Apache Mesos and Marathon Deployment Demo at VMworld

VMworld 2015

Andrew Nelson and Tom Twyman  spoke on Wednesday morning about Apache Mesos and Marathon at VMworld. During their session they showed a demo of a cluster deployment — although they experienced a couple technical difficulties. The session covered the overall basics of how to operationalize Cloud Native Applications using Apache Mesos, Mesosphere Marathon and Docker on a VMware private cloud.

Here is an alternate cut of the demo they showed yesterday.

 

The video walks a user through a deployment of a Apache Mesos cluster using VMware Big Data Extensions, shows the running UI for Apache Mesos, Mesosphere Marathon and Chronos. Behind the scenes, HAProxy has been installed to automatically add any workloads launched and Docker support on each node. After the deployment is complete, a NGiNX Docker workload is launched into Marathon using the API. The workload is scaled from 1 to 6 instances and shows the HAProxy ruleset being updated to include each instance that is running. Finally, the video shows the Apache Mesos cluster itself being scaled while the same NGiNX workload is still running.

A quick 3-minute video showing how versatile Cloud Native Apps on top of VMware infrastructure can be to enable developers to take advantages of the newest technologies for running containers.

VMworld 2015 Tuesday Recap

VMworld 2015

Another great day at VMworld 2015 is in the books. For the first time, I have been able to get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to run the Hands-on-Lab (HoL) area for the VMworld conference. I spent most of the morning in the NOC area with colleagues monitoring the systems providing the HoL capacity. In a very good way, it was pretty boring. All of the months of hard work leading up to the conference has resulted in a pretty smooth user-experience — not withstanding the WiFi issues which are handled entirely by a 3rd party.

The afternoon saw me do something I had tentatively planned for the past several months — sitting for my VCAP5-DCA exam. Although I did not study to the level originally planned, I decided to take the test while at the conference both due to peer pressure and the convenience offered by doing it here. I had a positive overall experience taking the exam. The questions themselves were not as difficult or obscure as I was worried they would be. Having spent a significant amount of time administrating large-scale VMware private clouds over the past few years greatly helped with my confidence level during the exam itself. The one bit that is always hard is having to know and understand VMware technologies you may not have utilized in your career for whatever reasons. In my case, that mostly revolves around vSphere Replication and VUM — seriously who uses VUM anymore?

All that being said, the most difficult part of the exam is time management. The exam is only 180 minutes + 15 minutes for the survey. It is difficult to know if you are spending too much time on a single question when their difficulty and number of required steps vary so much one from the next. I tried to go through the questions in order, without skipping ahead to find the ‘easy’ questions — mostly because so many of them are based off of previous tasks you likely had to perform. I will say one thing, the lab environment experience was not as bad as I had read others having had.

Here are a few things I would have done differently had I known beforehand:

  1. After starting the exam, immediately log into the vCenter C# and Web Client — login takes several minutes and this will save you time later.
  2. Start the vMA appliance right away. Although I only had one question where the vMA appliance was required, you don’t want to be waiting for it half-way through the exam when you are starting to feel the time crunch.
  3. Start SSH on the ESXi hosts if that is your preferred method for using esxcli.
  4. Monitor how much you drink in the hours before the exam — that or get a catheter. If you have to use the restroom midway through, they will let you, but your time continues to tick away while you are gone.

I am looking forward to Wednesday at the conference. It will be my last day here, but if you see me walking around and want a Virtual Elephant laptop sticker poke me. I’ll be in the Solutions Exchange after the vBloggers session today.

VCP5-DCV and VMworld EMEA Preparations

It’s been very quiet around here since VMworld US ended a little over one month ago. I have had my head down studying for my VCP5-DCV exam — which I am taking on Wednesday. The rest of my spare time has been consumed getting ready for VMworld EMEA in Barcelona, Spain. I took the feedback received after VMworld US and will be showing a demo of Hadoop being deployed virtually through the vCAC orchestration workflows that interact with Big Data Extensions.

I am looking forward to my trip to Spain. I am planning on having several days to wander about and see some of what Europe has to offer — especially a FC Barcelona game on Saturday the 18th.

I do have some good things planned for the site, including posts on Isilon performance metrics with Hadoop, expanding BDE functionality to include Flume nodes, blueprints for deploying HDFS-only virtual clusters to be used for a unified data warehouse layer.

It is going to be a very busy winter here in Utah this year with all of the Hadoop work, next-generation Openstack (VMware Integrated OpenStack) and preparing for the VCAP5-DCA test in January.

VMworld 2014 US Wrap-up

The conference was completed just over two weeks ago, and since then I’ve had the opportunity to go through my notes, think about the sessions I attended and summarize what insight I gained while there.

The biggest takeaway I had for VMworld 2014 compared to last year revolved around lessons learned in 2013 were applied in 2014. The key insight in 2013 was that many other partners and customers of VMware were facing the same challenges around standardization, automation and self-service. It was helpful to learn that the things we were trying to accomplish within our department at Adobe were not unique to us.

This year, 2014, I learned that we have solved many of the challenges from the last year and now have great insight to offer out to the community. As we work towards building on the standardization, automation and self-service phases of offering both comprehensive IaaS and PaaS offerings, we are doing what we can to share that information with the broader community.

All of that is wonderful, but what are the next steps for our team, the market and others in the virtualization space? We heard a lot at the conference about OpenStack, Docker, VSAN and other emerging technologies. The focus I personally have for the next year is going to revolve around further implementation of the Hadoop ecosystem, using VMware technologies, and building out larger, comprehensive PaaS offerings.

There are many questions to be answered around how OpenStack and Docker plays in the space. I am looking forward to the challenges coming to us as we work with our engineering teams.

Should be an exciting year!

VMworld 2014 Day 2

Yesterday was another great day in San Francisco and VMworld 2014. The big takeaway I had revolved around Docker and VMware integration. There is a great article over on the Office of the CTO blog regarding this exact topic. Two key takeaways the CEO of Docker said during his portion (paraphrased):

  • Use VMs for security and consistency and use Docker for speed of deployment.
  • Docker + VMware gets you the best of both worlds when utilized together

There are some exciting things, like Project Fargo, going on in the space right now that should enable Operations teams to incorporate Docker into their existing environments to give their applications the flexibility next-generation apps and engineering teams are starting to require.

Beyond the sessions, the CTO party last night was really amazing! Lots of networking and conversations were taking place and I was able to gain some good insight into how Mesos could be used to replace YARN. I am excited to follow-up on several of the conversations last night.