Kubernetes cluster.
You will need to label at least one node to run the management application and one to run the Node-RED Projects.
You can do this with the
kubectl utility. The following command lists
all the nodes in the cluster
kubectl get nodes
You can then use
kubectl label node to add the required labels:
FlowForge management node(s)
kubectl label node <management node name> role=management
Node-RED projects node(s)
kubectl label node <projects node name> role=projects
To override this you can remove the node selectors with the following which will mean that all pods can run on any nodes.
A full list of all the configurable values can be found in the Helm Chart README.
The install can then be started with the following command:
helm upgrade --atomic --install flowforge flowforge/flowforge -f customization.yml
# Enabling the MQTT broker
To enable the MQTT broker with Kubernetes install you need to add the following to the
forge.broker.public_url value will be generated by prepending
ws://mqtt to the supplied
# First Run Setup
The first time you access the platform in your browser, it will take you through creating an administrator for the platform and other configuration options.
For more information, follow this guide.
Once you have finished setting up the admin user there are some Kubernetes specific items to consider.
# Using FlowForge File Storage
FlowForge projects running in Kubernetes do not have direct access to a persistent file system to store files or use for storing context data.
FlowForge includes a File Storage service that can be enabled to provide persistent storage.
# Disabling the default File nodes
To remove the default Node-RED file nodes from the palette:
- Edit the Project Template to add
10-file.js,23-watch.jsto the "Exclude nodes by filename" section
# Configuring the File Storage service
Full details on configuring the file storage service are available here.
# Enabling the File Storage service
To enable the FlowForge File Storage component add the following to the
- Download and unpack the latest version of the helm chart zip.
- Check the README.md for any new options to configure in
- Run the
helm upgrade --install flowforge flowforge -f customization.yml