WebLogic with Docker in the Cloud

dockerDocker has been without any doubt the most hyped technology this summer. Apart from incrementally and quickly creating light-weight containers that can be hooked up together it seems to become the de-facto standard for spinning up instances locally and in the cloud. In the past there was no real compatibility between cloud providers on an OS/instance-level and also import/export features were “demanding” at best.

Linux containers for clean sandboxing do exist since much longer, e.g. Google is starting over 2 billion Linux containers every week. With Docker there is an open source based de-facto standard now that customers want to use (honestly, few people looked into lxc and kernel namespaces before Docker had it’s appearance)

Docker and WebLogic?

Oracle WebLogic Server currently does not officially support Docker, yet there is a github project to start with created by Bruno Borges. This project contains the Dockerfile with all necessary WLST-scripts to create a Docker container running WebLogic.

Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 12.19.11

You can run Docker itself in Oracle Enterprise Linux like in most other Linux distributions such as CentOS, Ubuntu etc. Docker containers always run Linux; e.g. you could have WebLogic running on Ubuntu in a Docker container which is running on CentOS.

Docker Hub Registry

The Docker hub registry is best known as a public registry for Docker images to start with but it can be used to store private images as well.

The Docker Registry contains base Docker images for Java, Ubuntu etc., yet there are no official images from Oracle at the moment. Let’s hope that Oracle will not repeat the rather sad story of poor support for Oracle product AMIs for Amazon Cloud.

Public Clouds can either deploy Docker containers directly from github by creating a container on the fly based on a Dockerfile on github, or by accessing an Docker image stored in the Docker registry. I will demonstrate below how to deploy WebLogic as Docker container straight from the Docker registry.

https://hub.docker.com

Clouds: Amazon, Google, …

Amazon Beanstalk, same as the Google Cloud, support Docker containers as well! So you can dockerize your application (including WebLogic) and run the same Docker image on the cloud. To the best of my knowledge there is currently no information available if Oracle has plans to support Docker in the Oracle cloud.

AWS Beanstalk Cloud

HowTo Run Your WebLogic in a Docker Container on Amazon Beanstalk

The following web cast gives a brief overview of the steps involved. It’s not intended as a A-Z tutorial, rather a quick recording to illustrate the point saving you from dozens of boring screen shots. I am using CentOS 7 to run Docker and create the local Docker container.

The following steps are shown:

  1. Create a running Docker container with WebLogic
  2. Create a new image based on the container
  3. Upload the image to Docker hub
  4. Create the Amazon Beanstalk JSON file for running a Docker container
  5. Create an AWS Beanstalk environment that runs the image from Docker hub
  6. To prove that 1. to 5. are working run a demo app in the cloud

 

If you want to know more, I recommend to get a good book about Clouds, and WebLogic, read Bruno Borges blog entry, the Docker documentation, and the AWS Beanstalk documentation.

Oracle supports the licensing of certain AWS/EC2 instances, also different versions of Oracle Database are available at the Amazon cloud, so ask your Oracle sales rep about the licensing with Docker and Beanstalk.

Enjoy!

WebLogic 12.1.2 Per Domain Nodemanger Command Line Arguments

Stepping out of any WebLogic admin training you will know that before WebLogic 12.1.2 we could start the node manager (NM) using its listen address and its port number as command-line arguments overwriting the settings in the nodemanager.properties file.

This is still possible, but doesn’t work OOTB for the per domain NM which was introduced in 12.1.2.

The reason is, that the start script in

DOMAIN_HOME/bin/startNodeManager.sh

is calling

WL_HOME/server/bin/startNodemanager.sh

The script located in WL_HOME is still okay, but the one in DOMAIN_HOME doesn’t forward the command-line parameters. So if you just want to be able to run it as before, then replace

${WL_HOME}/server/bin/startNodeManager.sh

with

${WL_HOME}/server/bin/startNodeManager.sh ${1} ${2}

in the startNodeManager.sh in DOMAIN_HOME/bin.

Have a great day!

ps. Are you observing this 12.1.2 NM bug? Let me know if you don’t.

IOPS Quality of Service for Amazon EBS Cloud Storage

Define the pipe!

