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Vault Operator

Project status: beta

The basic features have been completed, and while no breaking API changes are currently planned, the API can change in a backwards incompatible way before the project is declared stable.


The Vault operator deploys and manages Vault clusters on Kubernetes. Vault instances created by the Vault operator are highly available and support automatic failover and upgrade.

Getting Started


  • Kubernetes 1.8+

Configuring RBAC

Consult the RBAC guide on how to configure RBAC for the Vault operator.

Deploying the etcd operator

The Vault operator employs the etcd operator to deploy an etcd cluster as the storage backend.

  1. Create the etcd operator Custom Resource Definitions (CRD):

    kubectl create -f example/etcd_crds.yaml
  2. Deploy the etcd operator:

    kubectl -n default create -f example/etcd-operator-deploy.yaml

Deploying the Vault operator

  1. Create the Vault CRD:

    kubectl create -f example/vault_crd.yaml
  2. Deploy the Vault operator:

    kubectl -n default create -f example/deployment.yaml
  3. Verify that the operators are running:

    $ kubectl -n default get deploy
    etcd-operator    1         1         1            1           5m
    vault-operator   1         1         1            1           5m

Deploying a Vault cluster

A Vault cluster can be deployed by creating a VaultService Custom Resource(CR). For each Vault cluster the Vault operator will also create an etcd cluster for the storage backend.

  1. Create a Vault CR that deploys a 2 node Vault cluster in high availablilty mode:

    kubectl -n default create -f example/example_vault.yaml
  2. Wait until the example-... pods for the etcd and Vault cluster are up:

    $ kubectl -n default get pods
    NAME                              READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
    etcd-operator-78899f87f6-qdn5h    3/3       Running   0          10m
    example-7678c8f49c-kfx2w          1/2       Running   0          2m
    example-7678c8f49c-pqrj8          1/2       Running   0          2m
    example-etcd-7lpjg7n76d           1/1       Running   0          2m
    example-etcd-dhxrksssgx           1/1       Running   0          2m
    example-etcd-s7mzhffz92           1/1       Running   0          2m
    vault-operator-5976f74f84-pxkf6   1/1       Running   0          10m
  3. Get the Vault pods:

    $ kubectl -n default get pods -l app=vault,vault_cluster=example
    NAME                       READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
    example-7678c8f49c-kfx2w   1/2       Running   0          2m
    example-7678c8f49c-pqrj8   1/2       Running   0          2m
  4. Check the Vault CR status:

    $ kubectl -n default get vault example -o yaml
    kind: VaultService
        name: example
        namespace: default
        nodes: 2
        version: 0.9.1-0
        initialized: false
        phase: Running
        - example-7678c8f49c-kfx2w
        - example-7678c8f49c-pqrj8
            active: ""
            - example-7678c8f49c-kfx2w
            - example-7678c8f49c-pqrj8
            standby: null

    The Vault CR status shows the cluster is currently uninitialized and sealed.

Using the Vault cluster

See the Vault usage guide on how to initialize, unseal, and use the deployed Vault cluster.

Consult the monitoring guide on how to monitor and alert on a Vault cluster with Prometheus.

See the recovery guide on how to backup and restore Vault cluster data using the etcd opeartor

For an overview of the default TLS configuration or how to specify custom TLS assets for a Vault cluster see the TLS setup guide.

Uninstalling Vault operator

  1. Delete the Vault custom resource:

    kubectl -n default delete -f example/example_vault.yaml
  2. Delete the operators and other resources:

    kubectl -n default delete deploy vault-operator etcd-operator
    kubectl -n default delete -f example/rbac.yaml