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BlazingMQ Deployment

As mentioned in the configuration article, BlazingMQ is a highly flexible system, with the BlazingMQ message broker at its core. A broker, or node, participates in a cluster, which manages a collection of domains. A cluster can consist of a single node, which results in better speed; or of several nodes, which results in better availability and reliability in presence of network or other failures.

Designing a BlazingMQ system thus involves deciding:

  • how many clusters to create
  • how many brokers to assign to each cluster

Once this is done, it must be expressed as a set of JSON files, as described in the configuration article, and placed in a configuration directory, which is passed on the command line to the broker when it is started. As it operates, the broker reads and writes various files. bmqbrkrcfg.json specifies the log directory; clusters.json specifies, for each cluster, a storage and an archive directory. These three directories must be created prior starting the broker.

When it starts, the broker creates a file ( and a named pipe (bmqbrkr.ctl) in the current directory, which must thus be writable.

Brokers operate in the background, as “services” or “daemons”. Thus, it often makes sense to run them under a dedicated Unix account. However, this is not mandatory: an application that runs under a normal user account could run a BlazingMQ broker as part of its implementation.

The following sections describe in more details two typical configurations, and implements them in a set of Docker containers. Together, they provide a template for deployment that should cover the majority of use cases, and provide a good starting point for creating more complex installations.

Much of the Dockerfile has to do with buiding the broker from the sources, drawing the dependencies from various sources. In the end, bmqbrkr and bmqtool are installed in /usr/local/bin.

The section relevant to deployment is at the bottom:

RUN addgroup bmq \
    && adduser bmq --home /var/local/bmq --system --ingroup bmq --shell /usr/bin/bash
USER bmq
WORKDIR /var/local/bmq
RUN mkdir -p logs storage/archive

In English, these lines:

  • create a bmq group
  • create a bmq system user, with /var/local/bmq as its home directory
  • in the home directory, create log, storage and archive directories
  • set the default user for Docker commands to bmq, and the default current directory to bmq’s.

The resulting image does not contain a configuration directory. Instead, each example maps a config directory on the host to /etc/local/bmq inside the container(s).

Single Node

In this example (see the docker-compose.yaml file), a single machine, called earth, runs a broker that acts as the single node of a cluster named “local”. The hostName in bmqbrkrcfg.json is set to “earth”. “localhost” would work as well, but an arbitrary value would not, as the broker resolves the name in hostName.

The hostDataCenter is set to “UNUSED”; any value work, as this setting is irrelevant in single-node configurations.

The broker is started with the command:

/usr/local/bin/bmqbrkr /etc/local/bmq

Note that this counts on the Docker image setting bmq as the default user, and /var/local/bmq as the default directory.

The example can be run (from the root of the BlazingMQ source directory) with:

$ docker-compose -f docker/single-node/docker-compose.yaml up --detach

To interact with the broker:

$ docker-compose -f docker/single-node/docker-compose.yaml exec bmqbrkr bmqtool
> start
> open uri="bmq://bmq.test.persistent.priority/qqq" flags="read,write"
> post uri="bmq://bmq.test.persistent.priority/qqq" payload=["foo"]
> list



In this example (see the docker-compose.yaml file), four machines in two data centers (gallifrey and skaro in WHO, pacem and lusus in HYPERION) each run a broker. They are all nodes in the planets cluster.

It looks each machine needs its own set of configuration files, or, at least, its own bmqbrkrcfg.json, because, on each machine, the value of hostName needs to be the machine’s name. Moreover, hostDataCenter must be set to either WHO or HYPERION, depending on the machine. Fortunately, these settings can be overriden from the command line, with the -h/--hostName and -d/--hostDataCenter

Thus, on gallifrey, the broker is started with the command:

/usr/local/bin/bmqbrkr -h gallifrey -d WHO /etc/local/bmq

And on pacem:

/usr/local/bin/bmqbrkr -h pacem -d HYPERION /etc/local/bmq

The example can be run (from the root of the BlazingMQ source directory) with:

$ docker-compose -f docker/cluster/docker-compose.yaml up --detach

This example also creates an additional machine - earth - from which bmqtool can be run. Since the tool and the broker are not on the same machine this time, it is necessary to specify the broker’s endpoint:

$ docker-compose -f docker/cluster/docker-compose.yaml run bmqtool bash
bmq@earth:~$ bmqtool -b tcp://skaro:30114
> start