Cloud API Adaptor (CAA) on Azure

This documentation will walk you through setting up CAA (a.k.a. Peer Pods) on Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). It explains how to deploy:

  • A single worker node Kubernetes cluster using Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)
  • CAA on that Kubernetes cluster
  • An Nginx pod backed by CAA pod VM


  • Install Azure CLI by following instructions here.
  • Install kubectl by following the instructions here.
  • Ensure that the tools curl, git and jq are installed.

Azure Preparation

Azure login

There are a bunch of steps that require you to be logged into your Azure account:

az login

Retrieve your subscription ID:

export AZURE_SUBSCRIPTION_ID=$(az account show --query id --output tsv)

Set the region:

export AZURE_REGION="eastus"

Note: We selected the eastus region as it not only offers AMD SEV-SNP machines but also has prebuilt pod VM images readily available.

export AZURE_REGION="eastus2"

Note: We selected the eastus2 region as it not only offers Intel TDX machines but also has prebuilt pod VM images readily available.

export AZURE_REGION="eastus"

Note: We have chose region eastus because it has prebuilt pod VM images readily available.

Resource group

Note: Skip this step if you already have a resource group you want to use. Please, export the resource group name in the AZURE_RESOURCE_GROUP environment variable.

Create an Azure resource group by running the following command:

export AZURE_RESOURCE_GROUP="caa-rg-$(date '+%Y%m%b%d%H%M%S')"

az group create \
  --name "${AZURE_RESOURCE_GROUP}" \
  --location "${AZURE_REGION}"

Deploy Kubernetes using AKS

Make changes to the following environment variable as you see fit:

export CLUSTER_NAME="caa-$(date '+%Y%m%b%d%H%M%S')"
export AKS_WORKER_USER_NAME="azuser"
export SSH_KEY=~/.ssh/

Note: Optionally, deploy the worker nodes into an existing Azure Virtual Network (VNet) and subnet by adding the following flag: --vnet-subnet-id $SUBNET_ID.

Deploy AKS with single worker node to the same resource group you created earlier:

az aks create \
  --resource-group "${AZURE_RESOURCE_GROUP}" \
  --node-resource-group "${AKS_RG}" \
  --name "${CLUSTER_NAME}" \
  --enable-oidc-issuer \
  --enable-workload-identity \
  --location "${AZURE_REGION}" \
  --node-count 1 \
  --node-vm-size Standard_F4s_v2 \
  --nodepool-labels \
  --ssh-key-value "${SSH_KEY}" \
  --admin-username "${AKS_WORKER_USER_NAME}" \
  --os-sku Ubuntu

Download kubeconfig locally to access the cluster using kubectl:

az aks get-credentials \
  --resource-group "${AZURE_RESOURCE_GROUP}" \
  --name "${CLUSTER_NAME}"

User assigned identity and federated credentials

CAA needs privileges to talk to Azure API. This privilege is granted to CAA by associating a workload identity to the CAA service account. This workload identity (a.k.a. user assigned identity) is given permissions to create VMs, fetch images and join networks in the next step.

Note: If you use an existing AKS cluster it might need to be configured to support workload identity and OpenID Connect (OIDC), please refer to the instructions in this guide.

Start by creating an identity for CAA:

export AZURE_WORKLOAD_IDENTITY_NAME="caa-identity"

az identity create \
  --resource-group "${AZURE_RESOURCE_GROUP}" \
  --location "${AZURE_REGION}"
export USER_ASSIGNED_CLIENT_ID="$(az identity show \
  --resource-group "${AZURE_RESOURCE_GROUP}" \
  --query 'clientId' \

AKS resource group permissions

For CAA to be able to manage VMs assign the identity VM and Network contributor roles, privileges to spawn VMs in $AZURE_RESOURCE_GROUP and attach to a VNet in $AKS_RG.

