Halyard Overview

Halyard is a versatile command line interface (CLI) to configure and deploy Spinnaker™.

Overview of Halyard and Spinnaker

First, a bit of background. Spinnaker is composed of a number of microservices (primarily Spring Java-based), that often run as Docker containers in a Kubernetes cluster.

The open source Halyard installer works roughly as follows:

  • You run the hal command (locally on your machine, in a container, or on a VM) to start up a Halyard daemon, which you then interact with and which also interacts with your Spinnaker cluster
  • You run various hal commands to tell the daemon how to create/update your ‘halconfig', which is a codified definition of your Spinnaker cluster. For example, in order to set up a basic Spinnaker cluster, you’d need several of the following:
    • hal config provider kubernetes enable to enable the Kubernetes Cloud Provider
    • hal config provider kubernetes account add X --<flags> to add a Kubernetes account
    • hal config storage edit --<flags> to configure persistent storage using some blob storage
    • hal config deploy edit --type distributed --account-name X --<flags> to configure Halyard to deploy Spinnaker as a distributed set of Kuberntes deployments on account X
  • All of the various configs you add via hal config are added to a dot directory called .hal. For example, most of the above configurations would be reflected in ~/.hal/config
  • You run hal deploy apply to ‘apply’ all of the changes that you’ve made and install Spinnaker to your cluster. This does the following:
    • Renders a number of intermediate yaml (and other configuration) files in a staging directory (~/.hal/<deployment>/staging)
    • Creates a number of Kubernetes secrets containing the rendered configuration files
    • Creates a Kubernetes deployment for each of the Spinnaker microservices
    • Creates a Kubernetes service entity for each of the Spinnaker microservices

Then, you’d add additional cloud providers (again, via hal config), and apply them to your cluster with hal deploy apply, which create corresponding secrets and configurations which would then get updated on your deployments.

†This is greatly simplified, but should provide enough background to understand what’s going on.

An extension of the open source Halyard

Armory provides an extension of open source Halyard. We make the initial deployment of Spinnaker much simpler if you’re working with a Kubernetes cluster and AWS S3, by adding a command that triggers a series of prompts (sort of a mini tutorial) that handles a lot of the initial configuration. This occurs when you run hal armory init - it will prompt you for the following information:

  • Which kubeconfig to use, and which Kubernetes cluster within that kubeconfig to deploy to
  • Which AWS credential profile to use to connect to S3
  • Which S3 bucket to store state in

So with the Armory-extended Halyard , Armory makes it much easier to get your initial Spinnaker up and running by automating a lot of the initial configuration.

Armory uses user provided configuration to deploy a number of Kubernetes manifests to create the mulitple microservices that comprise Spinnaker.

It’s not a single Docker container, and it’s not a set of static VMs - it’s a highly-resilient distributed microservices architecture that runs on top of Kubernetes.

Here are a couple key points:

  • Armory makes getting started with Spinnaker very easy
  • We extend Halyard and other Spinnaker services to add capabilitles; we never fork
  • We handle a lot of the manual configuration of Spinnaker for you
  • We make it much easier to upgrade Spinnaker, as well.

If you already have a Kubernetes cluster, and you already have access to S3, we make installing Spinnaker insanely easy - just run our installation script, and you can have Spinnaker up and running in 15 minutes or less.

If you’re not using S3 or not using Kubernetes, you can still get all the other benefits of the Armory distribution, just by following the standard open source hal configuration steps using our extended Halyard package.

Either way, feel free to reach out to us at hello@armory.io and we can help you get started!

Last modified April 12, 2022: (24a04f9a)