Today, containers are mostly deployed on VMs or cloud instances and there is a “VM tax” incurred due to the overhead of running the hypervisor and the guest OS. As container adoption grows, solutions mature, and DevOps teams get more comfortable with deploying and managing containers it is inevitable that containers on bare metal will become the preferred option for some applications.
At Nirmata, our mission is to simplify the operations and management of cloud applications on any cloud, any infrastructure. With Nirmata, deploying containers on bare metal is easier than ever. All you need to do is install docker engine and Nirmata agent. This step can be easily automated by the automation tools you use to provision your bare metal servers.
In this example, I will show how Nirmata can manage application containers on Cisco’s Unified Compute System (UCS) in four easy steps:
Here is our Cisco UCS Server
- Create a host group of type ‘Other’ in Nirmata. We will call it ‘bare metal’. This host group will be used for the bare metal servers.
- Use the command from the host group panel to deploy Nirmata agent on your bare metal servers. Assuming you already have docker engine running, the agent will be installed and running within a few seconds and you should see the servers ‘Connected’ in your host group.
- Create a resource selection policy for your bare metal host group. This enables you to control which environments are deployed on your bare metal servers.
- Now you are ready to deploy your environment. You can pick an existing application from our catalog or create a new application blueprint. When deploying the application, select the environment type corresponding to the bare metal resource selection policy and that its. Within a few seconds you should see containers being deployed!
Server Maintenance & Upgrades
One of the challenges with bare metal servers is how to perform maintenance on the underlying hardware. With virtual machines, there is an option to use VM migration prior to performing maintenance on the hosts. Nirmata simplifies this process for bare metal servers by providing the necessary automation. With a single click, you can put a server in ‘maintenance mode’ by disabling it. This action will redeploy all the containers running on that server to other available servers and make sure all the necessary wiring is done so that there is no impact to your application. Once the server is disabled, it can be taken out of service for maintenance and then re-enabled when available.
Dynamic cloud native applications require sophisticated, adaptive management provided by Nirmata. An application management platform not only needs to be application aware but also needs to be infrastructure aware. For enterprise DevOps teams, this provides a consistent user experience not matter where their application is being deployed. It also provides tremendous flexibility as technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace.