This page was last updated September 12, 2019.

Follow these instructions to prepare an Azure cluster for Istio.

You can deploy a Kubernetes cluster to Azure via AKS or AKS-Engine which fully supports Istio.


You can create an AKS cluster via the az cli or the Azure portal.

For the az cli option, complete az login authentication OR use cloud shell, then run the following commands below.

  1. Determine the desired region name which supports AKS

    $ az provider list --query "[?namespace=='Microsoft.ContainerService'].resourceTypes[] | [?resourceType=='managedClusters'].locations[]" -o tsv
  2. Verify the supported Kubernetes versions for the desired region

    Replace my location using the desired region value from the above step, and then execute:

    $ az aks get-versions --location "my location" --query "orchestrators[].orchestratorVersion"

    Ensure a minimum of 1.10.5 is listed.

  3. Create the resource group and deploy the AKS cluster

    Replace myResourceGroup and myAKSCluster with desired names, my location using the value from step 1, 1.10.5 if not supported in the region, and then execute:

    $ az group create --name myResourceGroup --location "my location"
    $ az aks create --resource-group myResourceGroup --name myAKSCluster --node-count 3 --kubernetes-version 1.10.5 --generate-ssh-keys
  4. Get the AKS kubeconfig credentials

    Replace myResourceGroup and myAKSCluster with the names from the previous step and execute:

    $ az aks get-credentials --resource-group myResourceGroup --name myAKSCluster


  1. Follow the instructions to get and install the aks-engine binary.

  2. Download the aks-engine API model definition that supports deploying Istio:

    $ wget

    Note: It is possible to use other api model definitions which will work with Istio. The MutatingAdmissionWebhook and ValidatingAdmissionWebhook admission control flags and RBAC are enabled by default. See aks-engine api model default values for further information.

  3. Deploy your cluster using the istio.json template. You can find references to the parameters in the official docs.

    ParameterExpected value
    subscription_idAzure Subscription Id
    dns_prefixCluster DNS Prefix
    locationCluster Location
    $ aks-engine deploy --subscription-id <subscription_id> \
      --dns-prefix <dns_prefix> --location <location> --auto-suffix \
      --api-model istio.json
  4. Use the <dns_prefix>-<id> cluster ID, to copy your kubeconfig to your machine from the _output folder:

    $ cp _output/<dns_prefix>-<id>/kubeconfig/kubeconfig.<location>.json \

    For example:

    $ cp _output/mycluster-5adfba82/kubeconfig/kubeconfig.westus2.json \
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