Blog | Consul
The latest news and announcements on HashiCorp, products, partners, and more.
Dec 19 2017 Anubhav Mishra
Smart Networking with Consul and Service Meshes
Over the past year, service mesh technologies have gained significant interest. Even though the idea of a service mesh isn’t new, the implementation details are new to some people. At HashiCorp we build Consul, a free and open source tool that provides service discovery, health checking, load balancing, and a globally distributed key-value store. These features make Consul ideal as a control plane for a service mesh. This post discusses a few first principles around adopting service meshes and how Consul can be used as a control plane for projects like Istio, Linkerd, and Envoy.
Nov 27 2017 Seth Vargo
Load Balancing Strategies for Consul
Consul is a free and open source tool that provides service discovery, health checking, load balancing, and a globally distributed key-value store. In microservice architectures, applications often run across many IP addresses and bind to a variety of ports. Service discovery aids in the process of finding these different services, regardless of where they are located. This post discusses a few common strategies for load balancing microservices with Consul.
Oct 16 2017 James Phillips
HashiCorp Consul 1.0
Today we are excited to announce the public availability of HashiCorp Consul 1.0. Consul is a tool for service discovery and runtime configuration for distributed applications and infrastructure. Consul joins Vagrant and Packer as the third HashiCorp product to reach the 1.0 milestone.
Sep 19 2017 Armon Dadgar
HashiCorp Announcements at HashiConf 2017
Today at HashiConf 2017 in Austin, Texas, we announced major updates and new features across our entire suite of open source and enterprise products, including HashiCorp Terraform, HashiCorp Vault, HashiCorp Consul, and HashiCorp Nomad. In addition to these product updates, we announced the release of Sentinel, our new policy as code framework that integrates across the Enterprise product suite, and the Terraform Module Registry, which provides example infrastructure templates to make provisioning across cloud environments easier, and so much more.
Aug 10 2017 Jay Christopherson
Spaceflight uses HashiCorp Consul for Service Discovery and Runtime Configuration in their Hub-and-Spoke Network Architecture
This is a guest post by Jay Christopherson, principal engineer, DevOps, at Spaceflight Industries. Spaceflight is revolutionizing the business of space flight by delivering a new model for accessing space. A comprehensive launch service and mission management provider, the company provides a straightforward and cost-effective suite of products and services including state-of-the-art satellite infrastructure, rideshare launch offerings, and global communications networks that enable commercial and government entities to achieve their mission goals, on time and on budget. A service offering of Spaceflight Industries in Seattle Washington, Spaceflight provides its services through a global network of partners, ground stations, and launch vehicle providers.
We had two main challenges facing us as we determined how to design the computing infrastructure to support our business applications: how we should handle distributed runtime changes and service discovery. We need distributed changes as we deploy remote satellite communications ground stations (spokes) around the world, but which are all managed from a central location (hub). Changes made from a central location need to be distributed out to one or more remote ground stations in an automated fashion. As for service discovery, we build and deploy quite often and we needed to make sure that changes to services in our infrastructure are detected and updated as quickly as possible without any manual updates. These are the reasons we looked at HashiCorp Consul.
Jul 20 2017 James Phillips
Today we are releasing Consul 0.9 which includes a number of improvements, bug fixes, and features. There are some important backward incompatibilities in this release that are easy to adjust for as you deploy, so please be sure to read the 0.9 upgrade guide for details before you upgrade.
Apr 05 2017 James Phillips
HashiCorp Consul 0.8
We are excited to release HashiCorp Consul 0.8. Consul is a critical infrastructure service that organizations rely on for service discovery, key/value storage, and health checks.
The focus for Consul 0.8 is operational stability with Autopilot features and federation improvements. Consul is highly available with three or more servers in a cluster, but it is complex to operate amidst failures, newly introduced servers, and upgrades. The goal of Autopilot is to automate Consul cluster operations so that it can be run in an auto-scaling group or scheduler without worry. Consul Enterprise has enhanced Autopilot functionality to automate the complete server cluster upgrade process and safely increase cluster size for read scalability. Federation improvements aim to simplify joining and operating Consul clusters across global infrastructure. With this release, Consul open source gains join flooding and soft-fail features to ensure that clusters are properly connected across datacenters. Consul Enterprise introduces network areas to enable advanced networking topologies such as hub-and-spoke.
Read on to learn more about the features in this release. You can also read the 0.8 changelog for details on complete ACL support, a more uniform CLI interface, and much more.
Mar 28 2017 Nic Jackson
Consul Auto-Join with Cloud Metadata
We work in a world of distributed systems which operate in rapidly changing environments. Servers come and go, they move across region and distribution groups, and somehow they need to communicate and connect to one another.
