Install Elasticsearch on Kubernetes Using Helm Chart

 

Introduction

 

The ELK Stack natively integrates with Kubernetes, where it serves as a monitoring stack – it collects, stores, and analyzes k8 telemetry data. There are several methods for setting up and deploying the ELK stack on Kubernetes, and using helm charts is the most straightforward one.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to utilize a helm chart to install Elasticsearch, the main component of the ELK stack, as well as Kibana and Metricbeat (in place of Logstash), on your Kubernetes cluster.

How to Install Elasticsearch on Kubernetes Using Helm Chart

Prerequisites

 

Set up Kubernetes Cluster for Elasticsearch

 

1. First, start Minikube. A multi-node cluster for Elasticsearch requires significant system resources, so make sure you allocate enough CPUs and memory using the --cpus and --memory options:

minikube start --cpus 4 --memory 8192

Starting minikube and allocating the number of CPUs and memory


Important: If you ran a Minikube cluster on the same system before, you cannot use the above-mentioned options to allocate resources. To start a new cluster, use the minicube delete command to remove the previous cluster and then proceed with the instructions.


2. Check if your cluster is functioning properly by typing:

kubectl cluster-info

The output confirms that the Kubernetes control plane and KubeDNS are running:

Checking information about the cluster using kubectl

Deploy Elasticsearch with Helm

 

Note: This tutorial uses Helm version 3.4.1 command syntax. If you are using Helm 2, the commands may differ.


1. To start installing Elasticsearch, add the elastic repository in Helm:

helm repo add elastic https://helm.elastic.co

Adding the elastic repo in Helm

2. Now, use the curl command to download the values.yaml file containing configuration information:

curl -O https://raw.githubusercontent.com/elastic/helm-charts/master/elasticsearch/examples/minikube/values.yaml

Using curl to download the helm chart template

3. Use the helm install command and the values.yaml file to install the Elasticsearch helm chart:

helm install elasticsearch elastic/elasticsearch -f ./values.yaml

The -f option allows specifying the yaml file with the template. If you wish to install Elasticsearch in a specific namespace, add the -n option followed by the name of the namespace.

helm install elasticsearch elastic/elasticsearch -n [namespace] -f ./values.yaml

The output confirms the status of the app as deployed and offers additional options to test the installation:

Installing the helm chart using the helm install command

4. The first option is to use the get pods command to check if the cluster members are up:

kubectl get pods --namespace=default -l app=elasticsearch-master -w

Once the READY column in the output is entirely populated with 1/1 entries, all the cluster members are up:

Checking if the pods are up using the get pods command

The other option is to use the helm test command to examine the cluster’s health:

helm test elasticsearch

Examining the cluster's health using Helm

5. Once you successfully installed Elasticsearch, use the kubectl port-forward command to forward it to port 9200:

kubectl port-forward svc/elasticsearch-master 9200

Forwarding Elasticsearch to port 9200 using kubectl


Note: To keep using the terminal after executing the port-forward command, run the command in another terminal window.


Install Kibana

 

1. To install Kibana on top of Elasticsearch, type the following command:

helm install kibana elastic/kibana

The output confirms the deployment of Kibana:

Installing Kibana using Helm

2. Check if all the pods are ready:

kubectl get pods

Kibana pod appears underneath the Elasticsearch pods:

Checking if the Kibana pod is up using the get pods command

3. Forward Kibana to port 5601 using kubectl:

kubectl port-forward deployment/kibana-kibana 5601

Forwarding Kibana to port 5601 using kubectl

4. After you set up port-forwarding, access Elasticsearch, and the Kibana GUI by typing http://localhost:5601 in your browser:

Accessing Elasticsearch and Kibana in Firefox

Install Metricbeat

 

Installing Metricbeat follows the same pattern as installing Kibana.

1. Use Helm to issue the install command:

helm install metricbeat elastic/metricbeat

Installing Metricbeat with Helm

2. Confirm that the Metricbeat pods are up and running:

kubectl get pods

Checking if the Metricbeat pods are up using the get pods command

3. To see Elasticsearch metric indexing, use the curl command:

curl localhost:9200/_cat/indices

Checking Elasticsearch metric indexing using the curl command

4. Visit Kibana. You will now be able to create an index pattern. Navigate to Stack Management > Index patterns:

Visiting Kibana in Firefox to start creating index patterns

5. Click the Create Index Pattern button to start working with Kibana.

Conclusion

 

After following this tutorial, you should know how to install Elasticsearch, Kibana, and Metricbeat in Kubernetes using the helm chart.

The ELK stack can also be deployed outside of Kubernetes. If you want to know more about this topic, read how to install ELK stack on Ubuntu.

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Marko Aleksic
Marko Aleksić is a Technical Writer at phoenixNAP. His innate curiosity regarding all things IT, combined with over a decade long background in writing, teaching and working in IT-related fields, led him to technical writing, where he has an opportunity to employ his skills and make technology less daunting to everyone.
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