Teaching How to Get started with Kubernetes deploying a Hello World App

In a previous blog, I explained how to provision a new Kubernetes environment locally on physical or virtual machines, as well as remotely in the Oracle Public Cloud. In this workshop, I am going to show how to get started by deploying and running a Hello World NodeJS application into it.

There are a few moving parts involved in this exercise:

  • Using an Ubuntu Vagrant box, I’ll ask you to git clone a “Hello World NodeJS App”. It will come with its Dockerfile to be easily imaged/containerised.
  • Then, you will Docker build your app and push the image into Docker Hub.
  • Finally, I’ll ask you to go into your Kubernetes cluster, git clone a repo with a sample Pod definition and run it on your Kubernetes cluster.

Continue reading “Teaching How to Get started with Kubernetes deploying a Hello World App”

Teaching How to quickly provision a Dev Kubernetes Environment locally or in Oracle Cloud


This time last year, people were excited talking about technologies such as Mesos or Docker Swarm to orchestrate their Docker containers. Now days (April 2018) almost everybody is talking about Kubernetes instead. This proves how quickly technology is moving, but also it shows that Kubernetes has been endorsed and backed up by the Cloud Giants, including AWS, Oracle, Azure, (obviously Google), etc.

At this point, I don’t see Kubernetes going anywhere in the coming years. On the contrary, I strongly believe that it is going to become the default way to dockerise environments, especially now that it is becoming a PaaS offering with different cloud providers, e.g. Oracle Containers. This is giving the extra push to easily operate in enterprise mission critical solutions, having the backup of a big Cloud Vendor.

So, if you have not yet got familiar with Kubernetes, you better do so and quickly. In this blog I am going to show you how to get started with a fully functional Kubernetes dev environment that will let you start playing with it. In future blogs I am going to explain different use cases using Kubernetes, mainly around the 12-factor principles of microservices, e.g. including deploying applications with concurrency, managing load balancers, managing replication controller, scalability, managing state post-container restarts, etc… But let’s start with the first and most important 12-factor: “Disposability”.


In this blog, you don’t have to install Kubernetes manually if you don’t want to. I am going to explain 3 different ways in which you can get started with a Kubernetes Dev environment ready to go:

  • Option 1: Automate the provisioning of Kubernetes locally on a VM (using Vagrant Box).
  • Option 2: Automate the provisioning of Kubernetes in the Oracle Public Cloud (using Terraform).
  • Option 3: Manually install locally Kubernetes on an existing environment (using minikube) – This can be your own Host machine, a local VM, IaaS, etc.

Obviously, option1 and 2 will simplify the whole process and will give you the ability to treat your Kubernetes environment “as code”, so that you can destroy/recreate it quickly and easily – and that’s what “Disposability” is all about. Option 3 is more if you want to learn how to install Kubernetes on an existing environment, for example your own laptop or an existing VM.

Let’s get our hands dirty!

Before we start


In this blog I assume the following:

  • You are familiar with Vagrant. If not, read this blog. It will take you 5-very-well-spent minutes.
  • Also, I assume that you are familiar with Terraform. If not, read this other blog that I wrote some time ago. It explains Terraform in detail.
  • You need an Oracle Cloud account, if not request a free trial. Here: https://cloud.oracle.com/tryit


Option 1: Automate the provisioning of Kubernetes locally on a VirtualBox VM (using Vagrant)


Spin up Vagrant VM


For this exercise, I am going to use an Oracle-managed Vagrant Box that luckily for us has ability to run a local nested virtualization. Yes, you read it well. Thanks to Oracle, we can now easily run a local HA Kubernetes cluster inside VirtualBox VMs!!!


It will create a topology with 3 VMs.

  • 1 Master node
  • 2 Worker Nodes


The GitHub repository is https://github.com/oracle/vagrant-boxes/tree/master/Kubernetes and it has a very comprehensive Readme file, but below I am writing a quick summary to get up and running.


Note: I assume that you have already:

  1. Installed Git
  2. Installed Oracle VM VirtualBox and Vagrant.
  3. You have an existing Oracle Container Registry account. Then, sign in to Oracle Container Registry and accept the Oracle Standard T&Cs for the Oracle Container Registry.

  1. After Accepting, it will show something like:



  • Clone Oracle’s Kubernetes Vagrant box repository:


    git clone https://github.com/oracle/vagrant-boxes


  • Move into the vagrant-boxes/Kubernetes directory:


    cd vagrant-boxes/Kubernetes


  • Now, start your vagrant box:


    vagrant up master


    Note: Give it some time the first time. It will download the Vagrant Box and install all dependencies. Subsequent times will be much faster.


  • Vagrant ssh into it.


    vagrant ssh



  • Setup your master node within the master guest VM. For this, within the master guest VM, run as root:



    You will be asked to log in to the Oracle Container Registry. Use the same account from which you accepted the T&C’s already.


