Create EKS Self-managed Node Group

This section will guide you through creating a Self-managed node group.

What You'll Need


  1. Pick a name for the stack, e.g., <EKS_CLUSTER>-workers

  2. Specify the name of the EKS cluster we created previously.

  3. For ClusterControlPlaneSecurityGroup, select the security group you created previously. In case you created a dedicated VPC, choose the SecurityGroups value from the AWS CloudFormation output:


    This is the security group to allow communication between your worker nodes and the Kubernetes control plane.

  4. Pick a name for the node group, e.g., general-workers. The created instances will be named after <EKS_CLUSTER>-<NODEGROUPNAME>-Node.

  5. For the image use the latest one for 1.19 using the corresponding NodeImageIdSSMParam.

  6. Set a large enough NodeVolumeSize, e.g., 200 (GB) since this will hold Docker images and pod's ephemeral storage.

  7. Select your desired instance type. If it is EBS-only see how to add extra EBS volumes after node group creation.

  8. Select the VPC, and the subnets to spawn the workers in. Since we will use EBS volumes, we highly recommend that the ASG spans a single Availability zone. Make sure you choose them from the given drop down list.

  9. In Configure stack options, specify the Tags that Cluster Autoscaler requires so that it can discover the instances of the ASG automatically:

    Key Value true<EKS_CLUSTER> owned

Create the stack and wait for CloudFormation to

  • Create an IAM role that worker nodes will consume.
  • Create an AutoScalingGroup with a new Launch Template.
  • Create a security group that the worker nodes will use.
  • Modify given cluster security group to allow communication between control plane and worker nodes.

After the stack has finished creating, continue with the enable nodes to join your cluster section to complete the setup of the node group.


  1. Go to your GitOps repository, inside your rok-tools management environment:

    root@rok-tools:~# cd ~/ops/deployments
  2. Restore the required context from previous sections:

    root@rok-tools:~/ops/deployments# source <(cat deploy/env.eks-cluster)
    root@rok-tools:~/ops/deployments# export EKS_CLUSTER
  3. Verify that EC2 instances have been created:

    root@rok-tools:~/ops/deployments# aws ec2 describe-instances \
    >    --filters Name=tag-key,${EKS_CLUSTER?}
        "Reservations": [
                "Groups": [],
                "Instances": [
                        "AmiLaunchIndex": 0,
                        "ImageId": "ami-012b81faa674369fc",
                        "InstanceId": "i-0a1795ed2c92c16d5",
                        "InstanceType": "m5.large",
                        "LaunchTime": "2021-07-27T08:39:41+00:00",
                        "Monitoring": {
                            "State": "disabled"
                        "Placement": {
                            "AvailabilityZone": "eu-central-1b",
                            "GroupName": "",
                            "Tenancy": "default"
  4. Verify that Kubernetes nodes have appeared:

    root@rok-tools:~/ops/deployments# kubectl get nodes
    NAME                                         STATUS   ROLES    AGE    VERSION    Ready    <none>   8m2s   v1.19.13-eks-8df270   Ready    <none>   8m4s   v1.19.13-eks-8df270


You have successfully created a self-managed node group.

What's Next

The next step is to add disks for Rok to use.