Install operators on disconnected clusters

Overview on operator deployments to disconnected clusters

Disconnected clusters are on a restricted network, typically behind a firewall. In this case, clusters can’t access remote registries where Red Hat provided OperatorHub sources reside. Instead, users can deploy operators to disconnected environments using a jump host and private registry to mirror the images. Disconnected installation mirroring is described in the OpenShift documentation.

How it works

An architecture diagram that shows how products deployed to disconnected environments can report and view usage on Workspace.

About private registry

A private registry is used to mirror images that will be used by the operator catalog on a disconnected environment.

About jump host

A jump host has access to the public internet as well as the disconnected environment including the private registry defined above.

Overview on installing operators on disconnected clusters

The following describes the general process on how to install operators on disconnected clusters. Image registry repository mirroring is also described in the OpenShift documentation

  1. Authenticate to registries. This includes logging into the jump host, authenticating with Red Hat registry, and the user’s private registry.
  2. Generate a pull secret.
  3. Prepare authentication credentials. To prepare, users create a JSON file with their authentication credentials to the Red Hat registry and their private registry.
  4. Prepare the index catalog. This includes pruning the index catalog for selected packages, and then pushing the new index image to the private registry.
  5. Mirror content to the private registry. Content can be mirrored directly to the private registry or can be mirrored to removable media, and then to the private registry.
  6. Specify the ImageContentSourcePolicy or ImageDigestMirrorSet file. On the jump host, create the YAML file in your manifest directory.
  7. Create a CatalogSource object that references the index image.
  8. Install IBM Metrics Operator, IBM Data Reporter Operator, and product operators.

For detailed instructions, on the Install operators page, click the Disconnected tab or refer to Install operators on disconnected clusters using Workspace.

Install operators on disconnected clusters using Workspace

To install operators and container images on disconnected clusters, login and navigate to your software on Workspace, and then follow the installation instructions for disconnected environments.


  • OpenShift major version 4 with any available supported minor version
  • Access to a private registry
  • Access to a jump host


  1. On the main menu, click Workspace, and then click Software.
  2. Click the product tile. The product page shows. On the Documentation tab, review available material related to product installation.
  3. Click the Operators tab, and then click Install operator. Note: when a product contains multiple operators, a list of available operators shows. Select an option from the list.
  4. To install operators on disconnected clusters, click the Disconnected tab, and then follow the instructions on the page.


Operators installed on the disconnected clusters.

Next steps

Enable usage reporting

  1. Follow the OpenShift documentation to configure the mirror registry.
  2. Enable usage reporting by installing IBM Metrics Operator and IBM Data Reporter Operator.
  3. Configure IBM Metrics Operator in disconnected mode
    oc -n ibm-software-central patch --type='merge' marketplaceconfig marketplaceconfig -p '{"spec":{"isDisconnected":true}}'
  • Usage data reports are stored in the IBM Metrics Operator’s Data Service until exported
  • For products with usage reporting enabled, export usage data from the disconnected environment, and then import usage data to Workspace.

Export and import usage reports using Data collection CLI

For a disconnected environment, usage data must be exported from the cluster via Data collection CLI, and then imported to Workspace.

Install Data collection CLI

To get started, users must install Data collection CLI on their jump host. For more information, refer to the Data collection CLI repository.

Export and import usage reports

To export and import usage reports, login and navigate to Workspace and select Usage

  • To export, click Download to download and review the usage data
  • To import, click Upload usage data and follow the instructions on how to upload usage data


  • Install operators on disconnected clusters
  • Install Data collection CLI on jump host


  1. On the main menu, click Workspace, and then click Usage.
  2. Depending on your configuration, do one of the following options:
    • When Current usage has yet to be initialized and no data shows on the page, click Disconnected cluster.
    • When Current usage has been initialized and data shows on the page, click Upload usage data.
  3. To import usage reports, on the Upload usage data section, follow the instructions on the page.


Usage data shows on Current usage.