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Monolith setup using AKS infrastructure
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Monolith setup using AKS infrastructure

This guide will help you to setup ThingsBoard in monolith mode in Azure AKS.

Prerequisites

Install and configure tools

To deploy ThingsBoard on EKS cluster you’ll need to install kubectl, az tools.

After installation is done you need to login in cli using az login command.

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az login

Step 1. Clone ThingsBoard CE K8S scripts repository

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git clone -b release-3.4.1 https://github.com/thingsboard/thingsboard-ce-k8s.git
cd thingsboard-ce-k8s/azure/monolith

Step 2. Define environment variables

Define environment variables that you will use in various commands later in this guide.

We assume you are using Linux. Execute the following command:

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export AKS_RESOURCE_GROUP=ThingsBoardResources
export AKS_LOCATION=eastus
export AKS_GATEWAY=tb-gateway
export TB_CLUSTER_NAME=tb-cluster
export TB_DATABASE_NAME=tb-db
export TB_REDIS_NAME=tb-redis
echo "You variables ready to create resource group $AKS_RESOURCE_GROUP in location $AKS_LOCATION 
and cluster in it $TB_CLUSTER_NAME with database $TB_DATABASE_NAME"

where:

  • myResourceGroup - a logical group in which Azure resources are deployed and managed. We will refer to it later in this guide using AKS_RESOURCE_GROUP ;
  • eastus - is location where you want to create resource group. We will refer to it later in this guide using AKS_LOCATION; You can see all locations list executing az account list-locations;
  • tb-gateway - the name of Azure application gateway;
  • tb-cluster - cluster name. We will refer to it later in this guide using TB_CLUSTER_NAME ;
  • tb-db is the name of your database server. You may input a different name. We will refer to it later in this guide using TB_DATABASE_NAME;

Step 3. Configure and create AKS cluster

Before creation AKS cluster we need to create Azure Resource Group, we will use Azure CLI for this

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az group create --name $AKS_RESOURCE_GROUP --location $AKS_LOCATION

To see more info about az group please you can use this.

After we created Resource group we can create AKS cluster in it using:

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az aks create --resource-group $AKS_RESOURCE_GROUP \
    --name $TB_CLUSTER_NAME \
    --generate-ssh-keys \
    --enable-addons ingress-appgw \
    --appgw-name $AKS_GATEWAY \
    --appgw-subnet-cidr "10.2.0.0/16" \
    --node-vm-size Standard_DS3_v2 \
    --node-count 1

az aks create has two required parameters - name and resource-group(we use variable that we set earlier) and a lot not required parameters(will use defaults values) few of them are:

  • node-count - Number of nodes in the Kubernetes node pool. After creating a cluster, you can change the size of its node pool with az aks scale (default value is 3);
  • enable-addons - Enable the Kubernetes addons in a comma-separated list (use az aks addon list to get avaliable addons list );
  • node-osdisk-size - OS disk type to be used for machines in a given agent pool: Ephemeral or Managed. Defaults to ‘Ephemeral’ when possible in conjunction with VM size and OS disk size. May not be changed for this pool after creation;
  • node-vm-size (or -s) - Size of Virtual Machines to create as Kubernetes nodes (default value is Standard_DS2_v2);
  • generate-ssh-keys - Generate SSH public and private key files if missing. The keys will be stored in the ~/.ssh directory.

From the command above we add AKS addon for ApplicationGateway. We will use this gateway as Path-Based Load Balancer for Thingsboard Infrastructure

Full list af az aks create options you can see here

Alternatively, you may use this guide for custom cluster setup.

Step 4. Update the context of kubectl

When claster created we can connect kubectl to it using

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az aks get-credentials --resource-group $AKS_RESOURCE_GROUP --name $TB_CLUSTER_NAME

Fot validation you can execute command

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kubectl get nodes

You should see cluster`s nodes list

Step 5. Provision Databases

5.1. Create Azure Database for PostgreSQL servers

You’ll need to set up PostgreSQL on Azure. ThingsBoard will use it as a main database to store devices, dashboards, rule chains and device telemetry.

