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Deploying µONOS micro-services with HELM

One of the goals of the µONOS project is to provide simple deployment options that integrate with modern technologies. Deployment configurations can be found in the onos-helm-charts repository. Each onos service has a directory containing its chart. As an example the onos-config chart is in onos-helm-charts/onos-config.

Deploying on Kubernetes with Helm

Helm is a package manager for Kubernetes that allows projects to provide a collection of templates for all the resources needed to deploy on k8s. ONOS Config provides a Helm chart for deploying a cluster for development and testing. In the future, this chart will be extended for production use.

Individual charts or overarching (umbrella) chart

The individual components of µONOS may be deployed one at a time, or altogether through an overarching (unbrella) Helm chart, or some combination of both.

In all cases the prerequisites must be satisfied:

  • Creation of a namespace
  • deployment of Atomix controller(s) in the namespace.

The individual components in the umbrella chart are:

  • onos-topo:
  • onos-config:
  • onos-cli:
  • onos-gui:

The choice of which of these is deployed can be chosen at deployment time with an option like:

--set import.<component>.enabled=true

In this way all, none or some of the components can be deployed together.


The Helm chart provides resources for deploying the config service and accessing it over the network, both inside and outside the k8s cluster:

  • Deployment - Provides a template for ONOS Config pods
  • ConfigMap - Provides test configurations for the application
  • Service - Exposes ONOS Config to other applications on the network
  • Secret - Provides TLS certificates for end-to-end encryption
  • Ingress - Optionally provides support for external load balancing

Deployment options

Local Deployment Setup with Kind

To deploy the Helm chart locally:

  • First, you will need to install Docker to build and deploy an image locally.

  • Second, install Kind.

    Kind v0.11.0 at least is required, which provides the K8S API v1.21

  • Third, install Helm version 3. On OSX, this Helm can be installed using Brew:

brew install helm

For more information, please refer to Installing Helm page.

  • Once Kind has been installed, start it with
kind create cluster
  • Once Kind has started, export the configuration:

    This needs to be refreshed if you delete and recreate the Kind cluster

kind get kubeconfig > ~/.kube/kind
  • Once Kind has started, export the new environment to access the Kubernetes cluster:

    This needs to be run in each terminal window that will access the cluster

export KUBECONFIG=~/.kube/kind

Bare metal deployment

ONOS can also be deployed on a bare metal cluster provisioned with Rancher or equivalent.

Kubectl and Helm are can be run from your local PC to control the remote cluster.


For any deployment scenario a number of steps must be performed first.

The steps below assume the KUBECONFIG environment variable to point kubectl to your cluster.

Add the "CORD" Helm chart repo

The Prometheus and Grafana installations are derived from the CORD Helm charts. Run:

helm repo add cord

Add the "Atomix" Helm chart repo

helm repo add atomix

Add the "onosproject" Helm chart repo

helm repo add onosproject

Update the local cache with charts from these repos:

helm repo update

Inspect the chart versions and app versions

To see the list of the latest chart versions and app versions, use the "search" command.

helm search repo onos

Configure the micro-onos namespace

The various onos services can be deployed to any namespace.

A "namespace" partitions the cluster in to independent islands. For consistency between documentation we use micro-onos as the namespace here.

To create the micro-onos namespace run:

kubectl create namespace micro-onos

Deploy Atomix Controller

The various onos services leverage Atomix as the distributed store for HA, scale and redundancy. The first thing that needs to be deployed in any onos deployment is the Atomix Custom Resource Definitions (CRDs) and Go controller.

The controllers should always be deployed in the kube-system namespace.

helm install -n kube-system atomix-controller atomix/atomix-controller 
helm install -n kube-system atomix-raft-storage atomix/atomix-raft-storage

Deploy ONOS Operator

onos-operator ensures that ONOS Custom Resource Defintions (CRD) and their controllers for onos-topo and onos-config are deployed in to the cluster.

The controllers should always be deployed in the kube-system namespace.

helm install -n kube-system onos-operator onosproject/onos-operator

Deploy the µONOS services

A complete set of µONOS services can be deployed with just the over-arching onos-umbrella chart.

Run the install:

helm -n micro-onos install onos-umbrella onosproject/onos-umbrella

this will deploy onos-topo, onos-cli, onos-gui, and onos-config (but not onos-classic as it's not needed for µONOS - see Deploying ONOS classic with HELM).

To monitor the startup of the pods use kubectl like:

kubectl -n micro-onos get pods -w

giving a list like:

NAMESPACE            NAME                            READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
micro-onos           onos-cli-b6ff8cf9b-2phln        1/1     Running   0          77s
micro-onos           onos-config-85d988999-wjlrv     4/4     Running   0          77s
micro-onos           onos-consensus-store-1-0        1/1     Running   0          75s
micro-onos           onos-gui-847f99659-7bfhj        2/2     Running   0          77s
micro-onos           onos-topo-65978f8c7c-5c4hw      3/3     Running   0          77s

Additionally the Controllers for Atomix and Onos-Operator can be seen in the kube-system namespace

NAMESPACE            NAME                                              READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
kube-system          atomix-controller-945fc9bbd-f9zmm                 1/1     Running   0          91m
kube-system          atomix-raft-storage-controller-678d9ff777-hnn4q   1/1     Running   0          91m
kube-system          onos-operator-config-f8dc4c666-7vr8v              1/1     Running   0          3m31s
kube-system          onos-operator-topo-bb9dcd646-8splp                1/1     Running   0          3m31s


To see the list of installed charts:

helm -n micro-onos ls
NAME            NAMESPACE   REVISION    UPDATED                                 STATUS      CHART                   APP VERSION
onos-umbrella   micro-onos  1           2021-07-14 08:23:46.130263777 +0100 IST deployed    onos-umbrella-1.1.11    v1.1.0     

To delete the deployment issue:

helm delete -n micro-onos onos-umbrella

Deploy single services

Alternatively can deploy each service by itself. Please refer to each service's deployment file to get the exact command for each helm chart. Example for onos-topo.

helm -n micro-onos install onos-topo onosproject/onos-topo

For individual services it is necessary to install CRDs first, as above:

Developer workflow

Developers may want to run and deploy charts that have not yet been released. This must be done from the checked out charts folder

To use the latest version of an application without having to update the chart, an override like --set image.tag=latest can be used when individual charts. Alternatively when deploying the umbrella chart the override like --set onos-topo.image.tag=latest. The individual applications can be updated in to kind with the command make kind.

Note that the source of the charts like onosproject/onos-topo will use the chart from the helm repository (cached locally), where as a source like ./onos-topo will load the chart from the local folder. This is useful when editing charts.

Check out the Helm charts

The helm charts need to be present on your PC. Run:

git clone && cd onos-helm-charts

Over-arching (umbrella) chart

Run the build of dependent charts to use the local onos-umbrella over-arching chart:

make deps

Individual local charts

To deploy charts individually (from the onos-helm-charts directory) for example:

helm -n micro-onos install onos-topo ./onos-topo