Features

Elements

Every element depicted below has a visual representation of what state the element is in, excluding the link elements and log elements. Translucent represents the element has no state and is waiting to be activated. Yellow represents the element that is in the process of being deployed. Blue represents a successful deployment and is running successfully. Red represents a failed deployment and error state.

Node Element

The node element is a visual representation of a virtual machine running inside a user’s cloud service provider account. Multiple nodes represent a cluster. The cluster can be scaled up by dragging out more available nodes if the user has any available. Starting the cluster with the play button will initiate terraform scripts that will build a given cluster in the users chosen cloud service provider, or on-prem environment. Stopping the cluster with the power button will initiate terraform scripts that will tear down the given cluster and any resources associated with it. Up to 3 elements may be attached to a given node at one time. The frontend calls a backend service which contains the underlying logic required to execute and fulfill the requests input by the user. The node element is mapped to a set of machines that represent a Kubernetes cluster. The backend service manages these machines, and their supporting infrastructure,using Hashicorp Terraform. The backend service dynamically generates the required inputs for terraform based on the requested state from the user. These inputs are injected into the Terraform execution environment using environment variables. The backend service then executes Terraform within this environment by copying the generated terraform files into a temporary directory, injecting the saved state for Terraform, setting up the environment variables, and executing Terraform. The backend service then captures all output from Terraform to watch for errors and to communicate progress to the frontend. Once Terraform completes, the backend service saves any required outputs including secrets and state for use when another set of changes need to be made. The deployed cluster has a set of base services deployed and is configured to dynamically interact with the underlying cloud provider to allow for automated provisioning of volumes, services, and other cloud-native services directly from within the cluster. This also enables features such as autoscaling and other features that require integration between the cloud provider and the Kubernetes cluster managed by harpoon.

Git Element

The git element is a visual representation of a git repository which can be either a public or private repository. A given git repository can be built with a pre-existing docker file or write their own build commands and choose their own operating system to build the repository. Git elements can only be attached to nodes.

Container Element

The container element is a visual representation of a container image that can be deployed to a cluster. Container elements can only be attached to nodes. When a user calls for the deployment of a container on the frontend, a backend service is called to process the request. The frontend passes the image and configuration information to the backend for the creation of the container. harpoon stores the kubeconfig required to connect and interact with a cluster so that requests can be made directly to the cluster. The backend service takes the information provided by the frontend and dynamically generates a set of Kubernetes manifests to allow for the deployment of the container to the running cluster. The exact manifests generated vary based on the exact nature of the request from the frontend but generally, a Kubernetes Deployment object is created to instruct the cluster to deploy the container. The backend service then deploys these manifests to the cluster using its API and then watches for a successful or unsuccessful deployment of the container. The state and status of the deployment is communicated to the frontend to show the user what the state of their request is.

ConfigMap Element

The config map element is a visual representation of Kubernetes ConfigMaps. A ConfigMap in Kubernetes is a Key/Value pair. ConfigMap elements can only be attached to git or container elements. When a ConfigMap element is attached to a git or container element, it modifies the deployment descriptor for the relevant Kubernetes pod that is already deployed in the Kubernetes cluster and then executes a command in Kubernetes to update the configuration for that deployment using the Kubernetes API. Much like the Container deployments, the frontend makes a call to the backend which generates the required manifests and pushes them to Kubernetes dynamically on behalf of the user. The backend service also modifies the associated container deployment to expose the created ConfigMap, in the user-specified manner, to the running container deployment.

Volume Element

The Volume element is a visual representation of a Kubernetes Persistent Volume Claim (PVC) for a given git or container element. Users can input the volume directory location inside a Kubernetes Pod where the data will be replicated to a distributed volume in the cloud. Volume elements can only be attached to git or container elements. When a Volume element is attached to a git or container element, it modifies the deployment descriptor for the relevant Kubernetes pod that is already deployed in the Kubernetes cluster and then executes a command in Kubernetes to update the configuration for that deployment using the Kubernetes API. The PVC in Kubernetes that is deployed will be dynamically linked to the distributed volume in the cloud. Much like the Container deployments, the frontend makes a call to the backend which generates the required manifests and pushes them to Kubernetes dynamically on behalf of the user. The backend service also modifies the associated container deployment to expose the created Volume, in the user-specified manner, to the running container deployment.

Ingress Element

The ingress element is a visual representation of a Kubernetes Ingress Route for the deployed git or container element. Users can directly input the port number that will be used to open the port for the relevant Pod in Kubernetes. Clicking the lock image on an ingress element will open the lock and open the attached Container/Pod to the internet. Ingress elements can only be attached to git or container elements. When an Ingress element is attached to a git or container element, it modifies the deployment descriptor for the relevant Kubernetes pod that is already deployed in the Kubernetes cluster and then executes a command in Kubernetes to update the configuration for that deployment using the Kubernetes API. Depending on the exact cloud provider and ingress plane configured by the Kubernetes deployment, harpoon will generate the required manifests to configure Ingress at the Kubernetes level. For some Service Mesh based deployments, the harpoon backend services will deploy a loadbalancer using the same Terraform mechanism used for the rest of the cluster. This is then configured to interact with the Service Mesh within the cluster to allow for automated configuration of ingress into the cluster. The backend service will then monitor the standup of the route both internally and externally to inform the user that the route is ready for use. This can include monitoring DNS servers to watch for when names propagate and are ready for use by users.

Secret Element

The secret element is a visual representation of Kubernetes secrets storage for a given git or container element. Secret elements can only be attached to git or container elements. A secret element also takes a key/value pair, much like a ConfigMap, but offers more security/encryption through the Kubernetes secrets storage capability. When the Secret element is attached to a git or container element, it enables the relevant Kubernetes Pod to then use the key associated with the secret as a reference to the value of the secret, thereby obfuscating the true value of the secret in any source code or variables in use by the Pod and giving the option to dynamically modify the secret value without updating the software running in the Pod. Much like the Container deployments, the frontend makes a call to the backend which generates the required manifests and pushes them to Kubernetes dynamically on behalf of the user. The backend service also modifies the associated container deployment to expose the created Secret, in the user-specified manner, to the running container deployment.

Pod Log Element

The log element is a visual representation of logs outputted by the deployed Kubernetes Pods giving users the ability to see what is happening inside their deployed container image. When a user clicks the log button on a specific container or git element that is already deployed (via the Deploy button), a request is made to harpoon’s deployment microservice to retrieve the logs. The deployment microservices calls the Kubernetes API to return the logs for the specified pod ID within the relevant namespace. The deployment service waits for Kubernetes to return the response and then forwards that response to the harpoon frontend to display the relevant log data to the user. The harpoon backend services connect directly to the Kubernetes API for the user cluster, using the same dynamic mechanism as the other Kubernetes objects, to pull logs for the user deployments. These are then sent to the frontend for visualization by the user.

Third-party Integration

Other

Projects

Users have the ability to separate deployments into different Projects. Projects are physically on the same cluster but logically isolated. In this way, Project A cannot talk to Project B. Users can create a project from scratch or copy existing projects into a workspace.