It's been two month since the last Docker Endeavor post but we weren't lazy! In opposite, we build a lot of new stuff and changed a lot of things and of course we learned a lot too! In between I passed my master exam and therefore the last two month were really busy. Beside this, Bernhard and I met Niclas Mietz a fellow of our old colleague Peter Rossbach from Bee42. We met Niclas because we booked a Gitlab CI/CD workshop in Munich (in June) - and funny, Bernhard and I were the only ones attending this workshop! Therefore we have had a really good time with Niclas because we had the chance to ask him everything we wanted to know specifically for our needs! Thanks to Bee42 and the DevOps Gathering that we were mentioned on Twitter - what a motivation to go on with this blog! Also one of our fellows of the Container fathers, Kir Kolyshkin, we met him in 2009, is now working as a developer for Docker Twitter. We are very proud to know him!
In the last episode we talked about our ingress-controller, the border-controller and the docker-controller. For now we canceled the docker-controller & the ingress-controller because it adds too much complexity and we managed it to get up and running with a border-controller in conjunction with external created swarm networks and Docker Swarm internal DNS lookups.
Yes, we are going further! Our current productive environment is still powered by our work horse OpenVZ. But we are now also providing a handful of Docker Swarm Services in production / development & staging. To get both, CI (continuous integration) and CD/CD (continuous delivery / continuous deployment) up and running, we decided to basically support three strategies.
At first, we use Gitlab to create deployment setups for our department, DevOps. We've just transitioned our Apache Tomcat setup to a automatic Docker Image build powered by Gitlab. Based on this we created a transition repository where the developer could place his or her .war-package. This file afterwards gets bundled with our Docker Tomcat image, build beforehand, and then it is also pushed to our private Docker registry. Afterwards it will be deployed to the Docker Swarm. KISS - Keep it simple & stupid.
Second, the developers of our development department use Gitlab including the Gitlab runners to build a full CI pipeline, including Sonar, QF-GUI tests, Maven and so on.
Third, we have projects which are combining both, the CI and the CD/CD mechanisms. For productive and testing/staging environments.
Our border-controller is now only using the Docker internal Swarm DNS service to configure the backends. We do not use the docker-controller anymore, therefore this project of us is deprecated. Furthermore, in the latest development version of our border-controller I've included the possibility to send the border-controller IP address to a PowerDNS server (via API). Thanks to our colleague Ilia Bakulin from Russia who is part of my team now! He did a lot of research and supported us to get this service up and running. We will need it in the future for dynamic DNS changes. If you are interested in this project, just have a look at our Github project site or directly use our border-controller Docker image from DockerHub. Please be patient, we are DevOps, not developers. :)
First, our Nginx based border-controller does not need to be run on a Docker Swarm manager node, because we are not using the Docker socket interface with it. Instead we are using the build in Docker Swarm DNS service discovery to get the IP addresses for the backend configuration. This also implies, that we don't need to mount the Docker socket into the border-controller.
Second, in the latest version the border-controller is able to use the PowerDNS API to automatically register the load balancers IP address and the DNS name in the PowerDNS system. That is important for the users point of view because normally they use a domain name in the browser.
Currently we run approximately 155 containers.
In this blog we talked about CI/CD/CD pipelines and strategies with Gitlab and our own border-controller based on Nginx. In addition we gave you some information on what we did the last two month.
The blog headline picture shows the Space Shuttle Challenger in orbit during the STS07-32-1702 mission (22 June 1983).