Phoenix Deployment with Docker and ShutIt

I wrote a website in my spare time (themortgagemeter.com) a few years ago for a family member’s business tracking mortgage rates over time in real time.

As an experiment I wrote it in such a way that the entire database would be backed up to BitBucket daily (as well as the running code on the live box). This allowed me to easily pull the repo, and dev straight off master wherever I was developing. It was well worth the investment; much time was saved in easy dev environment creation.

When Docker came along, I thought this would be an ideal opportunity to encapsulate the entire site in Docker to further this efficiency. Since there was configuration and interactions to manage, I used ShutIt to store the configuration and build steps.

Once it was containerized (or Shut), it was a short step to implement phoenix deployment.

Phoenix deployment is the principle of rebuilding rather than upgrading. Fortunately ShutIt made it easy to implement this.

Here is the script:

$ cat phoenix.sh 
/space/git/shutit/shutit build --shutit_module_path /space/git/shutit/library --image_tag stackbrew/ubuntu:raring
docker.io tag $(sudo docker commit $(sudo docker ps -a | grep -v themortgagemeter | grep raring | awk '{print $1}')) themortgagemeter
docker.io rm -f themortgagemeter
docker.io run -t -d -h themortgagemeter --name themortgagemeter -p 80:80 themortgagemeter

So now I have the peace of mind of knowing that whatever is running there now was built from scratch today.

With some simple tests (part of the ShutIt build lifecycle) and external monitoring (using Uptime Robot) I can be sure it will not suffer from bit-rot.

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