VMware Secrets Manager

Release Management


This page discusses the release management process for VMware Secrets Manager.

If you are responsible for cutting a release, please follow the steps outlined here.

VMware Secrets Manager Build Server

The VSecM Build Server Contains Trust Material

The VSecM build server is a hardened and trusted environment with limited access. It contains trust material such as the Docker Content Trust root key, and the private key for signing the VSecM images.

We (still) have a manual build process, so you will need access to the VSecM build server to be able to cut a release.

You can of course build VSecM locally, but without the build server, you won’t be able to push the images to the registry and tag the release.

Make Sure We Are Ready for a Release Cut

Check out this internal link to see if there is any outstanding issues for the release. If they can be closed, close them. If they cannot be closed, move them to the next version.

Make Sure You Update the Release Notes

  • Add any publicly-known vulnerabilities that are fixed in this release.
  • Add any significant changes completed to the release notes.

Configuring Minikube Local Registry

Switch to the $WORKSPACE/secrets-manager project folder Then, delete any existing minikube cluster.

cd $WORKSPACE/secrets-manager
make k8s-delete

Then start the Minikube cluster.

cd $WORKSPACE/secrets-manager
make k8s-start

This will also start the local registry. However, you will need to eval some environment variables to be able to use Minikube’s registry instead of the local Docker registry.

cd $WORKSPACE/secrets-manager
eval $(minikube docker-env)

# example: tcp://
# Any non-empty value to `echo $DOCKER_HOST` means that
# the environment has been set up correctly.

Creating a Local Deployment

Follow these steps to build VSecM from scratch and deploy it to your local Minikube cluster, to experiment it with your workloads.

# Temporarily disable Docker Content Trust
# to deploy Minikube:

make k8s-delete
make k8s-start

# The environment has changed; re-evaluate
# the environment variables:
eval $(minikube docker-env)

make build-local
make deploy-local

When everything completes, you should be able to see VMware Secrets Manager pods in the vsecm-system namespace.

kubectl get po -n vsecm-system

# Output should list `vsecm-safe` and `vsecm-sentinel`.

Cutting a Release

Before every release cut, follow the steps outlined below.

0. Are you on a release branch?

Make sure you are on a release branch, forked off of the most recent main branch.

Also ensure that all changes have been merged to main.

1. Check Docker and Minikube

Also make sure your docker and Minikube are up and running.

Additionally, execute eval $(minikube -p minikube docker-env) once more to update your environment.

2. make help

Check the make help command first, as it includes important information.

You can also check make h command that included release-related commands.

3. Test VSecM Distroless Images

VMware Secrets Manager Distroless series use lightweight and secure distroless images.

make k8s-delete
make k8s-start
eval $(minikube -p minikube docker-env)

# For macOS, you might need to run `make mac-tunnel`
# on a separate terminal.
# For other Linuxes, you might not need it.
# make mac-tunnel

make build-local
make deploy-local
make test-local

If the tests pass, go to the next step.

4. Test VSecM Distroless FIPS Images

make k8s-delete
make k8s-start
eval $(minikube -p minikube docker-env)

# For macOS, you might need to run `make mac-tunnel`
# on a separate terminal.
# For other Linuxes, you might not need it.
# make mac-tunnel

make build-local
make deploy-fips-local
make test-local

5. Test the main Branch on EKS

First build and publish images to ECR, then test them on EKS.

# You don't need to build the images if they already exist.
make build-eks 
# Clean up previous deployments.
make clean
# Deploy the images to EKS.
make deploy-eks 
# Test the deployment.
make test-eks;

6. Merge the Release Branch to main

If all tests pass, merge the release branch to main.

7. Tagging

Tagging needs to be done on the build server.

There is no automation for this yet.

Don’t forget to Bump the Version

If you are cutting a new release, do not forget to bump the version, before running the tagging script below.

git checkout main
git stash
git pull
make build
make tag

8. Initializing Helm Charts

To start the release cycle, we initialize helm-charts for each official release of VSecM. Helm charts are continuously developed and updated during the release development process.

At the beginning of a VSecM release, the ./hack/init-next-helm-chart.sh script is used to initialize the helm-charts.

To initialize a new helm-chart, run the following command using the init script: ./hack/init-next-helm-chart.sh <base-version> <new-version> base-version: the existing helm-charts version to be used as the base helm-chart. new-version: the version helm-charts to be initialized.

For example: ./hack/init-next-helm-chart.sh 0.22.2 0.22.4

After execution, the script will display a link on the console. Use this link to create a pull request (PR) and merge it into the main branch. This will make the new helm-charts available for the VSecM release development cycle.

9. Update Kubernetes Manifests

Based on the generated helm charts run make k8s-manifests-update VERSION=<version> target to update the Kubernetes manifests for the new release.

These manifests are used by people who want to install VSecM without using Helm. To generate the manifests you need to have generated the helm charts first.

For example make k8s-manifests-update VERSION=0.22.4

10. Release Helm Charts

We offer the ./hack/release-helm-chart.sh script for your use. To execute the script, provide the version of the helm-charts that you want to release as an argument.

Use the following format: ./hack/release-helm-chart.sh <version> For example, to release version 0.22.4, run: ./hack/release-helm-chart.sh 0.22.4

Follow the instructions provided by the script for successful execution.

Upon completion, the script will display a link on the console. Use this link to create a pull request (PR) and merge it into the gh-pages branch.

Keep The Most Recent Version of the Helm Charts

Make sure you keep only the most recent version of the Helm Charts in the main branch. Older versions should be snapshotted in the gh-pages branch using the workflow described above.

11. Add a Snapshot of the Current Documentation

The docs branch contains a snapshot of each documentation in versioned folders.

To add a snapshot of the current documentation:

  1. Copy the docs folder into a temporary place like /tmp/docs.
  2. Checkout the docs branch.
  3. Copy the docs folder from /tmp/docs to the docs branch: cp -r /tmp/docs $WORKSPACE/secrets-manager/docs/<version>.
  4. Update the secrets-manager/docs/<version>/_includes/notification.html file to include a link to the new documentation. You can copy the message from one of the existing versioned notification.html files.
  5. Edit ./hack/publish-docs.sh to include the new version.
  6. Execute ./hack/publish-docs.sh to publish the archived documentation.
  7. Create a PR and merge it into the docs branch.
  8. Checkout the main branch.
  9. Update ... 0031-documentation-snapshots.md to include a link to the new documentation snapshot.
  10. Create a PR and merge it into the main branch.

12. All Set 🎉

You’re all set.

Happy releasing.

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