DockerCon 2017 - highlights & experiences

So, DockerCon! It turns out that building cool stuff gets you places. Back in 2016, I built a Docker Swarm from 5 Raspberry Pis by following Captain Alex Ellis’ tutorial and then went on to create two different visualisations for the swarm to demonstrate real time load balancing. This was picked up by Alex who got in touch soon after with the amazing news that Docker wanted to invite me to DockerCon17 in Austin, TX! I was incredibly excited about the prospect and asked if I would be able to give a talk showing some of the things I’ve done with Docker, so it was to my delight that they agreed. What is DockerCon like? DockerCon is the most continue...

My programming story... so far

Early days When I was 12, I was given a Raspberry Pi. For the first couple of days, it was really fun. After I had browsed the web for a while and played a bit of Minecraft, it sat in it's box for a few months. I really had no idea what to do with it. That was until I discovered that I could build a website with it. Wow, that was cool. I installed Apache and spent some time finding out where I needed to put the code. I started off getting to grips with HTML in nano (using inline styling, of course) until I realised I could write CSS in separate files and load them in. That was continue...

Dockering with cardboard

Although the PiGlow visualisation of CPU usage was pretty, we reckoned we could go a couple of steps further and integrate a much more complete tangible solution - a hardware-driven load monitor dashboard. Made of cardboard. This was to be driven by two high torque servos (Ben had them lying around) which would rotate according to whichever performance indicator we chose. Servos are not, of course, very good pointers so with a trusty craft knife to the fore we re-purposed some Pi packaging into a cardboard user interface. On the code side, we particularly wanted to monitor the load across the entire cluster so we ended up writing our own Python HTTP API with Flask and copied client scripts over continue...

Visualising Docker on Pi with PiGlow

In my last post I described how I set up a 5-strong Raspberry Pi Docker swarm. It wasn't long before I realised I wanted some ambient way to see how they were performing which a) didn't involve staring at a screen and b) would wind up the cat. Luckily my friend Ben was round and he's quite into tangible stuff so after rummaging in a few dusty boxes for inspiration we found a PiGlow and wondered if that would do the trick. We stuck the PiGlow on top of the swarm and sure enough, thanks to the great Python PiGlow library from the pirates over at Pimoroni, we managed to get the LEDs to map the CPU usage. As ever continue...

Raspberry Pi Swarm

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine reminded me about Docker. Docker is a containerisation platform which allows you to deploy different systems very quickly and efficiently on the same host machine. Not only that, you can put several Docker hosts together in order to create a swarm. It's like VMs, but cooler. Having followed a fantastic tutorial by the Docker Captain, Alex Ellis, I had Docker running on one of my Pies in under an hour. I thought this was pretty cool, but I soon got bored of firing up containers which ran little Node.js apps for me. I started to wonder what it would be like if I could build a Docker swarm out of continue...