The disparity between what developers see on their local systems versus what actually occurs on servers in a production environment is at the core of almost every DevOps issue. Developers inevitably become exasperated when their applications don’t run as expected. IT operations teams, meanwhile quickly tire of hearing their complaints.
Container Solutions, a provider of IT services based in Amsterdam, sees the open source Mesos cluster manager software as an opportunity for both parties to get a fresh start at a time when the shift toward containers and microservices architectures is just now gaining momentum. The open source minimesos project created by Container Solutions allows developers to run an instance of Mesos on their local systems that mirrors the Mesos software now being used as the basis for next-generation data center operating systems.
Container Solutions CEO Jamie Dobson says minimesos came about as a result of scripts Container Solutions created to allow its own developers to have access to a Mesos cluster on their laptop that would reflect the deployment environment their applications would be deployed on more accurately. Specifically, minimesos enables developers to bring up a containerized Apache Mesos cluster on their laptop, complete with Apache Zookeeper configuration management tools and Weave Scope visualization software.
Developers have the option of starting a Mesos cluster using the command line or via the Java application programming interface (API). Each Mesos master, slave and Zookeeper processes run in separate Docker containers. In addition, minimesos exposes framework, state and task information to its Cluster State API. Container Solutions also has added a REST API to minimesos.
The latest version of minimesos, v0.9.0, adds a minimesos ps command to show what is running on the cluster. It prints the framework, the task name and its state. An uninstall command also has been added, as well as support for tokens for IP addresses in Marathon JSON files.
Dobson says Container Solutions is betting that production environments using a microservices architecture to run containerized applications will show a marked preference for Mesos over alternatives such as the Kubernetes container orchestration software created by Google. Driving that decision will be a desire to have more granular control over both the containers and the IT infrastructure they run on, says Dobson.
Dobson notes Container Solutions is seeing a sharp interest in private clouds running container applications as IT organizations better understand the true costs of running production applications on a public cloud. Containers give IT organizations all the agility of a public cloud without incurring monthly fees that add up as the number of workloads deployed on a public cloud increase, he says.
It’s too early to say what the right balance between public and private clouds is. But the one thing for certain is that by isolating developers from the constructs of either one, developers can enjoy unprecedented amounts of flexibility in terms of choosing which approach to cloud computing best suits them on any given day.