Chapter 8. Operator Lifecycle Manager

Once you have written an Operator, it’s time to turn your attention to its installation and management. As there are multiple steps involved in deploying an Operator, including creating the deployment, adding the custom resource definitions, and configuring the necessary permissions, a management layer becomes necessary to facilitate the process.

Operator Lifecycle Manager (OLM) fulfills this role by introducing a packaging mechanism for delivering Operators and the necessary metadata for visualizing them in compatible UIs, including installation instructions and API hints in the form of CRD descriptors.

OLM’s benefits extend beyond installation into Day 2 operations, including managing upgrades to existing Operators, providing a means to convey Operator stability through version channels, and the ability to aggregate multiple Operator hosting sources into a single interface.

We begin this chapter by introducing OLM and its interfaces, including both the CRDs that end users will interact with inside of the cluster and the packaging format it uses for Operators. After that, we will show you OLM in action, using it to connect to to install an Operator. We conclude the chapter with a developer-focused exploration of the process of writing the necessary metadata files to make an Operator available to OLM and test it against a local cluster.

OLM Custom Resources

As you know, the CRDs owned by an Operator make up that Operator’s ...

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