    Note: If you get an error like this one:


    It means that you have not yet accepted the T&C’s for the Oracle Container Registry!


  • Once you run this script you will see a message asking you to be patient. They mean it! For me, it took around 30 minutes to download the associated Docker images and configure them.



  • Setting up your Master node should succeed with a message like the following:



  • Now, back to your Host machine, open other terminal windows and start the first worker node:


    vagrant up worker1

  • Once it’s started, vagrant ssh into it:


    vagrant ssh wroker1

  • Setup your worker1 node within the worker1 guest VM. For this, within the worker1 guest VM, run as root:




Once again, you will be asked to log in to the Oracle Container Registry. Use the same account from which you accepted the T&C’s previously.


  • Setting up your Worker node 1 node should succeed with a message like the following:


  • Finally, let’s setup the 3rd and last VM, in this case the second Worker Node. Go back to your Host machine, open a 3rd terminal window and start the second worker node:


    vagrant up worker2


  • Once it’s started, vagrant ssh into it:


    vagrant ssh wroker2

  • Setup your worker2 node within the worker2 guest VM. For this, within the worker2 guest VM, run as root:




Once again, you will be asked to log in to the Oracle Container Registry. Use the same account from which you accepted the T&C’s previously.


  • Setting up your Worker node 2 should succeed with a message like the following:



  • Congratulations your Kubernetes cluster with 1 Master node and 2 Worker nodes is ready to go.




  • Test your Kubernetes cluster. For this, within the master node/VM (not root, but back to the vagrant user) try the following commands:


    kubectl cluster-info

    kubectl get nodes

    kubectl get pods –namespace=kube-system


For more information, please refer to the original Oracle Git repo readme file.



Option 2: Automate the provisioning of Kubernetes in the Oracle Public Cloud (using Terraform)


For this option, we are going to use Terraform to provision compute (IaaS) with Kubernetes on Oracle Public Cloud. If you have already installed Terraform locally or are using a BuildServer with Terraform installed, feel free to skip the next section. Otherwise if you don’t have Terraform installed and don’t want to install it, you can use a Vagrant Box that I already put together.


If you want to use a Vagrant Box that I previously put together that auto-installs Terraform:


  • Clone my devops repository:


    git clone https://github.com/solutionsanz/devops


  • Move into the KubernetesDevEnv directory:


    cd devops/KubernetesDevEnv


  • Now, start your vagrant box:


    vagrant up


    Note: Give it some time the first time. It will download the Ubuntu Box and install all dependencies. Subsequent times will be much faster.

  • Once it finishes, as per the bootstrap process, your Vagrant VM is going to come with Terraform installed and ready to go.
  • Vagrant ssh into it.


    vagrant ssh


  • Validate that Terraform is installed properly:


    terraform –version


  • Now, we are going to use Terraform to install and configure Kubernetes on Oracle Compute Cloud. For this, we are going to git clone another repository that Cameron Senese has put together for this exact purpose.


  • First, Register an account at the Oracle Container Registry (OCR). Be sure to accept the Oracle Standard Terms and Restrictions after registering with the OCR. The installer will request your OCR credentials at build time. Registration with the OCR is a dependency for the installer to be able to download the containers which will be used to assemble the K8s control plane.


  • Git clone Cam’s repo:


    git clone https://github.com/cameronsenese/opc-terraform-kubernetes-installer


  • Move to the opc-terraform-kubernetes-installer directory


    cd opc-terraform-kubernetes-installer


  • Initialise Terraform:


    terraform init


  • Apply the Terraform plan:

    terraform apply


  • At this point the configuration will prompt for target environment inputs. Please refer to original Cameron Senese Git Repo Readme file if any of them is strange for you.


  • Depending on the number of modules selected to be installed, the whole provisioning might vary to up to 15 minutes to complete.


  • You can SSH into your new VM by using the sample private key proided by default under folder ssh.


  • Once inside the new VM, make sure the cluster is running properly by trying the following commands:


    kubectl cluster-info

    kubectl get nodes



Option 3: Manually Install and configure Kubernetes (with minikube) on an existing environment


Install Kubectl Manually (Optional)


For more information on installing Kubectl: https://kubernetes.io/docs/tasks/tools/install-kubectl/#install-kubectl


Install Minikube Manually (Optional)



  • If you wish to stop your kubernetes cluster:


    minikube stop

Congratulations!!! Regardless of the approach that you took, your Kubernetes Development environment is ready to go.

If you want to also learn how to use it, read this other blog that shows you the basics of Kubernetes by deploying a HelloWorld Application.


Curating your Kubernetes cluster with other Cloud Native Technologies (Optional)


Recently, CNCF is pushing on various cloud native projects that are building great momentum. Technologies such as: Service Mesh (Istio, Envoy), Grafana, Prometheus, Zipkin, etc.

