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This is a reference design and implementation of an environment template to provision self service developer environments within a cluster running on PhoenixNAP. This reference design is based on Rafay's Kubernetes Manager and Environment Manager.

Source Code for Template

The Terraform source code and related assets are available in a public Git repo as shown below

Git Repo


This design assumes an Upstream Kubernetes cluster will be deployed on instances provisioned on an infrastructure provider (e.g. Phoenix NAP) using Environment Manager. The Kubernetes cluster will be managed using Rafay's Kubernetes Manager. A number of critical software add-ons will be automatically deployed on the Kubernetes cluster using the specified cluster blueprint. In this example, we automatically configure and deploy a number of Rafay managed add-ons and metallb load balancer as part of the cluster blueprint. See details below.

  • MetalLB Load Balancer
  • Managed Ingress Controller
  • Managed Storage
  • Visibility & Monitoring
  • Secure Access

Installation Sequence


In future versions of this environment template, we plan to add additional add-ons (e.g. turnkey OPA Gatekeeper policies, cost visibility) to the default list.


Platform teams can use this template in multiple RBAC managed projects in their Rafay Orgs for different application teams and use cases. An illustrative example is shown below.


Environment Template

The provided environment template comprises three resources.


This resource template is based on Infrastructure as Code (IaC) using Phoenix NAP's Terraform Provider to provision Ubuntu 22.04 OS based server instances in the configured region.

Upstream Kubernetes

This resource template is based on Infrastructure as Code (IaC) using Rafay's Terraform Provider to provision Upstream Kubernetes onto the instances (from above) and then deploy the cluster blueprint with the configured software add-ons.

Test Application

This resource template is based on Infrastructure as Code (IaC) using Rafay's Terraform Provider to showcase how a developer can utilize the newly provisioned Upstream Kubernetes cluster.

  • Create a new namespace
  • Deploy a Wordpress Helm chart (containerized application) to this namespace.


The Wordpress application is configured to use a PVC on the configured Managed Storage and will be accessible to users via the configured metallb addon.

Environment Template

Initial Setup

The platform team is expected to setup the needed Environment Manager resources and contexts so that developers can then make self service requests for resources using Environment Manager.

    participant plat as Platform Team 
    participant rafay as Environment Manager 
    participant idp as Identity Provider 

    plat->>rafay: Setup Environment Contexts
    plat->>rafay: Setup Resource Templates
    plat->>rafay: Setup Environment Template

    rafay->>idp: Integrate Env Manager <br> with Corporate IdP  
    rafay-->>plat: Setup Complete 

Request for Environment

When a developer requests a cluster via self service, a series of automated workflows need to be performed to fulfil this request. The sequence diagram below describes the high level steps.


Although the recommended workflow assumes and recommends using an Integration with an Identity Provider (IdP) to provide a Single Sign On (SSO) experience, organizations can also use locally managed users.

    participant dev as Developer
    participant rafay as Rafay
    participant csp as Host <br>PhoenixNAP
    participant idp as Identity Provider 

    dev->>rafay: New Cluster <br>based Environment
    rect rgba(0, 0, 255, .1)
    rafay->>rafay: Create custom Blueprint
    rafay-->>csp: Create k8s cluster 
    opt SSO via Identity Provider
        rafay-->>idp: Create Group for k8s cluster 
        rafay-->>idp: Add developer to Group 
    rafay->>rafay: Create Workload on Cluster
    rafay->>rafay: Create Group in Rafay
    rafay->>rafay: Add Cluster Admin <br>Role to Group
    rafay->>rafay: Add User to Group
    rafay->>dev: Environment Ready
    dev-->>rafay: Access/Use Cluster 


  • You have access to a PhoenixNAP
  • You have access to a Mac or Linux machine
  • You have a Git client on your machine that is setup for push/pull
  • You have Docker installed on your machine