Deploying MySQL on Kubernetes {Guide}

September 9, 2021

Introduction

Deploying a functional database in a containerized environment can be a demanding task. The reason lies in the set of specific challenges databases present in maintaining their availability, state, and redundancy. However, many developers prefer to have their application stacks and data layers organized on the same fast deployment and automation principles offered by platforms such as Kubernetes.

This article will show you how to deploy a MySQL database instance on Kubernetes using persistent volumes. This feature enables stateful apps to overcome the inherent transience of the K8s pods.

Deploying MySQL on Kubernetes - Guide

Prerequisites

  • A Kubernetes cluster with kubectl installed
  • Administrative access to your system

Note: This tutorial covers the deployment of a single-instance MySQL database. Clustered stateful apps require the creation of StatefulSet objects.

MySQL Deployment on Kubernetes

To successfully deploy a MySQL instance on Kubernetes, create a series of YAML files that you will use to define the following Kubernetes objects:

  • A Kubernetes secret for storing the database password.
  • A Persistent Volume (PV) to allocate storage space for the database.
  • A Persistent Volume Claim (PVC) that will claim the PV for the deployment .
  • The deployment itself.
  • The Kubernetes Service.

Step 1: Create Kubernetes Secret

Use a text editor such as Nano to create the Secret file.

nano mysql-secret.yaml

The file defines the secret. Enter the password for the root MySQL account in the stringData section of the YAML.

apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
metadata:
  name: mysql-secret
type: kubernetes.io/basic-auth
stringData:
  password: test1234

Save the file and exit. Use kubectl to apply the changes to the cluster.

kubectl apply -f mysql-secret.yaml

The system confirms the successful creation of the secret:

Applying the Kubernetes secret for MySQL deployment with kubectl

Step 2: Create Persistent Volume and Volume Claim

Create the storage configuration file:

nano mysql-storage.yaml

This file consists of two parts:

  • The first part defines the Persistent Volume. Customize the amount of allocated storage in spec.capacity.storage. In spec.hostPath specify the volume mount point.
  • The second part of the file defines the PVC.
apiVersion: v1
kind: PersistentVolume
metadata:
  name: mysql-pv-volume
  labels:
    type: local
spec:
  storageClassName: manual
  capacity:
    storage: 20Gi
  accessModes:
    - ReadWriteOnce
  hostPath:
    path: "/mnt/data"
---
apiVersion: v1
kind: PersistentVolumeClaim
metadata:
  name: mysql-pv-claim
spec:
  storageClassName: manual
  accessModes:
    - ReadWriteOnce
  resources:
    requests:
      storage: 20Gi

Save the file and exit.

Then, apply the storage configuration with kubectl.

kubectl apply -f mysql-storage.yaml

The system confirms the creation of the PV and the PVC.

Applying persistent volume and persistent volume claim for MySQL deployment with kubectl

Step 3: Create MySQL Deployment

  1. Create the deployment file. The deployment file defines the resources the MySQL deployment will use.
nano mysql-deployment.yaml

2. In the spec.template.spec.containers section, specify the MySQL image:

containers:
- image: mysql:5.6
  name: mysql

3. Assign the value of the MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD environment variable to the password you specified in the Secret from Step 1.

env:
- name: MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD
  valueFrom:
    secretKeyRef:
      name: mysql-secret
      key: password

4. Connect the PVC from Step 2 to the deployment.

volumes:
- name: mysql-persistent-storage
  persistentVolumeClaim:
    claimName: mysql-pv-claim

5. In the separate section of the file, define the service name and port.

The entire YAML should look like in the example below:

apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
metadata:
  name: mysql
spec:
  selector:
    matchLabels:
      app: mysql
  strategy:
    type: Recreate
  template:
    metadata:
      labels:
        app: mysql
    spec:
      containers:
      - image: mysql:5.6
        name: mysql
        env:
        - name: MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD
          valueFrom:
            secretKeyRef:
              name: mysql-secret
              key: password
        ports:
        - containerPort: 3306
          name: mysql
        volumeMounts:
        - name: mysql-persistent-storage
          mountPath: /var/lib/mysql
      volumes:
      - name: mysql-persistent-storage
        persistentVolumeClaim:
          claimName: mysql-pv-claim
---
apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
metadata:
  name: mysql
spec:
  ports:
  - port: 3306
  selector:
    app: mysql

Save the file and exit. Create the deployment by applying the file with kubectl:

kubectl apply -f mysql-deployment.yaml

The system confirms the successful creation of both the deployment and the service.

Creating MySQL service and deployment with kubectl apply

Access Your MySQL Instance

To access the MySQL instance, access the pod created by the deployment.

  1. List the pods:
kubectl get pod

2. Find the MySQL pod and copy its name by selecting it and pressing Ctrl+Shift+C:

Checking the name of the MySQL pod with kubectl

3. Get a shell for the pod by executing the following command:

kubectl exec --stdin --tty mysql-694d95668d-w7lv5 -- /bin/bash

The pod shell replaces the main shell:

Getting a shell to the running MySQL container with kubectl

4. Type the following command to access the MySQL shell:

mysql -p

5. When prompted, enter the password you defined in the Kubernetes secret.

The MySQL shell appears.

Logging into the MySQL shell

Update Your MySQL Deployment

Edit the relevant YAML file to update any part of the deployment. Apply the changes with:

kubectl apply -f [filename]

However, bear in mind the following two limitations:

  • This particular deployment is for single-instance MySQL deployment. It means that the deployment cannot be scaled - it works on exactly one Pod.
  • This deployment does not support rolling updates. Therefore, the spec.strategy.type must always be set to Recreate.

Delete Your MySQL Instance

If you wish to remove the entire deployment, use kubectl to delete each of the Kubernetes objects related to it:

kubectl delete deployment,svc mysql
kubectl delete pvc mysql-pv-claim
kubectl delete pv mysql-pv-volume
kubectl delete secret mysql-secret

This series of commands delete the deployment, the service, PV, PVC, and the secret you created. The system confirms the successful deletion:

Deleting MySQL instance with kubectl delete

Conclusion

After completing this tutorial, you should be able to deploy a single MySQL instance on Kubernetes. For an exhaustive list of important MySQL commands, see this MySQL Commands Cheat Sheet.

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Marko Aleksic
Marko Aleksić is a Technical Writer at phoenixNAP. His innate curiosity regarding all things IT, combined with over a decade long background in writing, teaching and working in IT-related fields, led him to technical writing, where he has an opportunity to employ his skills and make technology less daunting to everyone.
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