OpenShift Operator

This document describes how to use the Red Hat OpenShift (OC) Operator for deploying both the SysFlow exporter and collector as pods on OpenShift platforms. The exporter pushes SysFlow files at intervals to an S3 compliant data store, like IBM cloud object store (COS) or minio. The operator is helm based and has been tested with OpenShift 3.11 and 4.3. In the near future we hope to have a golang or ansible-based operator and have everything available in the operator catalog. For now, the operator is available on docker hub.


  1. Familiarize yourself with the operator-sdk:

  2. S3 compliant object store - Currently tested with IBM’s cloud object store, and minio object store (

  3. Create Cloud Object Store HMAC Access ID, and Secret Key.

  4. Knowledge of OpenShift/K8s.

Clone the Repository

First, clone the repo with the following command:

git clone sf-deployments
cd sf-deployments/operator

Here are the steps in getting an OC operator deployed in an OpenShift cluster:

  1. Login to your OpenShift cluster using the oc client tool. oc login ...

  2. Create the sysflow project: oc project sysflow

  3. Create a secret file for the S3 access id, and secret key. Use the following file as a template: and call the secret: sfexporterchart-secrets. Note: that access id and secret key values have to be base64 encoded in the file. You can generate the b64 encoding by doing: echo -n <s3 access id> | base64 and copying it into the yaml file

  4. Install the secret into the sysflow project: oc create -f secrets.yaml

  5. Edit the operator/deploy/crds/charts.helm.k8s.io_v1alpha1_sfexporterchart_cr.yaml for your deployment:

kind: SfExporterChart
  name: sfexporterchart
  # Default values copied from <project_dir>/helm-charts/sf-exporter-chart/values.yaml

  fullnameOverride: ""
  nameOverride: sfexporter
    secretName: ""
  resources: {}
    filter: "container.type!=host and!=sfexporter
    interval: 300
    outDir: /mnt/data/
    repository: sysflowtelemetry/sf-collector
    tag: edge
    imagePullPolicy: Always
    interval: 30
    outDir: /mnt/data/
    repository: sysflowtelemetry/sf-exporter
    s3Bucket: sysflow-bucket
    s3Location: us-south
    s3Port: 443
    s3Secure: "true"
    tag: edge
    imagePullPolicy: Always
  tmpfsSize: 500Mi

Most of the defaults should work in any environment. The collector is currently set to rotating files in 5 min intervals (or 300 seconds). The /mnt/data/ is mapped to a tmpfs filesystem, and you can specify its size using the tmpfsSize.

For connecting to an S3 compliant data store, first take note of which port the S3 data store (s3Port) is configured. IBM Cloud COS listens on port 443, but certain minio installations can listen on port 9000. Also, if TLS is enabled on the S3 datastore, ensure s3Secure is true. Ensure that the s3Bucket is set to the desired S3 bucket location. The s3Endpoint is either the domain name or IP address of the COS instance, while s3Location is set to a region (COS) or location (minio). Example values are above.

  1. Change into the operator directory. There are a set of pre-defined scripts to make deployment easier.

  2. Run the following commands to deploy the operator into your cluster:

    1. ./createCRD - deploys the custom resource definition.

    2. ./ - deploys the operator proper.

    3. ./applyCR - applies the Custom Resource.

  3. The operator should now have deployed the collector and exporter.

  4. Check to see that they are operational oc get pods -n sysflow

  5. If one of the containers is not functioning properly, you can check its logs by doing: oc logs -f <podname> -c <sfcollector or sfexporter> -n sysflow

  6. You can enter the containers via: oc exec -it <podname> -c <sfcollector or sfexporter> -n sysflow /bin/bash

  7. To delete the operator/sysflow pod, do the following:

    1. ./

    2. ./clearCRD