Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes for Hybrid Cloud Management — Manage Everything and Anywhere

Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes allows you to connect Kubernetes clusters to Azure for extending Azure's management capabilities like Azure Policy, GitOps, Azure Monitor, Microsoft Defender, Azure RBAC, and Open service mesh,  Azure Machine learning capabilities.

With Azure Arc, customers can attach, connect and configure Kubernetes clusters running anywhere public cloud providers and on-premises data centers outside of Azure and deploy modern applications at scale. Key features include Inventory, grouping, tagging and organization, governance and configuration, integrated DevOps and management capabilities, and a unified tool experience..

In this blog, we will follow a step by step approach and learn how to:

1. Connect Kubernetes clusters running outside of Azure

2. GitOps - to define applications and cluster configuration in source control

3. Azure Policy for Kubernetes

4. Azure Monitor for containers


1. Connect Kubernetes clusters


  • Azure account with an active subscription.
  • Identity – User or service principal
  • Latest Azure CLI
  • Extensions - connectedk8s and k8sconfiguration
  • An up-and-running Kubernetes cluster
  • Resource providers - Microsoft.Kubernetes, Microsoft.KubernetesConfiguration, Microsoft.ExtendedLocation

Create a Resource Group

Create a Resource Group using below command in Azure portal choose your desired location. Azure Arc for Kubernetes supports most of the azure regions. Use this page Azure products by region to know the supported regions.

* az group create --name AzureArcRes -l EastUS -o table

For example: az group create --name AzureArcK8sTest --location EastUS --output table


Connect to the cluster with admin access and attach it with Azure Arc

We use az connectedk8s connect cli extension to attach our Kubernetes clusters to Azure Arc.

This command verify the connectivity to our Kubernetes clusters via kube-config (“~/.kube/config”) file and deploy Azure Arc agents to the cluster into the “azure-arc” namespace and installs Helm v3 to the .azure folder.

For this demonstration we connect and attach AWS – Elastic Kubernetes service and Google cloud – Kubernetes engine. Below, we step through the commands used to connect and attach to each cluster.




* aws eks --region <Region> update-kubeconfig --name <ClusterName>

* kubectl get nodes


* az connectedk8s connect --name <ClusterName> --resource-group AzureArcRes

az connectedk8s connect



GCloud – GKE

gcloud container clusters get-credentials <ClusterName> --zone <ZONE> --project <ProjectID>

* kubectl get no

* az connectedk8s connect --name <ClusterName> --resource-group AzureArcRes

az connectedk8s connect


Verify Connected Clusters

* az connectedk8s list -g AzureArcRes -o table

Verify Connected Clusters

Azure Arc


2. Using GitOps to define applications & clusters

We use the connected GKE cluster for our example to deploy a simple application.

Create a configuration to deploy an application to kubernetes cluster.
We use “k8sconfiguration” extension to link our connected cluster to an example git repository provided by SNP.

* export KUBECONFIG=~/.kube/gke-config

* az k8sconfiguration create \

              --name app-config \

              --cluster-name <ClusterName> --resource-group <YOUR_RG_NAME>\

              --operator-instance-name app-config --operator-namespace cluster-config \

              --repository-url \

             --scope cluster --cluster-type connectedClusters

Check to see that the namespaces, deployments, and resources have been created:

* kubectl get ns --show-labels

We can see that cluster-config namespace have been created.

Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes

* kubectl get po,svc

The flux operator has been deployed to cluster-config namespace, as directed by our sourceControlConfig and application deployed successfully, we can see the pods are Running and Service LoadBalancer IP also created.

Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes

Access the EXTERNAL-IP to see the output page:

Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes

Please Note:

Supported repository-url Parameters for Public & Private repos:

* Public GitHub Repo   -  (or) git://

* Private GitHub Repo - (or)

* For the Private Repos – flux generates a SSH key and logs the public key as shown below:

Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes

For this demonstration we connect and attach AWS – Elastic Kubernetes service and Google cloud – Kubernetes engine. Below, we step through the commands used to connect and attach to each cluster.

