Getting started with Kubernetes Operators in Golang

In the past few weeks I started to learn Golang and beginners like me can make quick progress once you understand the structure and some basics about the programming language. I felt that from all the learning and reading I’ve done on Golang and Kubernetes operators, I had enough knowledge to start writing my own Kubernetes operator in Go.

At the beginning of last year, RedHat released the operator-sdk which helps to create the scaffolding for writing your own operators in Ansible, Helm or natively in Golang. There has been quite a few changes along the way around the operator-sdk and it is maturing a lot over the course of the past year.

The instructions on how to install Golang can be found on the Golang website and we need the latest version of the operator-sdk:

$ wget https://github.com/operator-framework/operator-sdk/releases/download/v1.2.0/operator-sdk-v1.2.0-x86_64-linux-gnu
$ mv operator-sdk-v1.2.0-x86_64-linux-gnu operator-sdk
$ sudo mv operator-sdk /usr/local/bin/

Create a new folder and start to initialise the project. You see that I have already set the option --domain so all API groups will be <-group->.helloworld.io. The --repo option allows me to create the project folder outside of my $GOPATH environment. Infos about the folder structure you can find in the Kubebuilder documentation:

$ mkdir k8s-helloworld-operator
$ cd k8s-helloworld-operator
$ operator-sdk init --domain=helloworld.io --repo=github.com/berndonline/k8s-helloworld-operator

The last thing we need before we start writing the operator is to create a new API and Controller and this will scaffold the operator API at api/v1alpha1/operator_types.go and the controller at controllers/operator_controller.go.

$ operator-sdk create api --group app --version v1alpha1 --kind Operator
Create Resource [y/n]
y
Create Controller [y/n]
y
Writing scaffold for you to edit...
api/v1alpha1/operator_types.go
controllers/operator_controller.go
...
  • Define your API

Define your API for the operator custom resource by editing the Go type definitions at api/v1alpha1/operator_types.go

// OperatorSpec defines the desired state of Operator
type OperatorSpec struct {
	// INSERT ADDITIONAL SPEC FIELDS - desired state of cluster
	// Important: Run "make" to regenerate code after modifying this file

	// Foo is an example field of Operator. Edit Operator_types.go to remove/update
	Size     int32  `json:"size"`
	Image    string `json:"image"`
	Response string `json:"response"`
}
// OperatorStatus defines the observed state of Operator
type OperatorStatus struct {
	// INSERT ADDITIONAL STATUS FIELD - define observed state of cluster
	// Important: Run "make" to regenerate code after modifying this file
	Nodes []string `json:"nodes"`
}

// Operator is the Schema for the operators API
// +kubebuilder:subresource:status
type Operator struct {
	metav1.TypeMeta   `json:",inline"`
	metav1.ObjectMeta `json:"metadata,omitempty"`

	Spec   OperatorSpec   `json:"spec,omitempty"`
	Status OperatorStatus `json:"status,omitempty"`
}

After modifying the _types.go file you always need to run the following command to update the generated code for that resource type:

$ make generate 
/home/ubuntu/.go/bin/controller-gen object:headerFile="hack/boilerplate.go.txt" paths="./..."
  • Generate Custom Resource Definition (CRD) manifests

In the previous step we defined the API with spec and status fields of the CRD manifests, which can be generated and updated with the following command:

$ make manifests
/home/ubuntu/.go/bin/controller-gen "crd:trivialVersions=true" rbac:roleName=manager-role webhook paths="./..." output:crd:artifacts:config=config/crd/bases

This makefile will invoke the controller-gen to generate the CRD manifests at config/crd/bases/app.helloworld.io_operators.yaml and below you see my custom resource example for the operator:

apiVersion: app.helloworld.io/v1alpha1
kind: Operator
metadata:
  name: operator-sample
spec:
  size: 1
  response: "Hello, World!"
  image: "ghcr.io/berndonline/k8s/go-helloworld:latest"
  • Controller

In the beginning when I created the API, the operator-sdk automatically created the controller file for me at controllers/operator_controller.go which we now start to modify and add the Golang code. I will not go into every detail because the different resources you will create will all look very similar and repeat like you will see in example code. I will mainly focus on the Deployment for my Helloworld container image which I want to deploy using the operator.

