nomad

HashiCorp Nomad Multi-Cluster Deployment

As enterprises around the globe are accelerating their transition to a dynamic, multi-cloud infrastructure model, they are facing increasing challenges of managing distributed applications across multiple datacenters and clouds. Federation has been instrumental in turning organizations' multi-cloud vision into reality. It enables one single unified monitoring and control plane for deploying and managing applications across multiple clouds and datacenters — a vision the industry has been chasing for many years.

With the release of HashiCorp Nomad 0.12, we are excited to introduce our breakthrough Multi-Cluster Deployment capability, which makes Nomad the first and only orchestrator on the market with complete and fully-supported federation capabilities for production. The Multi-Cluster Deployment capability is available as part of an add-on module in Nomad Enterprise.

Nomad Enterprise 0.12 multi-cluster deployments enable organizations to deploy applications seamlessly to federated Nomad clusters with configurable rollout and rollback strategies. It achieves simple and elegant federated deployments without the architectural complexity and overhead of running clusters on clusters.

Key benefits of this feature:

  • High availability: Deploy an application to multiple datacenters or cloud regions in an active/active pattern so your most critical applications never go down.
  • Built-in Flexibility: Not all applications are the same. Configurable rollout and rollback strategies allow organizations to accommodate all types of business SLAs and policies.
  • No Setup Needed: Federate Nomad clusters with single CLI command and start deploying multi-cluster applications with minimal tweaks in the job spec. No namespaces, topology, or configuration changes required.
  • Fully Supported by HashiCorp: Nomad’s multi-cluster federation capabilities are fully supported by HashiCorp.

To watch a live demo of this new feature, please register below.

Live Demo

Support for cluster federation has been available since early versions of open source Nomad. Federated Nomad clusters enable users to submit jobs targeting any region, from any server, even if that server resides in a different region. But prior to Nomad 0.12, coordinating deployments between regions fell to the operator. Users had to write their own automation to generate a job for each region, monitor the health of the deployment, and make decisions as to whether to continue or rollback.

The new Nomad Enterprise Multi-Cluster Deployment functionality allows you to submit a single job to multiple clusters (Nomad refers to each cluster as a “region”). The rollout across regions is coordinated so that each region’s deployment progress depends on the health of the other region deployments.

» The ‘multiregion’ Stanza

You can create a multi-region deployment job by adding a multiregion stanza to the job as shown below.

multiregion {

  strategy {
    max_parallel = 1
    on_failure   = "fail_all"
  }

  region "west" {
    count       = 2
    datacenters = ["west-1"]
    meta {
      "my-key": "W"
    }
  }

  region "east" {
    count       = 1
    datacenters = ["east-1", "east-2"]
    meta {
      "my-key": "E"
    }
  }

}

» Parameters:

  • The strategy block enables you to control how many regions to deploy at once with the max_parallel field, and what to do if one of the regions fails to deploy with the on_failure field.
  • The region blocks are the ordered list of Nomad regions. The contents of the region block are interpolated into each region's copy of the job. If a task group specifies a count = 0, its count will be replaced with the count field of the region. The datacenters field will determine which Nomad datacenters within the region to deploy to. And the meta block can provide region-specific metadata to be merged with the job's main meta stanza.

» Rollout Strategy

Federated Nomad clusters are members of the same gossip cluster but not the same raft cluster; they don't share their data stores or participate in a complicated "cluster of clusters" arrangement. Each region in a multi-region deployment gets an independent copy of the job, parameterized with the values of the region stanza. Nomad regions coordinate to rollout each region's deployment using rules determined by the strategy stanza.

In a multi-region deployment, regions begin in a "pending" state. Up to max_parallel regions will run the deployment independently. By default, Nomad will deploy all regions simultaneously.

$ nomad job status -region east example
...
Latest Deployment
ID          = d74a086b
Status      = pending
Description = Deployment is pending, waiting for peer region

Multiregion Deployment
Region  ID        Status
east    d74a086b  pending
west    48fccef3  running

Deployed
Task Group  Auto Revert  Desired  Placed  Healthy  Unhealthy  Progress Deadline
cache       true         1        0       0        0          N/A

Allocations
No allocations placed

Once each region completes, it checks its place within the set of regions and the state of the other region deployments and decides whether it needs to hand off to the next region. It will block waiting for the peer regions to complete. When the last region has completed the deployment, the final region will unblock all the other regions to mark them as successful.

$ nomad job status -region west example
...
Latest Deployment
ID          = 48fccef3
Status      = blocked
Description = Deployment is complete but waiting for peer region

Multiregion Deployment
Region  ID        Status
east    d74a086b  running
west    48fccef3  blocked

Deployed
Task Group  Auto Revert  Desired  Placed  Healthy  Unhealthy  Progress Deadline
cache       true         2        2       0        0          2020-06-17T13:35:49Z

Allocations
ID        Node ID   Task Group  Version  Desired  Status   Created  Modified
44b3988a  4786abea  cache       0        run      running  14s ago  13s ago
7c8a2b80  4786abea  cache       0        run      running  13s ago  12s ago

» Failure Is Always an Option

If a region's deployment fails, the behavior depends on the on_failure field of the strategy stanza. You can choose to allow a region to fail all the remaining regions (the default), to only mark itself as failed ("fail_local"), or to fail all the peer regions, including rolling back those that have completed if the job has the auto_revert field set on its update stanza.

The example shows the default value of on_failure. Because max_parallel = 1, the "north" region will deploy first, followed by "south", and so on. But supposing the "east" region failed, both the "east" region and the "west" region would be marked failed. Because the job has an update stanza with auto_revert=true, both regions would then rollback to the previous job version.

The "north" and "south" regions would remain blocked until an operator intervenes by deploying a new version of the job or with the new nomad deployment unblock command.

multiregion {

  strategy {
    on_failure = ""
    max_parallel = 1
  }

  region "north" {}
  region "south" {}
  region "east" {}
  region "west" {}
}

update {
  auto_revert = true
}

» Getting Started

We're releasing Nomad's Enterprise Multi-Cluster Deployments feature as part of the Multi-Cluster and Efficiency Module in Nomad Enterprise 0.12. Learn more about Multi-Cluster Deployments at the HashiCorp Learn website. To start a free trial of Nomad Enterprise, please sign up here.


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