Contributing a Node to the EdgeNet cluster

EdgeNet thrives thanks to contributions from its users and from others who volunteer resources in support of the system. This tutorial describes the very simple process of adding a node to EdgeNet. If you are able to set up a virtual machine (VM) on a server that you administer, then you can contribute, which will be a great benefit to our growing infrastructure and to all EdgeNet users.

Each node falls under what we call an authority in EdgeNet, which is a group, or possibly just one person, that takes responsibility for users and/or resources. To contribute a node, please be sure that you are an authority administrator, or that an administrator of your authority has authorized you to make node contributions.


To contribute a node, we assume that you already know how to set up a VM and ensure that certain of its port numbers are accessible from the internet.

Set up a VM

EdgeNet is currently accepting Ubuntu and CentOS VMs as nodes. We plan to broaden our range of supported operating systems over time.

Open your firewall

EdgeNet is most useful to researchers if its nodes are entirely open to the internet, without a firewall blocking incoming traffic in any way. This is easiest if your server is in a perimeter network, sometimes called a DMZ or science DMZ. If you are contributing resources from elsewhere, please do your best, within the limits of what your institution allows, or, if the server is in your home, what you yourself are prepared to offer.

At a minimum, you may only contribute a node if the Kubernetes required ports are accessible from the internet.

Technologies you will use

You will use kubectl, the Kubernetes command-line interface.

You will most likely have used kubectl to create your EdgeNet user account to begin with. If you need to install it again, please see the releavant Kubernetes documentation.

You will also have received a user-specific kubeconfig file when you created your EdgeNet user account. You will authenticate with this kubeconfig file when you make a node contribution. In what follows, we will assume that it is saved in your working directory on your system as ./edgenet-kubeconfig.cfg. If it is elsewhere, please be sure to modify the commands accordingly.

What you will do

You will set up EdgeNet access via SSH to your VM, and then invoke kubectl create to create a node contribution object, which causes the VM to be integrated as a node into EdgeNet's Kubernetes cluster.


Set up EdgeNet's SSH access to your VM

Enable an SSH server on your VM, preferably on a port number other than the default port number of 22. You could use port 25020, for instance.

Create an EdgeNet user (the username does not matter) as a sudoer.

Copy & paste the contents of the EdgeNet public key into the SSH authorized keys file for the EdgeNet user.

Prepare a description of your node contribution

The .yaml format is used to describe Kubernetes objects. Create one for the node contribution object, following the model of the example shown below. Your .yamlfile must specify the following information regarding your node contribution:

  • the node name that will be used by the EdgeNet system; it must follow Kubernetes' rules for names and must be different from any existing node names in your authority
  • the namespace of the authority
  • the host IP address of the node contribution, in human-readable (ASCII) IPv4 or IPv6 format
  • the port number of the SSH server
  • whether scheduling of the nodes is enabled; which is a boolean, with true allowing the node to participate in the cluster
  • the SSH user, which is the username of the sudoer that you set up on the VM
  • the password of the SSH user; provide this only if for some reason you are not able to enable SSH access via the EdgeNet public key

In what follows, we will assume that this file is saved in your working directory on your system as ./nodecontribution.yaml.


kind: NodeContribution
  name: ple-1
  namespace: authority-lip6-lab
  port: 25010
  enabled: true
  user: edgenet

Make your node contribution

Using kubectl, create a node contribution object:

kubectl create -f ./nodecontribution.yaml --kubeconfig ./edgenet-kubeconfig.cfg

This will launch the automated installation of Kubernetes on the VM and the VM's integration as a node into EdgeNet's Kubernetes cluster. The EdgeNet headnode connects via SSH to the user account that you created on the VM. As a sudoer, that user installs the necessary packages and runs the kubeadm join command.

Check the installation status

Follow the status messages as each installation step is completed.

You can at any time check on the status of your node contribution by invoking the kubectl describe command. In this example, the node name is ple-1 and the authority namespace is authority-lip6-lab:

kubectl describe nodecontribution ple-1 -n authority-lip6-lab --kubeconfig ./edgenet-kubeconfig.cfg