The Operator Pattern in Nomad

The Operator Pattern from Kubernetes is an excellent way of handling tasks in a cluster in an automated way, for example, provisioning applications, running backups, requesting certificates, and injecting chaos testing. As a Nomad user, I wanted to do something similar for my clusters, so I set about seeing how it would be possible. It turns out; it is much easier than I expected! While Nomad doesn’t support the idea of Custom Resource Definitions, we can achieve an operator by utilising a regular Nomad job and the nomad HTTP API....

November 22, 2021 · 8 min

Service Mesh with Consul Connect (and Nomad)

When it comes to implementing a new feature in an application’s ecosystem, I don’t like spending my innovation tokens unless I have to, so I try not to add new tools to my infrastructure unless I really need them. This same approach comes when I either want, need, or have been told, to implement a Service Mesh. This means I don’t instantly setup Istio. Not because it’s bad - far from it - but because it’s extra complexity I would rather avoid, unless I need it....

May 4, 2020 · 6 min

Nomad Isolated Exec

One of the many features of Nomad that I like is the ability to run things other than Docker containers. It has built-in support for Java, QEMU, and Rkt, although the latter is deprecated. Besides these inbuilt “Task Drivers” there are community maintained ones too, covering Podman, LXC, Firecraker and BSD Jails, amongst others. The one I want to talk about today, however, is called exec. This Task Driver runs any given executable, so if you have an application which you don’t want (or can’t) put into a container, you can still schedule it with Nomad....

February 29, 2020 · 4 min

Nomad Good, Kubernetes Bad

I will update this post as I learn more (both positive and negative), and is here to be linked to when people ask me why I don’t like Kubernetes, and why I would pick Nomad in most situations if I chose to use an orchestrator at all. TLDR: I don’t like complexity, and Kubernetes has more complexity than benefits. Operational Complexity Operating Nomad is very straight forward. There are very few moving parts, so the number of things which can go wrong is significantly reduced....

November 21, 2019 · 6 min

Canary Routing with Traefik in Nomad

I wanted to implement canary routing for some HTTP services deployed via Nomad the other day, but rather than having the traffic split by weighting to the containers, I wanted to direct the traffic based on a header. My first choice of tech was to use Fabio, but it only supports routing by URL prefix, and additionally with a route weight. While I was at JustDevOps in Poland, I heard about another router/loadbalancer which worked in a similar way to Fabio: Traefik....

June 23, 2019 · 8 min

Running a Secure RabbitMQ Cluster in Nomad

Last time I wrote about running a RabbitMQ cluster in Nomad, one of the main pieces of feedback I received was about the (lack) of security of the setup, so I decided to revisit this, and write about how to launch as secure RabbitMQ node in Nomad. The things I want to cover are: Username and Password for the management UI Secure value for the Erlang Cookie SSL for Management and AMQP As usual, the demo repository with all the code is available if you’d rather just jump into that....

April 6, 2019 · 9 min

RabbitMQ clustering with Consul in Nomad

Update If you want a secure version of this cluster, see Running a Secure RabbitMQ Cluster in Nomad. RabbitMQ is the centre of a lot of micros service architectures, and while you can cluster it manually, it is a lot easier to use some of the auto clustering plugins, such as AWS (EC2), Consul, Etcd, or Kubernetes. As I like to use Nomad for container orchestration, I thought it would be a good idea to show how to cluster RabbitMQ when it is running in a Docker container, on an unknown host (i....

January 28, 2019 · 9 min