Simple Hands on Service Discovery
February 15, 2017

Simple Hands on Service Discovery

Claudio Fernando Maciel | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Consul

We are using Consul as our service discovery to provide load balancing decisions on our swarm of containers, distributed throughout our clients' servers, as well as our servers. The DevOps team is the responsible for leveraging our Consul instances, maintaining them and keeping them communicable with all our nodes in a real time fashion.
  • Quick, hands-on solution to integrate with Docker containers via Docker-machine in a Docker Swarm flavour
  • Automatic provisioning of the mapped services via a dynamic API. One cannot beat that!
  • Free Health Checking means by which we can assert whether a certain service is up and running or not.
  • When it gracefully dies, it dies too gracefully. Way to graceful to find in a simple way what was wrong.
  • Working with the ACLs could be a little simpler.
  • I didn't find a native way of configuring it as a circuit breaker. Perhaps that could be an item to be improved in the future.
  • It contains a native web UI, which in contrast to its counterparts, is handy, very intuitive and - most importantly - very informative. It leaves no room for doubt about your services "forest" health. So, for that purpose, the learning curve was almost down to non-existent. Our team managed to work seamlessly with Consul being our services API
  • Our management staff had a difficult time understanding what Consul was really all about. For technical staff it is pretty simple to understand the huge value such a tool can pose to our suite of solutions, but once our management staff took the grasp of its valuable handy set of tools, we didn't take long to start using it and keeping track of our Swarm overall health, with was a constant concern for the entire company before.
  • For load balancing purposes, we were relying pretty much on guesses before we decided to use Consul. One would check a certain node overall health and decide if we would need to spring a new instance at AWS or Digital Ocean.
  • zoekeeper
We studied Zoekeeper, trying to decide which could become our service broker tool of choice. But although it is meant to be a very high performance tool, it got immensely shadowed by the vast plethora of available tools that Consul offers. The monitoring, health checking tools, as well as the key-value data storage and gossip clustering functionalities just could not be beaten.
I've been using Consul as my only service discovery tool for my Swarm of Nodes, deployed with Docker. Also, as a side effect, it provides me a great health checking tool for my node services. I didn't need to to much configuration, pretty much the stock Consul docker image ran almost out of the box, without much hassle, which in this aspect, is a basic characteristics of Consul.