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CIB Lite

This blog provides a brief overview of the FatFractal Cloud-In-A-Box Lite (CIB Lite) evaluation, why you would want to kick the tires on it, some instructions on getting started with it, and where we are going with it.

What the heck is this thing?

CIB Lite is a diluted snapshot of the FatFractal Cloud Platform (FCP) that has been packaged into an Open Virtualization Formatted (OVF) image. The image includes a configured operating system (Ubuntu 12.04 LTS), Linux Containers (LXC), FCP, and all the necessary services (i.e., ElasticSearch). The OVF image was generated using VMware WorkStation 10.0.1 and has been packaged as a turnkey environment. We wanted to make the evaluation process as simple as importing the OVF image and powering on the instance and it doesn’t get any easier than that. Another requirement we had was that the evaluator be able to exercise the process from their desktop using a virtualization client. There are several free and pay for virtualization clients available for all the common environments (i.e., Mac, Windows, Linux, etc.), however, we recommend VMware Fusion, Player, or WorkStation as we have tested with them.

From a high level the CIB Lite looks like this -

The FCP has been diluted down to include components such that the following functionality can exercised –

  • Register users
  • Create domain and contexts
  • Deploy fully functional NoServer, Ruby, or Servlet applications
  • View or fetch logs
  • Upload blobs
  • Run the FCP in a fully functional and secure environment

The FCP Dashboard will be included at a later date which will allow the administrator to manage the environment (i.e., LXC, Services, FCP components, and etc.) from the browser.

Why the heck would you want to kick the tires on it?

The CIB Lite was purposely designed to deliver limited functionality in the easiest manner possible to give the evaluator a quick and painless way to kick the tires and decide if they would want to evaluate the CIB Enterprise which is more complicated and has dependencies on infrastructure services.  

Why should the evaluator have to provision a machine (virtual or native) or machines, install something like OpenStack and configure it to simply exercise some of the FCP’s BaaS and PaaS functionality? We figure if the experience with the CIB Lite is a pleasant one and the basic functionality is what the evaluator  is looking for then they will be more compelled to make the investment necessary to evaluate the CIB Enterprise.

How the heck do I get started with it?

1. Download the CIB Lite from here.

2. X-tar and gunzip ovf.tar.gz.

3. chmod -R 744 ovf (not necessary on Windows)

4. Import the ovf into your virtualization client.

5. Power on your VM (created by the import).

Once your VM powers up you will see the CIB Lite splash (next to the Ubuntu login) which will point you to instructions (accessible via the browser) and what your CIB Lite IP address is.

6. On your desktop edit your /etc/hosts (windows C:WindowsSystem32driversetchosts) and add the following entries.

your_cib_lite_ip        acme.ffcib.com

your_cib_lite_ip        system.ffcib.com

We are going to rely on host name resolution via the hosts file.

7. Let’s test the CIB Lite with an existing application.

Point the browser on your desktop to http://acme.ffcib.com/hoodyoodoo/index.html.

If the hoodyoodoo application appears in your browser things are going well.

8. Let’s deploy an application.

8.1 If you don’t have the FatFractal development runtime please download it from here and add the FatFractal_Runtime/bin directory to your path. To test your runtime installation enter ‘ffef’ from the shell command line and you should see the ‘ffef’ options. You will need to create the application that you want to deploy, see the getting started docs for NoServer, Ruby or Java/Servlets apps.

If you do have an existing FatFractal development runtime, rename or remove the .pem file that is located in the conf/ directory.

8.2 In the shell that you will be using to deploy your application add the following variable to your environment.

export FF_FABRIC_DOMAIN ffcib.com

or on windows

set FF_FABRIC_DOMAIN=ffcib.com

8.3 Register an account and create the application domain and context.

Point your browser to http://system.ffcib.com/console/application.html and register. Once you have registered you will be put into a workflow that will allow you to create a domain and context.

8.4 Add the entry below into your hosts file.

your_cib_lite_ip    your_application_domain.ffcib.com

8.5 Enter the command below to deploy your application to the CIB Lite.

ffef deployFFFabric

NOTE: You need to be in the directory where you scaffolded your application.

8.6 Test your application deployment.

Point your desktop application to http://your_application_domain.ffcib.com/your_application_context/index.html

You should see your application appear in the browser.

Where the heck are we going with this thing?

The FatFractal CIB targets specifically Enterprise private or hybrid cloud charters that need BaaS and PaaS functionality. The FatFractal CIB is a public offering battle tested solution that developers love and gives the Enterprise an off the shelf alternative so they don’t have to build the functionality themselves. FatFractal is constantly adding BaaS and PaaS features to their public offering and rolling them back into the FatFractal CIB. Enterprises can only benefit from the existing foundation of the public offering, constant improvements, and the ability to extend the platform for their own special needs.

From a high level the CIB Enterprise looks like this -

Have fun and let us know what you think of the CIB Lite!

- The FatFractal Team -