Consul is here to save your configuration management, service names and many more!
October 07, 2021

Consul is here to save your configuration management, service names and many more!

Borislav Traykov | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Consul, by HashiCorp

We use Consul for 2 primary purposes:
  • service DNS across different OSes.
    This saves us the trouble of using hosts file mappings, relying on an external DNS provider and also give us a stable FQDN DNS name for our services.
  • global key-value store for having a "Single Source of Truth" where configuration values are written to and read from.
  • Providing a service DNS
  • Being a fast, stable and reliable service - a cluster of minimum 3 nodes by default
  • Being a robust key-value store
  • Easy to install and configure
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Slick and really useful web UI
  • Good official documentation
  • Error logs - some of the errors require Googling as you have no idea what they mean
  • Misconfiguration is painful - strange errors can occur if you make even a tiny mistake
  • Reliable - it never goes down by itself
  • Robust - we have a lot of flexibility in defining our key-value store
  • Consistent - it never gives unpredictable results
  • Streamlined configuration management across multiple services
  • Provided a software-defined DNS service for our software services
  • Is reliable and consistent
  • Negative: Was a pain if due to a misconfiguration we had to deal with error messages
We used to use Microsoft SQL Server for configuration management of our services.
Unfortunately that was a pain because of:
  • Developers did not know how to persist objects effectively in MS SQL Server
  • SQL queries or a custom web UI were the ways of keeping the data up to date, but both options were hard to use
  • Each service would have its own slightly different configuration in a file and in MS SQL Server so that caused a lot of confusion and configuration management overhead
Consul brought the following benefits:
  • Its own modern web UI
  • Streamlined use of objects and multiple different configuration (JSON-based)
  • Service DNS vs IP addresses is a God-send for the dev and operations teams.

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Consul can provide a light-weight, lightning-fast and robust solution for the following:
  • Network mesh
  • Service DNS
  • Global key-value store (values can be complex objects as well)
  • Utility for blue-green deployments
  • Service health checking
Consul can be used in any or a combination of these scenarios. Regardless if you are a network administrator or a regular software engineer, Consul can add value to your work.