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.

Written by

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

— November 28, 2018

Two New EC2 Instance Types Announced at AWS re:Invent 2018 – Monday Night Live

Let’s look at what benefits these two new EC2 instance types offer and how these two new instances could be of benefit to you. Both of the new instance types are built on the AWS Nitro System. The AWS Nitro System improves the performance of processing in virtualized environments by...

Read more
  • AWS
  • EC2
  • re:Invent 2018
— November 21, 2018

Google Cloud 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 2018, research firm Gartner placed Google in the Leaders quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service for the first time. In t...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud
Khash Nakhostin
— November 13, 2018

Understanding AWS VPC Egress Filtering Methods

Security in AWS is governed by a shared responsibility model where both vendor and subscriber have various operational responsibilities. AWS assumes responsibility for the underlying infrastructure, hardware, virtualization layer, facilities, and staff while the subscriber organization ...

Read more
  • Aviatrix
  • AWS
  • VPC
— November 10, 2018

S3 FTP: Build a Reliable and Inexpensive FTP Server Using Amazon’s S3

Is it possible to create an S3 FTP file backup/transfer solution, minimizing associated file storage and capacity planning administration headache?FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a fast and convenient way to transfer large files over the Internet. You might, at some point, have conf...

Read more
  • Amazon S3
  • AWS
— October 18, 2018

Microservices Architecture: Advantages and Drawbacks

Microservices are a way of breaking large software projects into loosely coupled modules, which communicate with each other through simple Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).Microservices have become increasingly popular over the past few years. The modular architectural style,...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Microservices
— October 2, 2018

What Are Best Practices for Tagging AWS Resources?

There are many use cases for tags, but what are the best practices for tagging AWS resources? In order for your organization to effectively manage resources (and your monthly AWS bill), you need to implement and adopt a thoughtful tagging strategy that makes sense for your business. The...

Read more
  • AWS
  • cost optimization
— September 26, 2018

How to Optimize Amazon S3 Performance

Amazon S3 is the most common storage options for many organizations, being object storage it is used for a wide variety of data types, from the smallest objects to huge datasets. All in all, Amazon S3 is a great service to store a wide scope of data types in a highly available and resil...

Read more
  • Amazon S3
  • AWS
— September 18, 2018

How to Optimize Cloud Costs with Spot Instances: New on Cloud Academy

One of the main promises of cloud computing is access to nearly endless capacity. However, it doesn’t come cheap. With the introduction of Spot Instances for Amazon Web Services’ Elastic Compute Cloud (AWS EC2) in 2009, spot instances have been a way for major cloud providers to sell sp...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud
— August 23, 2018

What are the Benefits of Machine Learning in the Cloud?

A Comparison of Machine Learning Services on AWS, Azure, and Google CloudArtificial intelligence and machine learning are steadily making their way into enterprise applications in areas such as customer support, fraud detection, and business intelligence. There is every reason to beli...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • Machine Learning
— August 17, 2018

How to Use AWS CLI

The AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) is for managing your AWS services from a terminal session on your own client, allowing you to control and configure multiple AWS services.So you’ve been using AWS for awhile and finally feel comfortable clicking your way through all the services....

Read more
  • AWS
Albert Qian
— August 9, 2018

AWS Summit Chicago: New AWS Features Announced

Thousands of cloud practitioners descended on Chicago’s McCormick Place West last week to hear the latest updates around Amazon Web Services (AWS). While a typical hot and humid summer made its presence known outside, attendees inside basked in the comfort of air conditioning to hone th...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Summits
— August 8, 2018

From Monolith to Serverless – The Evolving Cloudscape of Compute

Containers can help fragment monoliths into logical, easier to use workloads. The AWS Summit New York was held on July 17 and Cloud Academy sponsored my trip to the event. As someone who covers enterprise cloud technologies and services, the recent Amazon Web Services event was an insig...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Summits
  • Containers
  • DevOps
  • serverless