For this reason and in alignment with a recent Kubernetes workshop that we deliver in Australia and NZ, we provide a quick way to curate a local Kubernetes cluster, assuming you chose option 1 or 3 from this blog (kubeadm via using VirtualBox VMs or Minikube on a physical host).

Note: If you chose, option 2, i.e. suing Terraform to provision your Kubernetes cluster, then you don’t have to follow these steps. Your kubernetes cluster is already curated with all these open source technologies.

Once you have your Kubernetes cluster up and running, follow the next steps to deploy these open source technologies.

  • Go to the master node or wherever you have kubectl installed.
  • Git clone the following repo:


    git clone https://github.com/solutionsanz/opc-terraform-kubernetes-installer


    Note: If git is not yet installed, do a quick: sudo [yum|apt-get] install git -y


  • Change directory inside the repo


    cd opc-terraform-kubernetes-installer


  • Set execution privileges to curating script:


    chmod 755 curate-k8s.sh


  • Run the script by specifying true or false, depending on whether you want to install the following open source components:


    Order: [MonitoringDashboards SocksShopDemo CheesesDemo ServiceMeshDemo]




    ./curate-k8s.sh true true true true


  • After the script execution, you should be able to see all specified services running inside your Kubernetes cluster


    kubectl get services –all-namespaces

Notice that we have a variety of type of Services:

  • ClusterIP: These services allow intra pod/container communication inside the cluster.
  • NodePort: These services come with ClusterIP plus an assigned port on each Worker Node for external consumption
  • LoadBalancer: If running on a Cloud provider, an external Load Balancer as a Service (LBaaS) will be mapped to this service

Ideally, at this point you are going to configure Ingress services to all those services that you wish to expose outside the Kubernetes cluster, fronted by LBaaS for easy external consumption by using a Cloud vendor.

For Dev purposes working locally on a Mac o PC, if you are running this Kubernetes cluster as option 1 (Vagrant based VirtualBox VMs), you might need to open up the assigned ports for those NodePort/Ingress services.

For example, in the image above: Traefik-ingress-service mapped to port 80 on

However, another way to quickly “hack” access into your internal services, even those of type ClusterIP is to establish SSH tunnels redirecting traffic from the host machine into the specific services internal IP Addresses and Ports.


For example, let assume that we want to gather access to the WeaveScope dashboard UI . Based on the configuration described above, I can:



  • If using Linux/MacOS, you can simply setup an SSH tunnel from within a terminal in your host:


    ssh -L 180: vagrant@ -p [2200|2201] -i private-key


    Let’s analyse the previous command:


    • 180: It is a random port I decide on my host machine through which all traffic will be SSH tunnelled.
    • It is the internal IP Address and Port on which I want to route all traffic. In this case it is the endpoint for the WeaveScope Dashboard UI.
    • vagrant@ -p 2200: Here I need to target any of the 2 worker nodes. If using the VirtualBox VMs, there is an out of the box Port forwarding already in place that maps 2200 to 22 for worker node 1 and 2201 to 22 for worker node 2. Either way will work. As the Kubernetes services are network constructs running on each of the worker nodes.
    • -i private-key: It is referencing the SSH Private key (located under $GIT_REPO_LOCATION/vagrant-boxes/Kubernetes/.vagrant/machines/worker1/virtualbox/private_key)


  • If using PuTTY, first you would need to convert the Vagrant SSH private key into PPK (you can find the private key in your host machine under: $GIT_REPO_LOCATION/vagrant-boxes/Kubernetes/.vagrant/machines/worker1/virtualbox/private_key).


    Then you would need to establish a tunnel configuration in your PuTTY session:

        Finally, open a browser window in your Host machine and go point localhost:[YOUR_CHOSEN_PORT], e.g. localhst:180



I hope you found this blog useful. If you have any question or comment, feel free to contact me directly at https://www.linkedin.com/in/citurria/

Thanks for your time.

Disabling Hostname Validation in Nashorn Javascript

So, the other day I found myself having to connect to a server with self-signed SSL certificates while writing Nashorn Javascript. The precise details of how I found myself in this situation are pretty unimportant (I was re-writing an ant build script which had to obtain a build parameter by querying a running instance of a server in dev…), but the problem was suitably esoteric that I couldn’t find a code snippet with a quick search, while probably not being so esoteric that I am the only one who will ever need this, and hence, this post.

Continue reading “Disabling Hostname Validation in Nashorn Javascript”

Creating Custom Policies for Oracle API Platform Cloud Service

Much has been written on RedThunder.blog about the Oracle API Platform Cloud Service. In this blog, I am going to get into the advanced topic of Custom Policies. You would start exploring this area when the built-in policies do not cover your use case. The power and ease of implementing Custom Policies, I believe, is a killer value proposition of this platform.

