Adventures in HttpContext All the stuff after 'Hello, World'

Service Discovery Options with Marathon and Deimos

I’ve become a fan of Mesos and Marathon: combined with Deimos you can create a DIY PaaS for launching and scaling Docker containers across a number of nodes. Marathon supports a bare-bones service-discovery mechanism through its task API, but it would be nice for containers to register themselves with some service discovery tool themselves. In order to achieve this containers need to know their host ip address and the port Marathon assigned them so they could tell other interested services where they can be found.

Deimos allows default parameters to be passed in when executing docker run and Marathon adds assigned ports to a container’s environment variables. If a container has this information it can register it with a service discovery tool.

Here we assign the host’s IP address as a default run option in our Deimos config file.

append: ["-e", "HOST_IP="]

Now let’s launch our mesos-sample container to our Mesos cluster via Marathon:

// Post to
  "container": {
    "image": "docker:///mhamrah/mesos-sample"
  "cpus": "1",
  "id": "www",
  "instances": 1,
  "mem": 512,
  "ports": [0],
  "uris": [],
  "cmd": ""

Once our app is launch, we can inspect all the environment variables in our container with the /env endpoint from mhamrah/mesos-sample:

[ {
  "HOSTNAME" : "a4305981619d"
}, {
  "PORT0" : "31894"
}, {
  "PATH" : "/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin"
}, {
  "PWD" : "/tmp/mesos-sandbox"
}, {
  "PORTS" : "31894"
}, {
  "HOST_IP" : ""
}, {
  "PORT" : "31894"

With this information some startup script could use the PORT (or PORT0) and HOST_IP to register itself for direct point-to-point communication in a cluster.