Using Azure to host a docker based Discourse instance


(Wes Osborn) #1

Continuing the discussion from Stupid //discourse.examples.com set up issue:

Could you provide any details on the type of Azure instance you used to set this up? Microsoft has made so many announcements about supporting docker in Azure, but I don’t know if you can actually do anything today other than spin up a Ubuntu VM and then install docker on it. Any details you could share about your Azure setup would be greatly appreciated.

Ideally I’d like to live in a world where we could run our own instance but I didn’t have to maintain a “host” OS.


(Jeff Atwood) #2

Urm, well, Docker works as a thinner veneer over the host OS than traditional VMs… so the host OS matters more, that is why Docker is very hard to use on FreeBSD, the OS is Unix but a significantly different flavor.


(Wes Osborn) #3

Agreed. Which is why I was hoping that some of Microsoft’s docker offerings would abstract the management of the host OS. So they would maintain a fully patched Ubuntu host with aufs for my Docker image and all I had to do was click the upgrade buttons within the Discourse app every once in awhile.

I know, I’m living in a pipe dream. But if they’re not attempting to do that, then I don’t know what the heck they’re up to with the barrage of Docker announcements. Ohh, marketing… they’re up to marketing.

Anyhow @CleverPatrick, let me know if you’ve, uhm, come up with anything, uh, clever regarding Azure + Docker + Discourse.


(Patrick Burrows) #4

I’m just running a standard A1 ubuntu virtual machine. Nothing special. I have no load on this either (since I am just starting out), and no real scaling.

I don’t think my traffic will ever require multiple instances because of traffic, but multiple instances for fault tolerance is always a good idea. But I’m not sure how well the default install would ever scale to multiple instances. I think if you spun up a second instance of this VM, that you’d wind up with two databases – that obviously wouldn’t be ideal.

I think if you wanted to make Discourse scale across multiple front end webservers, you wouldn’t be able to use the default Docker install. I may very well be talking out of my ass, though.

And as for Ubuntu patching and the like, I truly have no idea. Obviously that is something I will need to figure out. Auto-updates or something.


(Wes Osborn) #5

Thanks for getting back in touch. A standard VM won’t help us much, we have excess local resources, we’re just trying to get out of the business of maintaining a Linux VM since all other 50+ servers we maintain are Windows servers.

Sounds like I’ll have to keep playing the waiting game to see if some different shakes out with Azure (or another provider like: https://www.orchardup.com/ ). We’re also just a bit too small (around 250 users) to fit into any of the Discourse hosting plans or we’d probably go that route.

This topic has some info about enabling auto-updates for Ubuntu:


(Jeff Atwood) #6

Just follow the multiple container install we have documented in our primary install doc…