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Kubernetes is the leading technology for deployment and orchestration of containerized workloads in cloud-native environments.

Tower streamlines the deployment of Nextflow pipelines into Kubernetes both in the cloud and in on-premises solutions.


You need to have Kubernetes cluster up and running. Make sure you have followed the steps in the Cluster preparation guide to create the cluster resources required by Nextflow Tower.

The following instructions are for a generic Kubernetes distribution.

If you are using Amazon EKS or Google GKE, see the corresponding documentation pages.

Compute environment setup#

1. In a workspace choose "Compute environments" and then, click on the New Environment button.

2. Enter a name to identify it (e.g. My K8s cluster).

3. Select Kubernetes as the target platform.

4. Select an existing Kubernetes credentials or click the + button to create a new one.

5. Give a name to this new credentials record.

6. Enter the Kubernetes Service account token and then click Create.


The token can be found using the following command:

SECRET=$(kubectl get secrets | grep <SERVICE-ACCOUNT-NAME> | cut -f1 -d ' ')
kubectl describe secret SECRET | grep -E '^token' | cut -f2 -d':' | tr -d '\t'

Replace <SERVICE-ACCOUNT-NAME> with the name of the service account create in the Cluster preparation step. If you followed the example in the guide, it should be tower-launcher-sa.

7. Enter Kubernetes Master server URL


The master server can be found using the following command: kubectl cluster-info

8. Enter the SSL Certificate to authenticate your connection.


The certificate data can be found in your ~/.kube/config file, check for the certificate-authority-data field matching to the specified server URL.

9. Specify Kubernetes Namespace that should be used to deployment the pipeline execution.

If you have followed the example in the cluster preparation guide this field should be tower-nf.

10. Specify the Kubernetes Head service account that will be used to grant permissions to Tower to deploy the pods executions and related.

If you have followed the cluster preparation guide this field should be tower-launcher-sa.

11. The Storage claim field allows you to specify the storage that Nextflow should use as a scratch file system for the pipeline execution.

This should reference a Kubernetes persistence volume with ReadWriteMany capability.

Check the cluster preparation guide for details.

Advanced options#

These options allow the fine-tuning of the Tower configuration for the Kubernetes cluster.

The following parameters are available:

1. The Storage mount path defines the file system path where the Storage claim is mounted.

Default: /scratch

2. The Work directory field defines the file system path used as a working directory by Nextflow pipelines. It must be the same or a subdirectory of the Storage mount path at the previous point.

Default: the same as Storage mount path.

3. The Compute service account field allows you to specify the Kubernetes service account that the pipeline jobs should use.

Default is the default service account in your Kubernetes cluster.


You now have everything you need to begin deploying massively scalable pipelines.

Jump to the documentation section for Launching Pipelines.