Building a Container Cluster

Published on Monday, December 18, 2017

Building a Container Cluster

As part of my certification journey, I am going to need to setup a small networking lab. I could easily do this with virtual machines, but that wouldn't be as fun. So I am joining everyone else and I am going to build me a small container cluster to play with. Lots of advantages to building one of these.


  • Use Docker more
  • Learn about Swarm or Kubernetes
  • Learn about networking
  • Play with tiny computers.

I can't really think of any disadvantages to doing it. I do have a list of decisions to make. I am going to list them out.

Container Engine

I have two choices, I can pick either Docker or RKT. Since I just found out about RKT yesterday, I will just go ahead using Docker.

Container Orchestration

Since I will be using Docker, I have choices. I do not know if Apache Marathon w/Mesos works with ARM. I will do some research. The only tutorials I have found cover Kubernetes and Docker Swarm. I will do a little research and make a decision.


Most tutorials use the LAN ports and connect the cluster to a hub. There is tutorial that covers using the WIFI. I think to start I will go with WIFI in my build. It saves a little cost and looks cleaner, although not as cool.


Ah, the real question. I haven't did a lot of research on alternatives to the Raspberry Pi, so I am going to stick to the well known. So it is a choice between the Pi 3 Model B or Pi Zero W. The cost difference isn't much and I think having more compute would be better.

Operation System

Three choices have seem to be the most common: Raspbian Jessie, Raspbian Jessie Lite, and HyperiotOS. I will probably use Raspbian Jessie Lite. I need to do some extra research.

I will be posting up all the decisions that I made and why I made them. The shopping list will be posted also with a total cost. Expect more posts as I go about building my cluster.

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