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How to install Anypoint Flex Gateway in connected mode as a Docker container

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You can use Flex Gateway locally or in connected mode. If you use it locally, you will only be able to run it from your local machine, but you can’t manage the APIs from Anypoint Platform. In connected mode, you can view your gateways, your API instances, and policy configurations in API Manager. In this case, we’ll register and run Flex Gateway in connected mode using the Flex Gateway Docker image.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to:

  • Install the Flex Gateway Docker image on your local computer
  • Register the gateway in connected mode
  • Start the gateway
  • Add additional replicas
  • Remove replicas


Prerequisites

  • Anypoint Platform - We’ll need an Anypoint Platform account to manage our Flex Gateway. You can sign up for a free trial account here.
  • Flex Gateway permissions - You shouldn’t need to assign any specific permissions to follow this tutorial when using a new free trial account. However, if you experience permission issues, please see Flex Gateway prerequisites.
  • Docker - We’ll need to install Docker to download, install, and run the Flex Gateway image on our local machine. You can download Docker Desktop here.
  • (Optional) Overview and introduction - If you want to first see an overview and introduction to Flex Gateway without a technical how-to, see this tutorial.

Set up Flex Gateway in Runtime Manager

1 - Log in to Anypoint Platform and navigate to Runtime Manager. Click on the Flex Gateways tab on the left and select Add Gateway.

If this is the first time you access Anypoint Platform, it may ask you to select an environment. Choose Sandbox.

Runtime Manager preview

2 - You will see different options to select where to set up your Flex Gateway. Let’s select Docker. We will now follow the instructions from the screen to set up our Flex Gateway with Anypoint Platform.

Runtime Manager > Add a gateway

Install the Flex Gateway Docker image

1 - Download the Flex Gateway Docker image by running the first command in Runtime Manager. We will be using the latest version in this tutorial.

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docker pull mulesoft/flex-gateway:latest

You can browse the repository in DockerHub (here) to find any version you want to use instead. To use a different version, run docker pull mulesoft/flex-gateway:<version>. For example, docker pull mulesoft/flex-gateway:1.0.0.

2 - Verify the image was correctly installed by running docker images or checking your images from the Docker Desktop app. You should see the new mulesoft/flex-gateway image.

Command-line output:

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REPOSITORY              TAG       IMAGE ID       CREATED      SIZE
mulesoft/flex-gateway   latest    4ba042860c8f   7 days ago   273MB

Docker Desktop preview:

Docker Desktop > Images

Register the Gateway in connected mode

1 - Copy the command from Runtime Manager to register your gateway. It already contains the token and organization ID you need to authenticate and connect the gateway with your Anypoint Platform account. You only need to replace <gateway-name> with your own name (i.e. my-gateway). If you want to use a different version than the latest, please update accordingly in the command.

It’s better to run this command in a new folder or in a known location to quickly identify the files that will be created.

You should end up with something like the following (with your own token and organization):

Command:

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docker run --entrypoint flexctl -w /registration \
-v "$(pwd)":/registration mulesoft/flex-gateway \
register my-gateway \
--token=97ee6fd5-41a8-4089-9503-5ea06df491b1 \
--organization=8a3a006d-9557-4608-9f68-ff3c12eceebc \
--connected=true

Output:

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Starting registration, please be patient.
Registration completed, the configuration files were written in directory ".".

2 - Verify there are 3 new files in the same directory you executed the command. There should be a .conf, a .key, and a .pem file. Write down the absolute path and the name of the .conf file because you will use these in the next steps. For example:

Absolute path /Users/alex/flex-gateway
.conf file cdb13e72-f8c8-48c4-81dd-9ac3fffcce55.conf

3 - If you check the Flex Gateway list in Runtime Manager, your should now see your new gateway (my-gateway) listed with a status of Disconnected. Click on Add Gateway once more to return to the instructions with the commands.

Runtime Manager > Flex Gateways

Start the gateway

1 - Copy the command from Runtime Manager to start your gateway. You need to replace the absolute path in the -v parameter with your own and the -e FLEX_RTM_ARM_AGENT_CONFIG parameter with your .conf file name. You should end up with something like the following:

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docker run --rm \
-v /Users/alex/flex-gateway/:/etc/flex-gateway/rtm \
-p 8081:8081 \
-e FLEX_RTM_ARM_AGENT_CONFIG=/etc/flex-gateway/rtm/cdb13e72-f8c8-48c4-81dd-9ac3fffcce55.conf \
mulesoft/flex-gateway

You should see an output similar to the following. Note that the command doesn’t finish running. If you kill the process from your local, your gateway will be disconnected.

