Deploying docker containers in cloud foundry using a private registry

In my previous blog, I explained how to create a simple NodeJS application, Dockerize it and deploy it on IBM Cloud using the public DockerHub as a registry.

This works fine if security is not an issue but there are some additional advantages of using a private registry such as the one in IBM Cloud. Not only does it protect your images, it also scans the images for security vulnerabilities.

The IBM registry is available for free to experiment within the IBM Cloud. Even for a Lite Account but beware of limited storage.

If you don’t have an account yet, you can register for a free Lite account - no credit card needed !

You will also need to install the IBM Cloud Cli to interact with the Container Registry. More details on using the IBM Cloud CLI can be found here:

To get started with the Container Regsitry select ‘Kubernetes -> Registry’ from the naviation bar or goto :

Just follow the instructions for a “Quick Start” to connect to a registry in your region and to do some first testing:

# docker pull hello-world
Using default tag: latest
latest: Pulling from library/hello-world
0e03bdcc26d7: Pull complete 
Digest: sha256:6a65f928fb91fcfbc963f7aa6d57c8eeb426ad9a20c7ee045538ef34847f44f1
Status: Downloaded newer image for hello-world:latest

# docker tag hello-world

# docker push
The push refers to repository []
9c27e219663c: Pushed 
1.0: digest: sha256:90659bf80b44ce6be8234e6ff90a1ac34acbeb826903b02cfa0da11c82cbc042 size: 525

Let’s take our simple NodeJS application and name it ‘server.js’ :

const express = require('express');
const app = express();
const port = process.env.PORT || 3000;

app.get('/', (req,res) => res.send('Hello Meetup !!!'));
app.listen(port, () => console.log(`Example app listening on port ${port}!`))

Create a ‘Dockerfile’:

FROM node
COPY package.json /app
RUN npm install
COPY . /app
CMD node server.js

Now we can build a local Docker image:

# docker build  . -t tinyapp
# docker images
REPOSITORY          TAG                 IMAGE ID            CREATED             SIZE
tinyapp             latest              e0e844dd9544        7 minutes ago       948MB
node                latest              91a3cf793116        7 days ago          942MB

Next, tag the image with a reference to our Container registry and push it to the IBM Cloud:

# docker tag tinyapp
# docker push
# ic cr images
Listing images...
Repository                Tag   Digest         Namespace   Created         Size     Security status   1.0   ba2f1c028c72   ydbns       4 minutes ago   365 MB   3 Issues   

We can already see that the vulnerability scanner has scanned the image and reports 3 issues. You can review the issues by requesting a vulnerability assessment for the image:

# ic cr va
Checking security issues for ''...

Image '' was last scanned on Thu May 28 14:02:59 UTC 2020
The scan results show that 3 ISSUES were found for the image.

Configuration Issues Found

Configuration Issue ID                     Policy Status   Security Practice                                    How to Resolve   
application_configuration:mysql.ssl-ca     Active          A setting in /etc/mysql/my.cnf that specifies the    ssl-ca is not specified in /etc/mysql/my.cnf.   
                                                           Certificate Authority (CA) certificate.                 
application_configuration:mysql.ssl-cert   Active          A setting in /etc/mysql/my.cnf that specifies the    ssl-cert is not specified in /etc/mysql/my.cnf   
                                                           server public key certificate. This certificate      file.   
                                                           can be sent to the client and authenticated             
                                                           against its CA certificate.                             
application_configuration:mysql.ssl-key    Active          A setting in /etc/mysql/my.cnf that identifies the   ssl-key is not specified in /etc/mysql/my.cnf.   
                                                           server private key.      

It’s up to you to decide whether you want to take actions to resolve those issues but for now we’ll just go ahead and deploy the image as a Docker container in Cloud Foundry.

Before we can do that we need to create an API key to give Cloud Foundry deployment access to our registry:

# ic iam api-keys
# ic iam api-key-create MyKey -d "This is my API key" --file key-file
Creating API key MyKey under f1e90dde43954fc68994fe16fb8be633 as ...
API key MyKey was created
Successfully save API key information to key-file

# cat key-file 
	"id": "ApiKey-4678aeca-4291-41f2-8901-9b31a4b560f4",
	"crn": "crn:v1:bluemix:public:iam-identity::a/f1e90dde43954fc68994fe16fb8be633F::apikey:ApiKey-4678aeca-4291-41f2-8901-9b31a4b560f4",
	"iam_id": "IBMid-550002G2B4",
	"account_id": "f1e90dde43954fc68994fe16fb8be633",
	"name": "MyKey",
	"description": "This is my API key",
	"apikey": "Au1--YZ7a3pt2EblHAb28P_55ZDGsLuDug..........",
	"locked": false,
	"entity_tag": "1-d97ba8e50dd7f9ee0c87b17b295c631d",
	"created_at": "2020-05-28T14:14+0000",
	"created_by": "IBMid-550002G2B4",
	"modified_at": "2020-05-28T14:14+0000"

Next we’ll set ‘CF_DOCKER_PASSWORD’ to our ‘apikey’ and then we are ready to deploy using ‘iamapikey’.

# export CF_DOCKER_PASSWORD=Au1--YZ7a3pt2EblHAb28P_55ZDGsLuDug..........
# ic cf push ydbtinyapp -o --docker-username iamapikey

When the application is sucessfully deployed you can verify the correct working :

# cf open ydbtinyapp	

If you want to know more about Automating access to the IBM Cloud Container Registry goto :

Written on May 28, 2020