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ยท 10 min read
Paul Yu

Welcome to Day 3 of Week 3 of #CloudNativeNewYear!

The theme for this week is Bringing Your Application to Kubernetes. Yesterday we added configuration, secrets, and storage to our app. Today we'll explore how to expose the eShopOnWeb app so that customers can reach it over the internet using a custom domain name and TLS.

Ask the Experts Thursday, February 9th at 9 AM PST
Friday, February 10th at 11 AM PST

Watch the recorded demo and conversation about this week's topics.

We were live on YouTube walking through today's (and the rest of this week's) demos. Join us Friday, February 10th and bring your questions!

What We'll Coverโ€‹

  • Gather requirements
  • Generate TLS certificate and store in Azure Key Vault
  • Implement custom DNS using Azure DNS
  • Enable Web Application Routing add-on for AKS
  • Implement Ingress for the web application
  • Conclusion
  • Resources

Gather requirementsโ€‹

Currently, our eShopOnWeb app has three Kubernetes services deployed:

  1. db exposed internally via ClusterIP
  2. api exposed externally via LoadBalancer
  3. web exposed externally via LoadBalancer

As mentioned in my post last week, Services allow applications to communicate with each other using DNS names. Kubernetes has service discovery capabilities built-in that allows Pods to resolve Services simply by using their names.

In the case of our api and web deployments, they can simply reach the database by calling its name. The service type of ClusterIP for the db can remain as-is since it only needs to be accessed by the api and web apps.

On the other hand, api and web both need to be accessed over the public internet. Currently, these services are using service type LoadBalancer which tells AKS to provision an Azure Load Balancer with a public IP address. No one is going to remember the IP addresses, so we need to make the app more accessible by adding a custom domain name and securing it with a TLS certificate.

Here's what we're going to need:

  • Custom domain name for our app
  • TLS certificate for the custom domain name
  • Routing rule to ensure requests with /api/ in the URL is routed to the backend REST API
  • Routing rule to ensure requests without /api/ in the URL is routing to the web UI

Just like last week, we will use the Web Application Routing add-on for AKS. But this time, we'll integrate it with Azure DNS and Azure Key Vault to satisfy all of our requirements above.


At the time of this writing the add-on is still in Public Preview

Generate TLS certificate and store in Azure Key Vaultโ€‹

We deployed an Azure Key Vault yesterday to store secrets. We'll use it again to store a TLS certificate too.

Let's create and export a self-signed certificate for the custom domain.

openssl req -new -x509 -nodes -out web-tls.crt -keyout web-tls.key -subj "/CN=${DNS_NAME}" -addext "subjectAltName=DNS:${DNS_NAME}"
openssl pkcs12 -export -in web-tls.crt -inkey web-tls.key -out web-tls.pfx -password pass:

For learning purposes we'll use a self-signed certificate and a fake custom domain name.

To browse to the site using the fake domain, we'll mimic a DNS lookup by adding an entry to your host file which maps the public IP address assigned to the ingress controller to the custom domain.

In a production scenario, you will need to have a real domain delegated to Azure DNS and a valid TLS certificate for the domain.

Grab your Azure Key Vault name and set the value in a variable for later use.


AKV_NAME=$(az resource list \
--resource-group $RESOURCE_GROUP \
--resource-type Microsoft.KeyVault/vaults \
--query "[0].name" -o tsv)

Grant yourself permissions to get, list, and import certificates.

MY_USER_NAME=$(az account show --query -o tsv)
MY_USER_OBJECT_ID=$(az ad user show --id $MY_USER_NAME --query id -o tsv)

az keyvault set-policy \
--name $AKV_NAME \
--object-id $MY_USER_OBJECT_ID \
--certificate-permissions get list import

Upload the TLS certificate to Azure Key Vault and grab its certificate URI.

WEB_TLS_CERT_ID=$(az keyvault certificate import \
--vault-name $AKV_NAME \
--name web-tls \
--file web-tls.pfx \
--query id \
--output tsv)

Implement custom DNS with Azure DNSโ€‹

Create a custom domain for our application and grab its Azure resource id.

DNS_ZONE_ID=$(az network dns zone create \
--name $DNS_NAME \
--resource-group $RESOURCE_GROUP \
--query id \
--output tsv)

Enable Web Application Routing add-on for AKSโ€‹

As we enable the Web Application Routing add-on, we'll also pass in the Azure DNS Zone resource id which triggers the installation of the external-dns controller in your Kubernetes cluster. This controller will be able to write Azure DNS zone entries on your behalf as you deploy Ingress manifests.

AKS_NAME=$(az resource list \
--resource-group $RESOURCE_GROUP \
--resource-type Microsoft.ContainerService/managedClusters \
--query "[0].name" -o tsv)

az aks enable-addons \
--name $AKS_NAME \
--resource-group $RESOURCE_GROUP \
--addons web_application_routing \
--dns-zone-resource-id=$DNS_ZONE_ID \

The add-on will also deploy a new Azure Managed Identity which is used by the external-dns controller when writing Azure DNS zone entries. Currently, it does not have permission to do that, so let's grant it permission.

