Register Your FlexPod Environment With NKS

Contributors ebarcott

Learn how to register your FlexPod environment for the NetApp Kubernetes Service (NKS) so that you can use NKS to create Kubernetes clusters on FlexPod.

The ability to create FlexPod clusters with NKS is currently in pre-release. This feature is not GA (Generally Available).


  • FlexPod installed and configured.

  • An NKS account. If you don’t have one already, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial with no credit card required at https://nks.netapp.io.

  • NKS Registrator command-line tool installed and configured.

Your Registration Machine Environment

You must have the NKS Registrator command-line tool installed and configured. To download the most recent version of the tool, contact your NetApp account representative. If you don’t have a NetApp account representative, please email nks@netapp.com to get set up.

Rename the downloaded binary file to nks-register and move it to the directory where you wish to run it.

Make the binary executable:

  • Mac: chmod +x nks-register

  • Linux: chmod +x nks-register

  • Depending on your Windows configuration, you may need to run this file as Administrator. To do this, right-click the file and choose "Run as Adminstrator."

To verify the installation, use the command:

./nks-register --help

If the binary is installed and running correctly, this returns help information about the program.

Additional registration machine environment requirements:

  • Helpful but not required:

    • Golang version 1.12.5 or later installed.

    • Govc version 0.18.0 or later installed.

Directory Details

The NKS Registrator stores configuration information in the ~/.nks directory. Upon registration, the program creates a sub-directory with your region name. This is where the configuration files will be saved, including a keypair which you can use to SSH into the BootVM if necessary.

Create an NKS API token

In order to register your FlexPod environment with NKS, you will need an NKS API token. You can use an existing NKS API token if you have one.

To create a new API token:

  1. Register or log in at NKS.

  2. Click your profile avatar in the top right corner and select Edit Profile.

  3. In the API Tokens section, click Add Token.

  4. Copy the token and save it somewhere safe. This is your only chance to view your API token. The token cannot be displayed after you leave or reload the page.

Register FlexPod

From the command line, invoke the NKS Registrator command-line utility. You have several possible options for registering in NKS:

  • FlexPod: Register NetApp FlexPod as a region in NKS (interactive mode).

  • HCI: Register NetApp HCI as a region in NKS (interactive mode).

  • vSphere: Register generic vSphere as a region in NKS (interactive mode).

  • unregister: Remove any FlexPod, HCI or generic VMware region from NKS and delete associated on-premise resources.

  • create-configuration: Collect configuration values from vSphere and user input and write to a config file.

  • from-config: Register a region in NKS using an existing configuration file.

  • help: Help information for any command.

Please note that commands are case-sensitive.

You can view these options at any time by using the command:

./nks-register --help

In most cases, you will want to use vSphere to register your FlexPod environment:

./nks-register vSphere

To begin, you will need to log in to vCenter. Enter your information at the prompts:

  • Your vCenter URL.

  • Your vCenter username.

  • Your vCenter password.

Next, you will be presented with a series of menus. Use your arrow key to navigate through the choices, and click Enter to select:

  • Your vCenter resource pool. Use the arrow key to select NKS Pool from the list.

  • Your vCenter datastore.

  • Your vCenter Management Network. If you are unsure, choose VM_Network.

  • Your vCenter Storage Network. If you are unsure, choose iSCSI—​B.

Enter a name for your new region. This name should be unique to your system, and specific enough to be easily identifiable when you need to select it to provision an NKS cluster.

Enter the NKS API URL https://api.nks.netapp.io.

Paste in your NKS API token.

Use the arrow key to select the NKS organization you want to use for provisioning clusters on FlexPod.

Optional: If you want to set up Element storage for your region, select it here.

This completes the information collection.

The registration process will begin, and you will see a message that the Bootstrap VM output will be dumped to a local file. Make a note of the bootstrap output file name.

The progress meter will count up to 100, at which point the registration process is complete, and you are returned to the command line prompt. You can read the bootstrap output file to verify that registration completed successfully.

You can now create an NKS cluster in your FlexPod environment. Click here for step-by-step instructions.