Connecting Clusters

This section describes how to connect Kubernetes clusters to Lens AppIQ using a Magic Link generated through our UI. For greater control and automation, visit CLI Cluster Management.

There are two steps to adding clusters using our UI:

  • Generate a kubectl command with a Magic Link using our UI.
  • Run such a command against your cluster to install our control plane

The sections below explain each part in detail.

Connecting Cluster

Visit after signing in to your account and click on the button Connect Cluster

A modal will open up in your window. Enter a name to identify your cluster (optional) and click the button Generate Command. Lens AppIQ will generate a Magic Link and display it as part of a kubectl command that you can easily copy and run in your cluster

Copy and paste the command into your terminal (while making sure you are in the right cluster context) and press ENTER. Several Kubernetes resources will be created in your cluster to initiate the deployment of our control plane

$ kubectl apply -f ""
namespace/shipa created
secret/sh.helm.release.v1.shipa-agent.v1 created
serviceaccount/shipa-agent created
secret/shipa-agent created
configmap/shipa-agent-config created created created created created created created created created created created created created created created
service/shipa-agent-api created
deployment.apps/shipa-agent created


Chart details and permissions

If you would like to see all the objects that will be created in your cluster before running the command, simple execute a CURL request against the magic link curl "" and you will be able to inspect the chart in details.

While our agents are deployed and the connection is established, you can monitor the process locally by running the command kubectl get pods -n shipa -w into your terminal. Wait until all pieces are in a "Running" status.

$ kubectl get pods -n shipa
NAME                                READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
shipa-agent-5879fb7954-wtp44        1/1     Running   0          3m9s
shipa-busybody-rgdgk                1/1     Running   0          2m53s
shipa-controller-6ccf95854d-cfdtp   1/1     Running   0          2m56s

At this point in time, you should see your cluster in the dashboard in a Connecting state. Hover over the status dropdown to see which pieces of the control plane are Running already and which ones are still Pending to be installed.

You can also visualize the status of the process on the Events page by looking for a record with the Kind cluster.create. If an error occurs during the connection, you should be able to see its details by inspecting the particular event associated with your cluster.

Once the installation of the control plane is finished, your cluster should appear on the Cluster list page with a Running status.

Click on the cluster to see further details about it (namespaces, metadata, control plane status, and more):

As soon as your cluster is connected to Lens AppIQ, our agents will start discovering the namespaces and applications running on it. You can verify this activity by visiting the Events page and looking at all app.create events generated. After a few minutes, all applications running on your cluster should be visible from our dashboard and ready to be inspected

That's it! Your cluster is fully connected to Lens AppIQ.


Connect your cluster using Kubectl and Lens AppIQ CLI

By running the Lens AppIQ CLI, you can access more connectivity options e.g naming the cluster with the current kubectl context

kubectl apply -f $(lapps cluster connect -n cluster-name -c)

Enable application deployments

When connecting clusters, you can optionally choose to install our deployment engine if your team plans to use Lens AppIQ to ease their deployment strategy.

To enable the deployment engine, simply open the cluster connection modal, and check the box "Enable application deployments" before generating a new command. This will instruct our API during the connection time about the need to install additional pieces as part of our control plane.

If your cluster is already connected to Lens AppIQ, and you want to enable the deployment engine there, simply go to the Cluster Details page, and click the button "Enable deployments".

When the deployment checkbox is selected, a new section is displayed on the screen asking the user to configure a mandatory ingress controller (as stated in the modal this configuration is required, so our control plane can set up routing for your applications).

For now, we will leave the selection as is and use the default ingress controller. This will instruct our agent to deploy nginx in your cluster and configure it as such. See use your own ingress controller for further information.



When using our default ingress controller, the form allows you to specify if your cluster provider can provision Load Balancers with external IP addresses. If the option is selected, nginx (our default ingress controller) will get deployed as a LoadBalancer in your cluster and our control plane will leverage it to set up public domains for your applications, to make them accessible outside of your cluster. If the option is not selected, then nginx gets exposed as a ClusterIP service, and access to your apps outside of the cluster will not be configured.

Make sure that the option is checked only if your provider truly supports provisioning external IPs for Load Balancers. If it doesn't and you still mark the option, the connection process to Len AppIQ will fail.

Click the button "Generate Command" after your selection is ready.

A new kubectl command gets displayed on the screen. Proceed to copy and paste it into your terminal (against your intended cluster). Press Enter to initiate the installation. A few more Kubernetes resources will be created, and the deployment of more pieces in our control plane should start

$ kubectl apply -f ""
namespace/shipa configured
secret/sh.helm.release.v1.shipa-agent.v1 configured
serviceaccount/shipa-agent unchanged
secret/shipa-agent unchanged
configmap/shipa-agent-config configured unchanged unchanged unchanged created created created created created unchanged unchanged created created unchanged unchanged unchanged created created created created created unchanged unchanged created created unchanged unchanged created created unchanged unchanged created created
service/shipa-agent-api unchanged
deployment.apps/shipa-agent configured

Oversee the installation process by running the commandkubectl get pods -A and monitoring the deployment of the remaining pieces of our control plane (cert-manager, ketch-controller and metrics-exporter).

