Tuesday, July 28, 2015

VMware appcatalyst

VMware appcatalyst - what is it and what could it mean to DevOps

VMware appcatalyst is a free, open source, non-UI VM host for Mac OS X.  It could be thought of a thin version of Fusion (no windows hosting, etc.)  a couple neat features of it include;

  • faster boot time
  • comes with a RESTful API (appcatalyst-daemon)
  • comes with Project Photon out of the box
a quick idea of how to start it

  1. appcatalyst vm create [give the VM a name]
  2. appcatalyst vmpower on [your VM name]
  3. (wait while it starts up... may be 10 seconds?)
  4. appcatalyst guest getip [your VM name]
  5. ssh -i /opt/vmware/appcatalyst/etc/appcatalyst_insecure_ssh_key photon@[ip_address]
once you're in, docker is already running
  • docker ps
and you can start playing with docker however you like.  (if you want to enable remote docker access, check out this)

From a DevOps point of view, appcatalyst - on a Mac, at least - opens up the possibility of the following;
  • docker image builder that is not boot2docker or Kinematic
  • ability to spool up one or more VMs via REST
consider a workflow such as;
  1. build a Spring Boot app
  2. maven build calls appcatalyst-daemon and starts up your docker VM
  3. build a docker VM image and start it within the VM
  4. integration test
  5. shutdown
all based on docker containers, on a VM host that's REST managable

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