Nomad: The 'not-so-obvious' choice for service orchestration
January 22, 2019

Nomad: The 'not-so-obvious' choice for service orchestration

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Nomad

Nomad is the orchestration tool that will be handling the scheduling of all jobs for our upcoming platform. It will be the primary engine for ensuring service uptime and manage the deployment and lifecycle of services. It addresses the problem of service scheduling and implicitly and the problem of DevOps, as it simplifies our workflow, encouraging fast deployment.
  • Nomad is incredibly simple by nature, following the Linux philosophy of doing one thing great. That one thing for Nomad is job scheduling.
  • Nomad is a modern tool, written in Go with a large community and maintained by HashiCorp.
  • Implementation of Nomad is very simple since it is a single binary.
  • Nomad only handles one part of a full platform. Expertise and vision are required in implementing an entire system that is functional enough for an organization to rely on. This includes other tools to handle things like secrets, service discovery, network routing, etc.
  • Nomad is delayed in some modern functionality, like features for service-mesh and open tracing. These features are on the tool's roadmap, but there's currently no native support. These paradigms can be established still, but require more expertise outside of Nomad itself.
  • Nomad is not the leading tool for this space, and as such risks being left behind by tools with much greater support, such as Kubernetes.
  • Nomad has allowed our organization to deploy quicker and more frequently with a lower failure rate.
  • Nomad has brought in consistency from an operations perspective.
  • Nomad's performance allows us to scale infinitely while providing functionality that reduces mean time to repair (canary deploys, versioning, rollbacks, etc).
Nomad's primary competitor is Kubernetes, specifically its scheduling component. Kubernetes is a much more complete system that will handle more things than job scheduling, including service discovery, secrets management, and service routing. There also exists a much larger community support for Kubernetes vs Nomad. One might say Kubernetes is the safer choice between the two. Kubernetes is the complete "operating system" for cloud computing, but with it includes complexities that are "Kubernetes" specific. The decision really comes down to a mindset of monolith vs components. With Kubernetes, I would argue you choose the entire system as a whole. With Nomad, you design your system piece by piece. There is no wrong answer.
Nomad is well suited for organizations who wish to tackle the problem of cloud computing with as little opinion as possible. Where competing tools like Kubernetes limit the concept of "batteries included," Nomad relies on engineers understanding the missing components and filling them in as necessary. The benefit of Nomad is the ability to build a system out of small pieces with the cost of having more complexity at a system level compared to alternatives.