Selecting a cluster installation type

Before you install an OKD cluster, you need to select the best installation instructions to follow. Think about your answers to the following questions to select the best option.

Do you want to install and manage an OKD cluster yourself?

If you want to install and manage OKD yourself, you can install it on the following platforms:

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)

  • Microsoft Azure

  • Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

  • RHOSP

  • oVirt

  • IBM Z and LinuxONE

  • IBM Power

  • VMware vSphere

  • Bare metal or other platform agnostic infrastructure

You can deploy an OKD 4 cluster to both on-premise hardware and to cloud hosting services, but all of the machines in a cluster must be in the same datacenter or cloud hosting service.

If you want to use OKD but do not want to manage the cluster yourself, you have several managed service options. If you want a cluster that is fully managed by Red Hat, you can use OpenShift Dedicated or OpenShift Online. You can also use OpenShift as a managed service on Azure, AWS, IBM Cloud, or Google Cloud. For more information about managed services, see the OpenShift Products page.

Have you used OKD 3 and want to use OKD 4?

If you used OKD 3 and want to try OKD 4, you need to understand how different OKD 4 is. OKD 4 weaves the Operators that package, deploy, and manage Kubernetes applications and the operating system that the platform runs on, Fedora CoreOS (FCOS), together seamlessly. Instead of deploying machines and configuring their operating systems so that you can install OKD on them, the FCOS operating system is an integral part of the OKD cluster. Deploying the operating system for the cluster machines as part of the installation process for OKD. See Comparing OpenShift Container Platform 3 and OpenShift Container Platform 4.

Because you need to provision machines as part of the OKD cluster installation process, you cannot upgrade an OKD 3 cluster to OKD 4. Instead, you must create a new OKD 4 cluster and migrate your OKD 3 workloads to them. For more information about migrating, see OpenShift Migration Best Practices. Because you must migrate to OKD 4, you can use any type of production cluster installation process to create your new cluster.

Do you want to use existing components in your cluster?

Because the operating system is integral to OKD, it is easier to let the installation program for OKD stand up all of the infrastructure. These are called installer provisioned infrastructure installations. In this type of installation, you can provide some existing infrastructure to the cluster, but the installation program deploys all of the machines that your cluster initially needs.

You can deploy an installer-provisioned infrastructure cluster without specifying any customizations to the cluster or its underlying machines to AWS, Azure, or GCP. These installation methods are the fastest way to deploy a production-capable OKD cluster.

If you need to perform basic configuration for your installer-provisioned infrastructure cluster, such as the instance type for the cluster machines, you can customize an installation for AWS, Azure, or GCP.

For installer-provisioned infrastructure installations, you can use an existing VPC in AWS, vNet in Azure, or VPC in GCP. You can also reuse part of your networking infrastructure so that your cluster in AWS, Azure, or GCP can coexist with existing IP address allocations in your environment and integrate with existing MTU and VXLAN configurations. If you have existing accounts and credentials on these clouds, you can re-use them, but you might need to modify the accounts to have the required permissions to install OKD clusters on them.

You can use the installer-provisioned infrastructure method to create appropriate machine instances on your hardware for oVirt, vSphere, and bare metal.

If you want to reuse extensive cloud infrastructure, you can complete a user-provisioned infrastructure installation. With these installations, you manually deploy the machines that your cluster requires during the installation process. If you perform a user-provisioned infrastructure installation on AWS, Azure, or GCP, you can use the provided templates to help you stand up all of the required components. Otherwise, you can use the provider-agnostic installation method to deploy a cluster into other clouds.

You can also complete a user-provisioned infrastructure installation on your existing hardware. If you use RHOSP, oVirt, IBM Z or LinuxONE, IBM Power, or vSphere, use the specific installation instructions to deploy your cluster. If you use other supported hardware, follow the bare metal installation procedure.

Do you need extra security for your cluster?

If you use a user-provisioned installation method, you can configure a proxy for your cluster. The instructions are included in each installation procedure.

If you want to prevent your cluster on a public cloud from exposing endpoints externally, you can deploy a private cluster with installer-provisioned infrastructure on AWS, Azure, or GCP.

If you need to install your cluster that has limited access to the Internet, such as a disconnected or restricted network cluster, you can mirror the installation packages and install the cluster from them. Follow detailed instructions for user provisioned infrastructure installations into restricted networks for AWS, GCP, IBM Z or LinuxONE, IBM Power, vSphere, or bare metal.

If you need to deploy your cluster to an AWS GovCloud region or Azure government region, you can configure those custom regions during an installer-provisioned infrastructure installation.

You can also configure the cluster machines to use FIPS Validated / Modules in Process cryptographic libraries during installation.

Preparing your cluster for users after installation

Some configuration is not required to install the cluster but recommended before your users access the cluster. You can customize the cluster itself by customizing the Operators that make up your cluster and integrate you cluster with other required systems, such as an identity provider.

For a production cluster, you must configure the following integrations:

Preparing your cluster for workloads

Depending on your workload needs, you might need to take extra steps before you begin deploying applications. For example, after you prepare infrastructure to support your application build strategy, you might need to make provisions for low-latency workloads or to protect sensitive workloads. You can also configure monitoring for application workloads.