Netflix Spinnaker: multi-cloud continuous integration tool

With the release of the open source Netflix Spinnaker delivery platform, the cloud-savvy video on demand company signals that the cloud is bigger than AWS

Video on demand provider Netflix has been successfully running much of their operation in the AWS cloud for six years now, and the relationship has been mutually beneficial. If people are talking about AWS, then the odds are that you’ll hear something about Netflix: whether it’s how they migrated their huge workload to AWS, their Simian Army resilience testing tool, or how well Netflix manages AWS outages. Now you can add Netflix Spinnaker to the conversation.

In a blog post a few months ago, Netflix first mentioned Spinnaker, an open source, multi-cloud deployment tool that was then under development. The post mentioned how the company was planning to move to Spinnaker from its own Asgard. The Netflix Spinnaker code is now publicly available.

What is Netflix Spinnaker?

According to Netflix:

Netflix Spinnaker is an open source multi-cloud Continuous Delivery platform for releasing software changes with high velocity and confidence. Spinnaker is designed with pluggability in mind; the platform aims to make it easy to extend and enhance cloud deployment models. To create a truly extensible multi-cloud platform, the Spinnaker team partnered with Google, Microsoft and Pivotal to deliver out-of-the-box cluster management and deployment. As of today, Spinnaker can deploy to and manage clusters simultaneously across both AWS and Google Cloud Platform with full feature compatibility across both cloud providers. Spinnaker also features deploys to Cloud Foundry; support for its newest addition, Microsoft Azure, is actively underway.

It’s very interesting that Netflix, which has always relied on AWS for its infrastructure, has now built a tool to migrate or deploy on AWS or Google Cloud Platform and Pivotal. Are they trying to reduce their dependency on a sole vendor?

Netflix Spinnaker is an open source, multi-cloud continuous delivery platform for releasing software changes. It provides both Cluster and Deployment management.

Cluster Management

Cluster Management deals with cloud resources like:

  • Server Groups. Collections of cloud-based virtual machines (VMs) built from AMIs or images. A server group can also be associated with a load balancer, Security Group, user information, region and availability zones.
  • Load Balancers. Protocols for managing traffic loads associated with a server group.
  • Security Groups. Rules defining network traffic access and firewall rules according to IP range (CIDR), communication protocol (e.g., TCP) and port range.
  • Clusters. User-defined, logical groupings of Server Groups within Spinnaker.

Deployment Management

Netflix Spinnaker deployment management provides for continuous integration and workflow. It facilitates the creation of pipelines that represent a delivery process that can begin with the creation of some deployable asset (such as a machine image, JAR file, or Docker image) and end with a deployment.

  • Pipeline. The key deployment management construct in Netflix Spinnaker. Pipelines are defined by a sequence of stages, triggers that kick off the pipeline, and parameters that get passed between pipeline stages and can be configured to issue notifications (via email, SMS or HipChat) as the pipeline executes. Triggers can be either automatic – like a Jenkins job, CRON schedule, or another pipeline – or manual.
  • Stage. A Stage in Spinnaker represents different phases in a pipeline’s lifecycle. Spinnaker comes pre-packaged with a number of stages, including:
    • Bake: Bakes an image within the specified region.
    • Deploy: Deploys a previously baked or found image.
    • Destroy Server Group: Destroys a server group.
    • Disable Server Group: Disables a server group.
    • Enable Server Group: Enables a server group.
    • Find Image: Finds a previously-baked image to deploy into an existing cluster.
    • Jenkins: Runs a Jenkins job.
    • Manual Judgment: Waits for user approval before continuing.
    • Modify Scaling Process: Suspend or resume server group scaling processes.
    • Pipeline: Runs a pipeline. This allows pipelines to be composed hierarchically.
    • Quick Patch Server Group: Quick patches a server group. Used for emergency patches.
    • Resize Server Group: Resizes a server group.
    • Script: Runs an arbitrary shell script.
    • Shrink Cluster: Shrinks a cluster.
    • Wait: Waits a specified period of time.

