Brownfield Deployment

The App Gateway Ingress Controller (AGIC) is a pod within your Kubernetes cluster. AGIC monitors the Kubernetes Ingress resources, and creates and applies App Gateway config based on these.



This documents assumes you already have the following tools and infrastructure installed: - AKS with Advanced Networking enabled - App Gateway v2 in the same virtual network as AKS - AAD Pod Identity installed on your AKS cluster - Cloud Shell is the Azure shell environment, which has az CLI, kubectl, and helm installed. These tools are required for the commands below.

Please backup your App Gateway's configuration before installing AGIC: 1. using Azure Portal navigate to your App Gateway instance 2. from Export template click Download

The zip file you downloaded will have JSON templates, bash, and PowerShell scripts you could use to restore App Gateway should that become necessary

Install Helm

Helm is a package manager for Kubernetes. We will leverage it to install the application-gateway-kubernetes-ingress package. Use Cloud Shell to install Helm:

  1. Add the AGIC Helm repository:
    helm repo add application-gateway-kubernetes-ingress
    helm repo update

Azure Resource Manager Authentication

AGIC communicates with the Kubernetes API server and the Azure Resource Manager. It requires an identity to access these APIs.

Set up AAD Pod Identity

AAD Pod Identity is a controller, similar to AGIC, which also runs on your AKS. It binds Azure Active Directory identities to your Kubernetes pods. Identity is required for an application in a Kubernetes pod to be able to communicate with other Azure components. In the particular case here we need authorization for the AGIC pod to make HTTP requests to ARM.

To install AAD Pod Identity to your cluster:

  • RBAC enabled AKS cluster
kubectl apply -f
  • RBAC disabled AKS cluster
kubectl apply -f

Next we need to create an Azure identity and give it permissions to ARM. This identity will be used by AGIC to perform updates on the Application Gateway. Use Cloud Shell to run all of the following commands and create an identity:

  1. Create a User assigned identity. This identity can be created in any resource group as long as permissions are set correctly. In following steps, we will create the identity in the same resource group as the AKS cluster.

    az identity create -g $resourceGroup -n $identityName
  2. For the role assignment commands below we need to obtain identityId and clientId for the newly created identity:

    identityClientId=$(az identity show -g $resourceGroup -n $identityName -o tsv --query "clientId")
    identityId=$(az identity show -g $resourceGroup -n $identityName -o tsv --query "id")
  3. Give AGIC's identity Contributor access to you App Gateway. For this you need the ID of the App Gateway, which will look something like this: /subscriptions/A/resourceGroups/B/providers/Microsoft.Network/applicationGateways/C

    Get the list of App Gateway IDs in your subscription with: az network application-gateway list --query '[].id'

    az role assignment create \
        --role "Contributor" \
        --assignee $identityClientId \
        --scope <App-Gateway-ID>
  4. Give AGIC's identity Reader access to the App Gateway resource group. The resource group ID would look like: /subscriptions/A/resourceGroups/B. You can get all resource groups with: az group list --query '[].id'

    az role assignment create \
        --role "Reader" \
        --assignee $identityClientId \
        --scope <App-Gateway-Resource-Group-ID>

Note: There are additional role assignment required if you wish to assign user-assigned identities that are NOT within AKS cluster resource group. You can run the following command to assign the Managed Identity Operator role with the identity resource Id.

clusterClientId=$(az aks show -g $resourceGroup -n $aksName -o tsv --query "servicePrincipalProfile.clientId")

az role assignment create \
  --role "Managed Identity Operator" \
  --assignee $clusterClientId \
  --scope $identityId

Using a Service Principal

It is also possible to provide AGIC access to ARM via a Kubernetes secret.

  1. Create an Active Directory Service Principal and encode with base64. The base64 encoding is required for the JSON blob to be saved to Kubernetes.
az ad sp create-for-rbac --sdk-auth | base64 -w0
  1. Add the base64 encoded JSON blob to the helm-config.yaml file. More information on helm-config.yaml is in the next section.
        type: servicePrincipal
        secretJSON: <Base64-Encoded-Credentials>

Install Ingress Controller as a Helm Chart

You can use Cloud Shell to install the AGIC Helm package:

  1. Add the application-gateway-kubernetes-ingress helm repo and perform a helm update

    helm repo add application-gateway-kubernetes-ingress
    helm repo update
  2. Download helm-config.yaml, which will configure AGIC:

    wget -O helm-config.yaml

  3. Edit helm-config.yaml and fill in the values for appgw and armAuth.

    nano helm-config.yaml

    NOTE: The <identityResourceId> and <identityClientId> are the properties of the Azure AD Identity you setup in the previous section. You can retrieve this information by running the following command: az identity show -g <resourcegroup> -n <identity-name>, where <resourcegroup> is the resource group in which the top level AKS cluster object, Application Gateway and Managed Identify are deployed.