Let’s start looking at the deploymentForOperator function which defines and returns the Kubernetes Deployment object. You see there that I invoke an imported Golang packages like &appsv1.Deployment and the import is defined at the top of the controller file. You can find details about this in the Go Doc reference: godoc.org/k8s.io/api/apps/v1

// deploymentForOperator returns a operator Deployment object
func (r *OperatorReconciler) deploymentForOperator(m *appv1alpha1.Operator) *appsv1.Deployment {
	ls := labelsForOperator(m.Name)
	replicas := m.Spec.Size

	dep := &appsv1.Deployment{
		ObjectMeta: metav1.ObjectMeta{
			Name:      m.Name,
			Namespace: m.Namespace,
		},
		Spec: appsv1.DeploymentSpec{
			Replicas: &replicas,
			Selector: &metav1.LabelSelector{
				MatchLabels: ls,
			},
			Template: corev1.PodTemplateSpec{
				ObjectMeta: metav1.ObjectMeta{
					Labels: ls,
				},
				Spec: corev1.PodSpec{
					Containers: []corev1.Container{{
						Image:           m.Spec.Image,
						ImagePullPolicy: "Always",
						Name:            "helloworld",
						Ports: []corev1.ContainerPort{{
							ContainerPort: 8080,
							Name:          "operator",
						}},
						Env: []corev1.EnvVar{{
							Name:  "RESPONSE",
							Value: m.Spec.Response,
						}},
						EnvFrom: []corev1.EnvFromSource{{
							ConfigMapRef: &corev1.ConfigMapEnvSource{
								LocalObjectReference: corev1.LocalObjectReference{
									Name: m.Name,
								},
							},
						}},
						VolumeMounts: []corev1.VolumeMount{{
							Name:      m.Name,
							ReadOnly:  true,
							MountPath: "/helloworld/",
						}},
					}},
					Volumes: []corev1.Volume{{
						Name: m.Name,
						VolumeSource: corev1.VolumeSource{
							ConfigMap: &corev1.ConfigMapVolumeSource{
								LocalObjectReference: corev1.LocalObjectReference{
									Name: m.Name,
								},
							},
						},
					}},
				},
			},
		},
	}

	// Set Operator instance as the owner and controller
	ctrl.SetControllerReference(m, dep, r.Scheme)
	return dep
}

We have defined the deploymentForOperator function and now we can look into the Reconcile function and add the step to check if the deployment already exists and, if not, to create the new deployment:

// Check if the deployment already exists, if not create a new one
found := &appsv1.Deployment{}
err = r.Get(ctx, types.NamespacedName{Name: operator.Name, Namespace: operator.Namespace}, found)
if err != nil && errors.IsNotFound(err) {
	// Define a new deployment
	dep := r.deploymentForOperator(operator)
	log.Info("Creating a new Deployment", "Deployment.Namespace", dep.Namespace, "Deployment.Name", dep.Name)
	err = r.Create(ctx, dep)
	if err != nil {
		log.Error(err, "Failed to create new Deployment", "Deployment.Namespace", dep.Namespace, "Deployment.Name", dep.Name)
		return ctrl.Result{}, err
	}
	// Deployment created successfully - return and requeue
	return ctrl.Result{Requeue: true}, nil
} else if err != nil {
	log.Error(err, "Failed to get Deployment")
	return ctrl.Result{}, err
}

Unfortunately this isn’t enough because this will only check if the deployment exists or not and create a new deployment, but it will not update the deployment if the custom resource is changed.

We need to add two more steps to check if the created Deployment Spec.Template matches the Spec.Template from the  deploymentForOperator function and the Deployment Spec.Replicas the defined size from the custom resource. I will make use of the defined variable found := &appsv1.Deployment{} from the previous step when I checked if the deployment exists.