To solve this problem, HashiCorp created Consul, which among many other things enabled service registry and service discovery. Application instances register themselves with Consul, and dependent instances query Consul to discover each other. Since Consul itself is a distributed system, this creates a chicken-and-egg problem - how do you boostrap your service discovery.
Dec 01 2016 Seth Vargo
Spotlight: Consul KV CLI
The recent release of [Consul 0.7.1][consul-0.7.1] included a number of exciting new features. One powerful new capability is the addition of a full-featured CLI for interacting with Consul's key-value store. This blog post explores the new Consul KV CLI with some great examples and techniques.
Nov 21 2016 James Phillips
We are excited to release Consul 0.7.1. Consul is a critical infrastructure service for organizations that rely on it for service discovery, key/value storage, and health checks.
The focus for Consul 0.7.1 is the ability to take a complete snapshot of Consul's state and restore it for disaster recovery. With three or more servers, Consul is highly available, but if a cluster is lost completely, it's essential that organizations have a workflow to quickly restore Consul as the source of truth for the status of applications and resources in their infrastructure.
New snapshot CLI and APIs provide an easy mechanism for operators to capture and restore the complete state of a Consul cluster. Consul Enterprise adds a new Snapshot service to automatically schedule taking snapshots, sending them off site, and rotating them.
Read on to learn more about snapshot and restore features in this release. You can also read the 0.7.1 change log for details on features like the new key/value store CLI, AWS auto discovery, and more.
Sep 14 2016 James Phillips
We are excited to release Consul 0.7, a major update with many new features and improvements. This release focused on making it easier to operate Consul clusters, and built key foundations for continued operational improvements in future releases.
Consul is a modern datacenter runtime that provides service discovery, configuration, and orchestration capabilities in an easy-to-deploy single binary. It is distributed, highly available, and proven to scale to tens of thousands of nodes with services across multiple datacenters. There are a huge number of features, bug fixes, and improvements in Consul 0.7. Here are some of the highlights:Transactional Key/Value API Consul Operator Improvements Lifeguard ACL Replication
You can download Consul 0.7 here and view the changelog for a complete list of changes.
Read on to learn more about the major new features in 0.7.
May 05 2016 James Phillips
Official Consul Docker Image
We are pleased to announce the release of our official Docker image for Consul. Consul is a modern datacenter runtime that provides service discovery, configuration, and orchestration capabilities.
The official Docker image makes a development or production cluster just one command away for any Docker-powered clusters. Through the review process, we've worked closely with the folks at Docker to iterate and make an image that's safe, intuitive, and easy to use.
Consul is our first tool to have an official Docker image. We’ll be updating the Docker image alongside all new releases of Consul. More HashiCorp tooling will be distributed as Docker images going forward.
Dec 07 2015 James Phillips
We are excited to release Consul 0.6, a major update with many new features and improvements. Consul is a modern datacenter runtime that provides service discovery, configuration, and orchestration capabilities in an easy-to-deploy Go binary. It is distributed, highly available, and proven to scale to tens of thousands of nodes with services across multiple datacenters.
This release has taken a few months to prepare as it involved core changes like migrating to a totally new in-memory database and adding a new network tomography subsystem that spans several internal layers. Despite all the major changes, we've worked hard to make upgrading from Consul 0.5.2 a standard upgrade that will usually just require an agent restart with the new binary.
There are a huge number of features, bug fixes, and improvements in Consul 0.6. Consul is also now 100% pure Go, making it even easier to build and deploy. Here are some of the feature highlights:Network Tomography New In-Memory Database Prepared Queries Enhanced ACLs TCP and Docker Container Health Checks Better Low-Level Network Robustness
You can download Consul 0.6 here or view the changelog
Read on to learn more about the major new features in 0.6.
May 18 2015 Jack Pearkes
Consul in Atlas: Alerts and Monitoring
Today we are proud to announce another feature powered by Consul and Atlas — infrastructure alerts. Operators can receive alerts in Slack, email, PagerDuty, and custom webhooks when there is a status change in a node or service in their infrastructure. Atlas also provides a complete history of alerts, so the state of a cluster through time can be easily visualized.
Consul is a solution for service discovery, health checks, and runtime orchestration for the modern datacenter. It is distributed, highly available, and scalable to thousands of nodes and services across multiple datacenters. Consul's health checks are configurable at both the service and node level. A health check can be as simple as measuring disk utility or as complex as a custom service-level test. Since health checks can use Nagios plugins or native HTTP checks, they are easy to integrate into an existing infrastructure.
Read on to learn more about Consul alerts and see screenshots of the features in action.
