Leveraging KOPS with Amazon

The following just documents how to quickly setup a Kubernetes cluster on Amazon infrastructure.

Unfortunately EKS still needs a bit of work and since you still have to play for the managed control plane, there is very little downside to using KOPS to instantiate the infrastructure.


  • Support for variety of Kubernetes features such as feature gates
  • Auto provisoned nodes
  • More flexibility over Kubernetes versions


1) Proceed to account management screen and click “Programmatic Access Screen” 2) Set up the AWS cli against IAM

aws sts get-session-token --serial-number <arn> --token-code <token>
aws configure

3) Take the NS records and put in Azure DNS (NS)for cloud.statcan.ca and add the 4

ID=$(uuidgen) && aws route53 create-hosted-zone --profile mfa --name <domain> --caller-reference $ID | jq .DelegationSet.NameServers

4) Set up the initial IAM policies for the kops user

aws iam create-group --profile mfa --group-name kops
aws iam attach-group-policy --profile mfa --policy-arn arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/AmazonEC2FullAccess --group-name kops
aws iam attach-group-policy --profile mfa --policy-arn arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/AmazonRoute53FullAccess --group-name kops
aws iam attach-group-policy --profile mfa --policy-arn arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/AmazonS3FullAccess --group-name kops
aws iam attach-group-policy --profile mfa --policy-arn arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/IAMFullAccess --group-name kops
aws iam attach-group-policy --profile mfa --policy-arn arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/AmazonVPCFullAccess --group-name kops
aws iam create-user --profile mfa --user-name kops
aws iam add-user-to-group --profile mfa --user-name kops --group-name kops
aws iam create-access-key --profile mfa --user-name kops

5) Configure the S3 Bucket to store the etcd state

aws s3api create-bucket --profile mfa --bucket k8s-state-store --region ca-central-1 --create-bucket-configuration LocationConstraint=ca-central-1
aws s3api create-bucket --profile mfa --bucket k8s-managed-state-store --region ca-central-1 --create-bucket-configuration LocationConstraint=ca-central-1
aws s3api put-bucket-versioning --profile mfa --bucket k8s-managed-state-store --versioning-configuration Status=Enabled --region ca-central-1
aws s3api put-bucket-encryption --profile mfa --bucket k8s-managed-state-store --server-side-encryption-configuration '\{"Rules":[{"ApplyServerSideEncryptionByDefault":{"SSEAlgorithm":"AES256"}}]}'
aws s3api put-bucket-encryption --profile mfa --bucket k8s-managed-state-store --server-side-encryption-configuration '{"Rules":[{"ApplyServerSideEncryptionByDefault":{"SSEAlgorithm":"AES256"}}]}'

6) Instantiate the Kubernetes cluster

export NAME=<domain>
export KOPS_STATE_STORE=s3://k8s-managed-state-store

kops create cluster \
 --state=s3://k8s-inno-state-store \
 --zones ca-central-1a,ca-central-1b \
 --encrypt-etcd-storage \
 --master-size c4.large \
 --node-size m5.2xlarge \
 --ssh-public-key id_rsa.pub \

kops edit cluster ${NAME}
master: |
      "Effect": "Allow",
      "Action": "iam:CreateServiceLinkedRole",
      "Resource": "arn:aws:iam::*:role/aws-service-role/*"
     "Effect": "Allow",
      "Action": [
      "Resource": "*"

  kops update cluster ${NAME} --yes

7) Helm installation and configuration of Tiller

cat <<EOF | kubectl create -f -
apiVersion: v1
kind: ServiceAccount
 name: tiller
 namespace: kube-system
apiVersion: rbac.authorization.k8s.io/v1
kind: ClusterRoleBinding
 name: tiller
 apiGroup: rbac.authorization.k8s.io
 kind: ClusterRole
 name: cluster-admin
 - kind: ServiceAccount
 name: tiller
 namespace: kube-system

helm init --service-account tiller --upgrade