// Check if the deployment Spec.Template, matches the found Spec.Template
deploy := r.deploymentForOperator(operator)
if !equality.Semantic.DeepDerivative(deploy.Spec.Template, found.Spec.Template) {
	found = deploy
	log.Info("Updating Deployment", "Deployment.Namespace", found.Namespace, "Deployment.Name", found.Name)
	err := r.Update(ctx, found)
	if err != nil {
		log.Error(err, "Failed to update Deployment", "Deployment.Namespace", found.Namespace, "Deployment.Name", found.Name)
		return ctrl.Result{}, err
	}
	return ctrl.Result{Requeue: true}, nil
}

// Ensure the deployment size is the same as the spec
size := operator.Spec.Size
if *found.Spec.Replicas != size {
	found.Spec.Replicas = &size
	err = r.Update(ctx, found)
	if err != nil {
		log.Error(err, "Failed to update Deployment", "Deployment.Namespace", found.Namespace, "Deployment.Name", found.Name)
		return ctrl.Result{}, err
	}
	// Spec updated - return and requeue
	return ctrl.Result{Requeue: true}, nil
}

The SetupWithManager() function in controllers/operator_controller.go specifies how the controller is built to watch a custom resource and other resources that are owned and managed by that controller.

func (r *OperatorReconciler) SetupWithManager(mgr ctrl.Manager) error {
	return ctrl.NewControllerManagedBy(mgr).
		For(&appv1alpha1.Operator{}).
		Owns(&appsv1.Deployment{}).
		Owns(&corev1.ConfigMap{}).
		Owns(&corev1.Service{}).
		Owns(&networkingv1beta1.Ingress{}).
		Complete(r)
}

Basically that’s all I need to write for the controller to deploy my Helloworld container image using an Kubernetes operator. In my code example you will find that I also create a Kubernetes Service, Ingress and ConfigMap but you see that this mostly repeats what I have done with the Deployment object.

  • RBAC permissions

Before we can start running the operator, we need to define the RBAC permissions the controller needs to interact with the resources it manages otherwise your controller will not work. These are specified via [RBAC markers] like these:

// +kubebuilder:rbac:groups=app.helloworld.io,resources=operators,verbs=get;list;watch;create;update;patch;delete
// +kubebuilder:rbac:groups=app.helloworld.io,resources=operators/status,verbs=get;update;patch
// +kubebuilder:rbac:groups=app.helloworld.io,resources=operators/finalizers,verbs=update
// +kubebuilder:rbac:groups=apps,resources=deployments,verbs=get;list;watch;create;update;patch;delete
// +kubebuilder:rbac:groups=core,resources=services,verbs=get;list;watch;create;update;patch;delete
// +kubebuilder:rbac:groups=core,resources=configmaps,verbs=get;list;watch;create;update;patch;delete
// +kubebuilder:rbac:groups=networking.k8s.io,resources=ingresses,verbs=get;list;watch;create;update;patch;delete
// +kubebuilder:rbac:groups=core,resources=pods,verbs=get;list;watch

The ClusterRole manifest at config/rbac/role.yaml is generated from the above markers via controller-gen with the following command:

$ make manifests 
/home/ubuntu/.go/bin/controller-gen "crd:trivialVersions=true" rbac:roleName=manager-role webhook paths="./..." output:crd:artifacts:config=config/crd/bases
  • Running the Operator

We need a Kubernetes cluster and admin privileges to run the operator. I will use Kind which will run a lightweight Kubernetes cluster in your local Docker engine, which is all I need to run and test my Helloworld operator:

$ ./scripts/create-kind-cluster.sh 
Creating cluster "kind" ...
 ✓ Ensuring node image (kindest/node:v1.19.1) 🖼 
 ✓ Preparing nodes 📦  
 ✓ Writing configuration 📜 
 ✓ Starting control-plane 🕹️ 
 ✓ Installing CNI 🔌 
 ✓ Installing StorageClass 💾 
Set kubectl context to "kind-kind"
You can now use your cluster with:

kubectl cluster-info --context kind-kind

Have a question, bug, or feature request? Let us know! https://kind.sigs.k8s.io/#community 🙂

Before running the operator the custom resource Definition must be registered with the Kubernetes apiserver:

$ make install
/home/ubuntu/.go/bin/controller-gen "crd:trivialVersions=true" rbac:roleName=manager-role webhook paths="./..." output:crd:artifacts:config=config/crd/bases
/usr/bin/kustomize build config/crd | kubectl apply -f -
Warning: apiextensions.k8s.io/v1beta1 CustomResourceDefinition is deprecated in v1.16+, unavailable in v1.22+; use apiextensions.k8s.io/v1 CustomResourceDefinition
customresourcedefinition.apiextensions.k8s.io/operators.app.helloworld.io created

We can now run the operator locally on my workstation:

