Preview - Greenfield Deployment (Windows Cluster)

The instructions below assume Application Gateway Ingress Controller (AGIC) will be installed in an environment with no pre-existing components.

Required Command Line Tools

We recommend the use of Azure Cloud Shell for all command line operations below. Launch your shell from or by clicking the link:

Embed launch

Alternatively, launch Cloud Shell from Azure portal using the following icon:

Portal launch

Your Azure Cloud Shell already has all necessary tools. Should you choose to use another environment, please ensure the following command line tools are installed:

  1. az - Azure CLI: installation instructions
  2. kubectl - Kubernetes command-line tool: installation instructions
  3. helm - Kubernetes package manager: installation instructions
  4. jq - command-line JSON processor: installation instructions

Enable you Subscription to support preview features for Kubernetes

Here are the steps to install aks-preview CLI and register Windows preview feature.

[!IMPORTANT] AKS preview features are self-service opt-in. Previews are provided "as-is" and "as available" and are excluded from the service level agreements and limited warranty. AKS Previews are partially covered by customer support on best effort basis. As such, these features are not meant for production use. For additional information, please see the following support articles:

  • [AKS Support Policies][aks-support-policies]
  • [Azure Support FAQ][aks-faq]

Install aks-preview CLI extension

To use Windows Server containers, you need the aks-preview CLI extension version 0.4.12 or higher. Install the aks-preview Azure CLI extension using the [az extension add][az-extension-add] command, then check for any available updates using the [az extension update][az-extension-update] command::

# Install the aks-preview extension
az extension add --name aks-preview

# Update the extension to make sure you have the latest version installed
az extension update --name aks-preview

Register Windows preview feature

To create an AKS cluster that can use multiple node pools and run Windows Server containers, first enable the WindowsPreview feature flags on your subscription. The WindowsPreview feature also uses multi-node pool clusters and virtual machine scale set to manage the deployment and configuration of the Kubernetes nodes. Register the WindowsPreview feature flag using the [az feature register][az-feature-register] command as shown in the following example:

az feature register --name WindowsPreview --namespace Microsoft.ContainerService

[!NOTE] Any AKS cluster you create after you've successfully registered the WindowsPreview feature flag use this preview cluster experience. To continue to create regular, fully-supported clusters, don't enable preview features on production subscriptions. Use a separate test or development Azure subscription for testing preview features.

It takes a few minutes for the registration to complete. Check on the registration status using the [az feature list][az-feature-list] command:

az feature list -o table --query "[?contains(name, 'Microsoft.ContainerService/WindowsPreview')].{Name:name,State:properties.state}"

When the registration state is Registered, press Ctrl-C to stop monitoring the state. Then refresh the registration of the Microsoft.ContainerService resource provider using the [az provider register][az-provider-register] command:

az provider register --namespace Microsoft.ContainerService


The following limitations apply when you create and manage AKS clusters that support multiple node pools:

  • You can't delete the first node pool.

While this feature is in preview, the following additional limitations apply:

  • The AKS cluster can have a maximum of eight node pools.
  • The AKS cluster can have a maximum of 400 nodes across those eight node pools.
  • The Windows Server node pool name has a limit of 6 characters.

Create an Identity

Follow the steps below to create an Azure Active Directory (AAD) service principal object. Please record the appId, password, and objectId values - these will be used in the following steps.

  1. Create AD service principal (Read more about RBAC). Paste the following lines in your Azure Cloud Shell:

    az ad sp create-for-rbac --skip-assignment -o json > auth.json
    appId=$(jq -r ".appId" auth.json)
    password=$(jq -r ".password" auth.json)

    These commands will create appId and password bash variables, which will be used in the steps below. You can view the value of these with echo $appId and echo $password.

  2. Execute the next command in Cloud Shell to create the objectId bash variable, which is the new Service Principal:

    objectId=$(az ad sp show --id $appId --query "objectId" -o tsv)

    The objectId bash variable will be used in the ARM template below. View the value with echo $objectId.

