This page covers how to install Rancher on Microsoft’s Azure Kubernetes Servcice (AKS).

The guide uses command line tools to provision an AKS cluster with an ingress. If you prefer to provision your cluster using the Azure portal, refer to the official documentation.

If you already have an AKS Kubernetes cluster, skip to the step about installing an ingress. Then install the Rancher Helm chart following the instructions on this page.

Prerequisites

Note Deploying to Microsoft Azure will incur charges.

  • Microsoft Azure Account: A Microsoft Azure Account is required to create resources for deploying Rancher and Kubernetes.
  • Microsoft Azure Subscription: Use this link to follow a tutorial to create a Microsoft Azure subscription if you don’t have one yet.
  • Micsoroft Azure Tenant: Use this link and follow instructions to create a Microsoft Azure tenant.
  • Your subscription has sufficient quota for at least 2 vCPUs. For details on Rancher server resource requirements, refer to this section

1. Prepare your Workstation

Install the following command line tools on your workstation:

2. Create a Resource Group

After installing the CLI, you will need to log in with your Azure account.

az login

Create a resource group to hold all relevant resources for your cluster. Use a location that applies to your use case.

az group create --name rancher-rg --location eastus

3. Create the AKS Cluster

To create an AKS cluster, run the following command. Use a VM size that applies to your use case. Refer to this article for available sizes and options.

az aks create \
  --resource-group rancher-rg
  --name rancher-server \
  --kubernetes-version 1.18.14 \
  --node-count 3 \
  --node-vm-size Standard_D2_v3

The cluster will take some time to be deployed.

4. Get Access Credentials

After the cluster is deployed, get the access credentials.

az aks get-credentials --resource-group rancher-rg --name rancher-server

This command merges your cluster’s credentials into the existing kubeconfig and allows kubectl to interact with the cluster.

5. Install an Ingress

The cluster needs an Ingress so that Rancher can be accessed from outside the cluster. Installing an Ingress requires allocating a public IP address. Ensure you have sufficient quota, otherwise it will fail to assign the IP address. Limits for public IP addresses are applicable at a regional level per subscription.

The following command installs an nginx-ingress-controller with a Kubernetes load balancer service.

helm repo add ingress-nginx https://kubernetes.github.io/ingress-nginx
helm repo update
helm upgrade --install \
  ingress-nginx ingress-nginx/ingress-nginx \
  --namespace ingress-nginx \
  --set controller.service.type=LoadBalancer \
  --version 3.12.0 \
  --create-namespace

6. Get Load Balancer IP

To get the address of the load balancer, run:

kubectl get service ingress-nginx-controller --namespace=ingress-nginx

The result should look similar to the following:

NAME                       TYPE           CLUSTER-IP     EXTERNAL-IP    PORT(S)                     
 AGE
ingress-nginx-controller   LoadBalancer   10.0.116.18    40.31.180.83   80:31229/TCP,443:31050/TCP  
 67s

Save the EXTERNAL-IP.

7. Set up DNS

External traffic to the Rancher server will need to be directed at the load balancer you created.

Set up a DNS to point at the EXTERNAL-IP that you saved. This DNS will be used as the Rancher server URL.

There are many valid ways to set up the DNS. For help, refer to the Azure DNS documentation

8. Install the Rancher Helm Chart

Next, install the Rancher Helm chart by following the instructions on this page. The Helm instructions are the same for installing Rancher on any Kubernetes distribution.

Use that DNS name from the previous step as the Rancher server URL when you install Rancher. It can be passed in as a Helm option. For example, if the DNS name is rancher.my.org, you could run the Helm installation command with the option --set hostname=rancher.my.org.