Speaker Deck

Scheduling Applications at Scale

by Armon Dadgar

Published November 20, 2015 in Technology

Tools like Docker and rkt make it easier than ever to package and distribute applications. Unfortunately, not all organizations have the luxury of being able to package their applications in a container runtime.

Many organizations have virtualized workloads that cannot be easily containerized, such as applications that require full hardware isolation or virtual appliances. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some organizations deploy workloads that are already static binaries such as Go applications or Java applications that only rely on the JVM. These types of applications do not benefit from containerization as they are already self-contained. To address the growing heterogeneity of workloads, HashiCorp created Nomad - a globally aware, distributed scheduler and cluster manager.

Nomad is designed to handle many types of workloads, on a variety of operating systems, at massive scale. Nomad empowers developers to specify jobs and tasks using a high-level specification in a plain-text file. Nomad accepts the job specification, parses the information, determines which compatible hosts have available resources, and then automatically manages the placement, healing, and scaling of the application. By placing multiple applications per host, Nomad maximizes resource utilization and dramatically reduces infrastructure costs.

The flexibility of Nomad's design brings the benefits of a scheduled application workflow to organizations with heterogeneous workloads and operating systems. This talk will discuss the pros and cons of running in a scheduled environment and an overview of the design and architecture of Nomad.