Cluster creation overview

When you have finished setting up cluster node machines, your network, and the other prerequisites, you're almost ready to install Google Distributed Cloud. The next step is to decide what kinds of clusters to create and choose which tool to use.

Choose a cluster type

You can create different kinds of clusters in Google Distributed Cloud, including admin clusters (to control the resources of your clusters) and user clusters (to run workloads). We recommend admin and user cluster deployments if you have multiple clusters in the same data center that you want to manage from a centralized place, and for larger deployments that need isolation between different teams or between development and production workloads.

You can also run Google Distributed Cloud as a single standalone cluster, which serves as a user cluster and as an admin cluster. A standalone cluster supports the edge profile, which has significantly reduced system resource requirements and is recommended for edge devices with high resource constraints. In addition, Google Distributed Cloud lets you create hybrid clusters that combine administration tasks and workloads, as well as controlling other user clusters.

Each of these configurations has their own advantages and benefits. For more information on deciding which configuration to develop, see Choose a deployment model.

Choose a tool to create clusters

You have your choice of tools for creating clusters and managing cluster lifecycle:

  • The command-line tool bmctl, which you run on your admin workstation in your on-premises data center.
  • The Google Cloud console, Google Cloud CLI, or Terraform. These standard tools use the GKE On-Prem API, which runs on Google Cloud infrastructure, and collectively they are referred to as the GKE On-Prem API clients.

For information on deciding which tool best suits your needs, see Choose a tool to create clusters.

More information

For more information on creating and configuring clusters, see the following:

About the creation process

The cluster creation process includes preflight checks and machine initialization. If cluster creation fails after the machine initialization phase (even if preflight checks passed without errors), you must delete the cluster. This returns the node to a clean state. After deleting the cluster, you can re-attempt to create the cluster after making any needed configuration changes.

The cluster creation process runs health checks when the cluster has been created. This last step verifies that the cluster is in good operating condition. If the cluster doesn't pass all health checks, the create operation fails. When all health checks pass, the create operation finishes successfully.

Plan for scalability

Before you create a new cluster, you need to understand the dimensions that affect scalability. Some dimensions, such as the number of IP addresses that you can reserve for Pods in your cluster (clusterNetwork.pods.cidrBlocks), are immutable, so you need to plan for them when you create a cluster. For more information about scalability dimensions and how to scale up a cluster, see Scale up Google Distributed Cloud clusters. For information about some of the restrictions and recommendations for maximum settings for your cluster, see Quotas and limits.