Kubernetes – Storage Volumes with Ceph

In this blog I show how to setup a Kubernetes Storage Volume with Ceph. I assume that you have installed already a kubernetes cluster with one master-node and at least three worker-nodes. On each worker node you need a free unmounted device used exclusively for ceph. Within the ceph cluster I setup a Ceph Filesystem (CephFS) that we can use as a storage volume for kubernetes.

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Kubernetes – Setup Traefik 2.1

In my last blog about Traefik I showed how you can setup Traefik version 1.7 in a Kubernetes cluster. In this blog I will explain how to use the latest version 2.1 of Traefik. Version 2.x Traefik implements some new concepts and need of course a different setup. This blog post assumes that you have already an up and running Kubernetes master node and at lease one worker node. See also my Blog ‘From docker-swarm to kubernetes. You can find also detailed information in the official traefik website. A helpful tutorial can also be found here.

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Kubernetes – Setup Traefik 1.7

In my last blog I showed how you can setup a Kubernets cluster by your own. If your cluster is running in the internet you need some kind of load balancer to access your apps from outside. Traefik is a popular load balancer and reverse-proxy service useful also in a KUbernetes cluster. This tutorial is based on Traefik 1.7 and assumes that you have already an up and running Kubernetes master node and at lease one worker node. You can find also detailed information in the official traefik website.

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Payara – How To Set Loglevels

Running payara server for test or production requires sometimes more details about the running services. In this case you can increase the log level for a java-package or a single java class.

First you need to log into the server and run the asadmin command:

$ cd ~/appserver/glassfish/bin
$ asadmin

Next you can list the current loggers:

asadmin> list-log-levels
Enter admin password for user "admin"> 

To set a specific log level run

set-log-levels com.foo.MyService=FINEST

And don’t forget to disable the log level after debugging 😉

Payara Micro with Custom Configuration

This is a short guideline how to create a payara-micro Docker container with a custom configuration. A custom configuration is needed if you want to configure application server resources like database pools, mail resources or other stuff needed by your application.

1) Downlaod the payara-micro.jar

First you need to download the payara-mciro jar. Go the the official payara download page: https://www.payara.fish/software/downloads/

2) Copy the domain.xml

Next you can inspect the jar file and copy the domain.xml from the config directory


Now you can customize the domain.xml as needed by your project. The configuration is identically to payara-full so you can add all additional resources and configuration. For example you can add a custom data pool configuration into the resources section of the domain.xml.

3) Create a Dockerfile

Now you can create your custom Dockerfile. Payara-micro can be configured with launch options in several ways. One of them allows you to define a custom location of your configuration and domain.xml files. See the following example:

FROM payara/micro
USER root
# create a custom config folder
RUN mkdir ${PAYARA_HOME}/config
COPY domain.xml ${PAYARA_HOME}/config/
COPY postgresql-42.2.5.jar ${PAYARA_HOME}/config
RUN chown -R payara:payara ${PAYARA_HOME}/config
USER payara
# Deploy artefacts
COPY my-app.war $DEPLOY_DIR
CMD ["--addLibs","/opt/payara/config/postgresql-42.2.5.jar", "--deploymentDir", "/opt/payara/deployments", "--rootDir", "/opt/payara/config","--domainConfig", "/opt/payara/config/domain.xml"]]

In this Dockerfile derived from the official payra/micro I create a new config/ folder to copy the jdbc-driver and the domain.xml.

The CMD option is important here. I added the following custom settings:

  • –addLibs – adds the postgresql jdbc driver
  • –deploymentDir – set the default deployment directory
  • –rootDir set the configuration directory to our new /opt/payara/config/ folder
  • –domainConfig – define the location of the custom domain.xml

With the CMD option –rootDir you can specify what directory Payara Micro should use as its new domain directory. Adding files to this directory will replicate the behavior of a Payara Server’s domain configuration. Payara-Micro automatically copies the folder with configuration files we do not specified explicitly. So at the end the folder contains all necessary configuation.

The CMD option –domainConfig is necessary. Otherwise payara-micro will ignore your custom domain.xml . More information which options can be added can be found here.

4) Build and Launch your Custom Docker Image

Finally you can now build your custom Docker image…

$ docker build --tag=my-custom-payara-micro .

…and start your docker container:

$ docker build --tag=my-custom-payara-micro .

Now you launched (hopefully without errors your custom payara-micro). I hope this helps you to get started with payara-micro and docker.

From Docker-Swarm to Kubernetes – the Easy Way!

In this blog I would like to give you a short introduction and installation guide for kubernetes.