  3. Paste the entire command below (it is a single command on multiple lines) in Cloud Shell to create the parameters.json file. It will be used in the ARM template deployment.

    cat <<EOF > parameters.json
      "aksServicePrincipalAppId": { "value": "$appId" },
      "aksServicePrincipalClientSecret": { "value": "$password" },
      "aksServicePrincipalObjectId": { "value": "$objectId" },
      "aksEnableRBAC": { "value": false }

    To deploy an RBAC enabled cluster, set the aksEnabledRBAC field to true. View the contents of the newly created file with cat parameters.json. It will contain the values of the appId, password, and objectId bash variables from the previous steps.

Deploy Components

The next few steps will add the following list of components to your Azure subscription:

  • Azure Kubernetes Service
  • Application Gateway v2
  • Virtual Network with 2 subnets
  • Public IP Address
  • Managed Identity, which will be used by AAD Pod Identity

  • Download the ARM template into template.json file. Paste the following in your shell:

    wget -O template.json
  • Deploy the ARM template via Azure Cloud Shell and the az tool. Modify the name of the resource group and region/location, then paste each of the following lines into your shell:

    az group create -n $resourceGroupName -l $location
    az group deployment create -g $resourceGroupName -n $deploymentName --template-file template.json --parameters parameters.json

    Note: The last command may take a few minutes to complete.

  • Once the deployment finished, download the deployment output into a file named deployment-outputs.json.

    az group deployment show -g $resourceGroupName -n $deploymentName --query "properties.outputs" -o json > deployment-outputs.json

    View the content of the newly created file with: cat deployment-outputs.json. The file will have the following shape (example):

      "aksApiServerAddress": {
        "type": "String",
        "value": ""
      "aksClusterName": {
        "type": "String",
        "value": "aksabcd"
      "applicationGatewayName": {
        "type": "String",
        "value": "applicationgatewayabcd"
      "identityClientId": {
        "type": "String",
        "value": "7b1a3378-8abe-ab58-cca9-a8ef624db293"
      "identityResourceId": {
        "type": "String",
        "value": "/subscriptions/a6466a81-bf0d-147e-2acb-a0ba50f6456e/resourceGroups/MyResourceGroup/providers/Microsoft.ManagedIdentity/userAssignedIdentities/appgwContrIdentityabcd"
      "resourceGroupName": {
        "type": "String",
        "value": "MyResourceGroup"
      "subscriptionId": {
        "type": "String",
        "value": "a6466a81-bf0d-147e-2acb-a0ba50f6456e"

Set up Application Gateway Ingress Controller

With the instructions in the previous section we created and configured a new AKS cluster and an App Gateway. We are now ready to deploy a sample app and an ingress controller to our new Kubernetes infrastructure.

Setup Kubernetes Credentials

For the following steps we need setup kubectl command, which we will use to connect to our new Kubernetes cluster. Cloud Shell has kubectl already installed. We will use az CLI to obtain credentials for Kubernetes.

Get credentials for your newly deployed AKS (read more):

# use the deployment-outputs.json created after deployment to get the cluster name and resource group name
aksClusterName=$(jq -r ".aksClusterName.value" deployment-outputs.json)
resourceGroupName=$(jq -r ".resourceGroupName.value" deployment-outputs.json)

az aks get-credentials --resource-group $resourceGroupName --name $aksClusterName

Install AAD Pod Identity

Azure Active Directory Pod Identity provides token-based access to Azure Resource Manager (ARM).

AAD Pod Identity will add the following components to your Kubernetes cluster:

  1. Kubernetes CRDs: AzureIdentity, AzureAssignedIdentity, AzureIdentityBinding
  2. Managed Identity Controller (MIC) component
  3. Node Managed Identity (NMI) component

To install AAD Pod Identity to your cluster:

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

Install Helm

Helm is a package manager for Kubernetes. This document will use version 3 of helm, which is not backwards compatible with previous versions.

