In the last year many Container Solutions’ engineers spent significant time developing various parts of Cisco’s Mantl and Shipped projects.
Examples of the software can be found at ELK Mesos frameworks, Terraform Cobbler provider, Minimesos and a policy based management of microservices resources that we call Application Intent that was mentioned in the recent talk by Nick Earle at CiscoLive Europe 2016 in Berlin.
To gather feedback from developers who never worked with Mantl before, we hired an external team from a company called DIO-soft. The team was located in Kiev, Ukraine and included a few experienced developers who are used to building complex software.
The requirements were quite simple – we said the software they build needs to use a microservices architecture architecture and it needs to run on Mantl.
The result of this project is a tool called UAM – User Access Manager. The idea behind the tool is to provide a single system for onboarding new employees into an organization and easy creation of the accounts in all the internal systems using the application UI.
UAM includes the main services, UI and one service per supported application which are currently Atlassian Jira, Active Directory and Github.
The Dio-Soft team chose to use Consul for service discovery, Vault for storing secrets and Marathon for scheduling and maintenance of microservices. They chose Treafik as a reverse proxy.
And a screen recording of the demo can be found here:
We asked the Dio-Soft team to describe their experience of working with Mantl and received the following feedback:
While using mantl.io together with different internet services we saw a great opportunity for our own project, especially in manipulating different environments.
It is always important what tools, frameworks and services to use, but with Mantl you have bunch of them ready for you.
We were able to integrate with Amazon web services right away. We started to use Consul and also decided to use Vault for managing our secrets.
Meanwhile, we came across some challenges - in particular, managing our instances. This probably could be presented as wish list, nevertheless it would be great to have the possibility to control the environment with Mantl UI.
This feedback was consistent with our own experience of extensive work with Mantl. While Mantl is an extremely useful platform for running microservices that can save companies weeks or even months on integration of multiple infrastructure tools, it also isn’t easy to use.
This feedback will help us focus on improving the development experience and make this excellent platform also easy to try and use.
In the meanwhile, you are welcome to watch the video, clone the sources or even use the UAM tool to manage security access for the users in your company (be aware that the software is a POC and was built for demonstration purposes).