Apache Mesos for Beginners: 3 Videos to Help You Get Started


How do you get started learning Apache Mesos? In this series highlighting presentations from MesosCon North America, we have showcased several large complex Mesos projects that elegantly solve difficult problems (see Mesos Large-Scale Solutions, below).

In those talks, Uber, Twitter, Verizon Labs, and other large vendors shared how they use Mesos to manage complex configurations, provide scalability and reliability, simplify application development and deployment, and amp up their continuous integration and delivery systems.

They are all wonderful demos about great technologies, but as you watch the videos, you may wonder “How do I get my hands on this? I don’t have a datacenter or a team of engineers. What if I want to become a contributor? How do I make this all go in my own little test lab?”

The talks highlighted in this article will help you get started. Aaron Williams, Joris Van Remoorter, and Michael Park of Mesosphere, and Frank Scholten of Container Solutions share how to run Mesos on a laptop, how to become a contributor, and the basic architecture of a Mesos-based datacenter.

It’s Complicated, Okay (or Let’s Talk Openly about Apache Mesos’ OSS Neighbors, Friends, and Rivals)

Aaron Williams, Mesosphere

Apache Mesos is not a complete datacenter solution. In good Unix tradition, Mesos does one thing and does it well: it enables you to program against your datacenter like it is a single pool of resources. So you need a datacenter, which includes hardware, and perhaps virtual machines, containers, application servers, storage servers, network resources, monitoring and alerting, and everything else you need to do your work.

Williams points out how the role of the modern datacenter has changed with this quotation by Satya Nadella: “Every business will become a software business, build applications, use advanced analytics and provide SaaS services.”

Anyone who has worked in IT is familiar with the management mindset that IT is a sadly necessary expense and something they wish they didn’t need to fund. But, that is not true, and never has been. “It’s not good enough to be producing great products anymore. You have to have the great software behind it in order to make those products successful… Now isn’t just a thing that sits off in IT somewhere… Now, it’s becoming something that everyone can use as a competitive weapon. Mesos is really helping to make that happen, so we’re going to talk about how that business value always bleeds back into the kinds of decisions that we’re making along the way,” Williams says.

Watch Williams’ complete presentation below to learn about some of the open source software that works well with Mesos, some that doesn’t, and a complete architectural diagram.


Minimesos: The Experimentation and Testing Tool for Apache Mesos

Frank Scholten, Container Solutions

Not everyone can afford their own secret mastermind datacenter lair, with monocle and Persian cat. Frank Scholten introduces minimesos, the Mesos experimentation and testing tool for running and testing Mesos on a laptop.

How does it work? Scholten says “Maybe you want to try it out locally first before setting up a huge cluster; with minimesos you can quickly do this. It has a command-line API and Java API, so you can run straight from Java within a unit test, or you can run from the CLI, start it up and then destroy it and it’s gone. The whole thing runs in Docker, so it’s easy to install because it will just pull a bunch of images and then it runs.”

minimesos provides a good set of functionality, including schedulers, Mesos agents, ZooKeeper, and logging. You can also try the online demo.

Watch Scholten’s talk below to learn minimesos’ architecture, and how to run it.


Contributing to Apache Mesos: Where to Begin

Joris Van Remoortere and Michael Park, Mesosphere

Which open source project has contributors, shepherds, reviewers, and committers? Apache Mesos, of course. Mesos has attracted a rather amazing number and diversity of contributors, and managing all of those contributions is a sizable challenge. For all the rhetoric about the importance of community to OSS, it is not a magic solution, but rather a lot of work to harness the energies of a large, active community.

As a contributor, your experience might be a little frustrating. “When you first write your patch for open source projects you probably feel pretty good, pretty excited, and you want to show your patch to the world. By the time you post it on Reviewboard, you’re feeling pretty slick. You feel like you just crushed this bug, waiting for some responses,” says Van Remoortere.

“Then reviewers come along, right? Kind of feels like a stampede. Maybe they left 27 comments on your review and you’re not feeling so good, but you start tackling them. Then they just keep coming, right? After you finish all your reviews, more people come along, open more issues, make more comments, and it feels like it’s never-ending,” he says. Or worse, your shiny patch is ignored.

Contributing to a large complex project involves a fair bit of bureaucracy. There are standards and procedures to follow. The Mesos project provides a lot of help and support for contributors, so watch Van Remoortere and Park’s talk below to learn the right way to become a Mesos contributor.


Mesos Large-Scale Solutions

Please enjoy the previous blogs in this series, and watch this spot for more blogs on ingenious and creative ways to hack Mesos for large-scale tasks.


Apache, Apache Mesos, and Mesos are either registered trademarks or trademarks of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) in the United States and/or other countries. MesosCon is run in partnership with the ASF.