You can now have EBS optimized EC2 instances with e.g.  500 or 1000 Mbit/sec throughput to EBS.

According to AWS a standard EBS volume will cope with 100 IOPS on average allowing some burts. As I mentioned before there was plenty of complaints and discussion about EBS performance workarounds though. Here is the news: AWS is offering provisioned IOPS EBS volumes. You can create up to 20 TB of provisioned IOPS volumes with a total of 10,000 IOPS per AWS account (but apply to extend your AWS account for more).

Seems like a lovely idea for a db data file, doesn’t it?

Does that make you run your EBS I/O benchmark again? Let me know about the results!

Simple Custom JMX MBeans with WebLogic 12c and Spring

Using the Spring framework bundled with WebLogic 12 the programming of JMX MBeans becomes as easy as writing a simple POJO within a web application. After coding the MBean as a POJO all that is left to do is creating the Spring configuration file and editing the web.xml deployment decriptor:

– Firstly you have to add the Spring <listener> to the web.xml deployment descriptor with the web.xml to get Spring started.

– Secondly create the applicationContext.xml for Spring in the WEB-INF subdirectory. Declare the Spring bean and let Spring export it to the platform MBean server.

– Thirdly deploy the web application and test it with JConsole, WLST or j4psh.

For your convinience I already built an example. You can download the deployable SimpleJMX.war file or the complete NetBeans project.

You can see the application in action, including the involved files and the deployment in the following screencast:

How to access custom MBeans from WLST is shown in the second part:

The third part is showing how to retrieve MBean attributes from a JSP:

Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2 Autoscaling

 

How many blog posts have you read that were written on a ferry? Well this is post makes it one more. Live from famous Manly ferry since I am currently offering a number of Amazon and Oracle Cloud Computing Workshops in Australia.

Elasticity is a key criteria for cloud computing. Autoscaling is automated elasticity. Interesting enough is widely unknown how this will be implemented on the Oracle Public Cloud for the Java Service.

Autoscaling on AWS can only be configured with lengthy commands from the command line but not from the web cased AWS console. Getting all the parameters right can be tricky, so here is one of the easiest examples and a hands-on screen cast using it:

 

 


as-create-launch-config surfLaunch --region ap-southeast-1 --key access --image-id ami-b83374ea --instance-type t1.micro
as-create-auto-scaling-group surfScale --launch-configuration surfLaunch --region ap-southeast-1 -availability-zones ap-southeast-1a,ap-southeast-1b --min-size 2 --max-size 4
as-describe-auto-scaling-groups --headers --region ap-southeast-1

as-describe-auto-scaling-instances --headers --region ap-southeast-1
as-put-scaling-policy ScaleDown -auto-scaling-group surfScale --adjustment=-1 --type ChangeInCapacity --region ap-southeast-1
as-put-scaling-policy ScaleUp -auto-scaling-group surfScale --adjustment=+1 --type ChangeInCapacity --region ap-southeast-1

 

as-execute-policy ScaleUp --auto-scaling-group surfScale --region ap-southeast-1

as-describe-scaling-activities -g surfScale --region ap-southeast-1 --show-long

 

as-execute-policy ScaleUp --auto-scaling-group surfScale --region ap-southeast-1

 

mon-put-metric-alarm HighCPUAlarm --comparison-operator GreaterThanThreshold --evaluation-periods 1 --metric-name CPUUtilization --namespace "AWS/EC2" --period 600 --statistic Average --threshold 80 --alarm-actions "XXX" --dimensions "AutoScalingGroupName=surfScale" --region ap-southeast-1

 

mon-put-metric-alarm LowCPUAlarm --comparison-operator LessThanThreshold --evaluation-periods 1 --metric-name CPUUtilization --namespace "AWS/EC2" --period 600 --statistic Average --threshold 20 --alarm-actions "XXX" --dimensions "AutoScalingGroupName=surfScale" --region ap-southeast-1

 

REMOVE ALL:

as-update-auto-scaling-group surfScale --min-size 0 --max-size 0 --region ap-southeast-1
as-delete-auto-scaling-group surfScale --region ap-southeast-1

as-delete-launch-config surfLaunch --region ap-southeast-1

 

The comments section is open now for your suggestions how this will be done with the Oracle Public Cloud.