Helm Hands-On : Get started with Helm (Part 02)

 

Hello everyone! If you are reading this blog, I assume that you have already gone through the first part of my blog. In case, you haven’t, I suggest you to go through the link before reading this blog.

Let’s recall the concept of the first part of this series with some simple principles :

  • D.R.Y(Don’t Repeat Yourself): Not to repeat the same process of writing and maintaining Kubernetes resources repeatedly for even the simplest of deployments.
  • Focus on what, not how: Helm is a package manager for Kubernetes that allows developers and operators to more easily, package, configure, and deploy applications and services onto the Kubernetes clusters.

In this part, we will be starting with Helm and will give a kick start so that by the end of this article we will be able to search & use publicly available Helm Charts of various software or application dependencies and install them on our K8s cluster.

Helm Glossary

  • Helm Chart Repository: A repository is a place where packaged charts of an application can be collected and shared.
  • Helm Charts: Helm packages are called charts. It contains all the resource definitions that are necessary to run an application, tool, or service inside a K8s cluster.
  • Helm Release: A Helm release is an instance of a chart running in a K8s cluster.

 

Prerequisites: Helm Install

Once you have Helm ready, we can add a chart repository. We can choose our desired one from the artifacts hub. Here we are going with Stable Library, adding the repo named as stable :

$ helm repo add stable https://charts.helm.sh/stable

 

Additionally, after adding repo in our local system, we update the repo to get the latest information about charts from the respective chart repositories. And we can list out the repositories added to our system using $ helm repo list as shown above.

Removing added repositories in our system is as easy as adding them.

$ helm repo remove stable.

Once the repository has been added, Helm provides search functionality which gives the ability to search for Helm charts in the various places they can be stored including the Helm Hub and repositories. Here, we will be installing MySQL from the publicly available Helm Chart of the repo which has been added.

$ helm search repo stable

$ helm search repo mysql

 

As we all know, Helm saves us from writing all K8s resources for a package as it already comes with versioned, pre-configured application resources that can be deployed as one unit. But to see what all resources and environment values are configured for the application, we can check using :

$ helm template stable/mysql

$ helm show values stable/mysql

 

 

Now we are all set to install MySQL onto K8’s cluster and take a quick walk-through about Helm Release. To install a new package we use helm install command. At its simplest, it takes two arguments: A release name that we pick and the name of the chart that we want to install.

$ helm install mysqlapp stable/mysql

Additionally, to check the release of all the installed packages use $ helm ls as shown below.

 

The point of focus is on the Revision of the Release i.e; 1 as shown above. Here, we used the default configuration of the MySQL chart. Needless to say, we’d want to customize the chart with our preferred configuration most of the time and bring a new version of the application release. To achieve this, we simply use $ helm upgrade command. Here we are updating some default environment values of MySQL with our required ones.

$ helm upgrade mysqlapp --set mysqlRootPassword=rootpassword,mysqlUser=mysql,mysqlPassword=password,mysqlDatabase=deedatabase stable/mysql

 

To check user-provided values and the upgrade of our release, we can use $ helm get values mysqlapp and $ helm ls commands respectively. Also, here we see the revision value has been changed to 2 as shown above which will keep on incrementing with every upgrade.

And when it is time to uninstall a release from the cluster, we use the helm uninstall command:

$ helm uninstall mysqlapp

Finally, we can say that we are comfortable to get started with Helm and to install our first release using publicly available Helm Charts in our K8s cluster. At this point, we’d like to recommend our readers to install a couple of applications using these public Helm Charts and share their experience in the comment section.

Till then HAPPY HELMING 🙂

 

Blog Pundit: Adeel Ahmad  

Opstree is an End to End DevOps solution provider

CONTACT US

Author: Deepak Gupta

Devops Enthusiast | Learner | Cloud | IAC | Orchestration

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