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...
[flex-gateway-envoy][info] starting main dispatch loop
[flex-gateway-envoy][info] cds: add 2 cluster(s), remove 2 cluster(s)
[flex-gateway-envoy][info] cds: added/updated 2 cluster(s), skipped 0 unmodified cluster(s)
[flex-gateway-envoy][info] cm init: all clusters initialized
[flex-gateway-envoy][info] all clusters initialized. initializing init manager
[flex-gateway-envoy][info] all dependencies initialized. starting workers

To run the Docker container in a detached mode, you can add -d at the beginning of the command. Like so: docker run --rm -d ...

2 - If you check the Flex Gateways list in Runtime Manager, your should now see your new gateway (my-gateway) with a status of Connected.

Runtime Manager > Flex Gateways

3 - You can also verify that the container is running in your local with docker container ls in a new command line, or check if there’s a running container in Docker Desktop.

Command-line output:

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CONTAINER ID  IMAGE                   COMMAND   CREATED         STATUS         PORTS                    NAMES
2d55079f848e  mulesoft/flex-gateway   "/init"   6 minutes ago   Up 6 minutes   0.0.0.0:8081->8081/tcp   stupefied_kalam

Docker Desktop preview:

Docker Desktop > Containers / Apps

Add additional replicas

1 - Copy the command from Runtime Manager to start an additional replica on the same host. You need to replace the absolute path in the -v parameter with your own and the -e FLEX_RTM_ARM_AGENT_CONFIG parameter with your .conf file name just as we did in the previous command. Additional to that, assign a new port number in the -p parameter (i.e., 8082:8082). You should end up with something like the following:

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docker run --rm \
-v /Users/alexandra.martinez/Downloads/flex-gw/:/etc/flex-gateway/rtm \
-p 8082:8082 \
-e FLEX_NAME=replica-name \
-e FLEX_RTM_ARM_AGENT_CONFIG=/etc/flex-gateway/rtm/cdb13e72-f8c8-48c4-81dd-9ac3fffcce55.conf \
mulesoft/flex-gateway

You should see an output similar to the previous command we ran. Same as before, the command doesn’t finish running. If you kill the process from your local, your gateway will be disconnected.

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...
[flex-gateway-envoy][info] starting main dispatch loop
[flex-gateway-envoy][info] cds: add 2 cluster(s), remove 2 cluster(s)
[flex-gateway-envoy][info] cds: added/updated 2 cluster(s), skipped 0 unmodified cluster(s)
[flex-gateway-envoy][info] cm init: all clusters initialized
[flex-gateway-envoy][info] all clusters initialized. initializing init manager
[flex-gateway-envoy][info] all dependencies initialized. starting workers

To run the Docker container in a detached mode, you can add -d at the beginning of the command. Like so: docker run --rm -d ...

2 - If you check the Flex Gateways list in Runtime Manager, you should now see 2 replicas listed in your gateway (my-gateway), both with a status of Connected.

Runtime Manager > my-gateway

3 - You can also verify that the new container is running in your local with docker container ls in a new command line, or check if there’s a new running container in Docker Desktop.

Command-line output:

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CONTAINER ID   IMAGE                   COMMAND   CREATED          STATUS          PORTS                    NAMES
392073434dcf   mulesoft/flex-gateway   "/init"   4 minutes ago    Up 4 minutes    0.0.0.0:8082->8082/tcp   xenodochial_dubinsky
2d55079f848e   mulesoft/flex-gateway   "/init"   16 minutes ago   Up 16 minutes   0.0.0.0:8081->8081/tcp   stupefied_kalam

Docker Desktop preview:

Docker Desktop > Containers / Apps

4 - You can continue adding more replicas with the same command but changing the port number for each replica.

Remove replicas

1 - To remove a replica, you can stop running the docker run command (if you didn’t use detached mode) and this will remove the container. Alternatively, you can run docker container stop <container-name> (i.e., docker container stop stupefied_kalam) or stop the container from Docker Desktop by clicking on the Stop button on the right side of the container.

Docker Desktop > Stop

2 - If you remove all replicas, you can verify no replicas are running with docker container ls or in Docker Desktop.

Command-line output:

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CONTAINER ID   IMAGE     COMMAND   CREATED   STATUS    PORTS     NAMES

Docker Desktop preview:

Docker Desktop > Containers / Apps

3 - The gateway might still be listed in Runtime Manager but will have a status of Disconnected if no replicas are connected. The functionality to un-list a gateway is not available yet (when this tutorial was published). For more information, see Anypoint Flex Gateway overview.

Runtime Manager > Flex Gateways

Runtime Manager > Flex Gateways > my-gateway

Next Steps

In this tutorial, you learned how to:

  • Install the Flex Gateway Docker image on your local computer
  • Register the gateway in connected mode
  • Start the gateway
  • Add additional replicas
  • Remove replicas

In the next tutorial, you’ll learn how to manage your APIs from API Manager using the Flex Gateway you created in this tutorial.

Click on the Next button below to continue to the next tutorial.

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