Before we proceed, it would helpful to understand the backend technology of what the API Platform is built on. API Platform built-on the heritage of the sturdy and scalable WebLogic server.

There are 3 components:

  • Management Portal – Used to create and manage APIs. This is an application hosted in WebLogic server, utilising WebLogic for clustering and scaling. Oracle hosts and manages this in our Public Cloud and automates the whole installation process, so you just have a make a few clicks to provision it. The Management Portal is the brains of the API Platform, registering Gateways and deploying and publishing APIs to the Gateways and Developer Portal. You can access all its functions through REST API.
  • Gateway Node – Holds the run-time of the API. This is based on the Oracle Communications Service Gatekeeper (OCSG) from our telco-grade suite of products. Built-on WebLogic, the Gateway Nodes can be installed on any platform on-premise or in the Cloud (e.g. Amazon, Azure, Oracle). It is packaged as a zip file downloaded from the Management Portal itself. Once installed, the Gateway calls home to the Management Server to register itself. It pulls APIs and the policies associated with it from the Cloud once they are deployed. Gateways forms a logical cluster for HA purposes, so you deploy once and the APIs propagate to all the nodes in the cluster.

The Gateway Install zip also hosts the necessary code nuggets for customisation.

  • Developer Portal – Used for developers to review documentation and subscribe to APIs. Also an application, this is by default hosted in the same WebLogic Server as the Management Portal. If you wish to run another Developer Portal, let’s say on-premise or customise it, you can extract the Developer Portal war from the Gateway Server install zip and host it in another WebLogic server.

Now coming to Custom Policies, they are essentially Java-code packaged as war files. The Gateway Install zip holds the code nuggets necessary to generate a Policy Stub. It also holds the necessary libraries aka Policy SDK (matching the version of the Gateway server) to compile against.

Continue reading “Creating Custom Policies for Oracle API Platform Cloud Service”

API Design Governance – Style Guides in Apiary

Much has been written on the design of ideal REST APIs, from Roy Fielding’s original description of HATEOAS interfaces, to much more practical approaches mirroring APIs rolled out by large technology companies. When working alone, I have a lot of freedom in how I design and build my APIs, and I always strive to design APIs which I would love to consume, based upon a number of undocumented, but strongly-held design intuitions. Collections are plurals; sub-objects are used sparingly, and mostly for practical considerations like payload size; HTTP status codes are used appropriately for particular types of errors and responses; etc.

When I work as part of a larger team, I often find that we end up building interfaces with slight inconsistencies, even if the design of them was based upon some documented high-level design principles. These inconsistencies impact the productivity of both internal and external developers which have to use these APIs, as they have to carefully parse the documentation to develop around the ‘quirks’ of the individual APIs.

Ironing out these inconsistencies can be achieved in a couple of ways, adopting a waterfall-style development model, in which each team is required to submit their detailed design specifications to an architecture council for review and sign-off; or putting a system in place which checks new API designs for consistency, and provides real-time feedback to API designers as they sketch out the interface. Oddly enough, the approach that I am going to discuss in this blog post is not the former; instead we are going to explore the Style Guide capabilities offered by Apiary.io, which allows us to develop rules governing API styles, which are assessed in real-time during API design.

Continue reading “API Design Governance – Style Guides in Apiary”

Oracle Cloud Security is Openly Social

Oracle Identity Cloud Service (IDCS) protects Oracle IaaS, PaaS, SaaS and On-Premises applications. Oracle IDCS provides federated single-sign on experience to its clients. It follows open standards such as SAML 2.0, OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect 1.0. In the federation model, Oracle IDCS can either act as an Identity Provider (IdP) or a Service Provider (SP) or both.

Oracle IDCS has a built-in feature that provides multiple social identity providers such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. It uses underlying OAuth 2.0 protocol to interact with the Social Identity providers. This article presents how to configure IDCS to allow for Social Logins. Let me explain this concept with the sequence diagram below:

Continue reading “Oracle Cloud Security is Openly Social”

Your Place or Ours

Sometimes you just want to build a local environment on your own equipment simply because it’s quick and easy. But you soon realise that other people need access and resources get a bit tight (memory, CPU, etc). That’s when it makes sense to move it from your place into the cloud.

Just recently I realised how useful Oracle Virtual Box’s new export feature is for migrating local VMs into Oracle Public Cloud Infrastructure – Compute Classic. Oracle Virtual Box’s new export formats give me the ability to easily migrate Images to the Oracle Public Cloud where I can scale my environments as required.

Earlier this week I was building a new Oracle Identity and Access Management development environment on my laptop. This worked well from an initial build and configure perspective but there comes a time when I need to make this environment available to my Developers, Testers and other stakeholders. Running this image continuously on my laptop quickly becomes impractical even for development teams.

Continue reading “Your Place or Ours”