3. Azure Policy for Kubernetes

Use Azure Policy to enforce that each Microsoft.Kubernetes/connectedclusters resource or Git-Ops enabled Microsoft.ContainerService/managedClusters resource has specific Microsoft.KubernetesConfiguration/sourceControlConfigurations applied on it.


assign Policy:

To create the policy navigate to Azure portal and Policy, in the Authoring section select the Definitions.
Click on Initiative definition to create the policy and search for gitops in the Available Definitions, click on Deploy GitOps to Kubernetes clusters policy to add.
Select the subscription in the Definition locations, Give the Policy assignment Name and Description.

Choose the Kubernetes in the existing Category list and scroll-down to fill the Configuration related details of an application.

Azure Arc

Select the policy definition and click on Assign option above and set the scope for the assignment. Scope can be Azure resource group level or subscription and complete the other basics steps – Assignment name, Exclusions, remediation etc.

Click on parameters and provide name for the Configuration resourceOperator instanceOperator namespace and set the Operator scope to cluster level or namespace, Operator type is Flux and provide your application github repo url (public or private) in the Repository Url field. Now, additionally pass the Operator parameters such as “--git-branch=master --git-path=manifests --git-user=your-username –git-readonly=false” finally click on Save option and see the policy with the given name is created in the Assignments.

Once the assignment is created the Policy engine will identify all connectedCluster or managedCluster resources that are located within the scope and will apply the sourceControlConfiguration on them.

Azure Arc

--git-readonly=false enables the CI/CD for the repo and creates the Auto releases for the commits.


Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes


Verify a policy assignment

Go to Azure portal and click on connected Cluster resources to check the Compliant Status, Compliant: config-agent was able to successfully configure the cluster and deploy flux without error.

Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes

We can see the policy assignment that we created above, and the Compliance state should be Compliant.

Azure Arc

4. Azure Monitor for containers

It provides rich monitoring experience for the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) and AKS Engine clusters. This can be enabled for one or more existing deployments of Arc enabled Kubernetes clusters using az cli, azure portal and resource manager.

Create Azure Log Analytics workspace or use an existing one to configure the insights and logs. Use below command to install the extension and configure it to report to the log analytics workspace.

*az k8s-extension create --name azuremonitor-containers --cluster-name <cluster-name> --resource-group <resource-group> --cluster-type connectedClusters --extension-type Microsoft.AzureMonitor.Containers --configuration-settings logAnalyticsWorkspaceResourceID=<armResourceIdOfExistingWorkspace

It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to get the health metrics, logs, and insights for the cluster. You can check the status of extension in the Azure portal or through CLI. Extension status should show as “Installed”.

Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes

Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes

We can also scrape and analyze Prometheus metrics from our cluster.

Clean Up Resources

To delete an extension:

      * az k8s-extension delete --name azuremonitor-containers --cluster-type connectedClusters --cluster-name <cluster-name> --resource-group <resource-group-name>

To delete a configuration:

      *az k8sconfiguration delete --name '<config name>' -g '<resource group name>' --cluster-name '<cluster name>' --cluster-type connectedClusters

To disconnect a connected cluster:

      * az connectedk8s delete --name <cluster-name> --resource-group <resource-group-name>



This blog covers the overview of the Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes with an example on how SNP helps its customers setup Kubernetes clusters with Azure Arc and deploy at scale. To help you accelerate your Kubernetes journey with our subscription services that supports installing production-grade Kubernetes on-premises, in Microsoft Azure. Contact SNP specialists here.

azure arc for kubernetes
Gousiya Sayyad

Gousiya Sayyad

Gousiya Sayyad is a Certified DevOps Engineer at SNP Technologies. She is responsible for Migrating App innovation projects to Azure Service, Managing Multi-container-orchestrations and building and designing end-to-end DevOps Architecture with best practices and Microsoft certified Azure Developer associate, Azure Administrator, Azure DevOps Engineer expert, and Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA)