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In OpenShift Container Platform 4.11, you can install a cluster on bare metal infrastructure that you provision in a restricted network.

While you might be able to follow this procedure to deploy a cluster on virtualized or cloud environments, you must be aware of additional considerations for non-bare metal platforms. Review the information in the guidelines for deploying OpenShift Container Platform on non-tested platforms before you attempt to install an OpenShift Container Platform cluster in such an environment.

Prerequisites

About installations in restricted networks

In OpenShift Container Platform 4.11, you can perform an installation that does not require an active connection to the internet to obtain software components. Restricted network installations can be completed using installer-provisioned infrastructure or user-provisioned infrastructure, depending on the cloud platform to which you are installing the cluster.

If you choose to perform a restricted network installation on a cloud platform, you still require access to its cloud APIs. Some cloud functions, like Amazon Web Service’s Route 53 DNS and IAM services, require internet access. Depending on your network, you might require less internet access for an installation on bare metal hardware or on VMware vSphere.

To complete a restricted network installation, you must create a registry that mirrors the contents of the OpenShift Container Platform registry and contains the installation media. You can create this registry on a mirror host, which can access both the internet and your closed network, or by using other methods that meet your restrictions.

Because of the complexity of the configuration for user-provisioned installations, consider completing a standard user-provisioned infrastructure installation before you attempt a restricted network installation using user-provisioned infrastructure. Completing this test installation might make it easier to isolate and troubleshoot any issues that might arise during your installation in a restricted network.

Additional limits

Clusters in restricted networks have the following additional limitations and restrictions:

  • The ClusterVersion status includes an Unable to retrieve available updates error.

  • By default, you cannot use the contents of the Developer Catalog because you cannot access the required image stream tags.

Internet access for OpenShift Container Platform

In OpenShift Container Platform 4.11, you require access to the internet to obtain the images that are necessary to install your cluster.

You must have internet access to:

  • Access OpenShift Cluster Manager Hybrid Cloud Console to download the installation program and perform subscription management. If the cluster has internet access and you do not disable Telemetry, that service automatically entitles your cluster.

  • Access Quay.io to obtain the packages that are required to install your cluster.

  • Obtain the packages that are required to perform cluster updates.

If your cluster cannot have direct internet access, you can perform a restricted network installation on some types of infrastructure that you provision. During that process, you download the required content and use it to populate a mirror registry with the installation packages. With some installation types, the environment that you install your cluster in will not require internet access. Before you update the cluster, you update the content of the mirror registry.

Requirements for a cluster with user-provisioned infrastructure

For a cluster that contains user-provisioned infrastructure, you must deploy all of the required machines.

This section describes the requirements for deploying OpenShift Container Platform on user-provisioned infrastructure.

Required machines for cluster installation

The smallest OpenShift Container Platform clusters require the following hosts:

Table 1. Minimum required hosts
Hosts Description

One temporary bootstrap machine

The cluster requires the bootstrap machine to deploy the OpenShift Container Platform cluster on the three control plane machines. You can remove the bootstrap machine after you install the cluster.

Three control plane machines

The control plane machines run the Kubernetes and OpenShift Container Platform services that form the control plane.

At least two compute machines, which are also known as worker machines.

The workloads requested by OpenShift Container Platform users run on the compute machines.

As an exception, you can run zero compute machines in a bare metal cluster that consists of three control plane machines only. This provides smaller, more resource efficient clusters for cluster administrators and developers to use for testing, development, and production. Running one compute machine is not supported.

To maintain high availability of your cluster, use separate physical hosts for these cluster machines.

The bootstrap and control plane machines must use Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS (RHCOS) as the operating system. However, the compute machines can choose between Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS (RHCOS), Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.4, or RHEL 8.5.

Note that RHCOS is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8 and inherits all of its hardware certifications and requirements. See Red Hat Enterprise Linux technology capabilities and limits.

Minimum resource requirements for cluster installation

Each cluster machine must meet the following minimum requirements:

Table 2. Minimum resource requirements
Machine Operating System CPU [1] RAM Storage IOPS [2]

Bootstrap

RHCOS

4

16 GB

100 GB

300

Control plane

RHCOS

4

16 GB

100 GB

300

Compute

RHCOS, RHEL 8.4, or RHEL 8.5 [3]

2

8 GB

100 GB

300

  1. One CPU is equivalent to one physical core when simultaneous multithreading (SMT), or hyperthreading, is not enabled. When enabled, use the following formula to calculate the corresponding ratio: (threads per core × cores) × sockets = CPUs.

  2. OpenShift Container Platform and Kubernetes are sensitive to disk performance, and faster storage is recommended, particularly for etcd on the control plane nodes which require a 10 ms p99 fsync duration. Note that on many cloud platforms, storage size and IOPS scale together, so you might need to over-allocate storage volume to obtain sufficient performance.

  3. As with all user-provisioned installations, if you choose to use RHEL compute machines in your cluster, you take responsibility for all operating system life cycle management and maintenance, including performing system updates, applying patches, and completing all other required tasks. Use of RHEL 7 compute machines is deprecated and has been removed in OpenShift Container Platform 4.10 and later.

If an instance type for your platform meets the minimum requirements for cluster machines, it is supported to use in OpenShift Container Platform.

Certificate signing requests management

Because your cluster has limited access to automatic machine management when you use infrastructure that you provision, you must provide a mechanism for approving cluster certificate signing requests (CSRs) after installation. The kube-controller-manager only approves the kubelet client CSRs. The machine-approver cannot guarantee the validity of a serving certificate that is requested by using kubelet credentials because it cannot confirm that the correct machine issued the request. You must determine and implement a method of verifying the validity of the kubelet serving certificate requests and approving them.

Additional resources

Networking requirements for user-provisioned infrastructure

All the Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS (RHCOS) machines require networking to be configured in initramfs during boot to fetch their Ignition config files.

During the initial boot, the machines require an IP address configuration that is set either through a DHCP server or statically by providing the required boot options. After a network connection is established, the machines download their Ignition config files from an HTTP or HTTPS server. The Ignition config files are then used to set the exact state of each machine. The Machine Config Operator completes more changes to the machines, such as the application of new certificates or keys, after installation.

It is recommended to use a DHCP server for long-term management of the cluster machines. Ensure that the DHCP server is configured to provide persistent IP addresses, DNS server information, and hostnames to the cluster machines.

If a DHCP service is not available for your user-provisioned infrastructure, you can instead provide the IP networking configuration and the address of the DNS server to the nodes at RHCOS install time. These can be passed as boot arguments if you are installing from an ISO image. See the Installing RHCOS and starting the OpenShift Container Platform bootstrap process section for more information about static IP provisioning and advanced networking options.

The Kubernetes API server must be able to resolve the node names of the cluster machines. If the API servers and worker nodes are in different zones, you can configure a default DNS search zone to allow the API server to resolve the node names. Another supported approach is to always refer to hosts by their fully-qualified domain names in both the node objects and all DNS requests.

Setting the cluster node hostnames through DHCP

On Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS (RHCOS) machines, the hostname is set through NetworkManager. By default, the machines obtain their hostname through DHCP. If the hostname is not provided by DHCP, set statically through kernel arguments, or another method, it is obtained through a reverse DNS lookup. Reverse DNS lookup occurs after the network has been initialized on a node and can take time to resolve. Other system services can start prior to this and detect the hostname as