# This is where resources are automatically deployed by AKS
NODE_RESOURCE_GROUP=$(az aks show \
--name $AKS_NAME \
--resource-group $RESOURCE_GROUP \
--query nodeResourceGroup -o tsv)

# This is the managed identity created by the Web Application Routing add-on
MANAGED_IDENTTIY_OBJECT_ID=$(az resource show \
--name webapprouting-${AKS_NAME} \
--resource-group $NODE_RESOURCE_GROUP \
--resource-type Microsoft.ManagedIdentity/userAssignedIdentities \
--query properties.principalId \
--output tsv)

# Grant the managed identity permissions to write DNS entries
az role assignment create \
--role "DNS Zone Contributor" \
--scope $DNS_ZONE_ID

The Azure Managed Identity will also be used to retrieve and rotate TLS certificates from Azure Key Vault. So we'll need to grant it permission for that too.

az keyvault set-policy \
--name $AKV_NAME \
--secret-permissions get \
--certificate-permissions get

Implement Ingress for the web applicationโ€‹

Before we create a new Ingress manifest, let's update the existing services to use ClusterIP instead of LoadBalancer. With an Ingress in place, there is no reason why we need the Service resources to be accessible from outside the cluster. The new Ingress will be the only entrypoint for external users.

We can use the kubectl patch command to update the services

kubectl patch service api -p '{"spec": {"type": "ClusterIP"}}'
kubectl patch service web -p '{"spec": {"type": "ClusterIP"}}'

Deploy a new Ingress to place in front of the web Service. Notice there is a special annotations entry for which points back to our self-signed certificate that was uploaded to Azure Key Vault.

kubectl apply -f - <<EOF
kind: Ingress
annotations: ${WEB_TLS_CERT_ID}
name: web
- host: ${DNS_NAME}
- backend:
name: web
number: 80
path: /
pathType: Prefix
- backend:
name: api
number: 80
path: /api
pathType: Prefix
- hosts:
secretName: web-tls

In our manifest above, we've also configured the Ingress route the traffic to either the web or api services based on the URL path requested. If the request URL includes /api/ then it will send traffic to the api backend service. Otherwise, it will send traffic to the web service.

Within a few minutes, the external-dns controller will add an A record to Azure DNS which points to the Ingress resource's public IP. With the custom domain in place, we can simply browse using this domain name.


As mentioned above, since this is not a real domain name, we need to modify our host file to make it seem like our custom domain is resolving to the Ingress' public IP address.

To get the ingress public IP, run the following:

# Get the IP
kubectl get ingress web -o jsonpath="{.status.loadBalancer.ingress[0].ip}"

# Get the hostname
kubectl get ingress web -o jsonpath="{.spec.tls[0].hosts[0]}"

Next, open your host file and add an entry using the format <YOUR_PUBLIC_IP> <YOUR_CUSTOM_DOMAIN>. Below is an example of what it should look like.

See this doc for more info on how to do this.

When browsing to the website, you may be presented with a warning about the connection not being private. This is due to the fact that we are using a self-signed certificate. This is expected, so go ahead and proceed anyway to load up the page.

Why is the Admin page broken?โ€‹

If you log in using the account and browse to the Admin page, you'll notice no products are loaded on the page.

This is because the admin page is built using Blazor and compiled as a WebAssembly application that runs in your browser. When the application was compiled, it packed the appsettings.Development.json file as an embedded resource. This file contains the base URL for the public API and it currently points to https://localhost:5099. Now that we have a domain name, we can update the base URL and point it to our custom domain.

From the root of the eShopOnWeb repo, update the configuration file using a sed command.

sed -i -e "s/localhost:5099/${DNS_NAME}/g" ./src/BlazorAdmin/wwwroot/appsettings.Development.json

Rebuild and push the container to Azure Container Registry.

# Grab the name of your Azure Container Registry
ACR_NAME=$(az resource list \
--resource-group $RESOURCE_GROUP \
--resource-type Microsoft.ContainerRegistry/registries \
--query "[0].name" -o tsv)

# Invoke a build and publish job
az acr build \
--registry $ACR_NAME \
--image $ \
--file ./src/Web/Dockerfile .

Once the container build has completed, we can issue a kubectl patch command to quickly update the web deployment to test our change.

kubectl patch deployment web -p "$(cat <<EOF
"spec": {
"template": {
"spec": {
"containers": [
"name": "web",
"image": "${ACR_NAME}"

If all went well, you will be able to browse the admin page again and confirm product data is being loaded ๐Ÿฅณ


The Web Application Routing add-on for AKS aims to streamline the process of exposing it to the public using the open-source NGINX Ingress Controller. With the add-on being managed by Azure, it natively integrates with other Azure services like Azure DNS and eliminates the need to manually create DNS entries. It can also integrate with Azure Key Vault to automatically pull in TLS certificates and rotate them as needed to further reduce operational overhead.

We are one step closer to production and in the upcoming posts we'll further operationalize and secure our deployment, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, check out the resources listed below for further reading.

You can also find manifests with all the changes made in today's post in the Azure-Samples/eShopOnAKS repository.


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