Deployment with Docker

Prerequisites

  • Docker 1.10+.
  • Docker Compose 1.6+

Understanding the Docker Compose Setup

Before you begin, check out the production.yml file in the root of this project. Keep note of how it provides configuration for the following services:

  • django: your application running behind Gunicorn;
  • postgres: PostgreSQL database with the application’s relational data;
  • redis: Redis instance for caching;
  • caddy: Caddy web server with HTTPS on by default.

Provided you have opted for Celery (via setting use_celery to y) there are two more services:

  • celeryworker running a Celery worker process;
  • celerybeat running a Celery beat process.

Configuring the Stack

The majority of services above are configured through the use of environment variables. Just check out Configuring the Environment and you will know the drill.

To obtain logs and information about crashes in a production setup, make sure that you have access to an external Sentry instance (e.g. by creating an account with sentry.io), and set the DJANGO_SENTRY_DSN variable.

You will probably also need to setup the Mail backend, for example by adding a Mailgun API key and a Mailgun sender domain, otherwise, the account creation view will crash and result in a 500 error when the backend attempts to send an email to the account owner.

Optional: Use AWS IAM Role for EC2 instance

If you are deploying to AWS, you can use the IAM role to substitute AWS credentials, after which it’s safe to remove the AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID AND AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY from .envs/.production/.django. To do it, create an IAM role and attach it to the existing EC2 instance or create a new EC2 instance with that role. The role should assume, at minimum, the AmazonS3FullAccess permission.

HTTPS is On by Default

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a server and a client, typically in this case, a web server (website) and a browser. Not having HTTPS means that malicious network users can sniff authentication credentials between your website and end users’ browser.

It is always better to deploy a site behind HTTPS and will become crucial as the web services extend to the IoT (Internet of Things). For this reason, we have set up a number of security defaults to help make your website secure:

  • If you are not using a subdomain of the domain name set in the project, then remember to put the your staging/production IP address in the DJANGO_ALLOWED_HOSTS environment variable (see Settings) before you deploy your website. Failure to do this will mean you will not have access to your website through the HTTP protocol.
  • Access to the Django admin is set up by default to require HTTPS in production or once live.

The Caddy web server used in the default configuration will get you a valid certificate from Lets Encrypt and update it automatically. All you need to do to enable this is to make sure that your DNS records are pointing to the server Caddy runs on.

You can read more about this here at Automatic HTTPS in the Caddy docs.

(Optional) Postgres Data Volume Modifications

Postgres is saving its database files to the postgres_data volume by default. Change that if you want something else and make sure to make backups since this is not done automatically.

Building & Running Production Stack

You will need to build the stack first. To do that, run:

docker-compose -f production.yml build

Once this is ready, you can run it with:

docker-compose -f production.yml up

To run a migration, open up a second terminal and run:

docker-compose -f production.yml run --rm django python manage.py migrate

To create a superuser, run:

docker-compose -f production.yml run --rm django python manage.py createsuperuser

If you need a shell, run:

docker-compose -f production.yml run --rm django python manage.py shell

To check the logs out, run:

docker-compose -f production.yml logs

If you want to scale your application, run:

docker-compose -f production.yml scale django=4
docker-compose -f production.yml scale celeryworker=2

Warning

don’t try to scale postgres, celerybeat, or caddy.

To see how your containers are doing run:

docker-compose -f production.yml ps

Example: Supervisor

Once you are ready with your initial setup, you want to make sure that your application is run by a process manager to survive reboots and auto restarts in case of an error. You can use the process manager you are most familiar with. All it needs to do is to run docker-compose -f production.yml up in your projects root directory.

If you are using supervisor, you can use this file as a starting point:

[program:{{cookiecutter.project_slug}}]
command=docker-compose -f production.yml up
directory=/path/to/{{cookiecutter.project_slug}}
redirect_stderr=true
autostart=true
autorestart=true
priority=10

Move it to /etc/supervisor/conf.d/{{cookiecutter.project_slug}}.conf and run:

supervisorctl reread
supervisorctl start {{cookiecutter.project_slug}}

For status check, run:

supervisorctl status