Athens Running on Zeit
Oct 24, 2018
Aaron Schlesinger
6 minute read

I’ve been a long time admirer-er of Zeit. Besides the technical part (which is really good), their platform gives people really easy, understandable and (most importantly) trustworthy tools to get a real app into production. I’ve wanted something like this to exist for Kubernetes for a while (I even wrote about that, but I digress.)

The platform was for just Node applications for a while, but containers are a thing y’all, and Zeit lets you deploy them to its platform now (they announced it mid August.) It does all the same stuff as it does for Node, but with Docker:

  1. Write a Dockerfile
  2. Run now
  3. Profit

There’s a ton going on there in step 2, but the basics:

  • Push the Dockerfile and context up to Zeit
  • Zeit does the docker build on their infrastructure
  • Zeit pushes the image to their registry (I assume they run an internal registry but no idea really)
  • Zeit pulls the image into their serving infrastructure, configures it, does routing, checks if you paid and gives you all the amazing hardware if you have and otherwise runs you on a RaspberryPi and runs your image on their servers

I mean, I’ve blogged about ACR Builds before, but this is next level. One command gives you everything.

Athens-ing it Up

There’s this rad project I know about. Something about Go and dependencies IDK but it has a Dockerfile and you can do cool stuff with it. So why not see if Zeit can handle this beast??

I had to tweak the Dockerfile a little bit because the CLI (now) doesn’t let you specify custom Dockerfile locations (I don’t think???) but that was pretty much it (check out the PR.) Now I can do this:

➜  athens git:(zeit-now) now --docker
> Deploying ~/github/athens under arschles
> Your deployment's code and logs will be publicly accessible because you are subscribed to the OSS plan.

> NOTE: You can use `now --public` or upgrade your plan ( to skip this prompt
> [in clipboard] (sfo1) [5s]
> Building…
> Sending build context to Docker daemon  37.83MB
> Step 1/16 : FROM golang:1.11-alpine AS builder
>  ---> 95ec94706ff6
> Step 2/16 : RUN mkdir /proj
>  ---> Using cache
>  ---> 7690d95ac3b4
> Step 3/16 : WORKDIR /proj
>  ---> Using cache
>  ---> 89a1e2d291ec
> Step 4/16 : COPY . .
>  ---> 6fdf77ac18ec
> Step 5/16 : ENV GO111MODULE=on
>  ---> Running in 61601842b526
> Removing intermediate container 61601842b526
>  ---> 75be7b20b225
> Step 6/16 : ENV GOPROXY=
>  ---> Running in 8e92f2e31291
> Removing intermediate container 8e92f2e31291
>  ---> 8f7e12c7fef4
> Step 7/16 : RUN GO111MODULE=on CGO_ENABLED=0 go build -o /bin/athens-proxy ./cmd/proxy
>  ---> Running in b25589823d39
> go: finding v1.7.0
> go: finding v0.0.0-20160126235308-23def4e6c14b
> go: finding v6.0.5+incompatible
> go: finding v0.0.0-20180802151833-446ff26e108b
> go: finding v1.0.2
> go: downloading v1.46.0
> go: downloading v1.5.0
> go: downloading v0.13.1
> go: downloading v0.0.0-20181005190816-ff9db2ff917f
> go: downloading v1.0.0
> Removing intermediate container b25589823d39
>  ---> d61630e38cd9
> Step 8/16 : FROM alpine
>  ---> 196d12cf6ab1
> Step 9/16 : ENV GO111MODULE=on
>  ---> Using cache
>  ---> cd147951c9a7
> Step 10/16 : COPY --from=builder /bin/athens-proxy /bin/athens-proxy
>  ---> Using cache
>  ---> a462fc7bd78b
> Step 11/16 : COPY --from=builder /proj/ /config/config.toml
>  ---> 3c99d68507fe
> Step 12/16 : COPY --from=builder /usr/local/go/bin/go /bin/go
>  ---> bcac2f09281a
> Step 13/16 : RUN apk update &&      apk add --no-cache bzr git mercurial openssh-client subversion procps fossil &&     mkdir -p /usr/local/go
>  ---> Running in 49fd4fa48969
> fetch
> fetch
> v3.8.1-38-g898a0bb28a []
> v3.8.1-35-ga062ffc9e8 []
> OK: 9539 distinct packages available
> fetch
> fetch
> (1/33) Installing libbz2 (1.0.6-r6)
> (2/33) Installing expat (2.2.5-r0)
> (3/33) Installing libffi (3.2.1-r4)
> (4/33) Installing gdbm (1.13-r1)
> (5/33) Installing ncurses-terminfo-base (6.1_p20180818-r1)
> Executing subversion-1.10.0-r0.pre-install
> Executing busybox-1.28.4-r1.trigger
> Executing ca-certificates-20171114-r3.trigger
> OK: 123 MiB in 46 packages
> Removing intermediate container 49fd4fa48969
>  ---> e8a15877e355
> Step 14/16 : ENV GO_ENV=production
>  ---> Running in ac91ac08096a
> Removing intermediate container ac91ac08096a
>  ---> 096f14de684e
> Step 15/16 : EXPOSE 3000
>  ---> Running in eb60ce775db6
> Removing intermediate container eb60ce775db6
>  ---> 0075a1cdb3c5
> Step 16/16 : CMD ["athens-proxy", "-config_file=/config/config.toml"]
>  ---> Running in 33e543286967
> Removing intermediate container 33e543286967
>  ---> 211b19e9d4a4
> Successfully built 211b19e9d4a4
> Successfully tagged build:RWio8EYjdNbuK5HXd31rKHAp_1540411816
> ▲ Assembling image
> ▲ Storing image (64.0M)
> Build completed
> Verifying instantiation in sfo1
> [0] buffalo: Unless you set SESSION_SECRET env variable, your session storage is not protected!
> [0] time="2018-10-24T20:12:29Z" level=info msg="Exporter not specified. Traces won't be exported"
> [0] buffalo: Starting application at :3000
> ✔ Scaled 1 instance in sfo1 [14s]
> Success! Deployment ready

