Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Choosing The Right Tools To Create And Manage Docker Swarm Clusters In AWS

Swarm Mode is taking Docker scheduling by the storm. You tried it in your lab or by setting up a few VMs locally and joining them into a Swarm cluster. Now it’s time to move it to the next level and create a cluster in AWS. Which tools should you use to do that? How should you set up your AWS Swarm cluster?

If you are like me, you already discarded the option to create servers manually through AWS Console, enter each with SSH, and run commands that will install Docker Engine and join the node with others. You know better than that and want a reliable and automated process that will create and maintain the cluster.

Among a myriad of options, we can choose from to create a Docker Swarm cluster in AWS, three stick from the crowd. We can use Docker Machine with AWS CLI, Docker for AWS as CloudFormation template, and Packer with Terraform. That is, by no means, the final list of the tools we can use. The time is limited and I promised to myself that this article will be shorter than War and Peace so I had to draw the line somewhere. Those three combinations are, in my opinion, the best candidates as your tools of choice. Even if you do choose something else, this article, hopefully, gave you an insight into the direction you might want to take.
Continue reading

To Terraform Or Not To Terraform: Configuration Management In AWS (And Other Cloud Computing Providers)

Configuration management tools have as their primary objective the task of making a server always be in the desired state. If a web server stops, it will be started again. If a configuration file changed, it will be restored. No matter what happens to a server, its desired state will be restored. Except, when there is no fix to the issue. If a hard disk fails, there’s nothing configuration management can do.

The problem with configuration management tools is that they were designed to work with physical, not virtual servers. Why would we fix a faulty virtual server when we can create a new one in a matter of seconds. Terraform understands how cloud computing works better than anyone and embraces the idea that our servers are not pets anymore. The are cattle. It’ll make sure that all your resources are available. When something is wrong on a server, it will not try to fix it. Instead, it will destroy it and create a new one based on the image we choose.
Continue reading