Netflix Spinnaker Components:

Spinnaker includes the following micro services:

  • Clouddriver: encapsulates all cloud operations.
  • Deck: user interface.
  • Echo: the event service that is responsible for triggering pipeline executions and forwarding pipeline events to listeners.
  • Front50: data store for pipelines, notifications and applications.
  • Gate: service gateway responsible for providing an API and UI to end users.
  • Igor: interface to Jenkins, Stash, and GitHub.
  • Orca: orchestration engine responsible for running Spinnaker pipelines and tasks.
  • Rosco: bakery responsible for creating images for deployment.
  • Rush: general purpose scripting engine.
Netflix Spinnaker

(Netflix Spinnaker components – courtesy: Netflix)

Setting Up Netflix Spinnaker

Setting up Spinnaker for development takes just a few steps. These instructions cover pulling Spinnaker from source and setting it up to run locally against Amazon Web Services and/or Google Cloud Platform accounts. We will then see how Spinnaker is configured for the AWS Cloud from a developer machine.
Before jumping in, make sure you have an AWS account. We’ll follow the steps from the Spinnaker getting started guide:

Create an EC2 role

  • Create a New Role in AWS Identity & Access Management (IAM) and set the Role Name to BaseIAMRole. EC2 instances launched with Spinnaker will be associated with this role.

Create an EC2 Key Pair

  • Create a Key Pair and name the key pair <aws_account_name>-keypair (note: this must match your account name plus “-keypair”).
  • Download the private key file <aws_account_name>-keypair.pem and change its permissions:
chmod 400 aws_account_name-keypair.pem

Create AWS credentials for Spinnaker

  • Create a new user in IAM. Create an access key for the user. Save the access key and secret key into the ~/.aws/credentials file on your workstation.
  • Click the checkbox next to PowerUserAccess in IAM, then click Attach Policy.
  • Create an inline policy with “Select for Policy Generator”.
  • From the IAM Policy Generator, select “AWS Identity and Access Management” as an AWS Service, and then “PassRole” for Actions.
  • Type * (the asterisk character) and “Apply Policy”.

Bootstrap

The bootstrap scripts are meant to run on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Mac OS X 10.11. Here’s now it works on Ubuntu:

  • Clone the Spinnaker from GitHub. Make sure you have git version 2.0 and above.
mkdir -p $SPINNAKER_HOME
cd $SPINNAKER_HOME
git clone git@github.com:spinnaker/spinnaker.git
  • Set the path as follows:
export SPINNAKER_HOME=/path/to/your/Spinnaker/workspace

Configure the Environment:

  • Before setting up Spinnaker, make sure your workstation meets the following dependencies.
    • JDK8
    • Redis
    • Cassandra
    • Packer
  • Run the following scripts:
cd $SPINNAKER_HOME
spinnaker/dev/install_development.sh
spinnaker/dev/bootstrap_dev.sh

Configure Spinnaker:

  • Create a directory for Spinnaker configuration overrides, copy the default configuration template there, and edit to select the appropriate cloud provider(s). Here we will have for AWS.
cd $SPINNAKER_HOME
mkdir -p $HOME/.spinnaker spinnaker/config/default-spinnaker-local.yml
$HOME/.spinnaker/spinnaker-local.yml
chmod 600 $HOME/.spinnaker/spinnaker-local.yml
  • If you are deployed on a supported cloud provider (e.g., AWS or Google) and you only wish to deploy on that platform, then you do not need to perform additional configuration. Otherwise, edit $HOME/.spinnaker/spinnaker-local.yml, enable the cloud provider(s) of your choice, and configure the attributes for that provider. Here we will enable only AWS.

Start the Netflix Spinnaker Service

  • To start the Spinnaker Service, execute following:
cd $SPINNAKER_HOME/build
../spinnaker/dev/run_dev.sh [service]
  • If a service is provided, then just that one service will be started. If no service is provided, then all the services will be started.

Stop the Netflix Spinnaker Service

  • To Stop Spinnaker (except Redis and Cassandra), run following:
cd $SPINNAKER_HOME/build
../spinnaker/dev/stop_dev.sh [service]

Conclusion

This has been just a quick introduction to Netflix Spinnaker. With support for many cloud vendors and even containers like Docker, this looks like a very promising package. We hope to bring you more posts on Spinnaker in coming weeks to demonstrate how it can be installed on AWS and Google Cloud Platform, and how it can manage clusters and workflows.

Avatar

Written by

Chandan Patra

Cloud Computing and Big Data professional with 10 years of experience in pre-sales, architecture, design, build and troubleshooting with best engineering practices. Specialities: Cloud Computing - AWS, DevOps(Chef), Hadoop Ecosystem, Storm & Kafka, ELK Stack, NoSQL, Java, Spring, Hibernate, Web Service


Related Posts

Patrick Navarro
Patrick Navarro
— January 22, 2020

Top 5 AWS Salary Report Findings

At the speed the cloud tech space is developing, it can be hard to keep track of everything that’s happening within the AWS ecosystem. Advances in technology prompt smarter functionality and innovative new products, which in turn give rise to new job roles that have a ripple effect on t...

