Deploying Antrea on AKS and AKS Engine

This document describes steps to deploy Antrea to an AKS cluster or an AKS Engine cluster.

Deploy Antrea to an AKS cluster

Antrea can be deployed to an AKS cluster in networkPolicyOnly mode, in which Antrea enforces NetworkPolicies and implements other services for the AKS cluster, while Azure CNI takes care of Pod IPAM and traffic routing across Nodes. For more information about networkPolicyOnly mode, refer to this design document.

AKS Prerequisites

Install the Azure Cloud CLI. Refer to Azure CLI installation guide

Creating the cluster

You can use any method to create an AKS cluster. The example given here is using the Azure Cloud CLI.

  1. Create an AKS Cluster

    export RESOURCE_GROUP_NAME=aks-antrea-cluster
    export CLUSTER_NAME=aks-antrea-cluster
    export LOCATION=westus
    az group create --name $RESOURCE_GROUP_NAME --location $LOCATION
    az aks create \
        --resource-group $RESOURCE_GROUP_NAME \
        --name $CLUSTER_NAME \
        --node-count 2 \
        --network-plugin azure

    Note Do not specify network-policy option.

  2. Get AKS Cluster Credentials

    az aks get-credentials --name $CLUSTER_NAME --resource-group $RESOURCE_GROUP_NAME
  3. Access your Cluster

    kubectl get nodes
    NAME                                STATUS   ROLES   AGE     VERSION
    aks-nodepool1-84330359-vmss000000   Ready    agent   6m21s   v1.16.10
    aks-nodepool1-84330359-vmss000001   Ready    agent   6m25s   v1.16.10

Deploying Antrea

  1. Prepare the Cluster Nodes

    Deploy antrea-node-init DaemonSet to enable azure cni to operate in transparent mode.

    kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/antrea-io/antrea/main/build/yamls/antrea-aks-node-init.yml
  2. Deploy Antrea

    To deploy a released version of Antrea, pick a deployment manifest from the list of releases. Note that AKS support was added in release 0.9.0, which means you cannot pick a release older than 0.9.0. For any given release <TAG> (e.g. v0.9.0), you can deploy Antrea as follows:

    kubectl apply -f https://github.com/antrea-io/antrea/releases/download/<TAG>/antrea-aks.yml

    To deploy the latest version of Antrea (built from the main branch), use the checked-in deployment yaml:

    kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/antrea-io/antrea/main/build/yamls/antrea-aks.yml

    The command will deploy a single replica of Antrea controller to the AKS cluster and deploy Antrea agent to every Node. After a successful deployment you should be able to see these Pods running in your cluster:

    $ kubectl get pods --namespace kube-system  -l app=antrea
    NAME                                 READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
    antrea-agent-bpj72                   2/2     Running   0          40s
    antrea-agent-j2sjz                   2/2     Running   0          40s
    antrea-controller-6f7468cbff-5sk4t   1/1     Running   0          43s
    antrea-node-init-6twqg               1/1     Running   0          2m
    antrea-node-init-mqsqr               1/1     Running   0          2m
  3. Restart remaining Pods

    Once Antrea is up and running, restart all Pods in all Namespaces (kube-system, etc) so they can be managed by Antrea.

    kubectl delete pods -n kube-system $(kubectl get pods -n kube-system -o custom-columns=NAME:.metadata.name,HOSTNETWORK:.spec.hostNetwork --no-headers=true | grep '<none>' | awk '{ print $1 }')
    pod "coredns-544d979687-96xm9" deleted
    pod "coredns-544d979687-p7dfb" deleted
    pod "coredns-autoscaler-78959b4578-849k8" deleted
    pod "dashboard-metrics-scraper-5f44bbb8b5-5qkkx" deleted
    pod "kube-proxy-6qxdw" deleted
    pod "kube-proxy-h6d89" deleted
    pod "kubernetes-dashboard-785654f667-7twsm" deleted
    pod "metrics-server-85c57978c6-pwzcx" deleted
    pod "tunnelfront-649ff5fb55-5lxg7" deleted

Deploy Antrea to an AKS Engine cluster

Antrea is an integrated CNI of AKS Engine, and can be installed in networkPolicyOnly mode or encap mode to an AKS Engine cluster as part of the AKS Engine cluster deployment. To learn basics of AKS Engine cluster deployment, please refer to AKS Engine Quickstart Guide.

Deploying Antrea in networkPolicyOnly mode

To configure Antrea to enforce NetworkPolicies for the AKS Engine cluster, "networkPolicy": "antrea" needs to be set in kubernetesConfig of the AKS Engine cluster definition (Azure CNI will be used as the networkPlugin):

  "apiVersion": "vlabs",
  "properties": {
    "orchestratorProfile": {
      "kubernetesConfig": {
        "networkPolicy": "antrea"

You can use the deployment template examples/networkpolicy/kubernetes-antrea.json to deploy an AKS Engine cluster with Antrea in networkPolicyOnly mode:

$ aks-engine deploy --dns-prefix <dns-prefix> \
    --resource-group <reource-group> \
    --location westus2 \
    --api-model examples/networkpolicy/kubernetes-antrea.json \

Deploying Antrea in encap mode

To deploy Antrea in encap mode for an AKS Engine cluster, both "networkPlugin": "antrea" and "networkPolicy": "antrea" need to be set in kubernetesConfig of the AKS Engine cluster definition:

  "apiVersion": "vlabs",
  "properties": {
    "orchestratorProfile": {
      "kubernetesConfig": {
        "networkPlugin": "antrea",
        "networkPolicy": "antrea"

You can add "networkPlugin": "antrea" to the deployment template examples/networkpolicy/kubernetes-antrea.json, and use the template to deploy an AKS Engine cluster with Antrea in encap mode.

Getting Started

To help you get started, see the documentation.