Dockhero Heroku Addon Needs Alpha Testers



September 1, 2016
Here at Castle we often use Heroku to deploy our own and our clients' web applications. We see much value in how Heroku simplifies and standardizes app deployment — this helps us transfer the application to the customer's support team when our work is done. Also we believe in the 12 factors manifest — a set of rules which, if followed, help make the app scalable and maintainable.

One of the rules reads:
Treat backing services as attached resources
"The Twelve Factors"
by Adam Wiggins, Heroku co-founder
Heroku follows this rule by providing an add-ons marketplace. There are more than a hundred add-ons, but sometimes we miss a particular feature. We have to build a micro-service ourself and host it in AWS, and then manually link it with the Heroku app. Normally we have several Heroku environments (production, staging, development), so we are constantly looking for a way to to minimise the devops effort required to maintain numerous self-hosted pluggable micro-services used by these multiple environments. Ideally, we'd wanted a unified deployment procedure for both the Heroku application and its self-hosted pluggable microservices. They would be created when the Heroku app was deployed for the first time, and destroyed when the Heroku app was destroyed, just like other Heroku add-ons do.

With this idea in mind, we created DOCKHERO — an add-on which brings Docker's power to Heroku and simplifies pluggable micro-service's lifecycle management.

If you think of Heroku add-ons in general as of boxes with some useful mechanisms inside (like databases, log analyzers, messengers etc.), then Dockhero is an empty box where you can put your own mechanism described by docker-compose.yml.
Besides easier Swarm setup, Dockhero gives you logging and SSL termination. Volumes management, backups, and even Docker security audit are coming soon. At the same time, for deployment you use native Docker tools, like docker-compose, so you don't need to learn any new syntax.
We encourage you to try our Docker add-on by requesting early access at dockhero.io.
To give you insights regarding how it works, we collected some examples of cool things which you can do with Dockhero:
  • [try →] Run Apache Benchmark to test your Heroku app's performance right from AWS, from the same availability zone where your Heroku app is hosted
  • [try →] Render your Heroku app via QUIC protocol
  • [try →] Host RethinkDB alongside your Heroku app
  • [try →] Use RethinkDB + NodeJS app as an ActionCable alternative
See it in action:
You can find more technical details in https://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/dockhero?preview=1.

In upcoming posts we'll cover advanced usages of Dockhero, like using Wordpress as an embedded CMS for your single-page web app built with the latest web technologies, or improving your Heroku app's loading time across the world with CloudFlare's Railgun. Stay tuned.