You may follow this guide, but take into account the following requirements:

  • Keep your postgresql password in a safe place. We will refer to it later in this guide using YOUR_RDS_PASSWORD;
  • Make sure your Azure Database for PostgreSQL version is latest 12.x, not 13.x yet;
  • Make sure your Azure Database for PostgreSQL instance is accessible from the ThingsBoard cluster;
  • Make sure you use “thingsboard” as initial database name;

and recomendations:

  • Use “High availability” enabled. It enables a lot of useful settings by default;

Another way by which you can create Azure Database for PostgreSQL is use az tool (don’t forget to replace ‘POSTGRESS_USER’ and ‘POSTGRESS_PASS’ with your username and password):

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az postgres flexible-server create --location $AKS_LOCATION --resource-group $AKS_RESOURCE_GROUP \
  --name $TB_DATABASE_NAME --admin-user POSTGRESS_USER --admin-password POSTGRESS_PASS \
  --public-access 0.0.0.0 --storage-size 32 \
  --version 12 -d thingsboard

az postgres flexible-server create has a lot of parameters few of them are:

  • location - Location. Values from: az account list-locations;
  • resource-group (or -g) - Name of resource group;
  • name - Name of the server. The name can contain only lowercase letters, numbers, and the hyphen (-) character. Minimum 3 characters and maximum 63 characters;
  • admin-user - Administrator username for the server. Once set, it cannot be changed;
  • admin-password - The password of the administrator. Minimum 8 characters and maximum 128 characters. Password must contain characters from three of the following categories: English uppercase letters, English lowercase letters, numbers, and non-alphanumeric characters;
  • public-access - Determines the public access. Enter single or range of IP addresses to be included in the allowed list of IPs. IP address ranges must be dash-separated and not contain any spaces. Specifying 0.0.0.0 allows public access from any resources deployed within Azure to access your server. Setting it to “None” sets the server in public access mode but does not create a firewall rule;
  • storage-size - The storage capacity of the server. Minimum is 32 GiB and max is 16 TiB;
  • version - Server major version.
  • high-availability - nable or disable high availability feature. Default value is Disabled. High availability can only be set during flexible server create time (accepted values: Disabled, Enabled. default value: Disabled);
  • database-name (or -d) - The name of the database to be created when provisioning the database server.

You can see full parameters list here.

Example of response:

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{
  "connectionString": "postgresql://postgres:[email protected]$tb-db.postgres.database.azure.com/postgres?sslmode=require",
  "databaseName": "thingsboard",
  "firewallName": "AllowAllAzureServicesAndResourcesWithinAzureIps_2021-11-17_15-45-6",
  "host": "tb-db.postgres.database.azure.com",
  "id": "/subscriptions/daff3288-1d5d-47c7-abf0-bfb7b738a18c/resourceGroups/myResourceGroup/providers/Microsoft.DBforPostgreSQL/flexibleServers/thingsboard",
  "location": "East US",
  "password": "postgres",
  "resourceGroup": "myResourceGroup",
  "skuname": "Standard_D2s_v3",
  "username": "postgres",
  "version": "12"
}

Note the value of host from the command output (tb-db.postgres.database.azure.com in our case). Also note username and password (postgres) from the command.

Edit the database settings file and replace YOUR_AZURE_POSTGRES_ENDPOINT_URL with the host value, YOUR_AZURE_POSTGRES_USER and YOUR_AZURE_POSTGRES_PASSWORD with the correct values:

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nano tb-node-db-configmap.yml

5.2. Cassandra

Using Cassandra is an optional step. We recommend to use Cassandra if you plan to insert more than 5K data points per second or would like to optimize storage space.

Provision additional node pools

Provision additional node pools that will be hosting Cassandra instances. You may change the machine type. At least 4 vCPUs and 16GB of RAM is recommended.

We will create 3 separate node pools with 1 node per zone. Since we plan to use zonal disks, we don’t want k8s to launch a pod on the node where the corresponding disk is not available. Those zones will have the same node label. We will use this label to target deployment of our stateful set.