Read more
  • AWS
  • salary
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— January 6, 2020

New on Cloud Academy: Red Hat, Agile, OWASP Labs, Amazon SageMaker Lab, Linux Command Line Lab, SQL, Git Labs, Scrum Master, Azure Architects Lab, and Much More

Happy New Year! We hope you're ready to kick your training in overdrive in 2020 because we have a ton of new content for you. Not only do we have a bunch of new courses, hands-on labs, and lab challenges on AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, but we also have three new courses on Red Hat, th...

Read more
  • agile
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Linux
  • OWASP
  • programming
  • red hat
  • scrum
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— December 24, 2019

Cloud Academy’s Blog Digest: Azure Best Practices, 6 Reasons You Should Get AWS Certified, Google Cloud Certification Prep, and more

Happy Holidays from Cloud Academy We hope you have a wonderful holiday season filled with family, friends, and plenty of food. Here at Cloud Academy, we are thankful for our amazing customer like you.  Since this time of year can be stressful, we’re sharing a few of our latest article...

Read more
  • AWS
  • azure best practices
  • blog digest
  • Cloud Academy
  • Google Cloud
Avatar
Guy Hummel
— December 12, 2019

Google Cloud Platform Certification: Preparation and Prerequisites

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) has evolved from being a niche player to a serious competitor to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. In 2019, research firm Gartner placed Google in the Leaders quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service for the second consecuti...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— December 10, 2019

New Lab Challenges: Push Your Skills to the Next Level

Build hands-on experience using real accounts on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and more Meaningful cloud skills require more than book knowledge. Hands-on experience is required to translate knowledge into real-world results. We see this time and time again in studies about how pe...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • hands-on
  • labs
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— December 5, 2019

New on Cloud Academy: AWS Solution Architect Lab Challenge, Azure Hands-on Labs, Foundation Certificate in Cyber Security, and Much More

Now that Thanksgiving is over and the craziness of Black Friday has died down, it's now time for the busiest season of the year. Whether you're a last-minute shopper or you already have your shopping done, the holidays bring so much more excitement than any other time of year. Since our...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS solution architect
  • AZ-203
  • Azure
  • cyber security
  • FCCS
  • Foundation Certificate in Cyber Security
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Kubernetes
Avatar
Cloud Academy Team
— December 4, 2019

Understanding Enterprise Cloud Migration

What is enterprise cloud migration? Cloud migration is about moving your data, applications, and even infrastructure from your on-premises computers or infrastructure to a virtual pool of on-demand, shared resources that offer compute, storage, and network services at scale. Why d...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Data Migration
Wendy Dessler
Wendy Dessler
— November 27, 2019

6 Reasons Why You Should Get an AWS Certification This Year

In the past decade, the rise of cloud computing has been undeniable. Businesses of all sizes are moving their infrastructure and applications to the cloud. This is partly because the cloud allows businesses and their employees to access important information from just about anywhere. ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Certifications
  • certified
Avatar
Andrea Colangelo
— November 26, 2019

AWS Regions and Availability Zones: The Simplest Explanation You Will Ever Find Around

The basics of AWS Regions and Availability Zones We’re going to treat this article as a sort of AWS 101 — it’ll be a quick primer on AWS Regions and Availability Zones that will be useful for understanding the basics of how AWS infrastructure is organized. We’ll define each section,...

Read more
  • AWS
Avatar
Dzenan Dzevlan
— November 20, 2019

Application Load Balancer vs. Classic Load Balancer

What is an Elastic Load Balancer? This post covers basics of what an Elastic Load Balancer is, and two of its examples: Application Load Balancers and Classic Load Balancers. For additional information — including a comparison that explains Network Load Balancers — check out our post o...

Read more
  • ALB
  • Application Load Balancer
  • AWS
  • Elastic Load Balancer
  • ELB
Albert Qian
Albert Qian
— November 13, 2019

Advantages and Disadvantages of Microservices Architecture

What are microservices? Let's start our discussion by setting a foundation of what microservices are. Microservices are a way of breaking large software projects into loosely coupled modules, which communicate with each other through simple Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Docker
  • Kubernetes
  • Microservices
Nisar Ahmad
Nisar Ahmad
— November 12, 2019

Kubernetes Services: AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud

Kubernetes is a popular open-source container orchestration platform that allows us to deploy and manage multi-container applications at scale. Businesses are rapidly adopting this revolutionary technology to modernize their applications. Cloud service providers — such as Amazon Web Ser...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • Kubernetes