Making multiple server Storm setups easy, in Docker
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This repository makes it easy to run distributed, multiple server (multiple Zookeeper, multiple Storm Supervisor) Storm topologies within Docker.

Read our storm-docker blog post on the Viki Engineering blog

More documentation on Github pages:

What's Special?

If we do a search of the word storm on the Docker Registry, we see several pages of results. What makes our storm-docker special compared to similar offerings?

  1. Supports multiple server Storm setups, in particular Zookeeper and Storm Supervisor.
  2. High level of configurability through documented sample configuration files
  3. Same configuration files used for all machines in the Storm cluster
  4. Instructions on this README showing you how to setup the repository
  5. Important parts of codebase is extensively documented to aid hacking. No need to guess what the original author is thinking.
  6. Github pages with more documentation; a slight redesign and walkthrough is in the works
  7. Tested and used in production.

Point 1 is probably the single biggest reason why you should use our storm-docker, even if you're running everything on a single machine initially (which storm-docker does support, btw). When you need to add new machines to your Storm cluster, you'll find the transition smooth and leverage on the work we did in figuring out how to run multiple Zookeeper and Storm Supervisor in Docker.

At this point in time (23 June 2014), our storm-docker repository is probably the first and only open source Docker setup that supports distributed, multi-server Storm clusters out of the box.

Important Note on machines in your Storm cluster

The storm-docker project is tested using Amazon EC2 instances; we make use of the curl command to obtain the public and private IP addresses of the machines. This may be a problem for machines which are not Amazon EC2 instances (even though we have not faced any similar issues at Viki), as seen by this Github issue:

As such, please use one of the following 2 setups for the machines in your Storm cluster if you're using the storm-docker project:

  1. None of the machines in your Storm cluster are Amazon EC2 instances
  2. ALL the machines in your Storm cluster are Amazon EC2 instances in the same security group

Refer to the documentation for the all_machines_are_ec2_instances key in the config/storm-setup.yaml.sample file for more information.

System Requirements

The following software is required for running the storm-docker repository. In other words, for machines which are going to form your Storm cluster:

  • GNU Make
  • Docker
  • python 2.7.x
  • virtualenv

Software Setup

NOTE: The steps here must be carried out for all machines in your Storm cluster.

Python setup

We will be making use of virtualenv for some of the Python scripts in this repository. We also make use of the PyYAML library, and that requires some Python header files.

On a Ubuntu-like system:

sudo apt-get install python-virtualenv
sudo apt-get install python-dev

Install Docker

Use the following command from the top of the script at to install Docker

wget -qO- | bash

Verify your Docker installation:

docker info

Cloning this repository

Clone this repository, preferrably to $HOME/workspace/storm-docker. At $HOME/workspace:

git clone

The next few commands will be run from the storm-docker repository. Let us go there:

cd storm-docker


NOTE: The steps here must be carried out for all machines of your Storm cluster unless otherwise stated.

Configuring the Storm setup

NOTE: This step is critical to the correct functioning of the Storm topology.

NOTE: storm-docker assumes that all machines in the Storm cluster make use of the same configuration files. As such, you can perform this step of editing the configuration files once (on any machine) and copy the files to all the machines of your Storm cluster.

Copy the sample configuration files to concrete configuration files (the script does not overwrite any existing concrete configuration files):


Carry on by editing the following concrete configuration files:

  • config/storm-setup.yaml
  • config/cluster.xml
  • config/zoo.cfg

Documentation is available in the copied concrete configuration files, except the config/cluster.xml file used for logback configuration. A default set of configuration has been set; for more fine-grained configuration, we highly recommend reading The logback manual.

Once done with your edits, we can continue with building the Docker images.

Building the Docker images

NOTE: This step is necessary after making changes to any of the configuration files in the above subsection.

Run the GNU make command. The default goal builds the Docker images:


If this is the first time the Docker images are being built, this script will take some time to complete.

Running the Storm components

Run the Docker containers

Before actually running the various Docker containers, you might want to verify that all servers used in various sections of the config/storm-setup.yaml file are listed under the servers dictionary (located in the same file) by running the scripts/ script:

. venv/bin/activate
python scripts/

Warnings will be printed to stderr should some servers be missing from the servers dictionary.

As at 26 December 2014, it is highly recommended to run the scripts/ file to automatically spin up the various Docker containers on your Storm cluster (instead of manually running the script on each server), like this:

. venv/bin/activate
python scripts/ --all

Fabric is used to run the script on the various servers and spin up the correct Docker containers, depending on your configuration in the config/storm-setup.yaml file.

Stopping Docker containers

To stop all running Docker containers:


To stop individual containers, supply them as arguments to the script, for instance to stop the ui and zookeeper containers:

./ ui zookeeper


This project was started to address the need to increase the scalability and fault tolerance of Viki's Storm cluster. A lot of effort was spent figuring out how to run multiple Storm Supervisor and Zookeeper in Docker.

This repository should be viewed more as a foundation on which you can build on for running your Storm cluster in Docker, rather than as a defacto standard for running Storm in Docker.

To better aid someone new to the codebase to understanding and subsequently modifying the code, much of the core Python code contains rather extensive inline documentation.


This repository was originally based on wurstmeister/storm-docker; big thanks to wurstmeister for making his project open source.