AKS deployment with ACR public endpoint disabled

8 minute read | By Christopher Maldonado

Deploying Azure Kubernetes Service with Azure Container Registry public endpoint disabled.

This excercise will guide you through the process of creating both an Azure Kubernetes Service managed cluster and an Azure Container Registry. Additionally, we will configure a Private Link to ACR as we will be disabling the public endpoint. This may be required for some environments per compliance requirements.

Before we begin

You will need the following for this excercise:

  1. Azure Subscription
  2. Azure CLI - Install
  3. Docker Desktop - Install
    • Only if you will be building your Docker image locally.

We will be using these variables throught this excercise:

ResourceGroup   = AKSACRResourceGroup
Location        = eastus
Virtual Network = AKSACRVNet
AKS Name        = AKSCluster
ACR Name        = ACRegistry

Run the Azure CLI

Run the login command.

az login

This will open your default browser and load the Azure sign-in page.

If you have multiple Azure subscriptions you may will need to ensure the subscription you would like to work on is the active subscription.

To list your subscriptions use the az account list command:

az account list --output table

Set your subscription with the az account set command:

az account set --subscription "Name or SubscriptionID"

Create a resource group

This will be the default resource group we will be using through this exercise. Be sure to rename anything within < > as these are just placeholders.

az group create --name <AKSACRResourceGroup> --location <eastus>

Deploying ACR

Create an Azure Container Registry. If you already have an ACR created, be sure it is on the Premium tier as this will allow for Firewall settings.

az acr create --resource-group <AKSACRResourceGroup> --name <ACRegistry> --sku Premium

Configuring ACR

Enable Admin User

Once we have our ACR deployed, we will need to enable the admin user. This is required as it allows you to the Docker CLI to push your image to your registry.

az acr update --resource-group <AKSACRResourceGroup> --name <ACRegistry> --admin-enabled

Upload Images

Login to your Azure Container Registry with the Docker CLI.

docker login <acregistry>.azurecr.io

If you are building your application again be sure to tag your image with the appropriete registry and image name.

docker build -t <acregistry>.azurecr.io/<image-name>:<tag> <dockerfile location>

If you already have a built image and just want to retag the image use the following command.

docker tag <old-image> <acregistry>.azurecr.io/<image-name>:<tag>

Once you have your image, push the image to your container registry.

docker push <acregistry>.azurecr.io/<image-name>:<tag>

Disable Public Access

Once you have pushed all your required images to your registry, we can now disable public access to your container registry.

az acr update --resource-group <AKSACRResourceGroup> --name <ACRegistry> --public-network-enabled false

Deploying AKS

Since we are going to be using a Private Link with out AKS cluster, we will need to setup a virtual network for the services to communicate over. The following command will create a virtual network with the address prefix of with a subnet named default that has a prefix of

az network vnet create --name <AKSACRVNet> --resource-group <AKSACRResourceGroup> --address-prefix --subnet-name default --subnet-prefix

Once the virtual network and subnet have been completed, we will need to query the resource id that we will use in our AKS deployment command.

az network vnet subnet show --name default --resource-group <AKSACRResourceGroup> --vnet-name <AKSACRVNet> --query id --output tsv

We are now ready to create our Azure Kubernetes Service cluster. We will be using a preview extension as this allows us to change the name of the default node resource group.

az extension add --name aks-preview

We will now create the Azure Kubernetes Service. The following command is using virtual machine size of Standard_B2s. You could find more sizes that fit your need here. We are also using a cluster size of 4 nodes, service-cidr of and DNS service IP of For more info on networking, read here.

az aks create --resource-group <AKSACRResourceGroup> --name <AKSCluster> --node-resource-group <AKSClusterResources> --node-vm-size Standard_B2s --node-count 4 --network-plugin azure --vnet-subnet-id <AKSACRVNet-Subnet-ID> --dns-name-prefix <AKSACRCluster-dns> --attach-acr <ACRegistry> --service-cidr --dns-service-ip --docker-bridge-address

Now that the cluster has deployed successfully, we will start working on the Private Link. There are quite a few steps for this one. If you would like to use the Azure Portal to make it easier, you can go here for those steps.