az role assignment create \
  --role "Virtual Machine Contributor" \
  --assignee "$USER_ASSIGNED_CLIENT_ID" \
  --scope "/subscriptions/${AZURE_SUBSCRIPTION_ID}/resourcegroups/${AZURE_RESOURCE_GROUP}"
az role assignment create \
  --role "Reader" \
  --assignee "$USER_ASSIGNED_CLIENT_ID" \
  --scope "/subscriptions/${AZURE_SUBSCRIPTION_ID}/resourcegroups/${AZURE_RESOURCE_GROUP}"
az role assignment create \
  --role "Network Contributor" \
  --assignee "$USER_ASSIGNED_CLIENT_ID" \
  --scope "/subscriptions/${AZURE_SUBSCRIPTION_ID}/resourcegroups/${AKS_RG}"

Create the federated credential for the CAA ServiceAccount using the OIDC endpoint from the AKS cluster:

export AKS_OIDC_ISSUER="$(az aks show \
  --name "$CLUSTER_NAME" \
  --resource-group "${AZURE_RESOURCE_GROUP}" \
  --query "oidcIssuerProfile.issuerUrl" \
az identity federated-credential create \
  --name caa-fedcred \
  --identity-name caa-identity \
  --resource-group "${AZURE_RESOURCE_GROUP}" \
  --issuer "${AKS_OIDC_ISSUER}" \
  --subject system:serviceaccount:confidential-containers-system:cloud-api-adaptor \
  --audience api://AzureADTokenExchange

AKS subnet ID

Fetch the AKS created VNet name:

export AZURE_VNET_NAME=$(az network vnet list \
  --resource-group "${AKS_RG}" \
  --query "[0].name" \
  --output tsv)

Export the subnet ID to be used for CAA DaemonSet deployment:

export AZURE_SUBNET_ID=$(az network vnet subnet list \
  --resource-group "${AKS_RG}" \
  --vnet-name "${AZURE_VNET_NAME}" \
  --query "[0].id" \
  --output tsv)

Deploy CAA

Note: If you are using Calico Container Network Interface (CNI) on the Kubernetes cluster, then, configure Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN) encapsulation for all inter workload traffic.

Download the CAA deployment artifacts

export CAA_VERSION="0.8.2"
curl -LO "${CAA_VERSION}.tar.gz"
tar -xvzf "v${CAA_VERSION}.tar.gz"
cd "cloud-api-adaptor-${CAA_VERSION}/src/cloud-api-adaptor"
export CAA_BRANCH="main"
curl -LO "${CAA_BRANCH}.tar.gz"
tar -xvzf "${CAA_BRANCH}.tar.gz"
cd "cloud-api-adaptor-${CAA_BRANCH}/src/cloud-api-adaptor"

This assumes that you already have the code ready to use. On your terminal change directory to the Cloud API Adaptor’s code base.

CAA pod VM image

Export this environment variable to use for the peer pod VM:

export AZURE_IMAGE_ID="/CommunityGalleries/cococommunity-42d8482d-92cd-415b-b332-7648bd978eff/Images/peerpod-podvm-ubuntu2204-cvm-snp/Versions/${CAA_VERSION}"

An automated job builds the pod VM image each night at 00:00 UTC. You can use that image by exporting the following environment variable:

SUCCESS_TIME=$(curl -s \
  -H "Accept: application/vnd.github+json" \
  "" \
  | jq -r '.workflow_runs[0].updated_at')

export AZURE_IMAGE_ID="/CommunityGalleries/cocopodvm-d0e4f35f-5530-4b9c-8596-112487cdea85/Images/podvm_image0/Versions/$(date -u -jf "%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%SZ" "$SUCCESS_TIME" "+%Y.%m.%d" 2>/dev/null || date -d "$SUCCESS_TIME" +%Y.%m.%d)"

Above image version is in the format YYYY.MM.DD, so to use the latest image should be today’s date or yesterday’s date.

If you have made changes to the CAA code that affects the pod VM image and you want to deploy those changes then follow these instructions to build the pod VM image. Once image build is finished then export image id to the environment variable AZURE_IMAGE_ID.

