How to securely deploy Docker EE on the AWS Cloud

Overview

This reference deployment guide provides the step-by-step instructions for deploying Docker Enterprise Edition on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud. This automation references deployments that use the Docker Certified Infrastructure (DCI) template which is based on Terraform to launch, configure and run the AWS compute, network, storage and other services required to deploy a specific workload on AWS. The DCI template uses Ansible playbooks to configured the Docker Enterprise cluster environment.

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The Power in a Name

My full name is Mark Allen Miller. You can find my profile on LinkedIn under my full name https://www.linkedin.com/in/markallenmiller/. I went to college with two other Mark Millers. One of them also had the same middle initial as me so my name is not the most unique name in the world. My dad’s name is Siegfried Miller. At the age of 18, because he could “change the world”, he changed his last name from Mueller to Miller and yep, he doesn’t have a middle name. My grandfather’s name is Karl Mueller. His Austrian surname, prior to immigrating to the US in 1950, was Müller with an umlaut which is a mark ( ¨ ) used over a vowel to indicate a different vowel quality. Interesting trivia you might say, but what does this have to do with Docker?

Well, Docker originally had the name dotCloud. According to wikipedia “Docker represents an evolution of dotCloud’s proprietary technology, which is itself built on earlier open-source projects such as Cloudlets.” I had never even heard of Cloudlets until I wrote this blog.

Docker containers have names also. These names give us humans something a little more interesting to work with instead of the typical container id such as 648f7f486b24. The name of a container can be used to identify a running instance of an image, but it can also be used in most commands in place of the container id.

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Deploying a Docker stack file as a Kubernetes workload

Overview

Recently I’ve been hosting workshops for a customer who is exploring migrating from Docker Swarm orchestration to Kubernetes orchestration. The customer is currently using Docker EE (Enterprise Edition) 2.1, and plans to continue using that platform, just leveraging Kubernetes rather than Swarm. There are a number of advantages to continuing to use Docker EE including:

  • Pre-installed Kubernetes.
  • Group (team) and user management, including corporate LDAP integration.
  • Using the Docker UCP client bundle to configure both your Kubernetes and Docker client environment.
  • Availability of an on-premises registry (DTR) that includes advanced features such image scanning and image promotion.

I had already conducted a workshop on deploying applications as Docker services in stack files (compose files deployed as Docker stacks), demonstrating self-healing replicated applications, service discovery and the ability to publish ports externally using the Docker ingress network. Continue reading

Interlock Service Clusters

The Single-Cluster architecture utilizes a single Docker Swarm cluster with multiple collections to separate the dev, test, and prod worker machines and combined with RBAC it enforces work load isolation of applications across the various runtime environments. Applications deployed to this Single-Cluster can utilize the Interlock reverse proxy capabilities of SSL termination and path based routing. This single Interlock application supports all three collections and the routing of application traffic.

In this article I will show you how to configure Interlock to run in a multi-service-cluster configuration which gains you isolation and dedication of Interlock Proxy instances to each of the dev, test, and prod collections.

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Accessing .NET Sockets thru Docker Ingress

I recently helped a development team that was running into problems while deploying their containerized application to a Docker Swarm cluster. This application was written in .NET and its primary purpose is to listen on a socket for messages and then process the data. The application was working standalone outside of a container, but we ran into issues whenever we tried accessing it via the Docker Ingress network. The socket server never received any messages from the client. I thought it might help if I showed you how we worked the issue.

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Docker Clustering Approaches

Most enterprises have a structured release management process that allows phased deployment between multiple environments including development, test, model (stage or acceptance), and production.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deployment_environment.

With Docker Enterprise Swarm you can generally setup these environments in one of the following ways: Single Cluster, Multi-Env Cluster, Geo-Single Clusters, and Geo-Multi-Env Cluster.  I will explain these different approaches and help you determine when each approach might be useful in your enterprise.  Of course, there are a myriad of variations on each of these that you could employ to suit your own needs.
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Docker Layer 7 Routing – Host Mode

It’s been nearly 3 months since my last blog about new the Layer 7 Routing (aka Interlock) in Docker Enterprise 2.0. It’s been a journey of up’s and down’s to get this to work, scale, and become stable enough for a production environment. I’m not sure we can declare total success just yet.

Near the end of my previous blog post I mentioned that there is an alternative configuration for Interlock regarding overlay networks. You could utilize Interlock’s host mode networking. Docker states the following:

By default layer 7 routing leverages the Docker Swarm routing mesh, but you don’t have to. You can use host mode networking for maximum performance.

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Interlock for Docker Swarm

In early 2018 Docker made an announcement of the release of its newest Docker Enterprise 2.0 product.  This newest release provides a significant advancement in the Docker platform in the form of a choice between Swarm and/or Kubernetes orchestration. But that’s not what i want to talk about.

Layer 7 Routing

Another great addition to the platform is the replacement of the HTTP Routing Mesh, known as HRM, with a new Layer 7 routing and load balancing. This latest enhancement is built upon the new Interlock 2.0 architecture which provides a highly scalable and highly available routing solution for Swarm.  Interlock provides the same functionality as HRM but also includes 2 new features: 1) path based routing and 2) SSL termination.
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