So, define 3 node pools in three zones for your location:

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az aks nodepool add --resource-group $AKS_RESOURCE_GROUP --cluster-name $TB_CLUSTER_NAME --name tbcassandra1 --node-count 1 --zones 1 --labels role=cassandra
az aks nodepool add --resource-group $AKS_RESOURCE_GROUP --cluster-name $TB_CLUSTER_NAME --name tbcassandra2 --node-count 1 --zones 2 --labels role=cassandra
az aks nodepool add --resource-group $AKS_RESOURCE_GROUP --cluster-name $TB_CLUSTER_NAME --name tbcassandra3 --node-count 1 --zones 3 --labels role=cassandra
Deploy Cassandra stateful set

Create ThingsBoard namespace:

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kubectl apply -f tb-namespace.yml
kubectl config set-context $(kubectl config current-context) --namespace=thingsboard

Deploy Cassandra to new node groups:

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kubectl apply -f receipts/cassandra.yml

The startup of Cassandra cluster may take few minutes. You may monitor the process using:

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kubectl get pods
Update DB settings

Edit the ThingsBoard DB settings file and add Cassandra settings:

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echo "  DATABASE_TS_TYPE: cassandra" >> tb-node-db-configmap.yml
echo "  CASSANDRA_URL: cassandra:9042" >> tb-node-db-configmap.yml
echo "  CASSANDRA_LOCAL_DATACENTER: dc1"  >> tb-node-db-configmap.yml

Check that the settings are updated:

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cat tb-node-db-configmap.yml | grep DATABASE_TS_TYPE

Expected output:

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  DATABASE_TS_TYPE: cassandra
Create keyspace

Create thingsboard keyspace using following command:

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    kubectl exec -it cassandra-0 -- bash -c "cqlsh -e \
                    \"CREATE KEYSPACE IF NOT EXISTS thingsboard \
                    WITH replication = { \
                        'class' : 'NetworkTopologyStrategy', \
                        'dc1' : '3' \
                    };\""

Step 6. Installation

Execute the following command to run the initial setup of the database. This command will launch short-living ThingsBoard pod to provision necessary DB tables, indexes, etc

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 ./k8s-install-tb.sh --loadDemo

Where:

  • --loadDemo - optional argument. Whether to load additional demo data.

After this command finish you should see the next line in the console:

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Installation finished successfully!

Otherwise, please check if you set the PostgreSQL URL in the tb-node-db-configmap.yml correctly.

Step 7. Starting

Execute the following command to deploy ThingsBoard services:

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 ./k8s-deploy-resources.sh

After few minutes you may call kubectl get pods. If everything went fine, you should be able to see tb-node-0 pod in the READY state.

Step 8. Configure Load Balancers

8.1. Configure HTTP(S) Load Balancer

Configure HTTP(S) Load Balancer to access web interface of your ThingsBoard instance. Basically you have 3 possible options of configuration:

  • http - Load Balancer without HTTPS support. Recommended for development. The only advantage is simple configuration and minimum costs. May be good option for development server but definitely not suitable for production.
  • https - Load Balancer with HTTPS support. Recommended for production. Acts as an SSL termination point. You may easily configure it to issue and maintain a valid SSL certificate. Automatically redirects all non-secure (HTTP) traffic to secure (HTTPS) port.

See links/instructions below on how to configure each of the suggested options.

HTTP Load Balancer

Execute the following command to deploy plain http load balancer:

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kubectl apply -f receipts/http-load-balancer.yml

The process of load balancer provisioning may take some time. You may periodically check the status of the load balancer using the following command:

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kubectl get ingress

Once provisioned, you should see similar output:

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NAME                   CLASS    HOSTS   ADDRESS         PORTS   AGE
tb-http-loadbalancer   <none>   *       34.111.24.134   80      7m25s

Now, you may use the address (the one you see instead of 34.111.24.134 in the command output) to access HTTP web UI (port 80) and connect your devices via HTTP API Use the following default credentials:

HTTPS Load Balancer

For using ssl certificates we can add our certificate directly in Azure ApplicationGateWay using command:

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az network application-gateway ssl-cert create \
   --resource-group $(az aks show --name $TB_CLUSTER_NAME --resource-group $AKS_RESOURCE_GROUP --query nodeResourceGroup | tr -d '"') \
   --gateway-name $AKS_GATEWAY\
   --name ThingsBoardHTTPCert \
   --cert-file YOUR_CERT \
   --cert-password YOUR_CERT_PASS