Update the subnet configuration to disable network polices such as security groups for the private endpoint.

az network vnet subnet update --name default --resource-group <AKSACRResourceGroup> --vnet-name <AKSACRVNet> --disable-private-endpoint-network-policies

Create a private DNS zone for the private Azure Container Registry domain. In later steps we will populate the zone with records. The zone MUST be named privatelink.azurecr.io.

az network private-dns zone create --resource-group <AKSACRResourceGroup> --name "privatelink.azurecr.io"

Associate the private zone to your virtual network.

az network private-dns link vnet create --resource-group <AKSACRResourceGroup> --zone-name "privatelink.azurecr.io" --name <ACRDNSLink> --virtual-network <AKSACRVNet> --registration-enabled false

The following command with output the Azure Container Registry’s ID which will be used in the following command.

az acr show --name <ACRegistry> --query id --output tsv

We will now create the endpoint and service connection for the container registry resource.

az network private-endpoint create --name <ACRPrivateEndpoint> --resource-group <AKSACRResourceGroup> --vnet-name <AKSACRVNet> --subnet default --private-connection-resource-id <ACRegistry-ID> --group-id registry --connection-name <PEConnection>

We will need to query a few values in the next commands to used to create our DNS records.


az network private-endpoint show --name <ACRPrivateEndpoint> --resource-group <AKSACRResourceGroup> --query networkInterfaces[0].id --output tsv


az resource show --ids <NetworkInterfaceID> --api-version 2019-04-01 --query properties.ipConfigurations[1].properties.privateIPAddress --output tsv


az resource show --ids <NetworkInterfaceID> --api-version 2019-04-01 --query properties.ipConfigurations[0].properties.privateIPAddress --output tsv

Create the DNS A record sets for the registry endpoint and data endpoint.

az network private-dns record-set a create --name <ACRegistry> --zone-name privatelink.azurecr.io --resource-group <AKSACRResourceGroup>
az network private-dns record-set a create --name <<ACRegistry>.<Location>.data> --zone-name privatelink.azurecr.io --resource-group <AKSACRResourceGroup>

Create the DNS A records for the registry endpoint and data endpoint.

az network private-dns record-set a add-record --record-set-name <ACRegistry> --zone-name privatelink.azurecr.io --resource-group <AKSACRResourceGroup> --ipv4-address <Private_IP>
az network private-dns record-set a add-record --record-set-name <<ACRegistry>.<Location>.data> --zone-name privatelink.azurecr.io --resource-group <AKSACRResourceGroup> --ipv4-address <DataEndPoint_Private_IP>

You now have a private Azure Container Registry that is accessible via your virtual network linked to your Azure Kubernetes Service.

Deploy application to AKS

In order to deploy and run commands against the AKS cluster, we will need to gather the credentials to do so.

az aks get-credentials --resource-group <AKSACRResourceGroup> --name <AKSCluster>

Once you have the credentials saved, you will need to create a deployment yaml which will be used the Kubernetes to create PODs and Services. For more info on Kubernetes, you can navigate here. Below is an example yaml file used for deploying an application and creating a load balancer for external access.

apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
  name: <deployment-or-app-name>
  replicas: 1
      app: <deployment-or-app-name>
      maxSurge: 1
      maxUnavailable: 1
  minReadySeconds: 5 
        app: <deployment-or-app-name>
        "beta.kubernetes.io/os": linux
      - name: <deployment-or-app-name>
        image: <ACRegistry>.azurecr.io/<image-name>:<tag>
        - containerPort: <app-port>
            cpu: 250m
            cpu: 500m
apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
  name: <deployment-or-app-name>
  type: LoadBalancer
  - port: 80
    targetPort: <app-port>
    app: <deployment-or-app-name>

Once you have your yaml file ready, you can now apply it to your AKS Cluster.

kubectl apply -f <deployment.yaml>

Once this has been applied, you can watch the service as it starts up. This will also give you the Public IP so you could access this deployment.

kubectl get service <deployment-or-app-name> --watch


This exercise can be used for a proof of concept for whatever fits your need. For more references on some of the topics discussed, feel free to browse the following.

What is Kubernetes?

Introduction to Azure Kubernetes Service

Introduction to private Docker container registries in Azure

kubectl Cheat Sheet

Setting up Private Link to Azure Container Registry