A very useful property of automation is the ability to experiment. After creating my vSphere 7 with Kubernetes Automation Lab Deployment Script, I wanted to see what was the minimal footprint in terms of the physical resources but also the underlying components that would be required to allow me to still a fully functional vSphere with Kubernetes environment.
Before diving in, let me give you the usual disclaimer 😉
Disclaimer: This is not officially supported by VMware and you can potentially run into issues if you deviate from the official requirements which the default deployment script adheres to out of the box.
In terms of the physical resources, you will need a system that can provision up to 8 vCPU (this can be further reduced, see Additional Resource Reduction section below), 92GB memory and 1TB of storage (thin provisioned).
- 1 x Nested ESXi VM with 4 vCPU and 36GB memory
- 1 x VCSA with 2 vCPU and 12GB memory
- 1 x NSX-T Unified Appliance with 4 vCPU and 12GB memory
- 1 x NSX-T Edge with 8 vCPU and 12GB memory
Note: You can probably reduce memory footprint of the ESXi VM further depending on your usage and the VCSA is using the default values for "Tiny", so you can probably trim the memory down a bit more.
Another benefit to this solution is by reducing the number of ESXi VMs required, it also speeds up the deployment and in just 35 minutes, you can have the complete infrastructure fully stood up and configured to try out vSphere with Kubernetes!
The other trick that I leveraged to reduce the amount of resources is by changing the default number of Supervisor Control Plane VMs required for enabling vSphere with Kubernetes. By default, three of these VMs are deployed as part of setting up the Supervisor Cluster, however I found a way to tell the Workload Control Plane (WCP) to only deploy two 🙂
This minimal deployment of vSphere with Kubernetes has already been incorporated into my vSphere with Kubernetes deployment script, but it does require altering several specific settings. You can find the instructions below.