After we added certificate to Application Load balancer we can execute:

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kubectl apply -f receipts/https-load-balancer.yml

The process of load balancer provisioning may take some time. You may periodically check the status of the load balancer using the following command:

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kubectl get ingress

Once provisioned, you should see similar output:

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NAME                   CLASS    HOSTS   ADDRESS         PORTS   AGE
tb-https-loadbalancer   <none>   *       34.111.24.134   80      7m25s

NOTE: The load balancer will redirect all HTTP traffic to HTTPS. Devices that do not support HTTPS will not be able to connect to ThingsBoard. If you would like to support such devices, you may either deploy separate load balancer for HTTP transport (recommended) or disable the redirect behavior by changing the appgw.ingress.kubernetes.io/ssl-redirect setting in the https-load-balancer.yml file.

8.2. Configure MQTT Load Balancer (Optional)

Configure MQTT load balancer if you plan to use MQTT protocol to connect devices.

Create TCP load balancer using following command:

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kubectl apply -f receipts/mqtt-load-balancer.yml

The load balancer will forward all TCP traffic for ports 1883 and 8883.

MQTT over SSL

This type of the load balancer requires you to provision and maintain valid SSL certificate on your own. Follow the generic MQTT over SSL guide to configure required environment variables in the transport/tb-mqtt-transport.yml file.

8.3. Configure UDP Load Balancer (Optional)

Configure UDP load balancer if you plan to use CoAP or LwM2M protocol to connect devices.

Create UDP load balancer using following command:

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kubectl apply -f receipts/udp-load-balancer.yml

The load balancer will forward all UDP traffic for the following ports:

  • 5683 - CoAP server non-secure port
  • 5684 - CoAP server secure DTLS port.
  • 5685 - LwM2M server non-secure port.
  • 5686 - LwM2M server secure DTLS port.
  • 5687 - LwM2M bootstrap server DTLS port.
  • 5688 - LwM2M bootstrap server secure DTLS port.

CoAP over DTLS

This type of the load balancer requires you to provision and maintain valid SSL certificate on your own. Follow the generic CoAP over DTLS guide to configure required environment variables in the transport/tb-mqtt-transport.yml file.

LwM2M over DTLS

This type of the load balancer requires you to provision and maintain valid SSL certificate on your own. Follow the generic LwM2M over DTLS guide to configure required environment variables in the transport/tb-mqtt-transport.yml file.

Step 9. Using

Now you can open ThingsBoard web interface in your browser using IP address of the load balancer.

You can see DNS name (the ADDRESS column) of the HTTP load-balancer using command:

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kubectl get ingress

You should see the similar picture:

image

To connect to the cluster via MQTT or COAP you’ll need to get corresponding service, you can do it with command:

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kubectl get service

You should see the similar picture:

image

There are two load-balancers:

  • tb-mqtt-loadbalancer - for TCP (MQTT) protocol
  • tb-udp-loadbalancer - for UDP (COAP/LwM2M) protocol

Use EXTERNAL-IP field of the load-balancers to connect to the cluster.

Use the following default credentials:

If you installed database with demo data (using --loadDemo flag) you can also use the following credentials:

In case of any issues you can examine service logs for errors. For example to see ThingsBoard node logs execute the following command:

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kubectl logs -f tb-node-0

Or use kubectl get pods to see the state of the pod. Or use kubectl get services to see the state of all the services. Or use kubectl get deployments to see the state of all the deployments. See kubectl Cheat Sheet command reference for details.

Execute the following command to delete tb-node and load-balancers:

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./k8s-delete-resources.sh

Execute the following command to delete all data (including database):

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./k8s-delete-all.sh

Upgrading

In case when database upgrade is needed, execute the following commands:

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 ./k8s-delete-resources.sh
 ./k8s-upgrade-tb.sh --fromVersion=[FROM_VERSION]
 ./k8s-deploy-resources.sh

Where:

  • FROM_VERSION - from which version upgrade should be started. See Upgrade Instructions for valid fromVersion values.

Next steps