$ make run
/home/ubuntu/.go/bin/controller-gen object:headerFile="hack/boilerplate.go.txt" paths="./..."
go fmt ./...
go vet ./...
/home/ubuntu/.go/bin/controller-gen "crd:trivialVersions=true" rbac:roleName=manager-role webhook paths="./..." output:crd:artifacts:config=config/crd/bases
go run ./main.go
2020-11-22T18:12:49.023Z	INFO	controller-runtime.metrics	metrics server is starting to listen	{"addr": ":8080"}
2020-11-22T18:12:49.024Z	INFO	setup	starting manager
2020-11-22T18:12:49.025Z	INFO	controller-runtime.manager	starting metrics server	{"path": "/metrics"}
2020-11-22T18:12:49.025Z	INFO	controller	Starting EventSource	{"reconcilerGroup": "app.helloworld.io", "reconcilerKind": "Operator", "controller": "operator", "source": "kind source: /, Kind="}
2020-11-22T18:12:49.126Z	INFO	controller	Starting EventSource	{"reconcilerGroup": "app.helloworld.io", "reconcilerKind": "Operator", "controller": "operator", "source": "kind source: /, Kind="}
2020-11-22T18:12:49.226Z	INFO	controller	Starting EventSource	{"reconcilerGroup": "app.helloworld.io", "reconcilerKind": "Operator", "controller": "operator", "source": "kind source: /, Kind="}
2020-11-22T18:12:49.327Z	INFO	controller	Starting EventSource	{"reconcilerGroup": "app.helloworld.io", "reconcilerKind": "Operator", "controller": "operator", "source": "kind source: /, Kind="}
2020-11-22T18:12:49.428Z	INFO	controller	Starting EventSource	{"reconcilerGroup": "app.helloworld.io", "reconcilerKind": "Operator", "controller": "operator", "source": "kind source: /, Kind="}
2020-11-22T18:12:49.528Z	INFO	controller	Starting Controller	{"reconcilerGroup": "app.helloworld.io", "reconcilerKind": "Operator", "controller": "operator"}
2020-11-22T18:12:49.528Z	INFO	controller	Starting workers	{"reconcilerGroup": "app.helloworld.io", "reconcilerKind": "Operator", "controller": "operator", "worker count": 1}

Let’s open a new terminal and apply the custom resource example:

$ kubectl apply -f config/samples/app_v1alpha1_operator.yaml 
operator.app.helloworld.io/operator-sample created

Going back to the terminal where the operator is running, you see the log messages that it invoke the different functions to deploy the defined resource objects:

2020-11-22T18:15:30.412Z	INFO	controllers.Operator	Creating a new Deployment	{"operator": "default/operator-sample", "Deployment.Namespace": "default", "Deployment.Name": "operator-sample"}
2020-11-22T18:15:30.446Z	INFO	controllers.Operator	Creating a new ConfigMap	{"operator": "default/operator-sample", "ConfigMap.Namespace": "default", "ConfigMap.Name": "operator-sample"}
2020-11-22T18:15:30.453Z	INFO	controllers.Operator	Creating a new Service	{"operator": "default/operator-sample", "Service.Namespace": "default", "Service.Name": "operator-sample"}
2020-11-22T18:15:30.470Z	INFO	controllers.Operator	Creating a new Ingress	{"operator": "default/operator-sample", "Ingress.Namespace": "default", "Ingress.Name": "operator-sample"}
2020-11-22T18:15:30.927Z	DEBUG	controller	Successfully Reconciled	{"reconcilerGroup": "app.helloworld.io", "reconcilerKind": "Operator", "controller": "operator", "name": "operator-sample", "namespace": "default"}
2020-11-22T18:15:30.927Z	DEBUG	controller	Successfully Reconciled	{"reconcilerGroup": "app.helloworld.io", "reconcilerKind": "Operator", "controller": "operator", "name": "operator-sample", "namespace": "default"}
2020-11-22T18:15:33.776Z	DEBUG	controller	Successfully Reconciled	{"reconcilerGroup": "app.helloworld.io", "reconcilerKind": "Operator", "controller": "operator", "name": "operator-sample", "namespace": "default"}
2020-11-22T18:15:35.181Z	DEBUG	controller	Successfully Reconciled	{"reconcilerGroup": "app.helloworld.io", "reconcilerKind": "Operator", "controller": "operator", "name": "operator-sample", "namespace": "default"}