I worked for years with Docker, Docker-Compose and Docker Swarm. I tried to switch to this ‘common standard’ kubernetes. But to be honest, I’ve always failed in the complexity of kubernetes and given up in frustration. I ask my self – why is kubernetes so complex? The short answer: it is not.

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Payara Autodeploy with the Eclipse Manik Plugin

Manik-Hot-Deploy is a plugin for the Eclipse IDE which brings auto-deploy and hot-deploy functionallity to the development of web applications. The plugin is Open Source and supports Glassfish, Payara, JBoss, Wildfly and other application servers.

With the latest Release 1.0.6 the plugin improves the Payara Autodeploy support. The new version provides a setting for the target folder with a default setting for maven projects.

To enable the autodeploy feature for Payara you also have to set ‘autodeploy-enabled=true in the ‘das-config’ section of the domain.xml file.

<das-config dynamic-reload-enabled="true" autodeploy-enabled="true"></das-config>

Also hot-deployment is supported for Payara, Wildfly and other application servers. Find the full details on the Wikipage on Github.

How to Convert JSON to XML with XSLT 3.0

Working in a microservice architecture often includes service requests that return a JSON data structure instead of XML. I am personally not a friend of JSON because I think XML is more accurate than JSON when dealing with complex data structures. And with XSL there is also a mature and powerful template technique to adapt XML data structures to your own needs. But any way, we have to take what we have.

JSON and XSLT 3.0

The good news first: XSLT 3.0 can deal with JSON. So we can use the XSL template technique to transform JSON either into XML or a new format which fits best your application data structures. Let’s assume the following XML data containing a JSON structure:

	"content": [
	    "id": 70805774,
	    "value": "1001",
	    "position": [1004.0,288.0,1050.0,324.0]

Working with XSLT, the JSON structure must be packed into a XML tag. In my case this the <data> tag

Now you can use the XSL function json-to-xml to convert the JSON into a XML structure. With the following template you will see how XSL 3.0 deals with JSON:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
	exclude-result-prefixes="xs math" version="3.0">
	<xsl:output indent="yes" omit-xml-declaration="yes" />

	<xsl:template match="data">
	    <xsl:copy-of select="json-to-xml(.)"/>

Based on the JSON example above this will result in the following output:

<map xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2005/xpath-functions">
   <array key="content">
         <number key="id">70805774</number>
         <string key="value">1001</string>
         <array key="position">

As you can see, the XSLT processor creates ‘map’ and ‘array’ tags to structure the data in a XML schema. It also converts numbers, strings and booleans into a corresponding XML tag. After you have transformed a JSON data structure with the function json-to-xml you can next transform this data using the template technique.

Take a look at the following example:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
	exclude-result-prefixes="xs math" version="3.0">
	<xsl:output indent="yes" omit-xml-declaration="yes" />
	<xsl:template match="data">
		<!-- create a new root tag -->
			<!-- apply the xml structure generated from JSON -->
			<xsl:apply-templates select="json-to-xml(.)" />

	<!-- template for the first tag -->
	<xsl:template match="map"

			<!-- select a sub-node structure  -->
			<xsl:apply-templates select="array[@key='content']/map/array[@key='position']/number" />
	<!-- template to output a number value -->
	<xsl:template match="number"
			<xsl:value-of select="." />


In this template example I create first a new xml-root tag ‘my-document’. Next – and this is important – I apply a template on the new JSON-to-XML structure. And so I can create some matching templates to select and transform different parts of the XML. The first matching template in my example selects the data of the ‘position’ array which is a sub node of the ‘content’ array. This is a general XSLT/XPath technique and you can apply any kind of template here. It should only demonstrate the power of XSLT.

The outcome of this example will look like this:


I hope this helps you to get started with converting your own JSON results.

Payara – Mail Resources

Running an application in Payara you can use a Mail Resource to send mails via SMTP.

In your Java EE code you can inject a Mail Resource by its name:

@Resource(lookup = "mail/my.mail.session")
Transport trans = mailSession.getTransport("smtp");

The Mail resource can be declared in the Payra Web Admin Console in the section “Resources ->JavaMail Sessions”.

Or you can define a mail resource directly in the domain.xml file:

  <mail-resource auth="false" host="smarthost" from="info@foo.com" user="admin" jndi-name="mail/my.mail.session"></mail-resource>
    <server config-ref="server-config" name="server">
      <resource-ref ref="mail/my.mail.session"></resource-ref>

If you define the mail resource directyl in your domain.xml file take care about the ‘resource-ref’ declaration in the seciton ‘<servers>’. If you miss this, than your application will not find the mail resource to be injected!