Virtualization Technology News and Information
HashiCorp Releases Nomad, an Easier to Use, More Scalable, and More Flexible Scheduler for Deployment and Resource Maximization
HashiCorp, a leader in the DevOps marketplace, today released Nomad, the most user-friendly scheduler on the market. Nomad joins HashiCorp's six other open source tools -- Vagrant, Packer, Terraform, Consul, Serf, and Vault -- to complete the necessary components for proper application delivery. There are four qualities that distinguish Nomad in the scheduler space -- ease of use, scalability, flexibility, and incorporation into the HashiCorp ecosystem. As containers and Docker gain in prominence, a scheduler and ecosystem around it that simplify and secure containerized deployments is essential.

"Nomad is a hugely exciting product for us. It gives developers a simple workflow to manage containerized, virtualized, and standalone applications," said Armon Dadgar, co-founder and CTO of HashiCorp. "While there were tools to do this previously, we've made a huge leap in operational simplicity and scalability."

1. Ease of use: Nomad is a single binary that handles resource pooling, job management, and task scheduling. It is not dependent on any other services. A Nomad agent is installed on each host to collect information on available resources (CPU, memory, disk). This information is sent to the Nomad servers, which are responsible for accepting jobs, determining which hosts have available resources, and finally scheduling tasks on those hosts. Since the Nomad binary can easily run as a client or server and is not dependent on any other services, it is the easiest to use scheduler available today.

2. Scalability: Nomad is designed to scale in terms of fault tolerance, scheduling speed, and global datacenter management. Nomad servers perform leader election and state replication to provide high availability and fault tolerance in the case of failures. Each server participates in scheduling decisions which increases the total throughput of task placements. When a new job is submitted, Nomad can immediately schedule the task using the global state of the cluster without having to perform multiple network round trips to determine resource availability. Scheduling with global state greatly increases the speed at which Nomad can make placement decisions, and thus the number jobs and servers that Nomad can manage. Finally, Nomad is multi-datacenter and multi-region aware, allowing jobs to be scheduled across datacenters and regions.

3. Flexibility: Nomad uses a single high-level specification for jobs, which allows workloads to be virtualized, containerized, or standalone applications. Schedule Docker containers, virtual machines, application binaries, or a hybrid combination of them all. Nomad is designed on the principles that guide all HashiCorp products and focuses on the user workflow, remaining agnostic to the underlying technologies.

4. Incorporation into the HashiCorp ecosystem: HashiCorp's Atlas is an application delivery platform that integrates HashiCorp's open source projects for managing development environments (Vagrant), configuring services with machine images (Packer), provisioning full environments (Terraform), runtime configuration and service discovery (Consul), and securing distributed systems (Vault). Nomad can schedule containers and applications built by Packer onto hosts provisioned by Terraform. Service registry and discovery are powered by Consul. The entire process is secured by Vault. When traffic spikes, Nomad can schedule more tasks. If there is not enough capacity available, Nomad can request Terraform to provision more servers. At low traffic volume, Nomad can inform Terraform to destroy hosts. The result is true resource maximization and cost savings. The HashiCorp ecosystem provides complete application delivery for containers, VMs, and hybrid deployments.

Of these four qualities, ease of use has received the most attention from the HashiCorp engineering team. Distributed systems and operations in general are complex, and it is HashiCorp's mission to overcome this complexity and make development, deployment, and maintenance of applications easy.


Nomad is free and open source, and available to download today at Atlas is available today -- go to to sign up for a free Atlas account or request information on private deployments. Atlas pricing is $40/node/month with the first 10 nodes free. Development features are also free, which include Vagrant box hosting, Packer builds, and artifact storage.

Published Monday, September 28, 2015 5:25 PM by David Marshall
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