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Post By Admin Last Updated At 2020-06-11
How Mule Containerization happens on Kubernetes?

Mulesoft is a software vendor that provides an integration platform to integrate the data, application as well as devices over the local as well as cloud environments.  This company has its own platform called the Anypoint platform. This platform contains various tools to develop, manage and test Application Programming Interfaces(API's).  And this vendor is capable of Containerizing the apps on various platforms like Kubernetes. Hence today, in this article I Would like to explain the Mule Containerization on the Kubernetes.

Hence Prior to knowing about the mule containerization, let us initially know about

Containerization:

A container is the standard unit of software that packages up the code and all the dependencies together.  This packing up of the software helps the apps to run quickly from one environment to the other. And this process of creating the containers is known as Containerization.  Today this concept of Containerization is available for both Windows as well as Linux applications.  Today DevOps team prefer to utilize this concept, because, the containers run same on all the platform irrespective of the infrastructure.  This is because this container has become the major hosting platform from microservices to databases.

Moreover, Container was like Docker that can be integrated to form the distributed apps. These containers help the developers to overcome the problems that arisen from the previous developers. In the olden days, the developer prefers to compile all their code into one which becomes a challenging task for the developers to manage. But today with the arrival of Containerization tools concepts operation teams today also use these containers. Moreover, these operations can deploy these containers without knowing the inner value

Since we people have a brief knowledge on Containerization, let us  recall some points on Kubernetes

Kubernetes:

This is an open-source container management system. This Kubernetes is responsible to manage containers like Docker. These containers create a consistent and portable way for developers to create microservices.  These containers were widely used by Enterprise developers. Besides, these containers provide an optimal abstraction that allows developers to build the code modules.  And we can deploy these Kubernetes containers across many platforms as well as the environments.  Today this Kubernetes has become the major way to manage, orchestrated as well as manage the containers.

In the recent time, this Kubernetes has become the major container organized platform.  And Mulesoft offers Anypoint RTF, Kubernetes based Containers orchestration platform.  This is responsible to run API, Application scalability as well as provides elasticity. Today, like Kubernetes, we do have many Container orchestration tools, but most people prefer to opt for Mule Cloud. Here the container nature presents the challenges to manage the Mule runtime, API as well as the deployment of the application. Besides the good nature of the container is that every time when a container shutdown, it must be terminated.

Usually, the Containers in this platform contains the following Challenges:

a) Policy Enforcement of API

b) Mule runtime engine deregistration

c) Log retention and aggregation

d) Mule Runtime Engine registration with Anypoint management plane

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How Containerization is useful to the developers?

Once you break your application into small pieces of code, this containerization help developers in many ways as follows:

  1. Since they are small, they were dynamic in nature. This helps the developer to know the amount of work that needs to be done.
  2. As a developer, you can get answers to several questions. This includes the following

a) The number of containers requires  b)How do the containers communicate with each other  c) Numer of containers running at a particular instant  d) Additional things needed to become the full microservice

Likewise, there are many things that help developers while using Kubernetes.

How to Containerize the Mule Application?

There are many ways for the developers to containerize the mule app. But I opt for the following methods that are suited best for containerizing the mule app. Moreover, it also ensures the Twelve-factor app for containers and leverages all the API management benefits. Consider the following diagram to containerize the application

Mule containerization | OnlineITGuru

How does this Mule Containerization work?

a) The user verifies the code to the source control system

b)Continuous Integration tools like Jenkins detects the code changes and builds the mule deployable

c)Now the subsequent CI tools also packages several things. This includes the Mule app, Mule runtime, JDK, registration script as well the OS to the docker image.

d) Soon after the package creation,  Continuous Integration (CI) tools deploy the full package image onto the Kubernetes (or) Docker Swarm.

e)Now the docker image gets booted, and it executes the registration script. And this acts as the bootstrap entry point in the docker file.

f) Through the series of API Calls, the registration script registers the mule run time engines with any point run time manager

g) Finally once the mule run time engine gets started and registered with ARM, the API automatically gets discovered by Anypoint API Manager via API Autodiscovery.