In the default namespace where I applied the custom resource you will see the deployed resources by the operator:

$ kubectl get operators.app.helloworld.io 
NAME              AGE
operator-sample   6m11s
$ kubectl get all
NAME                                   READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
pod/operator-sample-767897c4b9-8zwsd   1/1     Running   0          2m59s

NAME                      TYPE        CLUSTER-IP      EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)    AGE
service/kubernetes        ClusterIP   10.96.0.1               443/TCP    29m
service/operator-sample   ClusterIP   10.96.199.188           8080/TCP   2m59s

NAME                              READY   UP-TO-DATE   AVAILABLE   AGE
deployment.apps/operator-sample   1/1     1            1           2m59s

NAME                                         DESIRED   CURRENT   READY   AGE
replicaset.apps/operator-sample-767897c4b9   1         1         1       2m59s

There is not much else to do other than to build the operator image and push to an image registry so that I can run the operator on a Kubernetes cluster.

$ make docker-build IMG=ghcr.io/berndonline/k8s/helloworld-operator:latest
$ make docker-push IMG=ghcr.io/berndonline/k8s/helloworld-operator:latest
$ kustomize build config/default | kubectl apply -f -

I hope this article is useful for getting you started on writing your own Kubernetes operator in Golang.

Ansible Automation with Cisco ASA Multi-Context Mode

I thought I’d share my experience using Ansible and Cisco ASA firewalls in multi-context mode. Right from the beginning I had a few issues deploying the configuration and the switch between the different security context didn’t work well. I got the error you see below when I tried to run a playbook. Other times the changeto context didn’t work well and applied the wrong config:

[email protected]:~$ ansible-playbook -i inventory site.yml --ask-vault-pass
Vault password:

PLAY [all] ***************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

TASK [hostname : set dns and hostname] ***********************************************************************************************************************************************
An exception occurred during task execution. To see the full traceback, use -vvv. The error was: error: [Errno 61] Connection refused
fatal: [fwcontext01]: FAILED! => {"changed": false, "err": "[Errno 61] Connection refused", "msg": "unable to connect to socket"}
ok: [fwcontext02]

TASK [interfaces : write interfaces config] ******************************************************************************************************************************************
ok: [fwcontext02]

....

After a bit of troubleshooting I found a workaround to limit the amount of processes Ansible use and set this limit to one in the Ansible.cfg. The default is five processes if forks is not defined as far as I remember.

[defaults]
inventory = ./inventory
host_key_checking=False
jinja2_extensions=jinja2.ext.do
forks = 1

In the example inventory file, the “inventory_hostname” variable represents the security context and as you see the “ansible_ssh_host” is set to the IP address of the admin context:

fwcontext01 ansible_ssh_host=192.168.0.1 ansible_ssh_port=22 ansible_ssh_user='ansible' ansible_ssh_pass='cisco'
fwcontext02 ansible_ssh_host=192.168.0.1 ansible_ssh_port=22 ansible_ssh_user='ansible' ansible_ssh_pass='cisco'

When you run the playbook again you can see that the playbook runs successfully but deploys the changes one by one to each firewall security context, the disadvantage is that the playbook takes much longer to run:

[email protected]:~$ ansible-playbook site.yml

PLAY [all] ***************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

TASK [hostname : set dns and hostname] ***********************************************************************************************************************************************
ok: [fwcontext01]
ok: [fwcontext02]

TASK [interfaces : write interfaces config] ******************************************************************************************************************************************
ok: [fwcontext01]
ok: [fwcontext02]

Example site.yml

---

- hosts: all
  connection: local
  gather_facts: 'no'

  vars:
    cli:
      username: "{{ ansible_ssh_user }}"
      password: "{{ ansible_ssh_pass }}"
      host: "{{ ansible_ssh_host }}"

  roles:
    - interfaces

In the example Interface role you see that the context is set to “inventory_hostname” variable:

---

- name: write interfaces config
  asa_config:
    src: "templates/interfaces.j2"
    provider: "{{ cli }}"
    context: "{{ inventory_hostname }}"
  register: result

- name: enable interfaces
  asa_config:
    parents: "interface {{ item.0 }}"
    lines: "no shutdown"
    match: none
    provider: "{{ cli }}"
    context: "{{ inventory_hostname }}"
  when: result.changed
  with_items:
    - "{{ interfaces.items() }}"

After modifying the forks, the Ansible playbook runs well with Cisco ASA in multi-context mode, like mentioned before it is a bit slow to deploy the configuration if I compare this to Cumulus Linux or any other Linux system.