CAA container image

Export the following environment variable to use the latest release image of CAA:

export CAA_IMAGE=""
export CAA_TAG="v0.8.2-amd64"

Export the following environment variable to use the image built by the CAA CI on each merge to main:

export CAA_IMAGE=""

Find an appropriate tag of pre-built image suitable to your needs here.

export CAA_TAG=""

Caution: You can also use the latest tag but it is not recommended, because of its lack of version control and potential for unpredictable updates, impacting stability and reproducibility in deployments.

If you have made changes to the CAA code and you want to deploy those changes then follow these instructions to build the container image. Once the image is built export the environment variables CAA_IMAGE and CAA_TAG.

Annotate Service Account

Annotate the CAA Service Account with the workload identity’s CLIENT_ID and make the CAA DaemonSet use workload identity for authentication:

cat <<EOF > install/overlays/azure/workload-identity.yaml
apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: DaemonSet
  name: cloud-api-adaptor-daemonset
  namespace: confidential-containers-system
        azure.workload.identity/use: "true"
apiVersion: v1
kind: ServiceAccount
  name: cloud-api-adaptor
  namespace: confidential-containers-system
    azure.workload.identity/client-id: "$USER_ASSIGNED_CLIENT_ID"

Select peer-pods machine type

export AZURE_INSTANCE_SIZE="Standard_DC2as_v5"
export DISABLECVM="false"

Find more AMD SEV-SNP machine types on this Azure documentation.

export AZURE_INSTANCE_SIZE="Standard_DC2es_v5"
export DISABLECVM="false"

Find more Intel TDX machine types on this Azure documentation.

export AZURE_INSTANCE_SIZE="Standard_D2as_v5"
export DISABLECVM="true"

Populate the kustomization.yaml file

Run the following command to update the kustomization.yaml file:

cat <<EOF > install/overlays/azure/kustomization.yaml
kind: Kustomization
- ../../yamls
- name: cloud-api-adaptor
  newName: "${CAA_IMAGE}"
  newTag: "${CAA_TAG}"
  disableNameSuffixHash: true
- name: peer-pods-cm
  namespace: confidential-containers-system
  - CLOUD_PROVIDER="azure"
- name: peer-pods-secret
  namespace: confidential-containers-system
- name: ssh-key-secret
  namespace: confidential-containers-system
- workload-identity.yaml

The SSH public key should be accessible to the kustomization.yaml file:

cp $SSH_KEY install/overlays/azure/

Deploy CAA on the Kubernetes cluster

Deploy coco operator:

kubectl apply -k "${COCO_OPERATOR_VERSION}"
kubectl apply -k "${COCO_OPERATOR_VERSION}"

Run the following command to deploy CAA:

kubectl apply -k "install/overlays/azure"

Generic CAA deployment instructions are also described here.

Run sample application

Ensure runtimeclass is present

Verify that the runtimeclass is created after deploying CAA:

kubectl get runtimeclass

Once you can find a runtimeclass named kata-remote then you can be sure that the deployment was successful. A successful deployment will look like this:

$ kubectl get runtimeclass
NAME          HANDLER       AGE
kata-remote   kata-remote   7m18s

Deploy workload

Create an nginx deployment:

cat <<EOF | kubectl apply -f -
apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
  name: nginx
  namespace: default
      app: nginx
  replicas: 1
        app: nginx
      runtimeClassName: kata-remote
      - name: nginx
        image: nginx
        - containerPort: 80
        imagePullPolicy: Always

Ensure that the pod is up and running:

kubectl get pods -n default

You can verify that the peer pod VM was created by running the following command:

az vm list \
  --resource-group "${AZURE_RESOURCE_GROUP}" \
  --output table

Here you should see the VM associated with the pod nginx.

Note: If you run into problems then check the troubleshooting guide here.


If you wish to clean up the whole set up, you can delete the resource group by running the following command:

az group delete \
  --name "${AZURE_RESOURCE_GROUP}" \
  --yes --no-wait
Last modified April 29, 2024: Azure: Add TDX deployment instructions (71c9eb2)