15 minutes with Docker Swarm Mode

With the dust from DockerCon still settling I wanted to kick the tires on the announcement that got me most excited — Docker Swarm Mode.

What is Docker Swarm Mode?

Starting in version 1.12, Docker native clustering will come packaged with Docker Engine. So you can create and manage swarm clusters and the services deployed to that cluster.

They have also gone the extra mile and handled security, networking, state and cluster initialization just to sweeten the deal. If you’re not excited about this, you should be!

For some additional fodder a great Youtube video here to get your feet wet.


Why is this exciting might you ask? I come from a year running production workloads on other container orchestration engines (COEs). One of the biggest inhibiters to current COEs was the cost of entry. You require “experts” to build, run and maintain the infrastructure. This is cool, if you have experts around, but what if you don’t? Should that be a requirement?

Docker really upped the ante when they announced Docker Swarm Mode as it really simplifies the on-boarding and delivery of the COE. This message is consistent across all Docker products. Make great tools that are easy to use and more importantly, don’t get in your way.

15 minutes

As with all my 15 minutes with blogs, my goal is simple. See if I can deliver my test app on the system with no prior knowledge.

My App

A simple GO webserver that serves the most awesome game in the world — Croc Hunter! As featured at the OpenStack Tokyo Summit Keynote (27m).

For those following at home

Here is the command script.

Installation (5 minutes)

Nothing too hard here. I just followed their documentation. By the way — hats off to the Docker team, their documentation is always rock solid. This was way too easy given that I was building a complete cluster. I want the weight of that sentence to have some impact…

I work on a Mac so here’s what I needed.

  • Docker for Mac (Beta) — This drops Docker 1.12 on your Mac
  • Docker-machine — Docker toolkit
  • A home for your host machines. I used AWS.

App Deployment


Docker Swarm Mode surpassed my expectations. This is a potential game changer for those looking to have lightweight COE without the burden of having to run one. Well done Docker. I’m impressed!