Start managing apps

Contributors netapp-dbagwell netapp-mwallis netapp-bcammett

After you add a Kubernetes cluster to Astra Control, you can install apps on the cluster (outside of Astra Control), and then go to the Apps page in Astra Control to start managing the apps.

App management requirements

Astra Control has the following app management requirements:

  • Licensing: To manage apps using Astra Control Center, you need an Astra Control Center license.

  • Namespaces: Astra Control requires that an app not span more than a single namespace, but a namespace can contain more than one app.

  • StorageClass: If you install an app with a StorageClass explicitly set and you need to clone the app, the target cluster for the clone operation must have the originally specified StorageClass. Cloning an application with an explicitly set StorageClass to a cluster that does not have the same StorageClass will fail.

  • Kubernetes resources: Apps that use Kubernetes Resources not collected by Astra Control might not have full app data management capabilities. Astra Control collects the following Kubernetes resources:

ClusterRole

ClusterRoleBinding

ConfigMap

CustomResourceDefinition

CustomResource

CronJob

DaemonSet

HorizontalPodAutoscaler

Ingress

DeploymentConfig

MutatingWebhook

PersistentVolumeClaim

Pod

PodDisruptionBudget

PodTemplate

NetworkPolicy

ReplicaSet

Role

RoleBinding

Route

Secret

Service

ServiceAccount

StatefulSet

ValidatingWebhook

Supported app installation methods

You can use the following methods to install apps that you want to manage with Astra Control:

  • Manifest file: Astra Control supports apps installed from a manifest file using kubectl. For example:

    kubectl apply -f myapp.yaml
  • Helm 3: If you use Helm to install apps, Astra Control requires Helm version 3. Managing and cloning apps installed with Helm 3 (or upgraded from Helm 2 to Helm 3) are fully supported. Managing apps installed with Helm 2 is not supported.

  • Operator-deployed apps: Astra Control supports apps installed with namespace-scoped operators that are, in general, designed with a "pass-by-value" rather than "pass-by-reference" architecture. An operator and the app it installs must use the same namespace; you might need to modify the deployment .yaml file for the operator to ensure this is the case.

    The following are some operator apps that follow these patterns:

    • Apache K8ssandra

      Note For K8ssandra, in-place restore operations are supported. A restore operation to a new namespace or cluster requires that the original instance of the application to be taken down. This is to ensure that the peer group information carried over does not lead to cross-instance communication. Cloning of the app is not supported.
    • Jenkins CI

    • Percona XtraDB Cluster

Astra Control might not be able to clone an operator that is designed with a “pass-by-reference” architecture (for example, the CockroachDB operator). During these types of cloning operations, the cloned operator attempts to reference Kubernetes secrets from the source operator despite having its own new secret as part of the cloning process. The clone operation might fail because Astra Control is unaware of the Kubernetes secrets in the source operator.

Install apps on your cluster

After you’ve added your cluster to Astra Control, you can install apps or manage existing apps on the cluster. Any app that is scoped to a single namespace can be managed.

Astra Control will manage stateful apps only if the storage is on a storage class installed by Astra Control.

Manage apps

After Astra Control discovers namespaces on your clusters, you can define applications that you want to manage. You can choose to manage an entire namespace as a single application or manage one or more apps in the namespace individually. It all comes down to the level of granularity that you need for data protection operations.

Although Astra Control enables you to separately manage both levels of the hierarchy (the namespace and the apps in that namespace), the best practice is to choose one or the other. Actions that you take in Astra Control can fail if the actions take place at the same time at both the namespace and app level.

Tip As an example, you might want to set a backup policy for "maria" that has a weekly cadence, but you might need to back up "mariadb" (which is in the same namespace) more frequently than that. Based on those needs, you would need to manage the apps separately and not as a single-namespace app.
What you’ll need

Before you begin, you should also understand managing standard and system namespaces. For instructions on how to manage apps using the Astra Control API, see the Astra Automation and API information.

Define resources to manage as an app

You can specify the Kubernetes resources that make up an app that you want to manage with Astra Control. Defining an app enables you to group elements of your Kubernetes cluster into a single app. This collection of Kubernetes resources is organized by namespace and label selector criteria.

Defining an app gives you more granular control over what to include in an Astra Control operation, including clone, snapshot, and backups.

Warning When defining apps, ensure that you do not include a Kubernetes resource in multiple apps with protection policies. Overlapping protection policies on a Kubernetes resources can cause data conflicts.
Steps
  1. From the Applications page, select Define.

  2. In the Define application window, enter the app name.

  3. Choose the cluster on which your application is running in the Cluster drop-down list.

  4. Choose the namespace of your application from the Namespace drop-down list.

    Note Apps can be defined only within a specified namespace on a single cluster. Astra Control does not support the ability for apps to span multiple namespaces or clusters.
  5. Enter a label for the app and namespace. You can specify a single label or label selector criteria (query).

    Tip To learn more about Kubernetes labels, see the official Kubernetes documentation.
  6. After you select Define, repeat the process for other apps, as needed.

After you finish defining an app, the app appears in the list of apps on the Applications page. You are now able to clone it and create backups and snapshots.

Note The app you just added might have a warning icon under the Protected column, indicating that it is not backed up and not scheduled for backups yet.
Tip To see details of a particular app, select the app name.

Define a namespace to manage as an app

You can add all Kubernetes resources in a namespace to Astra Control management by defining the resources of that namespace as an application. This method is preferable to defining apps individually if you intend to manage and protect all resources in a particular namespace in a similar way and at common intervals.

Steps
  1. From the Clusters page, select a cluster.

  2. Select the Namespaces tab.

  3. Select the Actions menu for the namespace that contains the app resources you want to manage and select Define as application.

    Tip If you want to manage multiple namespaces, select the namespaces and select the Actions button in the upper-left corner and select manage.
    Note Select the Show system namespaces checkbox to reveal system namespaces that are usually not used in app management by default. A screenshot that shows the <strong>Show system namespaces</strong> option that is available in the Namespaces tab. Read more.

After the process completes, the applications that are associated with the namespace appear in the Associated applications column.

What about system namespaces?

Astra Control also discovers system namespaces on a Kubernetes cluster. We don’t show you these system namespaces by default because it’s rare that you’d need to back up system app resources.

You can display system namespaces from the Namespaces tab for a selected cluster by selecting the Show system namespaces check box.

A screenshot that shows the <strong>Show system namespaces</strong> option that is available in the Namespaces tab.

Tip Astra Control itself is not a standard app; it is a "system app." You should not try to manage Astra Control itself. Astra Control itself isn’t shown by default for management.