What are the main components of Mule Containerization?

The following are the main and important components of this platform.

a)Startup as well as the registration script:

This script is responsible for establishing the duplex connectivity. This connects the Anypoint platform and starts the mule engine. During start-up, the container executes this command initially and binds to the mule process. Besides, this script invokes the Any Point API to retrieve the access code and perform runtime registration.

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b)Shutdown Script:

As the name indicates this script is responsible for clean after the container shutdown. Usually, the containers were ephemeral in nature. Hence when the container is shut down, the specific instance of the container is terminated. And the new instance comes in its place with the new ID and IP. Usually, this Script is responsible for taking care of deregistration and clean up. And it needs to executed via Kubernetes life cycle hook

What are the things to be taken during Mule Containerization?

a) Open source ports are the necessary ports for quick navigation. Hence the best practice is to utilize 443 for your API and an additional JMX Port. This Mule agent does not need an inbound port. 

b) Folders except /root and /logs should be READ-Only. This is important for immutability and the enforcement of external files.

c)Don't forget to add the license file during the image build

d)Since the container binds to one startup process, place the run time registration and start-up in one call stack.

e)Bundle one app for one container

What is the advantage of Mule Containerization?

a) This containerization approach compiles with twelve-factor app principles

b)It is capable of managing Mule API.  Hence you can get all the benefits like API Analytics, Policy management, monitoring as well as SLA's.

c) Through this approach, we can manage the Mule run time engine and its entire life cycle.

Further, there are some other benefits of Containerization in general. This can bring some change to the apps having special features. Such as-

Application portability becomes easy to enhance.

Scalability improvement is also possible.

The practice of simple and faster deployment of apps is the best addition to this platform.

Moreover, application security and the developer’s efficiency also boosts. 

Anypoint Runtime fabric

Here, the runtime fabric organizes and automates the deployment process of Mule runtimes into the said containers. This happens within on-premise or any cloud ecosystem. 

The major benefits held with this process are-

Users can deploy the application invariably across any data center or cloud system.

They can run different runtime versions under the same Runtime Fabric of this platform.

It is easy to scale horizontally and redeploy the app with zero downtime or error.

Moreover, it is easy to handle with the help of MuleSoft’s control plane. 

Besides, it is very flexible to deploy on the existing infrastructure. Otherwise, it can also be deployed on managed K8s services.

How to deploy and manage runtimes across Cloud platform?

WIth Anypoint Runtime fabric can be easily deployed and manage runtimes across cloud platforms in the following way.

Central management of apps

In this platform, users can manage apps within the private cloud like Azure, AWS, etc. Also, can manage apps in CloudHub under the Anypoint platform. 

Run Mule applications on Kubernetes 

With this feature of the platform, the benefits of containerization can get easily. Like isolation, scaling horizontally, and auto redeployment functions as a default.

Navigate deployments easily

It facilitates easy navigation of deployments between CloudHub, Private Cloud, and the data center. 

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How to deploy and manage across K8s services? 

The following are the different ways of deployment and managing these apps across K8s services.

Deploying across private clouds

Users can install many standalone clusters with AWS, MS Azure, or on-premise platforms. Also, they can use K8s and Docker services without the expertise of K8s.

Open K8s access to the providers who manage

Now, install the RTF services into the private K8s ecosystem. Then, open the access point for the customers having the K8s proficiency.

Later, it can also provide support for the OpenShift container-based platform. Then, users can run the Mule and also non-Mule workloads on the same K8s ecosystem. 

Furthermore, users can deploy it across any K8s ecosystem as there is open support for all managed services built upon the K8s.

Conclusion

Likewise, there are many advantages to Mule Containerization. Shortly this Containerization is the powerful and widely used concept among developers. This helps developers to run the application smoothly in the real-world environment. I hope you people have gotten the brief idea of Mule Containerization benefits on Kubernetes. Besides Containerization, this Mule has several features.  Get all those Mule features from live experts with live experts at Mule Training