Feb 19 2015 Armon Dadgar
We are proud to release Consul 0.5. Consul is a datacenter runtime that provides many of the capabilities needed to run a modern datacenter, such as service discovery, configuration, and orchestration. It's designed to be distributed and highly available and proven to scale to thousands of nodes and services across multiple datacenters.
The last major release of Consul was several months ago and it's incredible stability has allowed us to focus on adding major new features, improving the user experience, and fixing bugs.
Consul 0.5 brings many new features including automated clustering, seamless UI integration via Atlas, enhanced ACLs, simple N+1 deploys, node and service maintenance modes, native HTTP health checks, ephemeral keys, session TTLs, and key rotation among many others.
You can download Consul 0.5 here or view the changelog
Read on to learn more about the major new features in 0.5.
Nov 12 2014 Kevin Fishner
How Lithium Technologies Uses Consul in a Hybrid-Cloud Infrastructure
Lithium Technologies provides a complete social platform to some of the world's most well-known brands across tech, consumer electronics, financial services, retail, and other industries. These brands rely on the Lithium Social Platform to power customer communities, respond to social media conversations, and drive social analytics. The Lithium infrastructure manages complex real-time data ingestion and processing. To meet the needs of customers and plan for long-term growth, Lithium decided to build out a hybrid-cloud infrastructure. Consul enables automated service discovery and load balancing in Lithium's hybrid-cloud environment, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars and significant development time.
Oct 21 2014 Seth Vargo
Introducing Consul Template
Today we are releasing Consul Template, a standalone application that is packed full of amazing new features.
Consul Template queries a Consul instance and updates any number of specified templates on the filesystem. As an added bonus, Consul Template can execute arbitrary commands when a template update completes.
Sep 15 2014 Armon Dadgar
Atomic Multi-Part S3 Uploads with Consul
Vagrant Cloud is a service provided by HashiCorp, and powers a number of features for Vagrant that cannot be done without a server component. One of it's paid features is box hosting, allowing Vagrant boxes to be hosted and managed in Vagrant Cloud. We had received several reports that uploading very large Vagrant boxes would fail reliably, and we spend part of last week resolving this issue. We use S3 as one of our backing stores, and eventually it was discovered that S3 limits the size of a single upload to 5GB.
Sep 05 2014 Armon Dadgar
Today we are proudly releasing Consul 0.4. Consul is a solution for service discovery, configuration, and orchestration. Consul is completely distributed, highly available, and scales to thousands of nodes and services across multiple datacenters.
Consul 0.3 was released two months ago and we've been busy fixing bugs, making improvements, and adding new features.
The major new features added include a fine-grained ACL system, a watch mechanism to invoke callbacks on changes, an event system for custom events such as deploys or service restarts, and remote execution for simplified administration.
Consul 0.4 can be downloaded here, and the full changelog can be viewed here.
Read on to learn more about the major new features in 0.4.
Aug 11 2014 Armon Dadgar
HAProxy with Consul
Consul provides both a DNS and HTTP interface for doing service discovery. This works for broad set of uses, but latency sensitive or high-throughput applications can benefit from reducing the overhead of service discovery by using a client-side load balancer such as HAProxy.
Using consul-haproxy makes it incredibly simple to provide a configuration template for HAProxy and have it dynamically populated based on service information from Consul. This allows HAProxy to be updated seamlessly with zero downtime. While this approach requires a prior configuration, it also reduces the per-request overhead of service discovery.
May 21 2014 Armon Dadgar
Twelve-Factor Applications with Consul
The Twelve-Factor App says that web applications should retrieve their configuration from environmental variables. This practice has been rapidly adopted by modern PaaS services to enable simple configuration changes.
With Consul, it is simple to bring this practice to your own datacenters. If you use a PaaS for some aspects of your infrastructure but not all of it, Consul is a great way to centralize configuration data.
In this post, we show how Consul and envconsul can be used to set configuration values and trigger automatic restarts on configuration changes, all without any modifications to your applications.
Apr 17 2014 Armon Dadgar
Today we announce Consul, a solution for service discovery and configuration. Consul is completely distributed, highly available, and scales to thousands of nodes and services across multiple datacenters.
Some concrete problems Consul solves: finding the services applications need (database, queue, mail server, etc.), configuring services with key/value information such as enabling maintenance mode for a web application, and health checking services so that unhealthy services aren't used. These are just a handful of important problems Consul addresses.
Consul solves the problem of service discovery and configuration. Built on top of a foundation of rigorous academic research, Consul keeps your data safe and works with the largest of infrastructures. Consul embraces modern practices and is friendly to existing DevOps tooling.
Consul is already deployed in very large infrastructures across multiple datacenters and has been running in production for several months. We're excited to share it publicly.
Read on to learn more.