Category Archives: Mesos

Container Solutions brings production environment to the developers laptop

Global Container TradeLondon-based Container Solutions has released the latest version of its minimesos project, an open source testing and experiment tool for Apache Mesos, which it claims brings production orchestration testing to the development environment.

The new offering targets the challenge of moving microservice applications from a developer’s laptop to the production environment, which can prove to be complicated as the target platform is different than the local one. The offering allows developers to bring up a containerised Apache Mesos cluster on their laptop, creating a production-like environment on their desktops for building, experimenting and testing.

“When we started building a number of Mesos frameworks, we found it hard to run and test them locally,” said Jamie Dobson, CEO of Container Solutions. “So, we ended up writing a few scripts to solve the problem. Those scripts became minimesos, which lets you do everything on your laptop. We later integrated Scope so that developers could visualise their applications. This made minimesos even more useful for exploratory testing.”

The company claims developers can now start a Mesos cluster through the command line or via the Java API, which is logically isolated as each of the processes run in separate Docker containers. Minimesos is aslo integrated: it exposes framework, state and task information to its Cluster State API.

Apple allegedly planning to unify web services on Mesos open source infrastructure

Mesos logoNews of significant numbers of Apple device crashes have fuelled industry speculation that Apple is planning to unify its variety of online services into one open source system built on Mesos infrastructure software.

According to web site The Information Apple is recruiting open source engineers. The recruitment could support a strategy to pull all its web services, including iCloud and iTunes, out of their separate technical silos and looking to merge them into one cohesive whole. Apple is said to be concerned about the lack of interoperability between Apple’s online services.

The plan to run internet applications across an ‘orchestrated infrastructure’ could be disruptive in more ways than one, according to Quocirca analyst Clive Longbottom.

“It’s a good idea that would enable Apple to more closely integrate various capabilities and offer new services around search, buy and store function,” said Longbottom. “The two main problems are around migrating all existing services over, and in ensuring high availability for all services when they are all in the same basket.”

According to Reuters, significant numbers of Apple customers are reporting their mobile devices have crashed as they tried to upload the new iOS 9 operating system. This is the latest in a number of technical challenges Apple is facing as its cloud software portfolio becomes more ambitious and difficult to manage, according to Sergio Galindo, General Manager at developer GFI Software, “The rollout of iOS 9 is an ambitious project, particularly as Apple has maintained support for devices that are elderly, in smartphone terms. Devices such as the iPhone 4s are significantly different and underpowered compared to more recent iterations,” said Galindo.

According to GFI’s own research, Apple’s OS X and iOS were the software systems platforms with the most exploitable vulnerabilities, closely followed by the Linux kernel. iOS was found to have significantly more flaws than conventional desktop and server Windows installations.

“Software glitches, vulnerabilities and compatibility issues in an embedded device such as a phone create a challenging user experience,” said Galindo. “This is why testing of new updates before allowing users to update their phones and tablets is essential. Applied to a business context, it is important for IT departments to ensure users do not put their devices or the corporate network at risk.”

Containers ready for the primetime, Rackspace CTO says

John Engates was in London for the Rackspace Solve conference

John Engates was in London for the Rackspace Solve conference

Linux containers have been around for some time but only now is the technology reaching a level of maturity enterprise cloud developers are comfortable with, explained John Engates, Rackspace’s chief technology officer.

Linux containers have been all the rage the past year, and Engates told BCN the volume of the discussion is only likely to increase as the technology matures. But the technology is still young.

“We tried to bring support for containers to OpenStack around three or four years back,” Engates said. “But I think that containers are finally ready for cloud.”

One of the projects Engates cited to illustrate this is Project Magnum, a young sub-project within OpenStack building on Heat to produce Nova instances on which to run application containers, and it basically creates native capabilities (like support for different scheduling techniques); it effectively enables users and service providers to offer containers-as-a-service, and improves portability of containers between different cloud platforms.

“While containers have been around for a while they’ve only recently become the darling of the enterprise cloud developers, and part of that is because there’s a growing ecosystem out there working to build the tools needed to support them,” he said.

A range of use cases around Linux containers have emerged over the years – as a transport method, as a way of quickly deploying and porting apps between different sets of infrastructure, as a way of standing up a cloud service that offers greater billing granularity (more accurate / efficient usage) – the technology is still maturing and has suffered from a lack of tooling. Doing anything like complex service chaining is still challenging with existing tools, but that’s improving.

Beyond LXC, one of the earliest Linux container projects, there’s now CoreOS, Docker, Mesos, Kubernetes, and a whole host of container-like technologies that bring the microservices / OS ‘light’ architecture as well as deployment scheduling and cluster management tools to market.

“We’re certainly hearing more about how we can help support containers, so we see it as a pretty important from a service perspective moving forward,” he added.