Category: PaaS

Book review: Building Microservices

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 10.11.15 PMRecently I read Sam Newman’s “Building Microservices” , at ~280 pages its a fairly quick read. The reviews on this book overall are mixed and I can see where readers are coming from. By the title of this book one might expect some coverage of some of the microservices frameworks out there, concrete examples, maybe some actual code… but you won’t really find that here. Instead you will find a pretty good overview of various architectural approaches to modern application design in today’s world; covering general topics such a proper separation of concerns, unit-testing, continuous integration, automation, infrastructure management, service discovery, fault tolerance, high-availability and security etc.

In reality, none of the principles covered in this book are the exclusive domain of “microservice” application architectures, but rather can (and should be) applied to any application you are considering deploying; whether its a “monolithic” application or a suite of microservices interacting as parts of a larger functioning application.

In that right I think this book is definitely a good read and worth a look, if for nothing more than to ensure your team gets a refresher on good design principles and how they can be materialized with some of the newer frameworks and tool sets that have come out of our community in recent years. The material presented is sound.

How to access your OpenShift MongoDB database remotely on OS-X

I recently started playing around with Redhat’s Openshift PaaS and installed the MongoDB and RockMongo cartridges on my application. My use case was just to leverage the Openshift platform to run my MongoDB instance for me, and I really was ready (nor needing) to push an actual application out to the application running @ openshift; instead I just wanted my local Java program to leverage the remote MongoDB instance, pump some data into it and then view it in Rockmongo (also running on the app at openshift).

Turns out you can enable this by enabling port forwarding locally on the computer you want to connect from. This is on OS-X:

  • First ensure that your SSH key is available for use by the command we will run: “ssh-add /path/to/your/openshift/ssh.key” This should be the key that you created when you initially signed up for Openshift
  • Attempt to run the port forwarding enable command “rhc port-forward -a [yourAppName] -l [yourOpenShiftLoginId]“, it will prompt you for your openshift credentials, then will likely output something like the below:

Checking available ports...

Binding httpd ->…
Binding mongod ->…

Use ctl + c to stop

bind: Can’t assign requested address
channel_setup_fwd_listener: cannot listen to port: 27017
bind: Can’t assign requested address
channel_setup_fwd_listener: cannot listen to port: 8080
Could not request local forwarding.

  • The above error is because we need to now enable loopback aliases for each failed 127.x address listed above (those addresses will be different in your output above). To do this run the following for EACH loopback that failed: “sudo ifconfig lo0 alias 127.x.x.x“. Note that even after running this, make sure you already don’t have something else local bound on those ports (i.e. a local dev mongodb instance or something else on 8080)
  • After you add the loopback aliases re-run the port forwarding command above, this time it should successfully complete. If you go to https://127.x.x.x:8080 your request will be going directly to your openshift instance.
  • You can also now connect to your mongodb instance programmatically as well just using the new address:ports forwarded above plus the appropriate credentials
  • Interestingly enough the port forwarding goes over an SSH tunnel to your app there, and it appears that Openshift itself uses AWS!
Some relevant links to help you out which also helped me: