IBM WebSphere Liberty for Amazon EKS on AWS

Partner Solution Deployment Guide


December 2022
Ranjan Kumar, Venu Beyagudem, Paul Baity, Jarek Gawor, Barbara Jones, and Pam Helyar, IBM
Senthil Nagaraj, AWS IBM Alliance team
Troy Lindsay and Vinod Shukla, AWS Integration & Automation team

Refer to the GitHub repository to view source files, report bugs, submit feature ideas, and post feedback about this Partner Solution. To comment on the documentation, refer to Feedback.

This Partner Solution was created by IBM in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Partner Solutions are automated reference deployments that help people deploy popular technologies on AWS according to AWS best practices. If you’re unfamiliar with AWS Partner Solutions, refer to the AWS Partner Solution General Information Guide.


This guide covers the information you need to deploy an IBM WebSphere Liberty operator in an Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) cluster.

For information on using this solution after it’s deployed, refer to the IBM WebSphere Liberty for Amazon EKS Partner Solution Operational Guide.

Costs and licenses

There is no cost to use this Partner Solution, but you will be billed for any AWS services or resources that this Partner Solution deploys. For more information, refer to the AWS Partner Solution General Information Guide.

To use this Partner Solution, you must be entitled to use IBM WebSphere Liberty by having a valid license to any of the products listed in Table 1.

Table 1. Products that entitle you to use IBM WebSphere Liberty
Standalone product editions Other product entitlement sources
  • IBM WebSphere Application Server

  • IBM WebSphere Application Server Liberty Core

  • IBM WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment

  • IBM WebSphere Hybrid Edition

  • IBM Cloud Pak for Applications

  • IBM WebSphere Application Server Family Edition

More information:


Deploying this Partner Solution builds the following IBM WebSphere Liberty environment in the AWS Cloud.

Architectural diagram of this Partner Solution
Figure 1. Partner Solution architecture for IBM WebSphere Liberty for Amazon EKS

As shown in Figure 1, this Partner Solution sets up the following:

  • A highly available architecture that spans two Availability Zones.

  • A virtual private cloud (VPC) configured with public and private subnets, according to AWS best practices, to provide you with your own virtual network on AWS.

  • In the public subnets:

    • Managed NAT gateways to allow outbound internet access for resources in the private subnets.

    • One boot node, an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance, to access the Amazon EKS cluster.

  • In the private subnets, an Amazon EKS managed node group to automate the provisioning and lifecycle management of the nodes (Amazon EC2 instances) for the EKS cluster. Each node comprises the following:

    • An IBM WebSphere Liberty operator, a Kubernetes extension that helps you deploy and manage WebSphere Liberty applications.

    • One or more optional application pods for an IBM WebSphere Liberty application, which is deployed as a custom resource.

    • An X.509 certificate manager, which issues certificates for secure access to the WebSphere Liberty application.

    • Operator Lifecycle Manager, which manages the WebSphere Liberty operator and keeps it up to date.

  • A Classic Load Balancer to enable HTTPS access to the application.

  • Amazon EKS, which provides the Kubernetes control plane for the cluster.

  • Amazon Elastic Container Registry (Amazon ECR) to store, share, and deploy container software, such as application images and artifacts.

  • Amazon CloudWatch to monitor and track metrics for your AWS resources and applications.

Deployment options

This Partner Solution provides the following deployment options:

This Partner Solution provides separate templates for these options. It also lets you configure Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) blocks, instance types, and IBM WebSphere Liberty settings.

Predeployment steps

  1. Confirm that you have a license that entitles you to use IBM WebSphere Liberty.

    For more information, refer to Costs and licenses earlier in this guide.

  2. Download and configure the Kubernetes command line interface so that you can manage deployed applications and resources with kubectl commands.

    For more information, refer to Installing or updating kubectl.

  3. (Optional) Note the ARNs that need to access the EKS cluster.

    By default, you can access the EKS cluster from boot node only. If you want to enable direct access to the EKS cluster, prepare a list of Identity and Access Management (IAM) entity Amazon Resource Names (ARNs) that need to have this access. When you deploy this solution, you’ll enter those ARNS in a comma-delimited list in the parameter AdditionalEKSAdminArns.

