Installing cloud native analytics in an air-gapped environment (offline) with the oc ibm-pak plug-in

If your cluster is not connected to the internet, you can complete a production install of cloud native analytics in your cluster by using either a bastion host, portable compute device, or a portable storage device. Download images to your connected device and transfer them to your air-gapped network.

It is common in production environments to have a cluster that does not have internet access. In these cases, you can still install cloud native analytics in an air-gapped (otherwise known as offline or disconnected) environment. Unlike online installations, air-gapped installations require you to enable the IBM® Operator Catalog to mimic a typical online installation by using images in your own registry.

All of these scenarios use Container Application Software for Enterprises (CASE) files to mirror content from a source to a target. CASE is a specification that defines metadata and structure for packaging, managing, and unpacking containerized applications.

You can store the product code and images to a portable compute device (like a laptop), portable storage device (like an external hard disk drive), or a bastion host and then transfer them to a local air-gapped network. If you are using either a portable compute device or a portable storage device, you don't need a bastion host to install in your air-gapped environment.

The images that are stored are large, and you must ensure that each of your airgap devices have enough storage.

Air-gapped installation approach Example Description
Bastion host Bastion host A bastion server is a device that has access to both the public internet and the local intranet where a local registry and {{site.data.keyword.ocp_notm}} clusters are located. Using the bastion server, you can replicate your images through the bastion server directly to the local, intranet registry behind the firewall.
Portable compute device Laptop A portable compute device, such as a laptop, can be used to download images from the entitled registry to a portable container registry running locally on the device. You can then bring the device behind your firewall and copy the images from your portable registry on the device to the local, intranet registry behind the firewall.
Portable storage device Portable hard disk drive Images are mirrored to a container registry on a connected compute device, and then copied to a portable storage device. The portable storage device is plugged into a local compute device inside your firewall, and the images are copied to the local compute device. The images from the local compute device are then mirrored into the local, intranet registry behind the firewall.

From a high level, an air-gapped installation of cloud native analytics consists of five steps:

  1. Set up your image registry access and mirroring environment (one-time action)

  2. Set environment variables and download CASE files

  3. Mirror images depending on installation scenario

  4. Configure storage

  5. Install cloud native analytics

If you want to install Netcool® Operations Insight® on Red Hat® OpenShift® components in an air-gapped environment as a nonroot user, review the information in the Install commands that require root or sudo access topic.