Set up GKE Enterprise on Google Cloud

This page shows you how to set up GKE Enterprise on Google Cloud.

Before you start

Enable GKE Enterprise, following the instructions in Enable GKE Enterprise.

Enabling GKE Enterprise gives you access to all GKE Enterprise features for a single per-vCPU charge. Enabling GKE Enterprise also entitles you to add clusters outside Google Cloud to your fleet to create a hybrid or multi-cloud deployment.

Note that for clusters on Google Cloud only, you can choose to not enable the enterprise tier but still use fleets. This option lets you create fleets of GKE clusters and pay only for the enterprise features you use with them, in addition to your GKE charges.

You can see a complete list of supported enterprise features for each option in Deployment options, and learn more about GKE Enterprise pricing in our Pricing guide.

Cluster requirements

Follow the instructions in the GKE documentation to create clusters for use with GKE Enterprise. You can also create and register a cluster to your fleet in a single step by using the Google Cloud CLI.

We recommend that you create clusters with GKE Workload Identity enabled, as this lets your clusters use fleet Workload Identity after they are registered to your fleet. Autopilot clusters have this feature enabled by default.

GKE Enterprise supports the use of both release channels and static versions for clusters on Google Cloud. However, we recommend the use of release channels whenever possible, as they provide additional benefits such as automated updates to your clusters.

If you want to use Cloud Service Mesh, be aware that this feature has specific cluster requirements for installation. For details, see the following:

Register clusters to your fleet

You must register all clusters that you want to use with GKE Enterprise to your project's fleet. A fleet provides a way to logically group and normalize Kubernetes clusters, making administration of infrastructure easier. Clusters in the same fleet can be browsed and managed together in the Google Cloud console, and many GKE Enterprise and Google Cloud components use fleet concepts such as identity sameness and namespace sameness to simplify working with multiple clusters. You can find out much more about fleets and the functionality that they enable in our Fleet management guide.

Read the prerequisites before registering your cluster to ensure that you have the relevant permissions and enabled APIs to register a cluster. You can register GKE clusters on Google Cloud by using the Google Cloud console, the Google Cloud CLI, or with declarative registration using Terraform or Config Connector. For complete instructions for all of these options, see Register a cluster on Google Cloud.

If you have existing clusters in your project when you enable GKE Enterprise, you can register them during enablement.

Note that once you have enabled GKE Enterprise, any clusters that are registered to the fleet will incur Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) Enterprise edition charges.

Enable GKE Enterprise features

After you set up your fleet, use the following guides to enable additional GKE Enterprise features for your applications. For complete documentation sets for all GKE Enterprise features, including tutorials, reference material, and more, see GKE Enterprise components.

You can enable some features at fleet level for your clusters, although some features require further configuration to actually use them: for example, specifying and authenticating to your chosen config source repo with Config Sync. Other features must be set up on clusters following their installation guides. You can learn more in Manage fleet-level features.

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