Deployment steps

  1. Sign in to your AWS account, and launch this Partner Solution, as described under Deployment options. The AWS CloudFormation console opens with a prepopulated template.

  2. Choose the correct AWS Region, and then choose Next.

  3. On the Create stack page, keep the default setting for the template URL, and then choose Next.

  4. On the Specify stack details page, change the stack name if needed. Review the parameters for the template. Provide values for the parameters that require input. For all other parameters, review the default settings and customize them as necessary. When you finish reviewing and customizing the parameters, choose Next.

    Unless you’re customizing the Partner Solution templates or are instructed otherwise in this guide’s Predeployment section, don’t change the default settings for the following parameters: QSS3BucketName, QSS3BucketRegion, and QSS3KeyPrefix. Changing the values of these parameters will modify code references that point to the Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket name and key prefix. For more information, refer to the AWS Partner Solutions Contributor’s Guide.
  5. On the Configure stack options page, you can specify tags (key-value pairs) for resources in your stack and set advanced options. When you finish, choose Next.

  6. On the Review page, review and confirm the template settings. Under Capabilities, select all of the check boxes to acknowledge that the template creates AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) resources that might require the ability to automatically expand macros.

  7. Choose Create stack. The stack takes about 20 minutes to deploy.

  8. Monitor the stack’s status, and when the status is CREATE_COMPLETE, the IBM WebSphere Liberty for Amazon EKS deployment is ready.

  9. To view the created resources, choose the Outputs tab.

Postdeployment steps

  1. Deploy License Service on your EKS cluster.

    License Service is required to measure and track license use of IBM containerized software, such as the IBM WebSphere Liberty application. Manual license measurements are not allowed.

  2. If you deployed an application, either the sample that came with this Partner Solution or a custom application, launch it to confirm that it works.

    1. Go to the main stack.

    2. Choose the Outputs tab.

    3. Choose the value of the AppEndpoint key.

  3. (Optional) Manually deploy a custom application using a WebSphereLibertyApplication custom resource (CR) file that sets parameter values for your application image.

    For more information, refer to Using the WebSphere Liberty operator.


For troubleshooting common Partner Solution issues, refer to the AWS Partner Solution General Information Guide and Troubleshooting CloudFormation.

For information on using this solution after it’s deployed, refer to the IBM WebSphere Liberty for Amazon EKS Partner Solution Operational Guide.

Customer support

For IBM WebSphere Liberty issues, open a case (support ticket) with IBM Support as follows:

  1. Go to the WebSphere Application Server or Let’s troubleshoot page, and choose Open a case.

  2. In the ticket, describe the error.

    Include information that can help IBM Support determine the cause of the error. For example, you might describe your cluster configuration and the component that is failing or having issues. If the error is difficult to describe, provide a screenshot of the error.

To learn how to find deployment logs, refer to the IBM WebSphere Liberty for Amazon EKS Partner Solution Operational Guide.

To learn how to use MustGather to collect information for a support ticket, refer to Gathering information about clusters with MustGather.


Customer responsibility

After you deploy a Partner Solution, confirm that your resources and services are updated and configured—including any required patches—to meet your security and other needs. For more information, refer to the Shared Responsibility Model.


To submit feature ideas and report bugs, use the Issues section of the GitHub repository for this Partner Solution. To submit code, refer to the Partner Solution Contributor’s Guide. To submit feedback on this deployment guide, use the following GitHub links:


This document is provided for informational purposes only. It represents current AWS product offerings and practices as of the date of issue of this document, which are subject to change without notice. Customers are responsible for making their own independent assessment of the information in this document and any use of AWS products or services, each of which is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, whether expressed or implied. This document does not create any warranties, representations, contractual commitments, conditions, or assurances from AWS, its affiliates, suppliers, or licensors. The responsibilities and liabilities of AWS to its customers are controlled by AWS agreements, and this document is not part of, nor does it modify, any agreement between AWS and its customers.

The software included with this paper is licensed under the Apache License, version 2.0 (the "License"). You may not use this file except in compliance with the License. A copy of the License is located at or in the accompanying "license" file. This code is distributed on an "as is" basis, without warranties or conditions of any kind, either expressed or implied. Refer to the License for specific language governing permissions and limitations.