  1. Add the AGIC Helm repository:

    helm repo add application-gateway-kubernetes-ingress
    helm repo update

Install Ingress Controller Helm Chart

  1. Use the deployment-outputs.json file created above and create the following variables.
    applicationGatewayName=$(jq -r ".applicationGatewayName.value" deployment-outputs.json)
    resourceGroupName=$(jq -r ".resourceGroupName.value" deployment-outputs.json)
    subscriptionId=$(jq -r ".subscriptionId.value" deployment-outputs.json)
    identityClientId=$(jq -r ".identityClientId.value" deployment-outputs.json)
    identityResourceId=$(jq -r ".identityResourceId.value" deployment-outputs.json)
  2. Download helm-config.yaml, which will configure AGIC:

    wget -O helm-config.yaml

  3. Edit the newly downloaded helm-config.yaml and fill out the sections appgw and armAuth.

    sed -i "s|<subscriptionId>|${subscriptionId}|g" helm-config.yaml
    sed -i "s|<resourceGroupName>|${resourceGroupName}|g" helm-config.yaml
    sed -i "s|<applicationGatewayName>|${applicationGatewayName}|g" helm-config.yaml
    sed -i "s|<identityResourceId>|${identityResourceId}|g" helm-config.yaml
    sed -i "s|<identityClientId>|${identityClientId}|g" helm-config.yaml
    # You can further modify the helm config to enable/disable features
    nano helm-config.yaml

Values: - verbosityLevel: Sets the verbosity level of the AGIC logging infrastructure. See Logging Levels for possible values. - appgw.subscriptionId: The Azure Subscription ID in which App Gateway resides. Example: a123b234-a3b4-557d-b2df-a0bc12de1234 - appgw.resourceGroup: Name of the Azure Resource Group in which App Gateway was created. Example: app-gw-resource-group - Name of the Application Gateway. Example: applicationgatewayd0f0 - appgw.usePrivateIP: The boolean flag if all Ingresses are exposed over Private IP. Set to false should you use an Application Gateway v2 SKU - appgw.shared: This boolean flag should be defaulted to false. Set to true should you need a Shared App Gateway. - kubernetes.watchNamespace: Specify the name space, which AGIC should watch. This could be a single string value, or a comma-separated list of namespaces. - armAuth.type: could be aadPodIdentity or servicePrincipal - armAuth.identityResourceID: Resource ID of the Azure Managed Identity - armAuth.identityClientId: The Client ID of the Identity. See below for more information on Identity - armAuth.secretJSON: Only needed when Service Principal Secret type is chosen (when armAuth.type has been set to servicePrincipal) - rbac.enabled: Make sure to set this to true if you have a AKS cluster that is RBAC enabled.

Note on Identity: The identityResourceID and identityClientID are values that were created during the Create an Identity steps, and could be obtained again using the following command:

az identity show -g <resource-group> -n <identity-name>
  • <resource-group> in the command above is the resource group of your App Gateway.
  • <identity-name> is the name of the created identity. All identities for a given subscription can be listed using: az identity list

  • Install the Application Gateway ingress controller package:

    helm install ingress-azure \
      -f helm-config.yaml \
      application-gateway-kubernetes-ingress/ingress-azure \
      --set nodeSelector."beta\.kubernetes\.io/os"=linux \
      --version 1.4.0

    Note: Use at least version 1.4.0, i.e. --version 1.4.0, when installing on k8s version >= 1.16. Kubernetes >= 1.22 requires version 1.5.0 (or higher).

Install a Sample App

Now that we have App Gateway, AKS, and AGIC installed we can install a sample app via Azure Cloud Shell:

cat <<EOF | kubectl apply -f -
apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
  name: aspnetapp
    app: aspnetapp
    "": windows
  - image: ""
    name: aspnetapp-image
    - containerPort: 80
      protocol: TCP


apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
  name: aspnetapp
    app: aspnetapp
  - protocol: TCP
    port: 80
    targetPort: 80


kind: Ingress
  name: aspnetapp
  annotations: azure/application-gateway
  - http:
      - path: /
            name: aspnetapp
              number: 80
        pathType: Exact

Alternatively you can:

  1. Download the YAML file above:
curl -o aspnetapp.yaml
  1. Apply the YAML file:
kubectl apply -f aspnetapp.yaml

Other Examples

The tutorials document contains more examples on how to expose an AKS service via HTTP or HTTPS, to the Internet with App Gateway.