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How-to guide for testing the riff FaaS platform and Istio on Google Kubernetes Engine.
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Riff Tutorial

The riff tutorial walks you through installing the riff FaaS platform and Istio on Google Kubernetes Engine. The resulting environment is great for demos and exploring riff and Istio, but should not be considered production ready.

Be sure to watch Mark Fisher's SpringOne riff announcement keynote and live demo to get up to speed on riff.

In addition to the environment Mark demo'd in his keynote, this tutorial integrates Istio and riff to provide traffic management for the riff http gateway and runs each function managed by riff in the Istio service mesh.


Create a Kubernetes cluster large enough to host the riff and istio components:

gcloud container clusters create riff \
  --cluster-version 1.9.2-gke.1 \
  --machine-type n1-standard-4 \
  --num-nodes 5

Smaller clusters should work, but only the configuration above has been tested.

Grant cluster admin permissions to the current user. Admin permissions are required to create the necessary RBAC rules for riff and Istio.

kubectl create clusterrolebinding cluster-admin-binding \
  --clusterrole=cluster-admin \
  --user=$(gcloud config get-value core/account)

Install Istio

Install Istio into the istio-system namespace:

kubectl apply -f

The following addons are also installed: Prometheus, Grafana, Jaeger, and Istio Sidecar Injector.

Wait until each Istio component is running:

kubectl get pods -n istio-system
NAME                                      READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
grafana-6585bdf64c-8k45v                  1/1       Running   0          39s
istio-ca-7876b944bc-fx9r9                 1/1       Running   0          40s
istio-ingress-d8d5fdc86-4n6hr             1/1       Running   0          40s
istio-mixer-65bb55df98-b9gwb              3/3       Running   0          46s
istio-pilot-5cb545f47c-ppf6c              2/2       Running   0          40s
istio-sidecar-injector-6bb584c47d-xd6x6   1/1       Running   0          38s
jaeger-deployment-559c8b9b8-d4l9h         1/1       Running   0          39s
prometheus-5db8cc75f8-hxdc5               1/1       Running   0          40s

Install riff

Install riff into the riff namespace and enable Istio automatic sidecar injection:

kubectl apply -f

Wait until each riff component is running:

kubectl get pods -n riff
NAME                                   READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
function-controller-54f964dc6c-qv9cf   2/2       Running   0          47s
http-gateway-56d47d5dd-frgb4           2/2       Running   2          46s
kafka-broker-697bbbcbf8-j5mz2          2/2       Running   1          47s
topic-controller-54cbc965bc-nm7rr      2/2       Running   0          46s
zookeeper-77dbfc6cf8-zrlwp             2/2       Running   0          47s

Restarts of the http-gateway and kafka-broker are expected as kafka depends on zookeeper, and the http-gateway depends on kafka.

Creating and Executing Fuctions

Ensure the istio sidecar is injected into every riff function created in the default namespace.

kubectl label namespace default istio-injection=enabled

riff functions are packaged and deployed as pods which is why the istio injection works.

Create a topic that will trigger the helloriff function container:

kubectl apply -f

Create the helloriff function:

kubectl apply -f

You'll notice we are creating a function without writing any code. riff support using containers as "functions". In this case the container will be mapped to events on the helloriff topic.

Once the function has been defined the riff function-controller will create a deployment with an initial replica count set to zero.

kubectl get deployment
helloriff   0         0         0            0           12s

riff will scale up the number of pods based on the flow of incoming requests to the riff http-gateway.

Invoking the Function

Retrieve the IP address of the riff http-gateway ingress:

HTTP_GATEWAY_IP=$(kubectl get ingress http-gateway -n riff \
  -o jsonpath='{.status.loadBalancer.ingress[0].ip}')

Execute an HTTP request to the riff http-gateway to invoke the helloriff function:

curl http://${HTTP_GATEWAY_IP}/requests/helloriff

The curl command will take a few moments to complete while the function-controller scales up the helloriff deployment in the background:

kubectl get deployments helloriff
helloriff   1         1         1            1           1m

Notice the helloriff function pod contains three containers: istio-sidecar, riff-sidecar, and the helloriff container defined in the function definition.

kubectl get pods
NAME                         READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
helloriff-747b8b5685-fhjf4   3/3       Running   1          11s

The helloriff pod restart is expected and maybe related to the interaction between the riff sidecar and kafka.


Delete all riff resources:

kubectl delete ns riff

Delete all istio resources:

kubectl delete ns istio-system

Delete the Kubernetes cluster:

gcloud container clusters delete riff
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