# Admission Controller

# About

Fairwinds Insights can run as an Admission Controller. This means it will reject any Kubernetes resources from entering your cluster if they don't conform to your organization's policies.

Insights will run the following report types in Admission Controller:

  • Polaris (configuration validation for best practices)
  • OPA (run custom policies)

# Installation

# Requirements

The default installation requires cert-manager (opens new window) v1.0 or greater.

If you don't have cert-manager or if you'd like to provide your own certificate for the webhook, you can use the caBundle and secretName parameters to pass a CA Bundle and the location of a TLS certificate stored in your cluster.

The Admission Controller listens on port 8443 by default, so a firewall rule or a security group may need to be configured to allow the master nodes to send traffic to the worker nodes on that port.

# Setup

To use the Admission Controller and install it on your cluster:

  1. Visit your organization's Clusters page
  2. After selecting a cluster, go to the Install Hub page
  3. Hover over the Admission Controller report and click the Quick Add button

Once the report has been added, re-install the Insights Agent using the Helm chart in your cluster.

The Admission Controller is installed in Passive Mode by default. This means the Admission Controller will monitor all activities, but not yet deny any deployments.

In order to disable Passive Mode and block deployments with high severity issues:

  1. In Install Hub, click on the Admission Controller report
  2. In the Configure tab, toggle the Passive Mode option to disabled

# Testing

Once Passive Mode is disabled, you can test it out by creating a deployment that creates a high level severity Action Item by allowing privilege escalation:


apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
  name: busybox-deployment
  namespace: testing
  replicas: 1
      app: busybox
        app: busybox
      - name: busybox
        image: busybox:1.32
          allowPrivilegeEscalation: true
kubectl create ns testing
kubectl apply -f bad-config.yaml

You should see a message saying:

Error from server (Privilege escalation should not be allowed: Failure: true): error when creating "STDIN": admission webhook "insights.fairwinds.com" denied the request: Privilege escalation should not be allowed: Failure: true

# Configuration

# Helm

The Admission Controller can be further configured using Helm. To see the full list of options, check out the Insights Admission Helm chart (opens new window)

# Resources

By default, the Admission Controller will monitor the following resources:

  • apps/(v1|v1beta1|v1beta2)
    • Deployments
    • DaemonSets
    • StatefulSets
  • batch/(v1|v1beta1)
    • Jobs
    • CronJobs
  • core/v1
    • Pods
    • ReplicationControllers

If you'd like to add additional resources, you can use the rules setting on the Helm chart. Adding this to the values.yaml when installing the Insights Agent:

    - apiGroups:
      - custom
      - v1
      - CREATE
      - UPDATE
      - customResource
      scope: Namespaced

# Report Types

The Admission Controller currently runs the following report types:

  • Polaris - checks for security and best practices
  • OPA - apply custom policies to resources
  • Pluto - detects Kubernetes resources that have been deprecated or removed

To enable or disable a particular report:

  1. Visit your organization's Clusters page
  2. After selecting a cluster, go to the Install Hub page
  3. Click the Admission Controller report and navigate to Configure
  4. Use the toggle to enable or disable a report and click Update
enable reports

# Customize Policies

To customize the severity or whether a Policy should block an admission request, you can use the Policy Configuration feature.

To create more fine-grained enforcement, learn about Policy Enforcement best practices.

# Troubleshooting

To troubleshoot the Admission Controller, you can

  • View the logs in the admission pods
  • View the history of admission requests in the Insights UI by visiting Clusters -> Cluster -> Admission