Introduction

The purpose of this Lab is to introduce Continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) as a modern approach to managing the entire life cycle of writing, updating, and delivering applications with NGINX.

With CI/CD, everything from bug fixes to major feature changes are delivered to users on an ongoing basis.

The byword of CI/CD is automation - the key factor that enables both integration and delivery to be continuous. Once code is solid, the goal is to eliminate the need for human intervention between the submission of code for integration and the delivery of the same code into the production environment.

NGINX and NGINX Plus agile and lightweight design make them extremely easy to be deployed in a consistent CI/CD process.

NGINX native configuration language is only flat files organized in logical folder structures; this makes keeping a source of truth for NGINX configurations in source control trivial. Furthermore, NGINX and NGINX Plus can be deployed in various form factors (Virtual Machine, Bare Metal, Cloud platforms, and Containers) which allows the NGINX artifact of a CI/CD process to be:

  • NGINX configurations files - organized in logical files and folders like any other code language
  • Docker Container
  • Virtual Machine image - e.g., OVF, OVA, qcow2, propriety cloud images, etc.
  • Any Other PaaS or IaaS manifests - e.g., Kubernetes manifests, Packer, Terraform, etc.

This Lab guide will help you complete the following:

  1. Creating NGINX Plus Docker container images through a CICD process and using a private repository for NGINX Plus container images
  2. Deploying NGINX Plus Web Server through a CICD process
  3. Deploying NGINX Plus Load Balancer server through a CICD process

CICD flowchart

Below is a diagram of a generic CICD Pipeline to deliver applications on NGINX Plus

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Getting Started

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The infrastructure is all ready for you. GitLab-CE Server, Gitlab Runner, NGINX Plus, Client JumpHost, Staging, and Production environment are all setup.

The JumpHost (Windows) is already set up all the tools required to edit and commit changes to our Dockerfiles, example “Appster” Web Application and NGINX Plus configurations. Run all lab activites from the JumpHost

The Chrome web browser has been set up with bookmarks to all the web applications you need for this lab.

Shell access to the Staging and Production environment is required for one excercise and is useful to look “under the hood” of deployments to Linux servers in a live environment.

Lab Topology and Credentials

The lab environment consists of the following components. This is only for your information, and we will not be accessing all these servers during this lab

Infrastructure Machines:

  • JumpHost Windows Server 2012 R2. RDP Access
  • Staging Server - CentOS 7 Docker host. HTTP – port 81, SSH
  • Production Server - CentOS 7 Docker host. HTTP – port 81-84, SSH
  • Gitlab-CE Server - CentOS 7. HTTP 80, SSH
  • Gitlab Runner Server - CentOS 7 Docker host/ SSH
  • BIND DNS Server - CentOS 7. SSH

We will be required to access the following systems and web pages during this lab

Component Access Credentials
JumpHost Windows Server 2012 R2 RDP Access user / user
GitLab GUI http://10.1.1.5, SSH udf / P@ssw0rd20
Staging Server - Appster http://10.1.1.11, SSH centos / (private key)
Production Server - Appster Four backend (containers):- Appster-blue http://10.1.1.11: 81- Appster-green http://10.1.1.11: 82- Appster-yellow http://10.1.1.11: 83- Appster-red http://10.1.1.11: 84 SSH access centos / (private key)

To get started with the lab exercises, open an RDP session to the Windows server 2012 JumpHost > Access > RDP

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To get an open a preset screen resolution RDP session click on Details > RDP > [Select an RDP screen resolution]

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Note

When prompted for your User Account details, enter: user/user

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The Windows JumpHost is now ready for the lab

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Important

Run all lab activites from the Windows JumpHost