Deploying NATS with Helm

The NATS Helm charts can be used to deploy a StatefulSet of NATS servers using Helm templates which are easy to extend. Using Helm3 you can add the NATS Helm repo as follows:

helm repo add nats https://nats-io.github.io/k8s/helm/charts/
helm install my-nats nats/nats

Configuration

Server Image

nats:
image: nats:2.4.0
pullPolicy: IfNotPresent

Limits

nats:
# The number of connect attempts against discovered routes.
connectRetries: 30
# How many seconds should pass before sending a PING
# to a client that has no activity.
pingInterval:
# Server settings.
limits:
maxConnections:
maxSubscriptions:
maxControlLine:
maxPayload:
writeDeadline:
maxPending:
maxPings:
lameDuckDuration:
# Number of seconds to wait for client connections to end after the pod termination is requested
terminationGracePeriodSeconds: 60

Logging

Note: It is not recommended to enable trace or debug in production since enabling it will significantly degrade performance.

nats:
logging:
debug:
trace:
logtime:
connectErrorReports:
reconnectErrorReports:

TLS setup for client connections

You can find more on how to set up and troubleshoot TLS connections at: nats-server/configuration/securing_nats/tls

nats:
tls:
secret:
name: nats-client-tls
ca: "ca.crt"
cert: "tls.crt"
key: "tls.key"

Clustering

If clustering is enabled, then a 3-node cluster will be set up. More info at: nats-server/configuration/clustering#nats-server-clustering

cluster:
enabled: true
replicas: 3
tls:
secret:
name: nats-server-tls
ca: "ca.crt"
cert: "tls.crt"
key: "tls.key"

Example:

$ helm install nats nats/nats --set cluster.enabled=true

Leafnodes

Leafnode connections to extend a cluster. More info at: nats-server/configuration/leafnodes

leafnodes:
enabled: true
remotes:
- url: "tls://connect.ngs.global:7422"
# credentials:
# secret:
# name: leafnode-creds
# key: TA.creds
# tls:
# secret:
# name: nats-leafnode-tls
# ca: "ca.crt"
# cert: "tls.crt"
# key: "tls.key"
#######################
# #
# TLS Configuration #
# #
#######################
#
# # You can find more on how to setup and trouble shoot TLS connnections at:
#
# # https://docs.nats.io/nats-server/configuration/securing_nats/tls
#
tls:
secret:
name: nats-client-tls
ca: "ca.crt"
cert: "tls.crt"
key: "tls.key"

Websocket Configuration

websocket:
enabled: true
port: 443
tls:
secret:
name: nats-tls
cert: "fullchain.pem"
key: "privkey.pem"

Setting up External Access

Using HostPorts

In case of both external access and advertisements being enabled, an initializer container will be used to gather the public IPs. This container will be required to have enough RBAC policy to be able to make a look up of the public IP of the node where it is running.

For example, to set up external access for a cluster and advertise the public IP to clients:

nats:
# Toggle whether to enable external access.
# This binds a host port for clients, gateways and leafnodes.
externalAccess: true
# Toggle to disable client advertisements (connect_urls),
# in case of running behind a load balancer (which is not recommended)
# it might be required to disable advertisements.
advertise: true
# In case both external access and advertise are enabled
# then a service account would be required to be able to
# gather the public IP from a node.
serviceAccount: "nats-server"

Where the service account named nats-server has the following RBAC policy for example:

---
apiVersion: v1
kind: ServiceAccount
metadata:
name: nats-server
namespace: default
---
apiVersion: rbac.authorization.k8s.io/v1
kind: ClusterRole
metadata:
name: nats-server
rules:
- apiGroups: [""]
resources:
- nodes
verbs: ["get"]
---
apiVersion: rbac.authorization.k8s.io/v1
kind: ClusterRoleBinding
metadata:
name: nats-server-binding
roleRef:
apiGroup: rbac.authorization.k8s.io
kind: ClusterRole
name: nats-server
subjects:
- kind: ServiceAccount
name: nats-server
namespace: default

The container image of the initializer can be customized via:

bootconfig:
image: natsio/nats-boot-config:latest
pullPolicy: IfNotPresent

Using LoadBalancers

When using a load balancer for external access, it is recommended to disable no advertise so that internal IPs from the NATS Servers are not advertised to the clients connecting through the load balancer.

nats:
image: nats:alpine
cluster:
enabled: true
noAdvertise: true
leafnodes:
enabled: true
noAdvertise: true
natsbox:
enabled: true

You could then use an L4 enabled load balancer to connect to NATS, for example:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
metadata:
name: nats-lb
spec:
type: LoadBalancer
selector:
app.kubernetes.io/name: nats
ports:
- protocol: TCP
port: 4222
targetPort: 4222
name: nats
- protocol: TCP
port: 7422
targetPort: 7422
name: leafnodes
- protocol: TCP
port: 7522
targetPort: 7522
name: gateways

Gateways

A supercluster can be formed by pointing to remote gateways. You can find more about gateways in the NATS documentation: nats-server/configuration/gateways.

