»Consul Integration

Consul is a tool for discovering and configuring services in your infrastructure. Consul's key features include service discovery, health checking, a KV store, and robust support for multi-datacenter deployments. Nomad's integration with Consul enables automatic clustering, built-in service registration, and dynamic rendering of configuration files and environment variables. The sections below describe the integration in more detail.

»Configuration

In order to use Consul with Nomad, you will need to configure and install Consul on your nodes alongside Nomad, or schedule it as a system job. Nomad does not currently run Consul for you.

To enable Consul integration, please see the Nomad agent Consul integration configuration.

»Automatic Clustering with Consul

Nomad servers and clients will be automatically informed of each other's existence when a running Consul cluster already exists and the Consul agent is installed and configured on each host. Please see the Automatic Clustering with Consul guide for more information.

»Service Discovery

Nomad schedules workloads of various types across a cluster of generic hosts. Because of this, placement is not known in advance and you will need to use service discovery to connect tasks to other services deployed across your cluster. Nomad integrates with Consul to provide service discovery and monitoring.

To configure a job to register with service discovery, please see the service job specification documentation.

»Dynamic Configuration

Nomad's job specification includes a template stanza that utilizes a Consul ecosystem tool called Consul Template. This mechanism creates a convenient way to ship configuration files that are populated from environment variables, Consul data, Vault secrets, or just general configurations within a Nomad task.

For more information on Nomad's template stanza and how it leverages Consul Template, please see the template job specification documentation.

»Consul Namespaces

Nomad provides integration with Consul Namespaces for service registrations specified in service blocks and Consul KV reads in template blocks.

By default, Nomad will not specify a Consul namespace on service registrations or KV store reads, which Consul then implicitly resolves to the "default" namespace. This default namespace behavior can be modified by setting the namespace field in the Nomad agent Consul configuration block.

For more control over Consul namespaces, Nomad Enterprise supports configuring the Consul namespace at the group level in the Nomad job spec as well as the -consul-namespace command line argument for job run.

The Consul namespace used for a set of group or task service registrations within a group, as well as template KV store access is determined from the following hierarchy from lowest to highest precedence:

  • Consul default: If no Consul namespace options are configured, Consul will automatically make use of the "default" namespace.

  • agent configuration: If the namespace Nomad agent Consul configuration parameter is set, this namespace will be used instead of the Consul default.

  • job run command:

    Enterprise
    If the -consul-namespace command line argument is specified on job submission, this namespace will take precedence over the namespace set in Nomad agent configuration.

  • group configuration:

    Enterprise
    If the group level Consul namespace is configured, this namespace will take precedence over all other options.

If Consul ACLs are enabled, the allow_unauthenticated configuration parameter will control whether a Consul token will be required when submitting a job with Consul namespace configured. The provided Consul token must belong to the correct namespace, and must be backed by a Consul ACL Policy with sufficient service:write kv:read permissions. An example policy might look like,

key_prefix "" {
  policy = "read"
}

service_prefix "" {
  policy = "write"
}

»Assumptions

  • Consul 0.7.2 or later is needed for tls_skip_verify in HTTP checks.

  • Consul 0.6.4 or later is needed for using the Script checks.

  • Consul 0.6.0 or later is needed for using the TCP checks.

  • The service discovery feature in Nomad depends on operators making sure that the Nomad client can reach the Consul agent.

  • Tasks running inside Nomad also need to reach out to the Consul agent if they want to use any of the Consul APIs. Ex: A task running inside a docker container in the bridge mode won't be able to talk to a Consul Agent running on the loopback interface of the host since the container in the bridge mode has its own network interface and doesn't see interfaces on the global network namespace of the host. There are a couple of ways to solve this, one way is to run the container in the host networking mode, or make the Consul agent listen on an interface in the network namespace of the container.