That’s using a multi stage build to build Athens inside a Dockerfile, on Zeit’s infrastructure. And I inception-ed it because I used a hosted Athens module proxy to build Athens itself inside the build, on Zeit’s infrastructure.

Here’s what it looks like after it’s deployed:

➜  athens git:(zeit-now) now list
> 5 total deployments found under arschles [314ms]
> To list more deployments for an app run `now ls [app]`

  app       url                         inst #    type      state    age
  athens         -    DOCKER    READY    4m

There’s a UI for all this on the site too. They even stream build logs to the site too #AMAZE

Trying it Out

So basically I ran a few commands and got a ton of output on the CLI. Machines are doing my bidding; success!

Now that it’s running, I wanted to see how it performed. I started small with bld (blog post for background on that tool if you’re interested):

➜  bld git:(master) export GOPROXY=
➜  bld git:(master) sudo rm -r $GOPATH/pkg/mod
➜  bld git:(master) time go build
go: finding v1.4.0
go: finding v2.3.3+incompatible
go: finding v0.0.3
go: finding v1.0.0
go: finding v0.0.3
go: finding v1.2.1
go: finding v1.1.6
go: finding v2.3.5+incompatible
go: finding v1.0.3
go: finding v1.8.0
go: finding v2.2.1
go: finding v1.4.7
go: finding v0.3.0
go: finding v0.0.0-20180906133057-8cf3aee42992
go: finding v1.2.0
go: finding v1.0.0
go: finding v1.0.0
go: finding v1.0.2
go: finding v0.0.0-20161208181325-20d25e280405
go: finding v1.1.2
go: finding v1.2.0
go: finding v1.0.0
go: finding v1.1.1
go: downloading v1.2.1
go: downloading v0.0.3
go: downloading v1.0.0
go: downloading v1.4.0
go: downloading v1.0.0
go: downloading v1.0.0
go: downloading v1.2.0
go: downloading v2.2.1
go: downloading v1.0.0
go: downloading v1.8.0
go: downloading v1.4.7
go: downloading v1.0.3
go: downloading v1.2.0
go: downloading v1.1.2
go: downloading v0.0.0-20180906133057-8cf3aee42992
go: downloading v0.3.0
go build  4.97s user 2.06s system 7% cpu 1:32.16 total

So, that kinda took a while. Building Athens itself took forever as well (about 6:30), but there are a few reasons for that, and ways to get big ole speedups from experience hosting Athens:

  1. Run this with more than one instance
  2. Hook this up to external storage
    • You’d need to do this for #1 to work anyway
    • This is using local disk and I have no idea what or how fast that is on Zeit
  3. Pre-seed the Athens cache with things
    • Everything I showed was from a cold local ($GOPATH/pkg/mod) and hosted (on the Zeit Athens server) cache

All in all, this is a pretty rad platform. I give it pretty rad. Not mega rad - that’s reserved for clippy level things, but wayyy higher than semi-rad.

Zeit: not quite clippy level, but pretty darn close!

Keep on rockin’ everybody!

comments powered by Disqus