  4. Install Helm chart application-gateway-kubernetes-ingress with the helm-config.yaml configuration from the previous step

    helm install ingress-azure \
      -f helm-config.yaml \
      application-gateway-kubernetes-ingress/ingress-azure \
      --version 1.3.0

    Note: Use at least version 1.2.0-rc3, e.g. --version 1.2.0-rc3, when installing on k8s version >= 1.16

    Alternatively you can combine the helm-config.yaml and the Helm command in one step:

    helm install ingress-azure application-gateway-kubernetes-ingress/ingress-azure \
         --namespace default \
         --debug \
         --set \
         --set appgw.resourceGroup=your-resource-group \
         --set appgw.subscriptionId=subscription-uuid \
         --set appgw.usePrivateIP=false \
         --set appgw.shared=false \
         --set armAuth.type=servicePrincipal \
         --set armAuth.secretJSON=$(az ad sp create-for-rbac --sdk-auth | base64 -w0) \
         --set rbac.enabled=true \
         --set verbosityLevel=3 \
         --set kubernetes.watchNamespace=default \
         --version 1.3.0

    Note: Use at least version 1.2.0-rc3, e.g. --version 1.2.0-rc3, when installing on k8s version >= 1.16

  5. Check the log of the newly created pod to verify if it started properly

Refer to the tutorials to understand how you can expose an AKS service over HTTP or HTTPS, to the internet, using an Azure App Gateway.

Multi-cluster / Shared App Gateway

By default AGIC assumes full ownership of the App Gateway it is linked to. AGIC version 0.8.0 and later can share a single App Gateway with other Azure components. For instance, we could use the same App Gateway for an app hosted on VMSS as well as an AKS cluster.

Please backup your App Gateway's configuration before enabling this setting: 1. using Azure Portal navigate to your App Gateway instance 2. from Export template click Download

The zip file you downloaded will have JSON templates, bash, and PowerShell scripts you could use to restore App Gateway

Example Scenario

Let's look at an imaginary App Gateway, which manages traffic for 2 web sites: - - hosted on a new AKS, using App Gateway and AGIC - - hosted on an Azure VMSS

With default settings, AGIC assumes 100% ownership of the App Gateway it is pointed to. AGIC overwrites all of App Gateway's configuration. If we were to manually create a listener for (on App Gateway), without defining it in the Kubernetes Ingress, AGIC will delete the config within seconds.

To install AGIC and also serve from our VMSS machines, we must constrain AGIC to configuring only. This is facilitated by instantiating the following CRD:

cat <<EOF | kubectl apply -f -
apiVersion: ""
kind: AzureIngressProhibitedTarget
  name: prod-contoso-com

The command above creates an AzureIngressProhibitedTarget object. This makes AGIC (version 0.8.0 and later) aware of the existence of App Gateway config for and explicitly instructs it to avoid changing any configuration related to that hostname.

Enable with new AGIC installation

To limit AGIC (version 0.8.0 and later) to a subset of the App Gateway configuration modify the helm-config.yaml template. Under the appgw: section, add shared key and set it to to true.

    subscriptionId: <subscriptionId>    # existing field
    resourceGroup: <resourceGroupName>  # existing field
    name: <applicationGatewayName>      # existing field
    shared: true                        # <<<<< Add this field to enable shared App Gateway >>>>>

Apply the Helm changes: 1. Ensure the AzureIngressProhibitedTarget CRD is installed with:

kubectl apply -f
2. Update Helm:
helm upgrade \
    --recreate-pods \
    -f helm-config.yaml \
    ingress-azure application-gateway-kubernetes-ingress/ingress-azure

As a result your AKS will have a new instance of AzureIngressProhibitedTarget called prohibit-all-targets:

kubectl get AzureIngressProhibitedTargets prohibit-all-targets -o yaml

The object prohibit-all-targets, as the name implies, prohibits AGIC from changing config for any host and path. Helm install with appgw.shared=true will deploy AGIC, but will not make any changes to App Gateway.

Broaden permissions

Since Helm with appgw.shared=true and the default prohibit-all-targets blocks AGIC from applying any config.

Broaden AGIC permissions with: 1. Create a new AzureIngressProhibitedTarget with your specific setup:

cat <<EOF | kubectl apply -f -
apiVersion: ""
kind: AzureIngressProhibitedTarget
  name: your-custom-prohibitions
NOTE: To prohibit AGIC from making changes, in addition to hostname, a list of URL paths can also be configured as part of your prohibited policy, please refer to the schema for details.

  1. Only after you have created your own custom prohibition, you can delete the default one, which is too broad:

    kubectl delete AzureIngressProhibitedTarget prohibit-all-targets

Enable for an existing AGIC installation

Let's assume that we already have a working AKS, App Gateway, and configured AGIC in our cluster. We have an Ingress for and are successfully serving traffic for it from AKS. We want to add to our existing App Gateway, but need to host it on a VM. We are going to re-use the existing App Gateway and manually configure a listener and backend pools for But manually tweaking App Gateway config (via portal, ARM APIs or Terraform) would conflict with AGIC's assumptions of full ownership. Shortly after we apply changes, AGIC will overwrite or delete them.

We can prohibit AGIC from making changes to a subset of configuration.

  1. Create an AzureIngressProhibitedTarget object:

    cat <<EOF | kubectl apply -f -
    apiVersion: ""
    kind: AzureIngressProhibitedTarget
      name: manually-configured-staging-environment

  2. View the newly created object:

    kubectl get AzureIngressProhibitedTargets

  3. Modify App Gateway config via portal - add listeners, routing rules, backends etc. The new object we created (manually-configured-staging-environment) will prohibit AGIC from overwriting App Gateway configuration related to