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Kubernetes Quick Start Guide with external connectivity

The Kubernetes Quick Start guide describes how to quickly get up and running with a Kubernetes cluster. Those instructions only provide access to the cluster from within the Kuberenetes network.

Here we’ll show you an example of how to set up Kubernetes in Google GKE, Amazon EKS, or Digital Ocean so you can work with Redpanda from outside of the Kubernetes network.

Let’s get started…

Create a Kubernetes cluster

Create a 3-node cluster on the platform of your choice:

Use the EKS Getting Started guide to set up EKS. When you finish, you’ll have eksctl installed so that you can create and delete clusters in EKS. Then, create an EKS cluster with:

eksctl create cluster \
--name redpanda \
--nodegroup-name standard-workers \
--node-type m5.xlarge \
--nodes 3 \
--nodes-min 1 \
--nodes-max 4 \
--node-ami auto

It will take about 10-15 minutes for the process to finish.

Prepare TLS certificate infrastructure

The Redpanda cluster uses cert-manager to create TLS certificates for communication between the cluster nodes.

We’ll use Helm to install cert-manager:

helm repo add jetstack && \
helm repo update && \
helm install \
cert-manager jetstack/cert-manager \
--namespace cert-manager \
--create-namespace \
--version v1.2.0 \
--set installCRDs=true

Install the Redpanda operator and cluster

  1. Just to simplify the commands, create a variable to hold the latest version number:

    export VERSION=$(curl -s | jq -r .tag_name)

    Note - You can find information about the versions of the operator in the list of operator releases.

  2. Install the latest redpanda operator:

    kubectl apply -k$VERSION && \
    helm repo add redpanda && \
    helm repo update && \
    helm install \
    --namespace redpanda-system \
    --create-namespace redpanda-operator \
    --version $VERSION \
  3. Install a cluster with external connectivity:

    kubectl apply -f$VERSION/src/go/k8s/config/samples/external_connectivity.yaml
  4. For GKE only, open the firewall for access to the cluster:

    a. Get the port number that Redpanda is listening on:

    kubectl get service external-connectivity-external -o=jsonpath='{.spec.ports[0].nodePort}'

    The port is shown in the command output.

    b. Create a firewall rule that allows traffic to Redpanda on that port:

    gcloud compute firewall-rules create redpanda-nodeport --allow tcp:<port_number>

    The port that Redpanda is listening on is shown in the command output, for example:


  5. Get the addresses of the brokers:

    kubectl get clusters external-connectivity -o=jsonpath='{.status.nodes.external}'

    The broker addresses are shown in the command output, for example:


Verify the connection

  1. From a remote machine that has rpk installed, get information about the cluster:

    rpk --brokers,, \
    cluster info
  2. Create a topic in your Redpanda cluster:

    rpk --brokers,, \
    topic create chat-rooms -p 5

Now you know how to set up a Kubernetes cluster in a cloud and access it from a remote machine.

Next steps

  • Check out our in-depth explanation of Kubernetes connectivity.
  • Contact us in our Slack community so we can work together to implement your Kubernetes use cases.