$ kubectl get pods -A
shipa-agent-69797f9757-mt94c        0/1     Running             0          23s
shipa-agent-6d4ddd4fbf-hflf7        1/1     Running             0          28m
shipa-busybody-w2pl7                1/1     Running             0          27m
shipa-controller-74784c88d7-546wb   1/1     Running             0          27m
shipa-controller-fb986d577-k98ct    0/1     ContainerCreating   0          2s
shipa-controller-fb986d577-k98ct    0/1     Running             0          2s
shipa-controller-fb986d577-k98ct    1/1     Running             0          20s
shipa-controller-74784c88d7-546wb   1/1     Terminating         0          28m
shipa-controller-74784c88d7-546wb   0/1     Terminating         0          28m
shipa-controller-74784c88d7-546wb   0/1     Terminating         0          28m
shipa-controller-74784c88d7-546wb   0/1     Terminating         0          28m
shipa-controller-74784c88d7-546wb   0/1     Terminating         0          28m
shipa-nginx-ingress-86f7458bbd-4hzrd   0/1     Pending             0          0s
shipa-nginx-ingress-86f7458bbd-4hzrd   0/1     Pending             0          0s
shipa-nginx-ingress-86f7458bbd-4hzrd   0/1     ContainerCreating   0          0s
metrics-exporter-5cbfbc6bc5-6wxs9      0/1     Pending             0          0s
metrics-exporter-5cbfbc6bc5-6wxs9      0/1     Pending             0          0s
metrics-exporter-5cbfbc6bc5-6wxs9      0/1     ContainerCreating   0          0s
shipa-nginx-ingress-86f7458bbd-4hzrd   0/1     Running             0          11s
metrics-exporter-5cbfbc6bc5-6wxs9      1/1     Running             0          5s
ketch-controller-5d59bc67b-lxw49       0/1     Pending             0          0s
ketch-controller-5d59bc67b-lxw49       0/1     Pending             0          0s
ketch-controller-5d59bc67b-lxw49       0/1     ContainerCreating   0          0s
ketch-controller-5d59bc67b-lxw49       1/1     Running             0          4s
shipa-agent-69797f9757-mt94c           1/1     Running             0          111s
shipa-agent-6d4ddd4fbf-hflf7           1/1     Terminating         0          29m
shipa-agent-6d4ddd4fbf-hflf7           0/1     Terminating         0          29m
shipa-agent-6d4ddd4fbf-hflf7           0/1     Terminating         0          29m
shipa-agent-6d4ddd4fbf-hflf7           0/1     Terminating         0          29m
shipa-agent-6d4ddd4fbf-hflf7           0/1     Terminating         0          29m
shipa-nginx-ingress-86f7458bbd-4hzrd   1/1     Running             0          20s
shipa-controller-fb986d577-k98ct       0/1     Running             1 (1s ago)   2m4s
shipa-controller-fb986d577-k98ct       1/1     Running             1 (22s ago)   2m25s

Note: Please note that installing the deployment engine might take a few minutes as we deploy all necessary pieces in your cluster

On the dashboard, it should be visible that your cluster is currently "Updating"

Once all the new pieces are installed, your cluster should go back to a Running state, and the Control Plane tab should reflect the new pieces deployed

That's it, the deployment engine is already running, and ready to be used. Start deploying applications as needed.

Use your own ingress

When enabling application deployments, the UI states that you can leverage your own ingress controller to set up routing for your applications, instead of installing a new nginx.

To do so, you will need to follow the steps mentioned below:

Collect the IP address of the services where your ingress controller is exposed. For example, if using istio, run the command kubectl get services -n istio-system and grab the external IP of your service, in this case If you'd like to make apps accessible outside the cluster via public domains, then you use the external IP of your service, otherwise, grab the ClusterIP assigned to it.

kubectl get services -n istio-system
NAME                   TYPE           CLUSTER-IP    EXTERNAL-IP    PORT(S)                                                                      AGE
istio-egressgateway    ClusterIP   <none>         80/TCP,443/TCP                                                               24h
istio-ingressgateway   LoadBalancer  15021:31703/TCP,80:31184/TCP,443:30904/TCP,31400:31648/TCP,15443:31256/TCP   24h
istiod                 ClusterIP    <none>         15010/TCP,15012/TCP,443/TCP,15014/TCP                                        24h

On the UI, within the cluster connect modal, select the option "Enable application deployments" and then "Use your own ingress controller"


Compatible ingress controller

At the moment, Lens AppIQ is only compatible with istio, nginx and traefik. If compatibility with other ingress controllers is required please reach out to our support.

Fill out the required information based on your ingress controller. In this scenario we will select istio as the Provider, Load Balancer as the Service Type, as the IP Address (Address retrieved from the first step)

With all the selections ready, click the button "Generate Command", and as done before copy and paste the resulting command into your terminal to install the control plane.

That's all. Your cluster connection will start and our control plane will be installed without deploying "nginx" as part of it. When deploying apps to this cluster, Lens AppIQ will use your available istio to route applications through either its Load Balancer or through its ClusterIP


Debugging cluster connection issues

Please consider that any failure in the cluster connection process can be seen in the Events section of the dashboard, filtering the list by the Kind cluster.create, and clicking on a specific event you want to inspect. Error descriptions will be listed in there.

Cleaning up Lens AppIQ control plane

If the process of connecting your cluster to Lens AppIQ fails, there is a chance that a few pieces of our control plane will be left there untouched (agents, roles, cluster roles, etc). To clean all leftovers please run the following commands in your terminal

kubectl get -o name | grep shipa | xargs kubectl delete
kubectl get clusterrole -o name | grep shipa | xargs kubectl delete
kubectl delete ns shipa


Reusing a previously connected cluster

The cleanup process mentioned above is also recommended if our control plane was installed in your cluster in a previous time. Please run the commands above before trying to reconnect the same cluster to Lens AppIQ.

What’s Next

Cluster integration can also be managed directly through our CLI. For more information, please visit the pages below: