Overview | Mesosphere DC/OS on Azure - introduction and installation

The main problem of managing cloud solutions is the amount of resources you have under your control. Even simple solutions, when you're trying to achieve scalability, high availability and high load, tend to grow rapidly and become difficult to manage. If you're building a big data solution, which requires multiple working clusters and is highly automated, additional tools to control your environment become really helpful.

One dashboard to control them all...

Microsoft Azure has introduced an impressive collection of OSS images and ARM templates, which can be used to deploy and provision the whole environment for tools like MongoDB, Jenkins or Wordpress. If you need one, just go and pick it from Marketplace. After few minutes you'll get all your resources configured and ready to work. One of those OSS tools is Mesosphere DC/OS - service & resource manager powered by Apache Mesos to abstract your datacenter and present all your resources as a one system, which is accessible from one place.

But I already have Azure Portal!

Indeed. What DC/OS gives you is not only a nicer dashboard. It combines all your resources into a one giant unit, presents workloads and helps in optimizing resources utilization. Running two DBs on two VMs while utilizing only 40% of each? Merge them into one machine, disable the second one and cut your expenses by 50%. You'll be happier and you're boss will be happier even more.

How to install it?

Installation of Mesosphere DC/OS is pretty straightforward and is well described here. It basically requires two things:

  • running an ARM template which is available in Marketplace
  • connecting to the VM using SSH

The tricky part is the latter - you have to connect to your node via SSH and tunnel port 80 to your local machine. It works flawlessly under Mac/Linux, on Windows you cannot just run ssh command because it's not there. However, what you can do is to download PuTTY and perform following steps:

  1. After ARM deployment has finished, go to the resource group which was selected for DC/OS and select Deployment
  2. Go to the last deployment and in Outputs find value of MASTERFQDN key and copy it
  3. Open PuTTY, paste copied value into Host Name (or IP address) field and use 2200 port
  4. Go to Connections/SSH/Tunnels and in Port forwarding section select both checkboxes. 
  5. In the same page find Add new forwarded port section and enter 8000 for Source port and localhost:80 as Destination. Radiobuttons should be selected as Local/Auto
  6. Click Open and login as azureuser

Now when you go to http://127.0.0.1:8000/ you should see DC/OS dashboard screen.

What's next?

In the next post I will try to present some basic features of this software. We'll install some packages and find the best way to manage them.

Going hardcore - Pumpkin

For the last few months I've been trying to create a map of all areas in software development, which I'd like to know better. Having so many talented people around you doesn't help - you'd like to learn some low-level stuff, memory management, software theory and many, many more topics, which are extremely interesting. Getting all that knowledge only "in theory" seems impractical and tiresome -  that's why I decided to start a new OSS project, which will serve as my "testing ground".

Pumpkin is a .NET build server, which is designed to be as lightweight and extensible as possible. Why did I decide to go with so complicated topic? My reasoning was pretty simple:

  • building such thing forces me to use various different technologies, approaches and techniques
  • it touches different aspects of building an application - multithreading, concurrency, different environments
  • it encourages me to read code of libraries I use, to make sure I fully understand what they do under the hood
  • I can try out even the craziest ideas I think about

Will it work? I don't know. What I know, is that doing such thing is the essence of software development - each and every problem you face will make you a better professional. You may disagree but this is, what I believe is the best part of it.