January 2017 Product Update

Written by JP La Torre

Significant changes and improvements are coming to Caylent as part of our upcoming v2 release. We’ve introduced a number of new features and updates that we hope you’ll love.

On February 14, 2017 we will be relocating the v1 API URL and discontinuing support for it. The API and web app will be moved to api.app.legacy.caylent.com/v1/ and app.legacy.caylent.com, respectively. We do not anticipate any disruption to stacks that have already been deployed.

Beta v2 will continue to be hosted at app.caylent.com.

Important Note: When we make this switch over, we will be resetting our production database. Unfortunately, the nature of some of the changes was structural, making a database migration effectively impossible. This means if you previously had an account, you will need to register a new one. It will not affect your place in the waitlist. We apologize for any inconvenience.

 

App Collections (feature)

We are introducing Application Collections, which are essentially groups of containers that form an entire application (i.e. API, backend, or website). An App Collection could be a single container, or more likely dozens or even hundreds of containers that share a common parent.

App Collections and Stacks can form interconnecting many-to-many relationships. For example, an App Collection can be associated with multiple Stacks, and a Stack can be associated with many App Collections. This gives users the flexibility to deploy multiple Swarm clusters to the same infrastructure.

 

Stacks & Environments (update)

Stacks and Environments are infrastructure, plain and simple. EC2 servers are the bread and butter, but stacks also include load balancers, EBS-backed storage, and other stuff needed to run Docker Swarm.

Every stack includes an environment tag that helps identify it, like Development, QA, Staging, or Production.

 

Stack Services (update)

A service is a collection of resources that expose a particular feature. Examples include Docker Swarm, RDS, Elastic Load Balancers, etc.

 

Databases (update)

We now officially support all databases available within RDS including MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, Oracle, amongst others. High Availability is the default on these databases.

Backup retention period is 35 days by default (the maximum), but can be changed through our API.

 

Docker Swarm (feature)

We now fully support Docker v1.12+ and Docker Swarm. Docker Swarm is at the heart of every stack and the Swarm is initialized automatically when the stack is launched.

A stack, by default, always runs Docker Swarm and can be configured with 1, 3, or 5 managers. The managers are separated into their own fixed auto-scaling group (ASG) which allows for automated recovery.

The worker nodes are deployed into their own dynamic ASG, which allows for load-based scaling and recovery.

 

Continuous Delivery (feature)

We’re excited to introduce a simple but powerful way for our users to achieve Continuous Delivery.

Users can now map container image tags to specific stacks (i.e. ‘latest’ should deploy to Production). We can also recognize regex patterns which, for example, allow for all container builds to be deployed to a particular stack (i.e. ‘*’ should deploy to Development). You can also do combinations (i.e. ‘QA-*’ can deploy all builds with a QA- prefix to the QA stack).

We’ll do a follow up blog post with more tips and best practices around CD and how you can leverage Caylent do version promotion across environments by re-tagging builds with or without a CI server.

 

App Wizard (GUI feature)

When we launched our alpha in June, our original cohort of users asked for a better onboarding experience. They wanted a wizard that would make it easier to launch their apps.

We are introducing the App Wizard as a way of quickly launching App Collections and deploying all of the resources inside of them.

This effectively replaces our drag-and-drop Canvas, and we believe the result is a more user-friendly way to setup and deploy Docker containers, infrastructure, and continuous delivery pipelines.

 

Bug Fixes & Improvements

Beginning with v2 of our API, users can now:

  • PATCH /cloud-provider-credentials endpoint added
  • GET /stacks/{{stackUuid}}/resources to see what’s attached to a stack
  • POST /networks
  • PATCH /applications/{{appCollectionUuid}}
  • POST /app-collections/[[appCollectionUuid}}/add
  • PATCH /applications/{{appUuid}} to change dependencies, image_uri, and name of existing applications (i.e. containers)
  • Improved two-step password reset
  • GET /accounts for user details

An Instance size bug where user-defined instance sizes could be previously overwritten is now fixed.
Additionally, we are migrating to API Gateway for improved reliability and access management.

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