7 Jan 2016
Docker and the ecosystem around it have done some great things for developers, but from an operational standpoint, it's mostly just the same old issues with a fresh coat of paint. Real change happens when we change our perspective from Infrastructure (as a Service) to Platform (as a Service), and when the ultimate deployment artifact is a running application instead of a virtual machine.
Even Kubernates still feels a lot like IaaS - just with containers instead of virtual machines. To be fair, there are already some platforms out there that shift the user experience towards the application (Cloud Foundry and Heroku come to mind), but many of them have a large operations burden, or are provided in a SaaS model only.
In the Docker ecosystem we are starting to see more of these types of platforms, the first of which was Dokku which started as a single machine Heroku replacement written in about 100 lines of Bash. Building on top of that work other, richer systems like Deis and Flynn have emerged, as well as custom solutions built in-house, like Yelp's PaaSta.
Actions speak louder than words, so I decided to document (and demonstrate) a platform built from the ground up (using Open Source projects) and then deploy an application to it via a Continuous Integration/Deployment (CI/CD) pipeline.
You could (and probably would) use a public cloud provider for some (or all) of this stack; however, I wanted to demonstrate that a system like this can be built and run internally, as not everybody is able to use the public cloud.