Using Træfik for internal tools at Bleemeo

Lionel Porcheron Published on 11 August 2016 by Lionel Porcheron

At Bleemeo, as many geeks, we use a couple of tools on a day to day basis. Most of those tools are small Open Source web applications and, to be trendy, we deploy those tools with Docker. In the past, we used to create a virtual machine per service, deploy the tool and configure web server on each machine. Moreover if you are using HTTPS, you need to deploy certificates and private keys on each server. With Docker, we have created a simpler architecture we can more easily test on our laptops and more easily deploy.

Træfik reverse proxy

In this article we will explain how we deploy our services in Docker containers using Træfik as reverse proxy and web frontal. Thus, we only have one entry point, and we only configure our https in a single place. With Træfik, you no longer need to configure every service, every service register on Træfik and get exposed automatically.

At Bleemeo, we deploy in this infrastructure:

Some of those tools will be a topic for upcoming blog articles.

Architecture Diagram

Here is in a picture what our setup looks like:

Traefik reverse proxy for internal tools architecture

Træfik is connected to all internal networks and expose HTTP and HTTPS. Other containers are not exposed to the intranet.

Configuring the Træfik reverse proxy

We use docker-compose to deploy our Træfik. Here is the docker-compose.yml file:

version: '2' services: traefik: image: traefik command: --web --docker --docker.domain=docker.localhost --logLevel=DEBUG --entryPoints='Name:http Address::80 Redirect.EntryPoint:https' --entryPoints='Name:https Address::443 TLS:tls/,tls/' --defaultEntryPoints='http,https' --accessLogsFile='log/access.log' network_mode: "host" ports: - "80:80" - "443:443" - "8080:8080" volumes: - /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock - /dev/null:/traefik.toml - ./tls:/tls

In a few words:

  • we use the official Træfik image.
  • we don't use any configuration file, all options are on the command line. We only have few options as our containers will register their services on Træfik.
  • we map the traefik container network stack on the host stack. As our services will be placed in their networks (created by compose and used for "internal" communication between application and database for example), our host can access all the networks.
  • web map http (80), https (443) and 8080 (used by Træfik administration interface) on the public interface.

Running Træfik is as easy as:

docker-compose up

If you need to change configuration, update the docker-compose.yml and restart the docker-compose container.

Updating the container is also very easy, just:

docker pull traefik docker-compose down docker-compose up

Starting a service

Let's take two examples of services: our home page which is a nginx web server serving static file and Jenkins.

Here is the ̀ docker-compose.yml` file used for our home page:

version: '2' services: nginx: image: nginx labels: - traefik.backend=home - - traefik.port=80 volumes: - ./:/usr/share/nginx/html:ro - ./

We use the default nginx image, and declare the container to Træfik with labels. Note that nginx is only listening on http (80) and our SSL endpoint is located on the Træfik proxy.

Second example with Jenkins. Here is the docker-compose.yml file used for Jenkins:

version: '2' services: jenkins: image: bleemeo/jenkins labels: - traefik.backend=ci - - traefik.port=9090 volumes: - jenkins-home:/var/lib/jenkins volumes: jenkins-home: external: false

We store our docker-compose.yml files in a git project named after the host name (in that case This git tree may also contain some configuration files or any resource needed by the project. Our Docker images are built by another project.

After starting the Docker containers, here is the Træfik UI:

Traefik reverse proxy internal tools UI

No other configuration is needed. Update your DNS, and voilà.

When you want to add a new service, point a DNS entry to your Træfik proxy, create a new project in your code repository with the appropriate docker-compose.yml and run it. All your team members can now check how infrastructure is configured, propose improvements, test it, hack it on their laptops and all is historized in a git.

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