Please share your feedback.

Leave a comment

Setup Juniper ISG NSRP cluster

This post describes how to rebuild a Juniper NSRP Cluster if the first Juniper firewall is already configured for NSRP.
Please make sure you have the following prerequisite on both Firewalls.

Minimum software and hardware requirements for configuring Active / Passive NSRP:

  • Firewall’s with identical ScreenOS versions and license keys
  • Firewall’s with identical hardware
  • At least one interface on each firewall to be configured in the HA zone, which will be used for carrying control channel information

Configuration steps on the unconfigured Firewall.

Configure the Interface(s) for HA

If possible it makes sense to use the same Interface as used on the other device.

set interface ethernet0/4 zone HA

Configure the NSRP cluster id:

set nsrp cluster id 1

Both firewalls in the cluster must have the same Cluster ID number.

IMPORTANT: Other NSRP firewall pairs on the same segment must have a different set of cluster ids. Once the cluster id is set to a value, all the security interfaces will become part of the VSD-group 0, by default.

Configure cluster name for NSRP:

To define a single name for all cluster members, type the following CLI command:

set nsrp cluster name <name_str>
set nsrp vsd-group id <number> priority <number>

IMPORTANT: Make sure that the desired STANDBY firewall has a HIGHER priority configured than the preferred master. The firewall with the lower priority will be the active master in the cluster!

Physical connection:

Connect only the HA link cable to the interface that is configured for the HA zone.

Check the nsrp cluster status:

You can check the nsrp cluster status via the configuration GUI or via CLI.

To check the NSRP cluster status via GUI connect to the actual master and navigate to Reports > System Log > Event and search for NSRP related entries.

To check the NSRP cluster status via CLI please connect to the actual standby via console. You can check the status with the following command:

get nsrp cluster

Synchronize the configurations:

To synchronize the configuration from the active to the standby unit, please connect to the standby unit via console and execute the following command:

exec nsrp sync global-config save

The following will be reported shortly after you enter the above command:

load peer system config to save
firewall-B(B)-> Save global configuration successfully.
firewall-B(B)-> Save local configuration successfully.
firewall-B(B)-> Done.
firewall-B(B)-> Please reset your box to let cluster configuration to take effect!

Reset the Firewall:

IMPORTANT:  If you are prompted to save the configuration after you enter the reset command, answer n (No).  Then, proceed with the reboot by answering y (Yes).

firewall-B(B)-> reset
firewall-B(B)-> Configuration modified.  Save? [y]/n n
firewall-B(B)-> System reset.  Are you sure? y/[n] y

Check if the configurations are in sync:

Please execute the following command via CLI (console connection) on the backup firewall to check if the configurations are in sync:

exec nsrp sync global-config check-sum

Physical connection:

Please connect all other interfaces in the correct order to the standby unit.

Initial manual failover:

exec nsrp vsd-group 0 mode ineligible

Command reference:

NSRP

get nsrp cluster Show cluster info
get nsrp monitor Show list of monitored interfaces
get nsrp vsd id 0 Show VSD id 0
get counters ha Show HA interface hardware counters
exec nsrp sync global-config check-sum Allows you to see if the cluster configs are syncronised
exec nsrp sync global save Sync’s the nodes.A reboot is required to complete the update.
exec nsrp vsd-group 0 mode Fails over the cluster. Run this command on the Master node.

Current Settings / Values

get envar get environment variable
get config get device configuration
get system get system information
get arp get arp cache
get route get routing table

Configuration re-sync Juniper ISG NSRP cluster

When the ISG cluster devices are correctly configured, they will start synchronizing the configuration. You can check if the configurations is in sync with the following command:

Cluster1:fw01(M)-> exec nsrp sync global-config check-sum     
configuration in sync

It can happen from time to time that the configuration of the cluster run out of sync:

Cluster1:fw01(M)-> exec  nsrp sync global-config check-sum 
Warning: configuration out of sync

To solve this issue, you should force the configuration sync (only on the backup device!!!!):

Cluster1:fw02(B)-> exec nsrp sync global-config save
load peer system config to save
Save global configuration successfully.
Save local configuration successfully.
done.
Please reset your box to let cluster configuration take effect!

