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Containerized packaging of Network Administration Visualized (using Docker Compose)
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README.md

Containerized NAV distribution

This project aims to package NAV for containerized production distribution, using Docker and docker-compose, which could later be used as a basis for deploying on Kubernetes.

How to build and run

These commands should be sufficient to get things up and running using Docker Compose:

make
docker-compose up

This should bring up various containers, for NAV, PostgreSQL and Graphite. These will have various data and log directories mounted under the data/ directory.

How it's organized

The nav container includes all NAV backend processes and the NAV web interfaces served through Apache2/mod_wsgi (using NAV's supplied Apache example config). Supervisord is used to start and supervise all NAV services (and Apache and cron), thereby bypassing NAV's builtin service manager. Once you go container-based, it doesn't make much sense to control individual NAV services by starting up a shell process inside an existing container to do so.

A fully distributed/scalable Graphite infrastructure is not provided, but the two minimum requirements of a carbon-cache daemon and a graphite-web interface is provided by two separate containers. These two containers will share a storage volume mounted from a third container. NAV's recommended configuration for carbon storage schemas and aggregation rules are installed into the carbon-cache image directly from the NAV source code.

https://github.com/Banno/graphite-setup was a good inspiration, and should be looked at if you want to scale out your Graphite install.

The postgres container is a bog standard postgres image from the Docker Hub.

Configuration

The NAV container will accept various basic and necessary options as environment variables. The rest of the NAV config must either be manipulated through editing the files inside the running container, or mounting the config files from external media.

Variable Description
PGHOST PostgreSQL server host name or IP
PGPORT PostgreSQL server port
PGDATABASE PostgreSQL database name where NAV can store data
PGUSER Username used to access the PostgreSQL database
PGPASSWORD Password to use for the PostgreSQL user
NOINITDB If set to 1, the container will assume the database has already been created externally and will only run schema updates against it. If set to 0, the container will assume it can access PostgreSQL as the postgres superuser without a password and attempt to create the database and user
SKIPDBTEST If set to 1, the container will skip all PostgreSQL connection wait and schema init or schema sync steps
CARBONPORT The port number of the carbon backend
GRAPHITEWEB The URL to the graphite-web interface

These variables from nav.conf can also be supplied as environment variables:

Variable
ADMIN_MAIL
DEFAULT_FROM_EMAIL
SECRET_KEY
EMAIL_HOST
EMAIL_PORT
EMAIL_HOST_USER
EMAIL_HOST_PASSWORD
EMAIL_USE_TLS
DOMAIN_SUFFIX
DJANGO_DEBUG
TIME_ZONE

Using an existing database dump

If you wish to bootstrap your NAV installation from an existing database dump (made from the navpgdump program), you can do so by mounting the dump file to the nav container as /database.sql. The database will be initialized with this as the baseline the first time the container is started.

Ideas for future improvement

  • Apache may be replaced by nginx
  • The entire web app should maybe just provide a WSGI interface using uwsgi, so that one can configure one's own user-facing nginx proxy with SSL in front of it.
  • What to do about accessing the various configuration options spread throughout NAV's configuration files? Only options affecting access to external services such as PostgreSQL and Graphite are supported so far. Configuring an SMTP relay server, a domain, etc. should also be in there.
  • memcache integration is a must for production use of graphite-web.
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