gateway:
enabled: false
name: 'default'
#############################
# #
# List of remote gateways #
# #
#############################
# gateways:
# - name: other
# url: nats://my-gateway-url:7522
#######################
# #
# TLS Configuration #
# #
#######################
#
# # You can find more on how to setup and trouble shoot TLS connnections at:
#
# # https://docs.nats.io/nats-server/configuration/securing_nats/tls
#
# tls:
# secret:
# name: nats-client-tls
# ca: "ca.crt"
# cert: "tls.crt"
# key: "tls.key"

Auth setup

Auth with a Memory Resolver

auth:
enabled: true
# Reference to the Operator JWT.
operatorjwt:
configMap:
name: operator-jwt
key: KO.jwt
# Public key of the System Account
systemAccount:
resolver:
############################
# #
# Memory resolver settings #
# #
##############################
type: memory
#
# Use a configmap reference which will be mounted
# into the container.
#
configMap:
name: nats-accounts
key: resolver.conf

Auth using an Account Server Resolver

auth:
enabled: true
# Reference to the Operator JWT.
operatorjwt:
configMap:
name: operator-jwt
key: KO.jwt
# Public key of the System Account
systemAccount:
resolver:
##########################
# #
# URL resolver settings #
# #
##########################
type: URL
url: "http://nats-account-server:9090/jwt/v1/accounts/"

JetStream

Setting up Memory and File Storage

nats:
image: nats:alpine
jetstream:
enabled: true
memStorage:
enabled: true
size: 2Gi
fileStorage:
enabled: true
size: 1Gi
storageDirectory: /data/
storageClassName: default

Using with an existing PersistentVolumeClaim

For example, given the following PersistentVolumeClaim:

---
kind: PersistentVolumeClaim
apiVersion: v1
metadata:
name: nats-js-disk
annotations:
volume.beta.kubernetes.io/storage-class: "default"
spec:
accessModes:
- ReadWriteOnce
resources:
requests:
storage: 3Gi

You can start JetStream so that one pod is bound to it:

nats:
image: nats:alpine
jetstream:
enabled: true
fileStorage:
enabled: true
storageDirectory: /data/
existingClaim: nats-js-disk
claimStorageSize: 3Gi

Clustering example

nats:
image: nats:alpine
jetstream:
enabled: true
memStorage:
enabled: true
size: "2Gi"
fileStorage:
enabled: true
size: "1Gi"
storageDirectory: /data/
storageClassName: default
cluster:
enabled: true
# Cluster name is required, by default will be release name.
# name: "nats"
replicas: 3

Misc

NATS Box

A lightweight container with NATS and NATS Streaming utilities deployed along the cluster to confirm the setup. You can find the image at: https://github.com/nats-io/nats-box

natsbox:
enabled: true
image: nats:alpine
pullPolicy: IfNotPresent
# credentials:
# secret:
# name: nats-sys-creds
# key: sys.creds

Configuration Reload sidecar

The NATS config reloader image to use:

reloader:
enabled: true
image: natsio/nats-server-config-reloader:latest
pullPolicy: IfNotPresent

Prometheus Exporter sidecar

You can toggle whether to start the sidecar to be used to feed metrics to Prometheus:

exporter:
enabled: true
image: natsio/prometheus-nats-exporter:latest
pullPolicy: IfNotPresent

Prometheus operator ServiceMonitor support

You can enable Prometheus operator ServiceMonitor:

exporter:
# You have to enable exporter first
enabled: true
serviceMonitor:
enabled: true
## Specify the namespace where Prometheus Operator is running
# namespace: monitoring
# ...

Pod Customizations

Security Context

# Toggle whether to use setup a Pod Security Context
# ## ref: https://kubernetes.io/docs/tasks/configure-pod-container/security-context/
securityContext:
fsGroup: 1000
runAsUser: 1000
runAsNonRoot: true

Affinity

https://kubernetes.io/docs/concepts/configuration/assign-pod-node/#affinity-and-anti-affinity

matchExpressions must be configured according to your setup

affinity:
nodeAffinity:
requiredDuringSchedulingIgnoredDuringExecution:
nodeSelectorTerms:
- matchExpressions:
- key: node.kubernetes.io/purpose
operator: In
values:
- nats
podAntiAffinity:
requiredDuringSchedulingIgnoredDuringExecution:
- labelSelector:
matchExpressions:
- key: app
operator: In
values:
- nats
- stan
topologyKey: "kubernetes.io/hostname"

Service topology

Service topology is disabled by default but can be enabled by setting topologyKeys. For example:

topologyKeys:
- "kubernetes.io/hostname"
- "topology.kubernetes.io/zone"
- "topology.kubernetes.io/region"

CPU/Memory Resource Requests/Limits

Sets the pods CPU/memory requests/limits

nats:
resources:
requests:
cpu: 2
memory: 4Gi
limits:
cpu: 4
memory: 6Gi

No resources are set by default.

Annotations

https://kubernetes.io/docs/concepts/overview/working-with-objects/annotations

podAnnotations:
key1 : "value1",
key2 : "value2"

Name Overrides

Can change the name of the resources as needed with:

nameOverride: "my-nats"

Image Pull Secrets

imagePullSecrets:
- name: myRegistry

Adds this to the StatefulSet:

spec:
imagePullSecrets:
- name: myRegistry