One-off Kubernetes jobs

Kubernetes jobsSo far all examples I made for Docker in Swarm Mode or Kubernetes blog posts were built around some sort of a service: web server, message queue, message bus. After all, “service” is a main concept in Swarm Mode, and even the whole micro-service application thing has, well, a “service” in it. But what about one-off jobs: maintenance tasks, scheduled events, or anything else, that we need to run just sometimes, not as a service?

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Dissecting Kubernetes example


Much to my surprise, starting from the last week Kubernetes became the part of my job description. It’s no longer something just interesting to try, I actually have to understand it now. And as you probably could tell from my older k8s post, I’m not quite there. The post sort of builds a logical example (containerized web server) but something just doesn’t click.

I was trying to understand what’s missing, and it seems like the problem is in the tooling. You see, there’re two and a half ways to run something in Kubernetes. One is through ad-hoc commands, like kubectl run or kubectl expose. They are simple, but they also skip few important concepts happening in the background, so the whole picture stays unclear. Continue reading “Dissecting Kubernetes example”

Autoscaling build servers with Gitlab CI

autoscaling builds

I’ve been using Gitlab CI for a while now and until certain point it worked really well. We had three build servers (GitLab runners) in the beginning, and when number of teammates or build steps and therefore commits and build jobs increased, I’d just add one more server to handle an extra load and felt that problem was solved.

Not for long. When number of servers climbed to more than ten, it became obvious that simply adding servers one by one doesn’t work anymore. It was both expensive to have all of them running all the time and it still wasn’t enough to handle occasional spikes of commits. Not to mention that during the nights and weekends those servers were doing absolutely nothing.

The whole thing needs to be dynamic and fortunately GitLab CI supports autoscaling out of the box. Documentation is a little bit confusing but in reality it’s very easy to get started. So here’s the plan: let’s try it!

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