Cluster1:fw02(B)-> reset 
System reset, are you sure? y/[n] y
In reset ...

After the reboot of the backup device, the cluster should be fully operational and in sync.

Note : when the device prompts you to save the config, enter “n” (no)

Cisco ASA Virtual Context Mode

A single Cisco ASA or a cluster of two ASAs can be partition into multiple virtual firewalls known as security contexts. Each context has it’s own independent firewall, with its own security policy, interfaces, and administrators. These contexts are similar to having multiple standalone ASA devices. In combination with failover groups you can run a ASA cluster in active/active state and utilize both devices. Don’t forget when a failover happens that both failover groups need to run on a single device, keep enough ressources free on both devices and do not oversubscribe too much.

You have to look because there are limitation what features are supported in context mode. In version 8 is unsupport to use dynamic routing protocols, VPN, Threat Detection and Quality of Service. In version 9 are some changes and now dynamic routing protocols (not RIP or OSPFv3) and site-to-site IPsec VPNs are supported.

Here the configuration example how to set-up an Cisco ASA 5580 with 10 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces.

Enabling the context mode

mode noconfirm multiple

Physical interface configuration

interface GigabitEthernet4/2 
  description Failover 
  no shutdown 
  exit 

interface GigabitEthernet4/3 
  description Stateful 
  no shutdown 
  exit 

interface TenGigabitEthernet5/0 
  description TeTrunk-1st 
  no shutdown 
  exit 

interface TenGigabitEthernet5/1 
  description TeTrunk-2nd 
  no shutdown 
  exit

Redundant interface configuration

interface Redundant 1
  description Redundant-Trunk
  member-interface TenGigabitEthernet5/0
  member-interface TenGigabitEthernet5/1
  exit

interface Redundant 1.800
  vlan 800
  description Link-Outside1
  exit

interface Redundant 1.801
  vlan 801
  description Link-Outside2
  exit

interface Redundant 1.100
  vlan 100
  description Link-Inside1
  exit

interface Redundant 1.101
  vlan 101
  description Link-Inside2
  exit

interface Redundant 1.500
  vlan 500
  description Link-Management
  exit

Here you need to start configuring the ASA failover settings. Like you see in the failover group configuration that I put group 1 to the primary device and group 2 to the seconday device for active/active set-up, when I create the virtual security context I join them to the different failover groups.

failover group 1
  primary
  polltime interface 1 holdtime 5
  exit

failover group 2
  secondary
  polltime interface 1 holdtime 5
  exit

failover

failover lan unit primary
failover lan interface failover GigabitEthernet4/2
failover interface ip failover 169.254.0.1 255.255.255.0 standby 169.254.0.2

failover link stateful GigabitEthernet4/3
failover interface ip stateful 169.254.1.1 255.255.255.0 standby 169.254.1.2

failover polltime unit 2 holdtime 6
failover polltime interface 1 holdtime 5
failover timeout 0:00:00

failover active

Failover configuration on the seconday device

interface GigabitEthernet4/2
  description Failover
  no shutdown
  exit

failover lan unit secondary
failover lan interface failover GigabitEthernet4/2
failover interface ip failover 169.254.0.1 255.255.255.0 standby 169.254.0.2

failover

copy running-config startup-config

Now you start to set-up the virtual contexts and add the interfaces I configured before

admin-context admin-asa-01

context admin-asa-01
  allocate-interface Redundant1.500 Link-Management
  config-url disk0:/admin-asa-01.conf
  join-failover-group 1
  exit

context virtual-asa-02
  allocate-interface Redundant1.800 Link-Outside1
  allocate-interface Redundant1.100 Link-Inside1
  config-url disk0:/virtual-asa-02.conf
  join-failover-group 1
  exit

context virtual-asa-03
  allocate-interface Redundant1.801 Link-Outside2
  allocate-interface Redundant1.101 Link-Inside2
  config-url disk0:/virtual-asa-03.conf
  join-failover-group 2
  exit

In the end save the configuration

write memory all

Afterwards you can change to the configured contexts with the command

changeto context virtual-asa-02

and start configuring your virtual firewalls.