Authored by Steve Read from AzureCAT
A few months ago I posted a blog about how to set up Micro Focus Enterprise Server 4.0 and Enterprise Developer 4.0 in Azure. There was a follow up to that blog outlining how to configure and deploy the BankDemo application that comes with Enterprise Developer. I'd like to continue in this Micro Focus vein by outlining how to run Micro Focus Enterprise Server in a Docker Container.
New to Micro Focus Enterprise Server 4.0 is the ability to run in a Docker container. The benefits of running Enterprise Server in Docker are centered around portability, performance, agility and isolation. For instance, a Docker image can be exported from one Windows VM to another or from another repository, and imported into another Windows server (assuming Docker support is installed there). It can then be run in the same way without having to install Enterprise Server because it is a part of the image (licensing considerations do still apply). For the purposes of this blog, I have decided to show how to set this up using the Windows 2016 Datacenter with Containers VM which is available from the Azure Marketplace. The nice thing about this offering is that Docker 18.09.0 is already preinstalled and ready to go. All we will need to do is deploy the container, run it and then connect to it with a 3270 emulator. At the end of this post, you will effectively be running a Mainframe application in a container.
Let's get started.
First a note about the media and licensing
In order to complete this walk through, you will need to have access to the Micro Focus media. This is available for Micro Focus customers and potential customers via a trial. If you have access to Enterprise Server 4.0 or Enterprise Developer 4.0, you should have access to the accompanying Docker Support files. If you do not have access, you can go here to get the process started.
There are two sets of demonstrations available: one set for Enterprise Server and another for Enterprise Developer. Within these two sets, there are demonstrations for Windows based platforms and SUSE Linux. For this blog you are going to walk through the Windows CICS acctdemo demonstration for Enterprise Server. The accompanying files are in a zip file named: ent_server_dockerfiles_4.0_windows.zip. There is an accompanying licensing file with a name similiar to ES-Docker-Prod-XXXXXXXX.mflic that will be necessary in order to build the Docker images. Once you have secured the media and the appropriate licensing file, you can begin.
Next, you will need to configure the properties for the VM. The Windows Server with Containers VM is only available in certain VM sizes. I chose a Standard DS2_v2 with 2 vcpus and 7GB of memory. You will also need to select the Region and Resource Group you would like to deploy to. We do not need any Availability options for this walk through. You will need to input the Username you would like to use for the Administrator Account as well as the Password. Finally make sure port 3389 RDP is open. This is the only port you need to publicly expose. You will need it to log into the VM. After this you can accept all of the default values and click Review+ Create.
The deployment could take a couple of minutes. When it is complete you will be presented with a message stating your VM has been created with a link to Go to Resource. Click this and you will be taken to the Overview blade for your VM. In the right pane, you will see a Connect button. Click this and you will see the Connect to virtual machine dialog pop up on the right. Click on the Download RDP File button. This will download the RDP file that will allow you to attach to the VM. After the file has finished downloading, open it and type in the Username and Password you created for the VM. Make sure you are not using your corporate credentials to log on since the RDP client will assume you may want to use these. You do not. Select More Choices and you will be able to select your VM credentials. After this, you will be logged into the VM.
2. Create Sandbox Directory and Upload the zip File - Now that we have the machine running and attached via RDP, create a Sandbox Directory and upload the ent_server_dockerfiles_4.0_windows.zip and the ES-Docker-Prod-XXXXXXXX.mflic to that directory. Extract the zip file contents to the ent_server_dockerfiles_4.0_windows directory (the extract will create this for you). Inside this directory, you will have a README html and txt file (two versions of the same thing). You will also have 2 directories EnterpriseServer and Examples.
VERY IMPORTANT - Make sure you copy the licensing file ES-Docker-Prod-XXXXXXXX.mflic to the C:\Sandbox\ent_server_dockerfiles_4.0_windows\EnterpriseServer directory and the C:\Sandbox\ent_server_dockerfiles_4.0_windows\Examples\CICS. As I mentioned before, these are necessary for the Docker build step to make sure the images are properly licensed.
3. Check Docker Version and Create Base Image - Very Important: Creating the appropriate Docker image you need to use is a 2 step process. First you will need to create the Enterprise Server 4.0 Base image. After this is complete you will create another image for the x64 platform. You also have the option to create a x86 (32 bit) image, but since you are running this in Azure, you will need the 64 bit image. In order to do this, open a Command Prompt.
Now you are running and managing a CICS application in a Docker Container. Hopefully this was interesting. In the future we will explore leveraging Kubernetes in Azure (AKS) for orchestrating and managing the containers.
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