Coding, Quick-post

Docker and Healthchecks outside of Kubernetes

So I’ve been working with a containerized solution recently which runs outside of Kuberenetes using an Azure VMSS to scale out. I won’t dive into the reasons why we went down this route but one really interesting thing came of out of it.

How do you automatically healthcheck a container outside of Kubernetes?

Well it turns out docker has this covered in newer versions. You can specify a HEALTHCHECK inside the docker file to monitor the containers state

How do you ensure it restarts when unhealthy?

Well here you have a couple of options but both rely on using --restart=always when starting the container:

  1. You `healthcheck` command runs inside the container so you can have it kill the root process of the container causing the container to restart – Example:
  2. You can use `AutoHeal` container which monitors the docker deamon via it’s socket and handles and containers which report unhealthy

Note: I’m trying a new format for shorter slightly rougher blog posts covering specific topics quickly. They’ll appear under Quick-post tags. Please excuse typos and grammar issues!

Azure, How to, kubernetes

Kubernetes Integration Testing: MiniKube + Azure Pipelines = Happy

I recently did some work on a fairly simple controller to run inside Kubernetes. It connects to the K8s API and watches for changes to ingress objects in the cluster.

I had a nice cluster spun up for testing which I could tweak and poke then observe the results. This was nice BUT I wanted to translate it into something that ran as part of my CI process to make it more repeatable. Having not played much with the new Azure Pipelines I decided to try and get this working using one.

Here was the goal:

    • Build the source for the controller
    • Spin up a Kuberentes cluster
    • Deploy test resources (Ingress and Services) into the cluster
    • Connect the controller code to the cluster and run it’s tests

The obvious choice was to look at creating the clusters inside a cloud provider and using it for testing but I wanted each PR/Branch to be validated independently in a separate cluster, ideally in parallel, so things get complicated and expensive if we go down that route.

Instead I worked with MiniKube which has a ‘no vm mode’, this spins up a whole cluster using just docker containers. The theory was, if the CI supports running docker containers it should support MiniKube clusters…

TLDR: Yes this is possible with MiniKube and Azure Pipelines or Travis CI – Skip to the end to see how.

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Coding, How to

How to: Check your DNS entry maps to your Public IP in Bash

I wrote this today as I wanted to ensure that a service waiting for its DNS name to be updated with the correct IP address (its Public IP) before starting.

This little script uses Curl with Akamai’s ‘’ endpoint to get the Public IP and then NSLookup to get the IP returned by the DNS server for the domain. It keeps trying for a while until they match or exits if they don’t match after 250 seconds.

WARNING: In my case it turned out that outbound traffic didn’t route through the same IP as inbound so the script always failed. This may happen to you too if you’re using this in K8s.

WARNING: The AWK logic extracting the IP from the NSLookup is brittle is expects result on line 5. This works on Alpine but may need tweaking, likely are better approaches here.

Run “”